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from Jerry and Suzee Bailey

With the most exciting 2 Minutes of Sports just a little over a month away…

Join our COFFEEBREAKWITHFRIENDS Table of Discussion with

Hall of Fame Jockey, Jerry Bailey,…

who will offer his in depth look and top choices for all of the


and his wife Suzee, who will bring you up-to-date news and

happenings in the exciting world of Horse Racing!

Watch for Jerry this Friday and Saturday on ESPN and NBCSports network!

And don’t forget to leave us your comments below…we’d love to hear from you!

ELMONT, N.Y. – A little more than an hour after I’ll Have Another completed his usual morning gallop Tuesday at Belmont Park, he was safely tucked away in his stall in Barn 9, groom Inosencio Diaz standing alongside him. Doug O’Neill, the trainer of I’ll Have Another, had earlier that morning decided to delay by 24 hours I’ll Have Another’s relocation to the detention barn in which all the horses in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes needed to be moved by Wednesday. As someone who is closer to I’ll Have Another than anyone else, Diaz thought I’ll Have Another would be just fine. [BELMONT STAKES: Video updates, expected field, early odds] “Everything is relaxed, not crazy,” said Diaz, who has worked for O’Neill for nine years. “All the time, he’s not nervous, nothing. He’s never crazy, takes a siesta.” No one has been caught snoozing around I’ll Have Another as he prepares for the 144th Belmont Stakes, and a bid for the Triple Crown. O’Neill likes to refer to the team he has around I’ll Have Another, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but it’s more like a small army. Paul Reddam, the owner of I’ll Have Another, rented a house in nearby Old Westbury where 10 members of O’Neill’s staff are making due in sweet digs that have a swimming pool and a hot tub. [I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: Derby, Preakness winner runs for Triple Crown] People like O’Neill, assistant Jack Sisterson, chiropractor Larry “Thumper” Jones, and exercise rider Johnny Garcia may have become better known during this Triple Crown odyssey, but there’s a large entourage with I’ll Have Another that also includes people like Diaz, and Benjamin Perez, O’Neill’s foreman. READ MORE>>



Barbara D. Livingston


I’ll Have Another schools Sunday on a beautiful morning at Belmont Park. He followed with a strong one-mile gallop for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey Javier Castellano was walking Dullahan back to trainer Dale Romans’s barn after having just worked the third-place finisher in this year’s Kentucky Derby a half-mile Sunday morning at Belmont Park when he stopped briefly to ask the gap attendant how fast he’d gone. “The man said ‘45’ and I said no way, that can’t be right, it’s too fast,” said Castellano, who had never been on Dullahan prior to Sunday’s work and who’ll ride the Blue Grass winner for the first time in the Belmont Stakes. In actuality, Dullahan completed a half-mile in an eye-catching 45.82 seconds, according to Daily Racing Form, following an opening quarter mile in 22.20.  Dullahan galloped out five-eighths in 58.91 while easily the most impressive of five prospective Belmont starters to work over a fast track on a picture-perfect morning at Belmont Park. Overall, seven of the 11 horses listed as probable starters for the Belmont worked on Sunday, including Union Rags at Fair Hill in Maryland and Ravelo’s Boy at Calder. READ MORE>>  



Maggie Kimmitt


Union Rags and John Velazquez work alongside Roddickton at Fair Hill on Sunday. Union Rags went five furlongs in 58.50, impressing Velazquez.

ELKTON, Md. – As John Velazquez galloped a strong Union Rags through the stretch of the near-empty Fair Hill training center dirt track Sunday morning, he thought to himself ‘Oh my God, what is this thing?’ ” About a minute later he found out. Sitting on Union Rags for the first time, Velazquez guided the powerhouse 3-year-old through a five-furlong workout that Daily Racing Form timed in 58.50 seconds. Michael Matz, the trainer of Union Rags, caught him in 59 seconds. Matz was aboard a stable pony on the far turn. [BELMONT STAKES: Video updates, expected field, early odds] Whether from a time standpoint or a visual perspective, the work – conducted under bright blue skies and over a freshly harrowed surface – was most impressive and served to confirm Union Rags as a legitimate threat to I’ll Have Another’s Triple Crown hopes in next Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Velazquez, who is replacing Julien Leparoux in the irons, drove from Long Island to Fair Hill Saturday night after the races at Belmont Park. Velazquez worked a horse for trainer Graham Motion earlier in the morning at Fair Hill – where conditions were pristine – and then climbed aboard Union Rags at around 8:45 a.m. After a couple of tours of the shed row, Union Rags and Velazquez followed Matz out to the freshly manicured main track. Velazquez and workmate Roddickton, a 6-year-old four-time winner with exercise rider Peter Brette aboard, came on the track at the three-quarter-pole gap and backed up to the middle of the far turn of the track. After turning around, Velazquez kept Union Rags galloping behind Brette and Roddickton as they came through the stretch and around the first turn. READ MORE>>











O’Neill consults with Billy Turner, Seattle Slew’s trainer



Barbara D. Livingston


Trainer Doug O’Neill brought I’ll Have Another to Belmont the day after the colt’s Preakness victory.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Doug O’Neill wasn’t so much interested in talking to the connections of the recent horses who attempted – and failed – to win the Triple Crown. Instead, O’Neill wanted to talk someone who actually accomplished the feat. So on Tuesday morning, about two hours after watching I’ll Have Another gallop a strong mile at Belmont Park, O’Neill had a little sit-down with Billy Turner, the trainer of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. [BELMONT STAKES: Video updates, expected field, early odds] Sitting at a table outside Barn 9 for approximately 40 minutes, O’Neill picked Turner’s brain about his experiences some 35 years ago. “He’s done what I’m hoping and dreaming of doing,” O’Neill said later in the day. “The one thing he said, which we’re already doing, was getting him here early and training over the track. He said, ‘That’s the biggest suggestion I would have given you had you asked me.’ He was such a class act, just very complimentary to the whole staff.” [I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: Derby, Preakness winner runs for Triple Crown] “The most important thing about Belmont is training on the track,” said the 72-year-old Turner, who still trains a few horses on this circuit. “Woody [Stephens] proved it time and time again. You go back and try to find somebody that’s done something surprising in the Belmont that didn’t train on the track and you can’t find it.” READ MORE>>




I’ll Have Another captures Preakness Stakes

By Bob Velin, USA TODAY



    • I'll Have Another ridden by Mario Gutierrez, left, beats Bodemeister, ridden by Mike E. Smith at the finish line to win the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday.

      By Patrick Smith, Getty Images


      I’ll Have Another ridden by Mario Gutierrez, left, beats Bodemeister, ridden by Mike E. Smith at the finish line to win the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday.


I’ll Have Another ridden by Mario Gutierrez, left, beats Bodemeister, ridden by Mike E. Smith at the finish line to win the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore on Saturday.





I’ll Have Another became the first horse since Big Brown in 2008 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown. Barring an unforeseen problem, the son of Flower Alley, who was purchased for just $35,000, will go on to theBelmont Stakes in three weeks in an attempt to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978, a span of 34 years.




Owner J. Paul Reddam says they will take their Preakness winner to Belmont in the next few days. I’ll Have Another became just the fourth horse to win the Preakness from the No. 9 post, and first since Funny Cide in 2003. Bodemeister finished as the runnerup again, thwarting trainer Bob BafS-fert‘s try for his sixth Preakness victory. Creative Cause, who had beaten both the winner and runnerup in previous races, was third. “I can’t even put it into words, it’s just incredible” said I’ll Have Another’s trainer Doug O’Neill. “What a ride. (Jockey) Mario (Gutierrez) was so patient. We’re thinking Triple Crown, baby. Come on, why not. READ MORE>>






Preakness Top Five


 1.  I’ll Have Another…



He gets another stalking trip, this time right near the front running Bodemeister. He has enough tactical speed to be close in the early and middle stages of the race and will need to be close because there is likely no other horse with enough early speed to pressure Bodemeisterr early as was the case in the Derby.

 2.  Bodemeister



    Again runs second even though he sets a more moderate pace early, he will not shake off the persistent presence of the Derby winner and is eventually worn down in deep stretch.

3.  Went the Day Well

Will get a closer position than in the Derby because he will better luck leaving the gate and with  9 fewer horses to navigate through, he won’t have as much ground to make up and his finish should be very effective.

 4.  Creative Cause

  Had a wide trip in the Derby and if his jockey Joel Rosario uses just a bit of his horses early speed to gain a position in third or fourth early, he will be able to run closer to the rail saving valuable ground and improve his chances by a couple of lengths.

 5.  Tiger Walk



    Is the bomb longshot here folksIHe had a fairly good effort in the Wood Memorial ( his last prep race) and is owned by Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank, a Maryland native. He will be back in the pack early and if the pace is reasonable up front he could get a piece of the pie.  

05/17/2012 1:11PM


Bodemeister looks best –


again – in Preakness




Alysse Jacobs


Bodemeister (right) and Creative Cause (left) ran strong races in the Kentucky Derby


despite adversity. I’ll Have Another (second from left) had a perfect trip.

When I’ll Have Another defeated Bodemeister in the Kentucky Derby, many handicappers (including me) thought it was obvious that the loser had run the better race after setting an extraordinarily fast pace. But this opinion was not unanimous. Sagacious observers such as Daily Racing Form columnist Jay Hovdey and TVG Network analyst Todd Schrupp argued that the winner was the best horse. Hovdey maintained that racing fans always tend to glamorize failed efforts in the Derby, a phenomenon he described as the “cult of the noble loser.” Moreover, the blogosphere was filled with nasty comments suggesting that members of the pro-Bodemeister camp were making alibis after losing a bet. [PREAKNESS STAKES: Get PPs, contender profiles, video updates] The popular reasoning was: I’ll Have Another won, so he’s the best horse; he’s the best horse, so he’ll win the Preakness. Many of these people appear not to understand the rudiments of handicapping. When serious bettors evaluate what has happened in a race, they don’t necessarily focus on who won and who lost. They understand that outcomes are determined not only by horses’ talent, but also by race dynamics – pace, traffic trouble, ground loss, all the things that constitute a horse’s “trip.” They try to consider all of these factors in order to judge after the fact who ran best, because that conclusion may be the key to betting a future race – such as Saturday’s Preakness. READ MORE>>











05/05/2012 6:57PM


Kentucky Derby 2012:


I’ll Have Another comes on late to win



LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Paul Reddam namedI’ll Have Another for his nightly reply when his wife, Zillah, asks him if he’d like another cookie. He got the sweetest treat of all on Saturday, when his colt I’ll Have Another scored a 15-1 upset in the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, giving trainer Doug O’Neill and rookie jockey Mario Gutierrez, as well as Reddam, their first Derby victories. In a roughly run race, it was the skilled handling of Gutierrez that likely made the difference. After breaking from post 19 in the 20-horse field, he was able to keep I’ll Have Another ($32.60) out of trouble throughout, and ran down pacesetter Bodemeister in the shadow of the wire. I’ll Have Another prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths, with Bodemeister second by a neck over Dullahan, who rallied strongly after a traffic-filled first six furlongs. Went the Day Well, compromised as well by severe traffic early in the race, rallied belatedly for fourth and was followed, in order, by Creative Cause, Liaison, Union Rags, Rousing Sermon, Hansen, Daddy Nose Best, Optimizer, Alpha, El Padrino, Done Talking, Sabercat, Gemologist, Trinniberg, Prospective, Take Charge Indy, and Daddy Long Legs. I’ll Have Another completed 1 1/4 miles on the fast main track in 2:01.83. He earned a first prize $1,459,600 from a total purse of $2,219,600. It was a hot, humid day here, more like a sweltering summer afternoon at Ellis Park than springtime for the Derby, but an announced record crowd of 165,307 still stuffed itself into this historic racetrack, fueled by a compelling Derby field and frothy mint juleps. The previous record was set last year, with an announced crowd of 164,858. The people in the crowd who yelled “I’ll have another” were likely requesting something stronger than a cookie. [KENTUCKY DERBY: Chart, order of finish, post-race videos from Churchill Downs] I’ll Have Another was in sixth place through the first three-quarters of a mile, but was always in the clear and poised to pounce. As in the Santa Anita Derby, Gutierrez – who last year was riding at Hastings in British Columbia – was cool despite the magnitude of the moment, and he timed his READ MORE>>

The Road to the Kentucky Derby 2012 …



Jerry’s Kentucky Derby Top Ten




With the sever storms we had yesterday the track is labelled SLOPPY this morning…already upgraded to MUDDY,…should dry out by Post Time,…if we don’t get more rain…


If it is sloppy…Union Rags loves it…Gemologist is okay with it…and Daddy’s never run in it…???





Last year’s juvenile runner up in the Breeders Cup juvenile has returned in 2012 even bigger and better. He was arguably best in last years Breeders Cup and without such a wide trip that day he would be undefeated. His comeback win in the Fountain of Youth stakes at Gulfstream Park was very impressive but he was a bit of a disappointment in the Florida Derby finishing a troubled third . He was bottled up in traffic for most of the race and came with his big run too late, however I believe he overcame more trouble than that in the Champagne stakes last fall at Belmont. In any event, I still like him to win the Derby. He has now had a brilliant workout over the Churchill Downs surface last Saturday and he remains the one to beat. He drew post 4 and that will not hinder hi chances. As of Thursday, he continues to impress in his morning training.



This undefeated son of Tiznow and winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club stakes last fall at Churchill Downs looked every bit of a derby contender while winning an allowance race at Gulfstream Park earlier this spring..He has now followed that up with a rousing win in the Wood Memorial over a dead game Alpha. He has great tactical speed for position and has learned to rate off a fast pace which makes him even more dangerous. He has won all of his races in a fairly sanitary manner (no adversity) and we still don’t know if he can overcome adversity in a race, which often happens in the Derby. Of course, with his talent and style, we may never find out, as he seems to keep himself out of any possible trouble. Trainer Todd Pletcher kept him in Florida to avoid the rain that plagued his train schedule last year but the rain followed him causing Gemologist to work in the mud Sunday morning. The work was just average, but that is the only negative in his last few weeks up to the Derby. He drew post 15 which should allow him a stalking trip from the outside.




Although very talented as a two year old he wasn’t in the same league as Union Rags..distant second to that one in the Champagne and beaten badly in the Breeders Cup Juvenile, however he has progressed nicely as a three year old, winning his fist two starts in New York. On paper he is a bit slower than some of his rivals however I believe he is being brought along slowly by his trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, and will peak on Derby day. He has a very troubled second in the Wood Memorial and even though some think Gemologist was the better horse because he won with something left, I believe that without trouble, Alpha may have beaten him. I also believe that This horse is being brought along as to peak on Derby day and he will improve another few lengths off this race. Add that to the fact that we now know Alpha can take dirt in his face, take some trouble and keep coming. The one negative is his minor shin injury which occurred in that troubled first turn of the Wood, and although superficial it did cause him to miss a workout. Last Saturday he did put in a sparkling work but we won’t know if it’s enough until he turns for home in the race. A lot to like here.  



Winner of the San Felipe stakes he came back to take the Santa Anita Derby last Sat. His only bad race was in the Hopeful Stakes last summer in Saratoga but that was on a sloppy track. Like Gemologist, he has speed but has learned to rate a bit and should help his rider get a good trip in Kentucky. Drew the 19 post but even though it sounds bad, it could work out ok. But I must tell you that no horse has ever won the Derby from post 19.




  He was third in the Breeders Cup juvenile last year behind Hansen and Union Rags. His first race of 2012 at 7 furlongs left a little to be desired but he came roaring back with a win in the San Felipe at a mile and a sixteenth which put him back on track. His train Mike Harrington took the blinkers off for his race in the Santa Anita Derby  and after a perfect inside trip, he came up a head short to San Felipe winner I’ll Have Another . Although still a good effort, it was a bit disappointing. He worked a decent hlf mile on Monday but didn’t show up on the track for two days after(one day absent is normal). Could be trouble..



Well he did it!! He took down the mighty Union Rags, albeit the latter got a suspect ride and Indy took advantage of a speedy track with lead horses running well, you still must give him his due. Also a ballsy move by trainer Pat Byrne to scratch from the Tampa Derby a week earlier to run at Gulfstream. He has trained awesome since the Florida race and stands a very good chance ,especially with Calvin Borel in the saddle. Good choice at a price. Drew the 3 post which is good . Jockey Calvin Borel will likely sit on the rail , 6 or 7 lengths back off the early pace and make his run at the far turn.





Last years Breeders Cup juvenile winner and champion two year old has had mixed results as a three year old. His comeback race in t he Holy Bull stakes at Gulfstream was uninspiring but he shipped to NY to win the Gotham stakes but the competition was pretty weak. He has learned to harness his speed and in that last race was able to lay off the early pace and come strong late. That versatility will help his cause but I still believe that the Derby distances of a mile and a quarter may be too far for him. With that being said, I still believe he is a very talented colt. His race in the Blue Grass stakes was just about what I expected…, he went to the lead and just couldn’t hold off the fast closing Dullahan and if he couldn’t hold off that one at a mile and an eighth , then he shouldn’t be expected to be effective at a mile and a quarter. He drew post 14 and though that will help, he will need more than that to win.



He has only run 4 times, and has only 2 wins, but his dazzling performance in the Arkansas Derby brings him up to the fourth spot and may likely vie for favoritism in the Derby with Rags. This son of Empire Maker certainly has the talent, he has the pedigree, and he has the right team (Baffert &Smith) but he never raced as a two year old, he has never faced any adversity in a race but he is by far the fastest horse in the race according to speed figs. The  post position draw will be crucial to his success in Kentucky. He had an awesome workout over the Churchill Downs surface on Sunday and is ready to go. He drew post 6  and that will likely be a problem because it is inside the other speed horses



This Dale Romans trainee was certainly impressive winning the Blue Gras stakes in a dramatic come from behind fashion, reminiscent of his win last fall in the Breeders Futurity(also at Keeneland). He is either really fond of the Lexington track or he is really starting to bloom. His 3 races at Churchill Downs are ordinary at best and my guess is that he will make a slow steady run through the stretch at Churchill, but won’t threaten the top few. His workout over the Churchill Downs surface was only marginal . Post 5 is fine.


He makes the top ten because he has trained the best of all the horses at Churchil Downs this week. He was on the bubble for quite a while so now he is in. He comes off wins in his last two races and will race mid pack. He gets Garrett Gomez which is a huge plus.









 from  Bloodstock Adviser…


Gary Young



*Gary Young has been clocking horses for nearly 35 years after getting his start for trainer Arnold Winick in Florida in 1978. Young is now based on the West Coast but serves as a bloodstock adviser on private and public auction purchases at tracks and sales throughout the country, having been involved in such recent Grade 1 winners as Evening Jewel, Midnight Lute, Line of David and Life At Ten. 


To hear more from Gary, check out his website at:

5/5/12…Race Day!
Well, if you’re in the biz and your engine doesn’t get revved up today, you might as well check out. I fell asleep at halftime of Laker game(around midnight) and sometime between then and when I got up around 6;00 the skies emptied so check to see how the track is and how it’s playing.Let’s rank the Derby picks.
Take Charge Indy-has trained great since he made town. My friend Todd Pletcher said he watched this horse train all winter at Palm Meadows and he’s improved tons SINCE his Fla. Derby win. He should get a great trip right behind the speed and Calvin knows how to win this race.
Union Rags-his work last Saturday was off the charts. There have ben some issues trying a tongue tie this week that concern me slightly but he is a real race horse. I may be outsmarting myself going against him with “Indy” but if I am it won’t be the first time, and it won’t be the last
Bodemeister- most every “sheet” player in the land thinks he’ll bounce to the moon. Maybe he will. The thing that concerns me about this theory is he’s trained by Baffert and when he won the Ark. Derby, Mike was not full throttle down the stretch. He does not have the smoothest way of going but this is a horse race,not a figure skating event
Gemologist-trained by the Godfather(Todd Pletcher). This guy might make it one day. He has galloped well in his short time here and how can you knock a well bred undefeated colt?
That is my top four for this years Derby
I wish everybody luck and enjoy the day
                                                                      Gary C. Young
It’s Oaks day or Derby Eve, however you look at it. In either case, let’s look at entrants from both;
Grace Hall hasa galloped like a cougar since she hit town. As much as I love to play “beat the chalk” I can;t go against her. There are some viable longshots in here, Karlovy Vary has trained great and is a live price filly despite runing poorly in her only dirt race. Eden’s Moon missed some trainign for the SA Oaks and has trained good at SA. Her work her was so so.
Now on to the Derby,the closer it gets to the big one the more I am narrowing it down to Union Rags, Take Charge Indy, Gemologist and Bodemiester as my 4th.
Union Rags-continues to train well and seems to appreciate the tongue tie being removed as is has been for the last few days
Take Charge Indy-this jet black beast continues to impress. Trainers watch other trainers train and know some of their horses. Yesterday I was sitting around with Todd Pletcher and he remarked how Indy has improved in his training since the Florida Derby. Enough said.
Gemologist-trained by the afore mentioned TAP, this horse does nothing wrong and is a beast in his stall.
I wish everybody luck on this Oaks day and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!
Thursday  produced some added clues to the puzzle and in some ways make the race more contenscious as some of the late arrivals have galloped well in their short time here.
Union Rags…-the tongue tie was not part of the equipment today and he galloped like he meant it. Much has been made of how this colt gets hot. He does sweat more than his counterparts. So did Patrick Ewing, it didn’t keep him from dominating his oponents. And, like Ewing, this sweat does not appear to come from a case of nerves. Horses are like people, some sweat more than others. For those of you that make it to the gym, you know what I mean.
Bodemeister…– he jogged the same , and galloped the same as he has all week. No changes. Much has been made of how this horse starts off in the morning. He starts out a little stiff. So did Spectacular Bid and Secretariat, that didn’t keep them from winning nthe Derby. The two positives about this issue is that he goes the same way every day and this situation isn’t just recent.
Creative Cause…-well, he showed up today!!! Once again, I did not care for the way he jogged to warm up. His gait did improve in his gallop which I rated average. He too, got rather perspired today(not unusual for him). This horse has ran well in the past off average drills but I’m not thrilled with the week he’s had for the Okie.
Unfortunately, some major pieces to the puzzle arrived late this year and we have not had much to judge them on however, some observations on those colts follows:
Hansen…-so so on the jog in his first day here. He was pulling like a fat man seeing a dessert tray in his gallop today. Needs to chill in his gallop tomorrow. On the bright side, his tail wasn’t blue.
Gemologist…-very impressive in his gallops his only 2 days on the track here.His connetions know how to win and you can’t accuse Todd of coloring his hair for the Derby this year. I’m not so sure about some of his peers.
Take Charge Indy…– I never knew this horse was such a specimen. Gorgeous horse. Training well.




Before they run the Derby on Saturday, they run the Oaks on Friday.  Lets take a look at some of the contenders in that renewal:

On Fire Baby...-her final work came the day before I got to Louisville but it looked good on tape and anytime you finish a seven furlong work in less than 24 seconds, it has to be respected. She has been trained stiffly for this but she is coming off a 2 month break since her last race so that is to be expected. Her jogs and gallops have been very good
Grace Hall...-was a late arrival in town but looked excellent galloping today.  It is common knowledge that Tony Dutrow(Babe Jr) is pointing to the fence in this race!
Broadway’s Alibi...-the Godfather(Todd Pletcher) brought his toys out today and guess what, he has some nice looking animals for this weekend. Shocking!!!! This filly looked good and its only fitting Todd gets a good Vindication baby as he so admired that sire
As with the Derby, this years Oaks favorites look rather strong, but I have lived my life searching for long shots so here goes
Karlovy’s Vary…-I know she’s by Dynaformeer and I know she got blown away in her only dirt race(at CD by ON Fire Baby) but she has trained terrific all week here. Good luck Rusty, you deserve one of these for carrying me one day I couldn’t have golfed worse.
Jemimas Pearl...-has been a workmate for Bodiemiester since she got here and ,though second best, has been working well. I has last years Oaks to 2 fillies and went against Baffert. I remember that.
Now, on to the Derby.
Union Rags…-he galloped like a freight train this morning. Period.
Bodiemiester…-warmed up the same as usual, galloped the same as usual.
Creative Cause…-didn’t come to the track today. This is not good. His trainer Mike Harrington(The Big Okie) says this is normal for him. Look here Okie, some of us may have been born at night, but not last night. His warm up for his work Monday was stiff and his work was average(normal for this colt) but to not train for 2 days the week of your biggest race is not normal.
Gemologist and Alpha both had their first days on the track and looked fine. In a perfect world they would have .worked over Churchill so we could get a better gauge on them but that is not the case.
There has been a flurry of activity leading up to the Derby since I arrived here Friday night so lets look at some of the players
Union Rags…-worked as good as a horse can work Saturday morn. I caught him from the 1/2 pole in 46;3 and an eighth past the wire 59;3 without nthe least bit of urging, galloping out another furlong in 1.13;2. Great work. This colt does have a perpensity of getting warm,as have some of his chief rivals and with temps predicted near 90 Saturday he probably will be foamy, but as long as he does it in a non-nervous way, it should not be taken as a negative…
Bodiemiester,…-Just when you thought you could start inscribing the Derby trophy for “Rags,’ up stepped the Californian.  Oaks filly Jemmima’s Pearl was his company, and it was clear throughout that Bodie was cruising… 36 the first 3/8 then cruised a 23 final quarter for 59, galloping out in 1.11;4 and doubling out in 1.25.He too, has gotten warm in the past(see his second race as he loads in gate) and he does not have the most fluid gate while galloping and especially jogging, but this was an eye catching drill…he could make Papa Bear and Baby Bear dance like the bears in the Charman tv ad!
Creative Cause…-has been here less time than the most but did work a decent half in 24 47;1 Monday. Another colt who, at times in the past, can get a little perspired,he took a while to warm up then responded to mild urging to throw a good final 2 furlongs. I didn’t think it was as good as the top two listed, but this is a quality colt that fires everey time and gives the Big Okie his one chance to make the top of the mountain.
Dullahan-worked 1.00;3 Saturday. Nice colt, moves like a turf horse. Owned, trained, and ridden by the Paddy O’ Prado team he has nany of ththat colts attributes, he got a great ride to thake the Blue Grass but I still contend, he moves like a turfier…
I’ll Have Another-...another Californian,has came frrom obscurity to throw his name in the hat. His main work looked acceptable on tape from Hollywood Park. His trainer does much more open ngallops than most and this colt has been clipping right along in his exercise heree. No knocks .
Two longshots that have caught my eye are Prospective and Daddy Nose Best.  Though I have trouble seeing them win they could hit the superfecta or High 5 and add some value.





TAKE CHARGE INDY:  -(I like the way he is training for this big day…also has a very Kentucky Derby Lucky jockey) BODEMEISTER:  -(Like the trainer and the jockey…and what mom wouldn’t root for a horse named for  such a cutie as their son!) Union Rag and Alpha have great connections, but my third choice is HANSON...(What female doesn’t root for a beautiful White Horse!!)

Hope you have a Winning Day!



2012 Kentucky Derby Post Positions:


Odds, Preview


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LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 05:  Jockey Ramon Dominguez rides Hansen #5, far right, ahead of jockey Javier Castellano and Union Rags #10 to win the Breeders' Cup Juvenile during the 2011 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs on November 5, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

A total of nine horses from last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, including the top three pictured above of Hansen, Union Rags, and Creative Cause, are back under the Twin Spires for the 138th Kentucky Derby. Rob Carr/Getty Images

Equine stars collide on horse racing’s biggest stage over 1 1/4-miles in the 138thrunning of the $2 million Kentucky Derby (Grade I) presented by Yum! Brands with 12 of the 21 3-year-olds entered coming in off a win or runner-up effort in their last start. The greatest two minutes in sports can be seen live on NBC this Saturday at 6:24 p.m. ET / 3:24 PT as part of a 3-hour telecast that begins at 4 p.m. ET / 1 PT and you can catch all of America’s Best Racing through the Triple Crown and leading up to the Breeders’ Cup at Bodemeister is the 4-1 morning-line favorite for 3-time Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert and drew post No. 6 off the most impressive win in a prep race when he romped home by nearly ten lengths in the Arkansas Derby (Grade I). Last week, owner Ahmed Zayat sold a 40% share in the lightly-raced son of Empire Maker to Mike Moreno’s Southern Equine Stable for a sum well into seven figures. “I’m looking for something middle to outside. Once you get your post you just have to deal with it,” said Baffert before the draw with Bodemeister trying to become the first horse in 130 years to win the Derby after being unraced as a 2-year-old. “Ideally, you want to be outside the other speed, but whoever’s inside will set the tempo.” With four wins from six starts by a combined 18 ¼-lengths, Union Rags drew post No. 4 and was made the 9-2 second choice despite entering off a third-place finish in the Florida Derby (Grade I). Trained by Michael Matz, who won the Derby in 2006 with Barbaro, the son of Dixie Union was stuck inside horses throughout the Florida Derby after being hung wide in his only other defeat when second best to Hansen in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Grade I) here at Churchill Downs.

98786046_crop_340x234Todd Pletcher has two chances to win his second Kentucky Derby in three years with Gemologist and El Padrino. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

“Our post looks like it’s ok. We just have to come away running from the gate a little bit and Julien (Leparoux) has to have a nice position,” said Matz. Hansen was honored as champion 2-year-old for 2011 after making every pole a winning one in the Juvenile to cap a perfect campaign, but he’s had to settle for a pair of runner-up finishes this year. The sparkling white son of Tapit trained by Michael Maker will break from post No. 14 at 10-1 after getting run down on the lead in both the Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) and Holy Bull (Grade III). His only win of 2012 came in the Gotham Stakes (Grade III), where he raced from just off the pace for the only time in his career. “I was wanting 14 or 15 from the start so we could stay outside and keep our eye on Trinniberg and Bodemiester,” said Hansen’s owner Dr. Kendall Hansen, who had attempted to paint his horses mane and tail blue and yellow in previous races. “We’re going to calm it down and let the horse do the talking, but we’re going to party really hard afterwards.” The one doing the running from well of the pace past Hansen in the Blue Grass was Dullahan, who drew a loud applause from those in attendance after drawing post No. 5 for Dale Romans and was made 8-1 with both of his career wins coming in similar fashion in Grade I’s over Keeneland’s Polytrack. However, the son of Even the Score has been well-beaten in all three tries over the main track at Churchill Downs including a fourth-place finish beaten six lengths in the Juvenile. Another pair of Grade I events send their one/two finishers to the big dance, with the undefeated Gemologist (post No. 15 at 6-1) and Alpha (post No. 11 at 15-1) shipping west from New York after the Wood Memorial, and I’ll Have Another (post No. 19) and Creative Cause (post No. 8) traveling from the West as 12-1 shots after hitting the wire noses apart in the Santa Anita Derby.

Who will go off favored in the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby?

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Daddy Long Legs ships across the Atlantic Ocean for the second time and will break from the dreaded post No. 1 in his second try on dirt after beating just one runner in the Juvenile. The son of Scat Daddy trained by Aidan O’Brien was made 30-1 off a win in his only start of 2012 in the $2 million UAE Derby (Group 2) in Dubai. Beginning at 4 p.m. ET / 1 PT, NBC Sports Network provides two hours of coverage on both Thursday and Friday, which includes the live running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) for 3-year-old fillies on Friday at 5:45 ET / 2:45 PT. Additionally, they will air five hours of coverage on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. ET / 8 PT.

Below is the complete field for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, including post position, morning line and a brief comment.


PP Horse (Morning Line Odds) Comment

1. Daddy Long Legs (30-1) Hard to overlook flop in Juvenile over this strip. 2. Optimizer (50-1) Triumph in potential swan song for “The Coach” unlikely. 3. Take Charge Indy (15-1) Borel factor cannot be taken lightly aboard Florida Derby winner. 4. Union Rags (9-2) Might need 20-horse field to get good trip. 5. Dullahan (8-1) Tries to make it consecutive “turf/synth” horses from off the pace. 6. Bodemeister (4-1) Massive price tag for Derby dream. 7. Rousing Sermon (50-1) California-bred can pick up some pieces late. 8. Creative Cause (12-1) Big grey needs to put mind on serious running through stretch. 9. Trinniberg (50-1) Winner if finish line was on other side of the track. 10. Daddy Nose Best (15-1) Consistent improvement accentuated by perfect pair as 3-year-old. 11. Alpha (15-1) Rajiv gets the nod over Rosie in the irons. 12. Prospective (30-1) 4-time winner proved out-classed in Juvenile. 13. Went the Day Well (20-1) Déjà vu all over again for Animal Kingdom connections? 14. Hansen (10-1) Repeat of stalking effort in Gotham is key to victory. 15. Gemologist (6-1) Luster of perfection is enticing. 16. El Padrino (20-1) Bejarano seeks back door score with 8th Derby mount on “other” Pletcher. 17. Done Talking (50-1) Nobody’s talking like long shot winner of Ill. Derby has a chance. 18. Sabercat (30-1) Not sold on path of success through Monmouth and Delta. 19. I’ll Have Another (12-1) Barn struggles with shippers. Keeps faith in inexperienced jock. 20. Liaison (50-1) Needs major reversal back to 2-year-old form. AE. My Adonis (50-1) Waits until Friday to find out if in or out. Marc Doche is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.






Updated on 05/05/2012 10:09AM


Kentucky Oaks:


Believe You Can enables Napravnik to earn historic victory

05/04/2012 1:16PM



Tom Keyser


Rosie Napravnik (orange cap) becomes the first female jockey to win the Kentucky Oaks when she guides Believe You Can to victory by three-quarters of a length over Broadway’s Alibi.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On a day dedicated to ladies, how appropriate that it was Rosie Napravnik who became the first woman jockey ever to win the Kentucky Oaks. Napravnik, riding Believe You Can for former Kentucky Gov. Brereton C. Jones and trainer Larry Jones, gave several joyful waves of her whip when her mount crossed under the wire a three-quarters-of-a-length winner over a gritty Broadway’s Alibi on Friday in the 138th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Oaks at Churchill Downs. Believe You Can, a 13-1 shot, returned $29.60 after finishing the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:49.50 over a fast track. Broadway’s Alibi was another 2 1/2 lengths before Grace Hall, the 5-2 favorite, with Summer Applause fourth and On Fire Baby fifth in a field of 14 3-year-old fillies. Napravnik, one of the rising stars in the game, wiped away tears of joy as she jogged her mount back toward the winners’ circle. The 24-year-old native of New Jersey barely missed winning the Oaks last year when St. John’s River fell a neck short of catching Plum Pretty. “It’s unbelievable,” said Napravnik. “I couldn’t even tell you what I’m feeling. It feels like when your dreams are coming true. The filly is all talent and all heart and she certainly showed that today.” [KENTUCKY OAKS: Video updates from Churchill Downs] No woman had won either the Derby or Oaks until Napravnik pulled her feat Friday. She was scheduled to ride in the Derby for a second straight year, but the Joneses (no relation) declared Mark Valeski from Derby contention earlier this week. READ MORE>>






Smith enters 19th Kentucky Derby still on top of his game

By Jay Hovdey

Jeff Coady/Coady Photography


Mike Smith knew something was wrong the second the music stopped. It was Derby Day 1994, and as far as Smith was concerned the 120th running of America’s most famous horse race was Holy Bull’s to lose. Only trouble was, as the gray colt took his place in the post parade in front of 100,000 fans, he clearly was not the keen, looking-for-trouble Holy Bull who blew away his opposition in the Florida Derby and the Blue Grass. “I was extremely high on him that day,” Smith said, the disappointment still palpable. “I thought this was it – if I’m ever going to win one it’s today. My main concern was actually staying on him in the post parade, because he was very difficult. He liked to play so much that I knew when they got through singing ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ and the crowd went wild I’d better really be tied on.” Then the music stopped. “He didn’t even move,” Smith said. And that was that. Holy Bull left the gate spinning his wheels over the cuppy Churchill Downs track, never picked up the bit, and finished a distant 12th to Go for Gin. At the time Smith was the leading rider in the land, winner of Eclipse Awards in 1993 and 1994 and a dozen years into what was becoming an exemplary career. But even the most successful jockey understands that a colt like Holy Bull is a rare beast. With Smith on board, Holy Bull swept through the rest of 1994, winning the Met Mile, the Travers, the Woodward and Horse of the Year. Rewarding, yes. But the Derby still hurt. It’s the Derby every jockey wants to win. Which is why it will surprise absolutely no one to know that in this day of instant access to all manner of digital delights, Mike Smith carries a recent photo of the gray stallion Giacomo on his iPhone, a handy reminder of the day Holy Bull’s most famous son carried Smith to victory in the 2005 Kentucky Derby, at odds of 50-1. READ MORE>>






2012 Kentucky Derby:


Hansen dodges bullet at post-position draw

By David Grening LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Hansen’s name had yet to be called and there were only two slots left in the starting gate when post positions were assigned late Wednesday afternoon for Saturday’s 138th Kentucky Derby. There was a big cheer from the Hansensection of the audience when the nameDaddy Long Legs was assigned the dreaded rail post, leaving 2011 juvenile champion Hansen to start from No. 14. ::KENTUCKY DERBY: Get PPs, watch analysis video, read latest updates In a case of be careful what you wish for, post 14 hasn’t won the Kentucky Derby since Carry Back in 1961. Mike Maker, the trainer of Hansen, said he wasn’t nervous about it, but his two owners – Dr. Kendall Hansen and Dr. Harvey Diamond – were. “I had two doctors to my left and they were shaking like a leaf,” said Maker, referring to Dr. Kendall Hansen and Dr. Harvey Diamond, the co-owners of Hansen. “I said ‘boy, I’m glad they don’t operate on me.’ ” The rail, which has not produced a Kentucky Derby winner since Ferdinand in 1986, could have been a detriment to Hansen, who might have had to use his speed earlier than necessary to secure a decent position early in the race. Instead, the majority of the speed – Bodemeister (post 6) and Trinniberg (post 9) is drawn inside of Hansen. While Hansen won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in gate to wire fashion, he showed in winning the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct that he can win from just off the pace. “He was going to get away good anyway, but I’m happy to have the speed to our inside and that little extra space by the gate,” said Maker, noting that post 14 is the last spot in the main gate and there is a few feet between him and Gemologist in post 15. As Maker spoke to the press, trainer D. Wayne Lukas, for whom Maker worked as an assistant, walked past, patted him on the back and said, “You’re the luckiest son of a [gun].” To which Maker retorted: “I learned from you.” Hansen vanned over from the Churchill Downs trackside training facility to Churchill on Wednesday. He was to school in the paddock during the fifth race on Thursday, Dr. Hansen said. Dr. Hansen said he thought all along his horse would draw post 14 and said he felt the anxiety made the process fun for him and his fellow connections. “The adrenaline kicks are why a lot of us are in this,” Dr. Hansen said. “To have an adrenaline rush when little peas are coming out of a bottle is fun.” Dr. Hansen, who attempted to paint his colt’s tail blue at the Blue Grass, said he plans to bring little rubber white horses to the track on Saturday. “I have a pain clinic, I do injections on spines, we have little squeeze toys our patients squeeze,” Hansen said. “We’ve had brown horses for years, we had some white ones made and we’ll try to hit people in the head with them. That’s all we got planned though.” Hansen was made the 10-1 fifth choice on Mike Battaglia’s track morning line. “I think if Mike Maker was doing the odds we’d be 1-1, if I was doing the odds we’d be 3-1,” Dr. Hansen said. “Everybody else will find out why we think that later.” READ MORE>>


Barbara D. Livingston
Bodemeister (left) begins to close ground on stablemate Jemima’s Pearl, a Kentucky Oaks contender, during Sunday’s workout at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – One day after Union Rags turned in a sharp workout at Churchill Downs, the other potential favorite for the 138th Kentucky Derby next Saturday, Bodemeister, threw down the gauntlet with a brilliant piece of work over a muddy surface. Bodemeister worked five furlongs in 59.48 seconds, according to Daily Racing Form, then continued boldly on the gallop out for another three furlongs and completed one lap around the track in 1:40.26. The track was rated muddy, after a fierce storm Saturday night, but it had a very firm bottom. Jockey Martin Garcia was aboard for the drill, but Mike Smith has the mount in the Derby. Bodemeister will be coming back on three weeks’ rest following his dominating victory in the Arkansas Derby, but his trainer, Bob Baffert, said he has not “seen any regression.” “So far, so good,” Baffert said. READ MORE>>

Kentucky Derby workouts:


Union Rags finishes strongly in five-furlong drill

By Mike Welsch  





Barbara D. Livingston
Union Rags works five furlongs under Julien Leparoux in 59.97 seconds at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After a relatively quiet week, activity picked up to a frenetic pace at Churchill Downs on Saturday morning with four Kentucky Derby hopefuls working within a five-minute span immediately after the renovation break. Overall, seven of the prospective 20-horse Derby field breezed around the country on Saturday, including Hansen at the nearby Trackside training center, Alpha at Belmont Park, and Done Talking at Laurel Park. Two other horses, Gemologist and El Padrino, had their scheduled works postponed Saturday at least one day due to a sloppy track at the Palm Meadows training facility in south Florida. KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Latest updates, Mike Welsch’s video reports There was no such problem with the weather at Churchill Downs despite predictions for rain late Friday and early Saturday morning. That threat may have been, in part, responsible for the racetrack being somewhat on the “cuppy” and slower side during training hours on Saturday, an observation validated by several trainers and jockeys, including Bob Baffert and Julien Leparoux. Union Rags (five furlongs in 59.97 seconds; all workouts timed by Daily Racing Form unless otherwise noted): Leparoux dropped Union Rags down on the rail approaching the five-furlong pole, easing him into a work which officially began at the half-mile pole. Moving effortlessly and with long, efficient strides, Union Rags completed his opening quarter in 23.37, switched leads on cue at the head of the stretch, and just cruised to the wire in 47.27 without need of urging and while holding a straight and true course throughout. After switching back to his left lead right at the wire, Union Rags continued very willingly into the bend with Leparoux remaining motionless in the saddle, completing his drill at the seven-eighths pole before galloping out an impressive six furlongs in 1:13.34. “I’m glad we went immediately after the break because the track was on the slow side this morning,” Leparoux said afterwards. “Both previous times I’d breezed him, we went easily. Today, Michael wanted a more serious work and when I asked him at the eighth pole, he responded very well.” After making an awesome appearance on Friday, Union Rags followed with easily the most impressive workout  I have witnessed here this past week, suggesting he has been brought along in a manner that should result in a peak performance on Derby Day. Other workouts Prospective (five furlongs in 1:01.08): Prospective was eager to go long before arriving at the five-furlong pole to begin his drill in company with stablemate Moon Traveler, jockey Shaun Bridgmohan having his hands full getting the Tampa Bay Derby winner to finally settle a length behind his partner approaching the end of the backstretch.  But once able to relax, Prospective looked very sharp, drawing even with his mate in early stretch then readily drawing three lengths clear after completing his final quarter in 24.19 without even a hint of urging from his rider. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.02. “I told Shaun to go in 1:01 and he hit it right on the money,” said trainer Mark Casse. “Shaun said he had to slow him down the first part or he was going to go way too fast.” Prospective has made a nice impression all week and his work Saturday was an extension of what  I have been seeing here in recent mornings. Dullahan (five furlongs in 1:00.99): With Tammy Fox aboard, Dullahan breezed through his opening quarter in 23.95 and while never really asked down the lane, he did not appear to level off or finish up nearly as strong as he did in his final, brilliant work over the artificial surface at Keeneland before the Blue Grass Stakes. He also shut down a little quick once passing the wire, galloping out six furlongs in just a tick less than 1:16. Dullahan has trained well, for the most part, all week although Saturday’s work was somewhat reminiscent of his breezes earlier this winter at Gulfstream Park and re-enforces the notion that he may just be a better horse on synthetics and grass than over dirt. Went the Day Well (five furlongs in 1:00.80): Equipped with blinkers for the first time in a work, and with regular rider John Velazquez up, Went the Day Well began about a length behind his regular partner, Crimson China. The pair entered the stretch on even terms while floating about four paths off the inner rail. Went the Day Well appeared to lean in just a bit on Crimson China while urged slightly by Velazquez nearing midstretch, eventually edging three lengths clear at the wire under some mild pressure. Went the Day Well galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.42. Saturday’s work was a major improvement over a similar move, without blinkers, last Saturday at Keeneland when Went the Day Well struggled a bit to match strides with Crimson China coming to the wire. His gallop out was also much improved. “This was the first time he’s kicked on from another horse like that,” said trainer Graham Motion. “He waited on the same horse in their work last week.” Hansen (five furlongs in 1:01.20 according to clocker at the Trackside training center): Hansen appeared a bit headstrong breaking off alone at the half-mile pole over the six-furlong Trackside training center strip. He posted early fractions of 12.20, 24.60 and 36.40 before joining up with stablemate Derby Kitten at the eighth pole while hugging the inner rail. Hansen completed his final quarter, under what appeared to be some mild urging, in 24.80 and reportedly galloped out three-quarters of a mile in 1:15.20. READ MORE>>

04/30/2012 7:59AM


Kentucky Derby workouts:


Sabercat and Daddy Nose Best


get in easy breezes at Churchill Downs

By Mike Welsch






Barbara D. Livingston
Sabercat, here with trainer Steve Asmussen, breezed a half-mile in 48.02 Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer Steve Asmussen provided the early show Monday morning at Churchill Downs, sending out his two Derby hopefuls Sabercat and Daddy Nose Best for easy half-mile works. Sabercat breezed first, shortly after the track opened at 5:45 a.m., going a half-mile in 48.02 seconds, completing his final quarter in 23.92 before galloping out five-eighths in 1:01.04 and pulling up six furlongs in 1:15.45. Daddy Nose Best came out 30 minutes later and went off at a much more leisurely pace, posting early splits of 13.36 and 25.70 before finishing strong, his final quarter in 23.53, to complete his half-mile drill in 49.23. Daddy Nose Best galloped out five-eighths in 1:02.45 before pulling up three-quarters of a mile in 1:16.80. Union Rags visited the racetrack shortly after dawn, jogging an easy mile before schooling briefly in the paddock with his regular exercise rider Peter Brette aboard. READ MORE>>







Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Graham Motion equipped Vinery Spiral winner Went the Day Well with blinkers for Saturday’s workout and plans to use them in the Kentucky Derby.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Why mess with success? Graham Motion and Michael Matz both have won the Kentucky Derby, Motion last year, Matz in 2006, and they are back this year at Churchill Downs with runners whose final works on Saturday were almost carbon copies of what the trainers did with their Derby winners. When Motion won with Animal Kingdom, he worked that horse one week in front of the Derby, in company, just as he did on Saturday with Went the Day Well, who, like Animal Kingdom, won the Vinery Spiral Stakes in his last start. Went the Day Well wore blinkers, which Motion intends to use for the first time in the Derby. Barbaro gave Matz his Derby win six years ago, and that colt touted his readiness with a sharp workout the weekend before the Derby in which he started at the half-mile pole but galloped out strongly another quarter-mile past the wire. Union Rags did the exact same thing on Saturday morning in a move that, combined with his popularity, might propel him to favoritism by next Saturday’s race. READ MORE>>  


Bodemeister will try to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without having a start as a 2-year-old.



Kentucky Derby:


Scouting the top horses and key prep races



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Take Charge Indy upsets Florida Derby; Union Rags third







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Grade 2, $400,000 at 1 1/16 miles (Feb. 26 at Gulfstream) Winner: Union Rags Beyer: 95 Time: 1:42.68 Next likely race: Florida Derby (Saturday at Gulfstream)



Grade 2, $300,000 at 1 1/16 miles (March 10 at Santa Anita) Winner: Creative Cause Beyer: 102 Time: 1:41.84 Next likely race: Santa Anita Derby (April 7 at Santa Anita) flv= flv=



Grade 2, $500,000 at 1 1/16 miles (March 17 at Oaklawn) Winner: Secret Circle Beyer: 92 Time: 1:44.55 Next likely race: Arkansas Derby (April 14 at Oaklawn) lv=






Looking for the next Triple Crown star

By Andrew Beyer

Thoroughbred racing badly needs a 3-year-old star. The sport’s popularity – as everybody knows – has been declining for years. Racing gets minimal attention on network television, and it has disappeared from most sports pages during most of the year. And yet one part of the game remains remarkably strong: the Triple Crown series. The Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes still attract huge crowds and widespread media coverage. They can stir the interest of the public at large – particularly when a charismatic horse such as Rachel Alexandra, Funny Cide, or Smarty Jones is involved in the competition. Will there be such a horse in 2012? Racing fans will be scrutinizing the key prep races over the next three weekends and looking for Derby candidates, but it is by no means certain that any worthy 3-year-old will emerge from them. READ MORE>>




TOP 10 contenders ranked by graded stakes earnings



[DERBY WATCH: Top DRF TOP10 contenders |





Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Javier Castellano has opted to ride Algorithms in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – After agonizing over the decision for several days, jockey Javier Castellano and his agent, Matt Muzikar, have chosen to ride Algorithms, not Union Rags, in Gulfstream Park’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth on Feb. 26. Union Rags will be ridden by Julien Leparoux in the Fountain of Youth. Castellano has been the regular rider for both Algorithms and Union Rags throughout their brief and already successful careers. Castellano most recently guided Algorithms to an impressive victory in the Grade 3 Holy Bull. He was aboard Union Rags for victories last season in the Grade 1 Champagne and Grade 2 Saratoga Special as well as his second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Algorithms and Union Rags are two of five highly regarded Kentucky Derby prospects that Castellano has been riding regularly along with El Padrino, Discreet Dancer, and Gemologist. Four of the five are trained by Todd Pletcher. Algorithms, Union Rags, and Discreet Dancer are all pointing to the Fountain of Youth, although Pletcher has already announced that John Velazquez would be aboard Discreet Dancer in the race. “Javier rides five top Derby prospects, four of which are with one trainer,” Muzikar said. “This was a very tough decision, but Javier and I thought it was the right decision. Both of us have the utmost respect for both Michael Matz and Mrs. Wyeth. They are both very classy people, and we wish all the connections of Union Rags the best.” Union Rags is owned by Phyllis Wyeth’s Chadds Ford Stable. Matz wasted little time lining up Leparoux for the Fountain of Youth. He also said Leparoux would breeze Union Rags on Monday morning at Palm Meadows. “Julien is a top rider, he’s ridden for us before, and he’s here in Florida,” Matz said.





2011 Eclipse Awards

Havre de Grace


HORSE OF THE YEAR Havre de Grace


Havre de Grace on Monday night joined Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta by becoming the third straight female to be named Horse of the Year, a feat never before accomplished in American racing.Read Full Article » Votes: Havre de Grace, 166; Acclamation, 26; Game On Dude, 10





2-year-old male Hansen


On Nov. 5, in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Hansen played the national stage for the first time and registered his most courageous win, holding off the heavily favored Union Rags by a head. View Full Profile » Votes: Hansen, 194; Union Rags, 52; Secret Circle, 1



My Miss Aurelia


2-year-old female My Miss Aurelia


The good ones – the real good ones – have the uncanny knack of revealing themselves early. Such was the case with My Miss Aurelia. If My Miss Aurelia’s debut was promising, her next victory in the Adirondack Stakes proved she was for real. View Full Profile » Votes: My Miss Aurelia, 247; Stephanie’s Kitten, 1



Animal Kingdom


3-year-old male Animal Kingdom


Despite being sent off at 20-1 in the Derby, Animal Kingdom won like a 2-1 shot, scoring an emphatic 2 3/4-length victory under John Velazquez that was so impressive he was favored in the next two legs of the Triple Crown. View Full Profile » Votes: Animal Kingdom, 114; Caleb’s Posse, 111; Shackleford, 12



Royal Delta


3-year-old female Royal Delta


After looking sensational in capturing the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Churchill Downs, everyone could plainly see what a truly great performer Royal Delta was. View Full Profile » Votes: Royal Delta, 243; Awesome Feather, 2; Plum Pretty, 2





Older male Acclamation


On turf, Acclamation was virtually unbeatable in 2011. In five appearances on turf, all in California, Acclamation won four consecutive graded stakes. On the main track, he won Del Mar’s biggest race for older horses, the Pacific Classic. View Full Profile » Votes: Acclamation, 95; Game On Dude, 70; Tizway, 52



Havre de Grace


Older female Havre de Grace


Havre de Grace had a championship quality 2011 season that combined attributes of towering predecessors, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, plus a few grand flourishes of her own. View Full Profile » Votes: Havre de Grace, 245; Blind Luck, 2; Awesome Maria, 1



Cape Blanco


Male turf Cape Blanco


Cape Blanco was already a multiple Group 1 stakes winner when he made his first trip to the United States in July 2011. Less than three months later, by Oct. 1, he had won three consecutive Grade 1 stakes to outdo his previous accomplishments and earn a nomination as finalist for champion turf male of 2011. View Full Profile » Votes: Cape Blanco (IRE), 172; Acclamation, 55; St Nicholas Abbey (IRE), 16





Female turf Stacelita


Expectations were high for Stacelita upon her arrival to the United States, and she more than met them, earning the Eclipse Award for top female turf runner. View Full Profile » Votes: Stacelita (FR), 158; Perfect Shirl, 28; Never Retreat, 25





Male sprinter Amazombie


A mere throw-in in a $5,000 two-horse deal as a yearling, Amazombie turned back all comers in winning the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs to cap an unforgettable season for his trainer, Bill Spawr. View Full Profile » Votes: Amazombie, 201; Caleb’s Posse, 42; Regally Ready, 2



Musical Romance


Female sprinter Musical Romance


Musical Romance had 14 starts and 5 wins capped by a decisive victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint that boosted the filly from anonymity to Eclipse Award winner as outstanding female sprinter. View Full Profile » Votes: Musical Romance, 131; Hilda’s Passion, 53; Sassy Image, 46



Black Jack Blues


Steeplechase horse Black Jack Blues


In three weeks, Black Jack Blues did more than any other 2011 American steeplechase starter. He won his only two starts, both stakes, earned $171,000, and laid waste to the best field of the season. View Full Profile » Votes: Black Jack Blues (IRE), 137; Tax Ruling, 80; Decoy Daddy (IRE), 1



Bill Mott


Trainer Bill Mott


The key to Mott’s good performance this year is that he came on very strong late in the year with six of his 15 graded stakes wins earned in November,including the BC Ladies’ Classic.View Full Profile » Votes: Bill Mott, 83; Bob Baffert, 60; Todd Pletcher, 57



Ken and Sarah Ramsey


Owner Ken and Sarah Ramsey


Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s decision to breed many of their mares to 2004 Turf Male Champion Kitten’s Joy has paid off, and in 2011 they enjoyed their biggest successes with homebreds by the stallion Ken Ramsey has called “the family stallion.” View Full Profile » Votes: Ken and Sarah Ramsey, 66; Midwest Thoroughbreds, 60; Team Valor International, 25



Adena Springs


Breeder Adena Springs


Frank Stronach’s far-flung breeding operation continued to dominate North American racing in 2011, ending the season well ahead in every category. View Full Profile » Votes: Adena Springs, 151; Ken and Sarah Ramsey, 62; Ocala Stud, 5



Ramon Dominguez


Jockey Ramon Dominguez


As rewarding as 2010 was, 2011 proved even more lucrative for the 35-year-old Dominguez. He was the second-leading rider in North America by victories, and he again led in money won, with his mounts earning more than $19.4 million. View Full Profile » Votes: Ramon Dominguez, 197; John Velazquez, 30; Javier Castellano, 14



Kyle Frey


Apprentice jockey Kyle Frey


Frey began working with horses just three years ago but won 153 races in his first full season of riding in 2011 to earn recognition as the Eclipse Award winner for champion apprentice jockey. View Full Profile » Votes: Kyle Frey, 77; Ryan Curatolo, 57; Rosario Montanez, 19



Award of Merit and Special Award

Award of Merit – Cot Campbell Special Eclipse Award – Rapid Redux


Media Eclipse Awards

Photography – Bob Mayberger, Sports Illustrated Snapshot; “A.P. Smithwick Memorial Stakes,” August 4, 2011. Writing – Feature/Commentary – Claire Novak,; “Pressure off Durkin at Belmont,” June 10, 2011. Writing – News/Enterprise – Jennie Rees, Louisville Courier-Journal; “Breeders’ Cup 2011: Jockeys Rein in Their













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from Suzee Bailey









Yes…In case you are wondering…I am the wife of


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Belmont Stakes:


Ruler On Ice surprises at 24-1;


Shackleford fifth, Animal Kingdom sixth





  “It was remarkable Johnny stayed on,” said Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom’s trainer. Shackleford, who won the Preakness as a 12-1 shot, set the pace in the Belmont, but tired to finish fifth. Instead, a trio of longshots were the first three across the wire. Ruler On Ice beat Stay Thirsty, a 16-1 shot, by three-quarters of a length, and Brilliant Speed, who went off at 10-1, was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. Nehro, the Kentucky Derby runner-up, was fourth. After Shackleford and Animal Kingdom came Mucho Macho Man, Santiva, Monzon, Master of Hounds, Prime Cut, and Isn’t He Perfect. READ MORE>>

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      BELMONT ORDER OF FINISH: 1. Ruler On Ice 2. Stay Thirsty 3. Brilliant Speed 4. Nehro 5. Shackleford 6. Animal Kingdom 7. Mucho Macho Man 8. Santiva 9. Monzon 10. Master of Hounds 11. Prime Cut 12. Isn’t He Perfect



      Posted 06/12/2011 11:11AM
















Debra A. Roma
Shackleford and Animal Kingdom, one-two in the Preakness, are rematched in a field of 12 in the Belmont Stakes.


Belmont Stakes Post Position and Morning LIne Odds…


Animal Kingdom gets post 9, Shackleford in 12



  COFFEEBREAKWITHFRIENDS TOP 5 PICKS As we watched the Kentucky Derby, we saw Animal Kingdom storm through the stretch to grab the roses in the most exciting two minutes in sports. Two weeks later he came up a little shy of catching the ultra game Shackleford, settling for second in the Preakness, and as we approach the test of champions in the mile and a half Belmont Stakes let us evaluate the contenders. Even though this race is somewhat up for grabs, I think it boils down to three or four horses.   1.  Nehro…he was a game second in the Derby after being quite wide thoughout and trainer Steve Assmussen wisely skipped the Preakness to freshen his horse. In reality ,very very few horses in the US are bred to run the distance of a mile and a half but some have more stamina than others and this guy has plenty. To this day I believe the Arkansas Derby is a key race and he put in a great performance there. One of his strengths is that he can stalk the pace and still finish well, something invaluable in the Belmont because dead closers don’t have nearly the success in this race as horses  that run closer to the lead. Just because it’s a longer race doesn’t mean deep closers do well basically because closers need front runners to go fast early and tire late. In the Belmont, the pace is generally slower early in order to preserve the energy for the late stages, so they don’t tire as frequently as they may in a shorter race. The biggest factor is the stamina bred into the horse, not the style! 2. Animal Kingdom..Obviously he ran great in the Derby but may have run better in the Preakness after overcoming a slow start and a huge defecit to nearly run down Shackleford. The only reason I am not picking him here is  he shouldn’t get the pace he had in the first two races and his brilliant closing kick will be somewhat diminished by the extra distance he must travel before launching that closing rush. Also, if the track is dry, I believe he will have a more difficult time accelerating over the sandy surface at Belmont than he did at the previous two tracks. If the track is wet then I like his chances much more. 3. Mucho Macho Man.. he ran a great race in the Kentucky Derby but really disappointed me in the Preakness although he did lose a front shoe early in the race. He gets a new jockey in Ramon Dominguez,  however that shouldn’t increase his chances since Rajiv Maragh (his previous jockey) rode him flawlessly in both the Derby and Preakness. His biggest asset is his long lumbering style . He is a grinder type and this distance suits him to a tee. The biggest question is his talent level, and so far he hasn’t shown enough of it. 4. Brilliant Speed.. this guy is really bred for this distance and ran a super race in the Kentucky Derby considering he broke from the aweful number 2 post, was 14th early in the race and was 8 wide turning for home and was only beaten 5 ½ lengths. I do however have the same concern with him as I do with Animal Kingdom..the surface. The sandier the track the more “turf type” horses struggle over it and thus tire quicker. Again, rain would help. 5. Shackleford… I think he hits the wall here. Three huge efforts in a row and the fact that his sire Forestry was a sprinter tells me the mile and a half  may be tooooo far.


SBNation Imag0279_tiny by Matt Gardner on Jun 8, 2011 10:07 AM EDT in Belmont Stakes   With a mile and a half race, a field of 12, and an expected slow pace, the draw isn’t really bad for anybody. Shackleford drew the widest and will most likely be on the lead, as Dale Romans stated after the draw, There’s not a ton of distance between the starting gate and the first turn, so it’s possible he could get hung a tad wide early, but I doubt that will have a major impact on the race. Master of Hounds on the rail is of no consequence as he doesn’t have any early speed and the gate at the Belmont, unlike the Derby and Preakness, is right next to the rail (and does not require a “run-up” to the rail). He should only be in tight if someone to his outside breaks into him, but that’s a concern for any horse, not just one on the rail. Animal Kingdom sits in a good spot and I wonder if they might try to keep him a bit wider in the Belmont than in the Preakness. He didn’t appear to love the dirt kicked into his face early on in the Preakness and if Johnny V. can keep him a little wider in this race, perhaps he’ll settle better in the early stages. Nehro grabs second favorite status on the morning line, 4/1, over the Preakness winner. We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out on race day. I would think that Shaun Bridgmohan will hustle Santiva towards the front right from the gate as he’s run much more effectively when up near the lead. The chief question is, will the frontrunners stretch out the field, or will we see a tightly bunched pack for the first mile? The rest of Saturday’s Belmont card will be drawn later on today. The entries for Friday are out, and both the G3-Poker Stakes and G2-Brooklyn Handicap came up with short fields (six and five horses, respectively). It seems doubtful that the Brooklyn/Belmont Double will pay well this year given the five-horse field of the Brooklyn.




ELMONT, N.Y. — He was 68-1 when nearly pulling off an upset in the Florida Derby, 23-1 when fourth in the Kentucky Derby, and 12-1 when he captured the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago. Shackleford, it seems, is the ultimate outsider. Considering such, he received an appropriate post position for Saturday’s 143rd Belmont Stakes, landing the outside post among the 12 3-year-olds who were entered Wednesday morning in the final leg of the Triple Crown. Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up, drew post 9. He is the 5-2 favorite on the morning line of Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper, while Eric Donovan, the linemaker for Belmont Park, has Animal Kingdom the 2-1 choice. Both Watchmaker and Donovan have Shackleford as their third choice, behind Derby runner-up Nehro. If that holds, Shackleford will again fail to be favored, which has been the case in all seven of his starts. Though he has now won 3 of 7 starts, and is a classic winner, only once previously has he been shorter than 12-1. One edge Shackleford apparently has in this Belmont is that he appears to be the controlling speed in the 1 1/2-mile race. He was going to the front regardless, but the outside post, trainer Dale Romans said, might cause Shackleford “to be sent a little more anyway, just to make sure he clears.” Still, Romans said, “I don’t think post will decide the race.” READ MORE>> 





















Contender Stats, Profiles


The Daily Racing Form

  Animal Kingdom 6 career starts; Win: 3; Place: 3; Show: 0 Formulator stat: Trainer Graham Motion at distance (62 starts; Win: 8; Place: 9; Show: 5) News & Notes: Trainer Graham Motion confirmed that Animal Kingdom will run in the Belmont Stakes “as long as the horse is good.”… Will the long distance of the Belmont aid or hurt this stalker? Seemingly would have taken Preakness if only a bit longer and if he didn’t have such a slow break — room to improve? … Jogged in shed row at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland on May 25, then over a dirt surface at Fair Hill on May 26 and 27. Next workout is scheduled to be Monday at Belmont, after Animal Kingdom trained exclusively at Fair Hill prior to the Preakness.   Shackleford 7 career starts; Win: 3; Place: 1; Show: 0 Formulator stat: Trainer Dale Romans at distance (22 starts; Win: 4; Place: 3; Show: 3) News & Notes: Trainer Dale Romans says he is unsure if he will run Shackleford because of the toll it may take on his second half of the season, which is intended to include the Haskell, Travers, and Breeders’ Cup. … Arrived at Belmont Park on May 30, while Romans plans to arrive that Tuesday and give his horse a workout on Saturday, after which his final race status will be determined. … Front-runner who just barely held onto lead in Preakness after a late charge from Animal Kingdom, does he have the endurance to win the longest leg of the Triple Crown? … How will Shackleford’s trip be affected if there is no speedster like Flashpoint, who set the pace in the Preakness?   Nehro 6 career starts; Win: 1; Place: 3; Show: 0 Formulator stat: Trainer Steve Asmussen at distance (11 starts; Win: 3; Place: 1; Show: 3) News & Notes: Derby runner-up, stabled at Churchill. … Skipped Preakness so will be well-rested for Derby. … On May 29 had a very strong workout at Churchill, running six furlongs in 1:12.2. … Likes to stalk; stays in the middle of the pack and make move at the end.   Master of Hounds 8 career starts; Win: 1; Place: 3; Show: 1 News & Notes: Belmont will be only his 3rd race of 2011. … Stalked in the Derby and rallied late for fifth, picking up his pace when asked with three furlongs to go and finishing with good energy. … Kentucky Derby was his first dirt race. Will he improve as he adjusts to the new surface? Scheduled to ship in from Ireland on June 7, clearing quarantine by June 9. … Sired by Kingmambo, who also sired 1999 Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid.   Mucho Macho Man 10 career starts; Win: 2; Place: 3; Show: 3 Formulator stat: Trainer Kathy Ritvo at distance (0 starts) News & Notes: Finished third and sixth in the Derby and Preakness, respectively. Stayed in the middle of the pack in both races. … Had shoe issues in both the Louisiana Derby and the Preakness and is switching to synthetic glue-on shoes for the Belmont. … Was strong Derby finish indication of Belmont success? He is a June foal, and could still be improving.   Stay Thirsty 7 career starts; Win: 2; Place: 2; Show: 0 Formulator stat: Trainer Todd Pletcher at distance (88 starts; Win: 20; Place: 15; Show: 13) News & Notes: Belmont will be his fourth race of 2011. Most recently finished 12th in the Derby. … In the Derby he was brushed at the start, battled for good position midway through, but fell back. … Excellent pedigree shows he is built for long distances: Sire is Bernardini, who was the champion 3-year-old male in 2006 after winning at all distances. Bernardini was sired by Belmont winner A.P. Indy, and A.P. Indy was sired by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. … Half-brother to Andromeda’s Hero, who also won the Belmont.   Santiva 7 career starts; Win: 1; Place: 3; Show: 1 Formulator stat: Trainer Eddie Kenneally at distance (4 starts; Win: 0; Place: 1; Show: 0) News & Notes: Has consistently gone mile-plus distances. … Finished sixth in Kentucky Derby but “was gaining late while unable to seriously threaten,” according to the chart notes. Final margin behind winner Animal Kingdom was only 5 1/2 lengths. … Worked out five furlongs on May 28 in 1:00.60 and an assistant trainer said he will “likely end up in the race.”… Sired by Giant’s Causeaway, who won at distances as long as 1 5/16 miles. … Will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, who has taken the reins on him twice: in the Derby, and in Santiva’s only career win last November at Churchill Downs.   Prime Cut 7 career starts; Win: 2; Place: 2; Show: 2 Formulator stat: Trainer Neil Howard at distance (15 starts; Win: 3; Place: 0; Show: 4) News & Notes: Most recently finished third in the Peter Pan at Belmont to Alternation. … Sired by Distorted Humor, who also sired Derby winner Funny Cide. … Worked five furlongs at Churchill Downs on May 31, but trainer Neil Howard said he has not decided for sure whether Prime Cut will start in the Belmont.   Brilliant Speed 9 career starts; Win: 2; Place: 2; Show: 2 Formulator stat: Trainer Tom Albertrani at distance (12 starts; Win: 4; Place: 0; Show: 3) News & Notes: Last ran in the Kentucky Derby, finishing 7th. Chart notes say he “made a run five wide with less than three furlongs to go … made a good late bid on the outside.” … Used to racing on turf or synthetic surfaces; he won the Blue Grass on Polytrack. Will dirt form improve thanks to Derby experience? … Sired by Dynaformer, who is noted for stamina and also sired 2006 Derby winner Barbaro. Second dam was a full sister to 1997 Belmont winner Touch Gold.  



With a look at the second JEWEL in the


Triple Crown Series…




Well it looks as if Affirmed will still  be the last horse to win  Triple Crown,… yes it’s been 33 years since the sport of Thoroughbred Horse Racing has shined with a Triple Crown Star…but  that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few stand outs in this years field of 14!  Shackleford  has been one of the top 3 year olds we have been picking in our top ten bracket these past few months.  With a fourth place finish in the Kentucky Derby and a Win in the Preakness…he has definitely proved he is a strong contender.  The question is…can this wire to wire winner hold on for that  final long stretch of the   Mile and Half Belmont Stakes???  And then there is the powerful Kentucky Derby Winner Animal Kingdom who didn’t have the best trip in the Preakness being pushed back to almost last early in the race…but he was talented enough to overcome this obstacle along with not really liking getting dirt flung in his face from the horses in front of him,…to a strong second place  finish,… only getting beat by a half length to Shackleford!  Will there be a grudge match in three weeks at the Belmont Stakes?…Or will an entirely new horse jump up to win the Third Jewel of the Triple Crown?  Mucho Macho Man? Dialed In?


What do you think?


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add to our comment box at the end of this page…


We look forward to hearing from you!



Barbara D. Livingston


Shackleford holds off Animal Kingdom to win the 136th Preakness Stakes.


Updated on 05/23/2011 1:08PM


Shackleford holds off Animal Kingdom

By Jay Privman



BALTIMORE – Shackleford found the distance of the Kentucky Derby just a bit too far two weeks ago, but the wire came up just in time for him going a shorter distance Saturday in the 136th Preakness Stakes. Shackleford held off Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby winner, to capture the second leg of the Triple Crown on a gorgeous afternoon at Pimlico Race Course. Shackleford ($27.20), a 12-1 shot, pressed the early pace of Flashpoint, took the lead at the top of the stretch, and was fully extended under jockey Jesus Castanon to win by a half-length. Animal Kingdom, sent off the 2-1 favorite, finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Astrology. Dialed In was fourth and was followed, in order, by Dance City, Mucho Macho Man, King Congie, Mr. Commons, Isn’t He Perfect, Concealed Identity, Norman Asbjornson, Sway Away, Midnight Interlude, and Flashpoint. Shackleford, who finished fourth in the Derby, completed 1 3/16 miles – a sixteenth of a mile shorter than the Derby – in 1:56.47 over a track that was rated fast but produced dull times all afternoon. READ MORE>>






05/21/2011 7:26PM


Preakness: Complete order of finish


By DRF Staff



136th Preakness Stakes Pimlico Race Course, May 21, 2011 Order of finish:


1. Shackleford 2. Animal Kingdom 3. Astrology 4. Dialed In 5. Dance City 6. Mucho Macho Man 7. King Congie 8. Mr Commons 9. Isn’t He Perfect 10. Concealed Identity 11. Norman Asbjornson 12. Sway Away 13. Midnight Interlude 14. Flashpoint







2011 Kentucky Derby Recap

Now that the 2011 Kentucky Derby


is in the books,


let’s take a look back.


05/07/2011 7:03PM


Kentucky Derby 2011 order of finish


By DRF Staff



1) Animal Kingdom 2) Nehro 3) Mucho Macho Man 4) Shackleford 5) Master of Hounds 6) Santiva 7) Brilliant Speed 8) Dialed In 9) Pants On Fire 10) Twice The Appeal 11) Soldat 12) Stay Thirsty 13) Derby Kitten 14) Decisive Moment 15) Archarcharch 16) Midnight Interlude 17) Twinspired 18) Watch Me Go 19) Comma to the Top KENTUCKY DERBY REPLAY AND CHART »





Within our final Top Ten




correctly selected the top four finishers .

The winner, Animal Kingdom ( #10 on our list) ran a brilliant race and in doing so put to rest the doubts we had regarding his ability to handle the surface. Although he had a great record of 2 wins and 2 seconds and the best workout over the Churchill Downs strip leading up the Run for the Roses, he had never raced on natural dirt therefore caused hesitation on our part. With his ability to run well on dirt now established, along with his explosive finish, he seems to be a logical favorite heading to Baltimore for the Preakness in two weeks. Nehro, the second place finisher (#6 on our top ten list) ran a brilliant race considering he was very wide throughout the race partly due to starting from post 19 on the far outside. It is debatable if he would have won with a ground saving trip but considering he ran at least 2 lengths more than the winner, it’s worth taking into consideration. He is one we would be skeptical of heading to the Preakness in just two weeks primarily because he’s already had five starts this year, (Animal Kingdom only 3) and at some point he will “hit the wall” without a freshening break. The question is will it be sooner or later? Third in the Derby was Mucho Macho Man, the horse we picked to win it all. He was brilliantly trained by Kathy Ritvo and expertly ridden by Rajiv Maragh. Placed perfectly in the middle of the pack early…about eighth,…Mucho moved up around the far turn and launched his run at the leaders in the stretch. He couldn’t hold off the violent finishing kick of the winner and just failed in catching Nehro for second…however he was gaining on both as they approached the wire. His style is one of a gradual nature, high cruising speed but devoid of a quick powerful punch,… indicating that the Belmont Stakes distance of a mile and a half could give him the advantage he needs to avenge his Derby defeat. The Preakness however could be slightly more difficult as it would play more to Animal Kingdom’s strengths. Shackleford the pacesetter and eventual fourth place Derby finisher was #5 on our final Derby list. He surprised some of us by shooting to the lead instead of rating slightly off the pace, however he hung onto the lead until the final 1/8 of a mile. Although it may seem the shorter distance of the Preakness would be to his advantage, it’s doubtful that he could wire that field either, but he may surely be a threat.  



Animal Kingdom Wins Kentucky Derby


In First Dirt Race,


21-to-1 Longshot Comes From Behind to Defy Odds

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Animal Kingdom, the come-from-behind winner of the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby, defied the 21-to-1 odds several ways Saturday. The Derby was only the fifth race in Animal Kingdom’s career. The last horse to win the Derby after racing just four times was Exterminator in 1918. Animal Kingdom also came into the Derby after a six-week layoff, which has not been accomplished since Needles did so in 1956. This was also Animal Kingdom’s first race on dirt. “When you have a horse of that caliber, they can handle the switchover,” trainer Graham Motion said after the race, addressing Animal Kingdom’s ability to handle the unfamiliar surface. The horse did that, taking off at the far turn just when his jockey asked. Going into the race at post position 16, Animal Kingdom had to negotiate a tight crowd. “I felt that having a clean trip was the main objective, and that was how it worked out,” said Motion when asked about his race strategy. READ MORE>>

Kentucky Derby:


Velazquez has unusual path to first win


By David Grening



John Velazquez



Barbara D. Livingston



Jockey John Velazquez celebrates his first Kentucky Derby victory aboard Animal Kingdom.








LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Up until Friday morning, no one could blame John Velazquez if he felt cursed when it came to the Kentucky Derby. On Saturday, Velazquez went from cursed to blessed in just a little more than two minutes. VIDEO: Velazquez interview after winning Churchill Downs Stakes » Picking up the mount on Animal Kingdom on Friday morning, Velazquez guided the 20-1 shot to a surprising 2 3/4-length victory in the 137th Kentucky Derby, Velazquez’s first win in this race in his 13th attempt. He only got the mount when Barry Irwin, president of the Team Valor International syndicate that owns Animal Kingdom, opted to take assigned rider Robby Albarado off the horse because of a broken nose and other facial injuries he suffered in a post parade spill Wednesday. Albarado was physically able to ride Saturday, winning the Grade 1 Humana Distaff earlier on the card. “It’s a little strange because one of our own jockeys got hurt and that’s how I picked up the mount,” said Velazquez, who is the president of the Jockeys’ Guild and who wore a Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund hat during the post-race press conference. “You definitely feel bad. This business is a rollercoaster. I’ve been on the other end as well. I’ve been hurt and watched horses that I’ve been riding win Grade 1’s – I’ve seen that a lot. I told Robby if we do win this race, I’m going to take care of you.” Velazquez did not elaborate on what that meant. If Velazquez does indeed get 10 percent of the winner’s share of the purse, that would result in a $141,800 payday for him. READ MORE>>









Though admittedly “shocked” that he won America’s most-famous race, trainer Graham Motion, a British expatriate, on Sunday morning had recovered enough to start focusing on the May 21 Preakness Stakes, which he said would be the next start for Animal Kingdom, the upset winner of Saturday’s 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Full Story >>


Kentucky Derby runner-up Nehro


likely to bypass Preakness for Belmont Stakes


By David Grening







LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Nehro, the runner-up to Animal Kingdom in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, will likely skip the Preakness and point to the Belmont Stakes, owner Ahmed Zayat said Sunday morning. “I would prefer, as of now, to run in the Belmont and maybe the Haskell and then we’ll see,’’ said Zayat, who added that his primary objective is to return to Churchill Downs in November for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. “We’ll take it a day a time, but we’re probably going to point him to the Belmont. [The Preakness] is a possibility, but not probable.’’ READ MORE>>

Louisiana Derby winner Pants On Fire


will rest until Haskell after bleeding in Kentucky Derby


By David Grening





Barbara D. Livingston








LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Pants On Fire, the Louisiana Derby winner who finished ninth in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, was found to have bled in the race and will not point to any of the remaining Triple Crown races, trainer Kelly Breen said Sunday morning. “He bled a significant amount. We are not going to the Preakness,’’ Breen said. “We are going to try and heal him up inside out. My main goal right now is in three months is the Haskell.’’ READ MORE>>









Zito willing to chase $5.5M Preakness bonus


with beaten Kentucky Derby favorite Dialed In


By Jay Privman





Barbara D. Livingston








LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dialed In, who finished eighth as the favorite in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, will come right back in two weeks for the Preakness Stakes, a situation that would mean a victory in that race would be worth far more to him than to the Derby winner, Animal Kingdom. Dialed In won both the Holy Bull Stakes and the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park earlier this year. That made him eligible for a $5.5 million bonus from MI Developments, the parent company of both Gulfstream and Pimlico, if he were to also win the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 21. The lucrative bonus was one of the reasons cited by trainer Nick Zito on Sunday morning as worth pursuing the Preakness with Dialed In. READ MORE>>





Archarcharch retired after condylar fracture






Coady Photography

Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Archarcharch underwent successful surgery to repair a condylar fracture on Sunday, but the injury will mean the end of the Arch colt’s racing career. Val Yagos, who owns Archarcharch with her husband, Robert, told fans on her Facebook page that the decision has been made to retire the colt. READ MORE>>

Comma to the Top sidelined with ankle injury






Benoit & Associates photo

Santa Anita Derby (G1) runner-up Comma to the Top emerged from his last-place finish the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) on Saturday with an injured ankle and will be sidelined for a least two months. “It appears my horse chipped his left ankle,” trainer Peter Miller said of the Bwana Charlie colt, who was sent off at 35.80-to-1 in the 19-horse field and tracked pacesetter Shackleford from second then third before fading in the final furlong under Patrick Valenzuela. “We could see it when we brought him back. I believe we will have Dr. (Wayne) McIlwrath [V.M.D.] from Colorado State University take it out in the next little while. Then he’s got to go on the sidelines for at least 60 days. READ MORE>>  











Women make history at 137th Derby

By Jessie Halladay, USA TODAY


    • Rosie Napravnik rode Pants on Fire to a ninth-place finish, becoming the highest-finishing woman in Kentucky Derby history.

      By Matthew Stockman, Getty Images



LOUISVILLE — They didn’t win, but women made a step forward in the Kentucky Derbyrecord books Saturday with a female jockey making a ninth place finish and trainer Kathy Ritvo’s horse edging into the money to show. Rosie Napravnik rode Pants on Fire to a ninth-place finish, becoming the highest-finishing woman in Kentucky Derby history.





That makes her the highest-finishing woman jockey in Derby history. Two female jockeys have finished 11th in the race — Patti Cooksey in 1984 and Julie Krone in 1995. READ MORE>>







David Letterman – Bill Murray’s Kentucky Derby







Updated on 05/06/2011 6:25PM


Uncle Mo scratched


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – To miss the Kentucky Derby is disappointing. To not know why is disconcerting.


In announcing Friday morning that morning-line second choice Uncle Mo would be scratched from Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher could not pinpoint the exact nature of Uncle Mo’s problem. Three veterinarians have examined Uncle Mo, but other than a one elevated enzyme, there is no definitive diagnosis.


“He’s got one specific enzyme that’s elevated that has everyone baffled; they can’t identify why,” Pletcher said at a Friday morning press conference in the auxiliary press box at Churchill Downs. “Generally, without getting too scientific, when this particular enzyme is elevated there is also something in the blood work that would lead them to the direction toward a liver or a kidney [issue], but this specific case it’s one single enzyme that’s elevated that doesn’t really lead you anywhere else.” READ MORE>>

05/04/2011 5:40PM


Kentucky Derby Draw:


Dialed In gets post 8;


Uncle Mo 18

By Marty McGee



LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dialed In was listed as the 4-1 favorite by Daily Racing Form national handicapper Mike Watchmaker after being assigned post 8 in a full field of 20 3-year-olds entered to run Saturday in the 137th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.


Dialed In, with Julien Leparoux to ride, has won three of four career starts and will try to become the third Derby winner for trainer Nick Zito, who won in 1991 with Strike the Gold and in 1994 with Go for Gin. Dialed In won the Florida Derby in his last start.


Uncle Mo, the reigning divisional champion, was pegged as the close 5-1 second choice after being assigned post 18 for the 1 1/4-mile race. John Velazquez has the mount for trainer Todd Pletcher, who sent out the 2010 winner, Super Saver.


“I think he ought to be able to relax and track the main speed,” Pletcher said before the draw. Asked whether Uncle Mo is healthy, he said: “He’s doing well.” Afterward, regarding post 18, Pletcher said, “I was okay with that.”


KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS: Track all the 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail


Archarcharch (10-1) got the dreaded post 1.


“We’re just going to make it work,” said Jon Court, rider of Archarcharch.


Other choices on the morning line are Nehro (post 19, 6-1), Midnight Interlude (post 15, 12-1), Mucho Macho Man (post 13, 12-1), Shackleford (post 14, 20-1), and Soldat (post 17, 20-1).


Twice the Appeal (post 3), with Calvin Borel to ride, is listed at 30-1. Borel has ridden three of the last four winners of the Derby.


Watch Me Go (50-1) got post 20 on the far outside.


NBC Sports will have three hours of television coverage starting at 4 p.m. Eastern. Scheduled post time is 6:24.


The Derby, the 11th of 13 races, anchors an all-stakes pick six. First post is 10:30 a.m. Eastern.


Entries were drawn Wednesday evening on the second-floor clubhouse at Churchill under the time-honored method, with entry sheets shuffled and matched to numbered pills pulled from a bottle. The convoluted style whereby horsemen selected their post positions was abandoned after the 2009 running.


In all, 22 were entered, with Sway Away and Ruler On Ice excluded. There is no also-eligibles list for the Derby.


Advance wagering on the Derby will be available Friday at Churchill and other wagering outlets.

POST POSITIONS for the 137th Kentucky Derby Purse: $2 million; 1 1/14 miles; Grade 1

PP                                                     ODDS


1. –Archarcharch, J. Court, —10-1 2.– Brilliant Speed, J. Rosario,— 30-1 3. –Twice the Appeal, C. Borel, —30-1 4. –Stay Thirsty, R. Dominguez,— 30-1 5.– Decisive Moment, K. Clark, —50-1 6.– Comma To The Top, P. Valenzuela, —30-1 7. –Pants On Fire, R. Napravnik, —30-1 8. –Dialed In, J. Leparoux, —4-1 9.– Derby Kitten, J. Castellano,— 30-1 10. –Twinspired, M. Smith, —30-1 11. –Master of Hounds, G. Gomez, —20-1 12. –Santiva, S. Bridgmohan, 30-1 13. –Mucho Macho Man, R. Maragh, —12-1 14. –Shackleford, J. Castanon,— 20-1 15.– Midnight Interlude, V. Espinoza, —12-1 16.– Animal Kingdom, R. Albarado, —20-1 17. –Soldat, A. Garcia, —20-1 18.– Uncle Mo, J. Velazquez, —5-1 19.– Nehro, C. Nakatani, —6-1 20. –Watch Me Go, R. Bejarano, —50-1


Odds by Mike Watchmaker Post time: 6:24 p.m. Eastern TV: NBC All carry 126 pounds










Did you know that…


***As of now there are only four guys with prior Kentucky Derby wins  : Calvin Borel-3 (Twice the Appeal), Victor Espinoza-1 (Midnight Interlude), Mike Smith-1 (Twinspired). Valenzuela-1 (Comma to the Top).


***Notables still without a mount: Edgar Prado, Rafael Bejarano, Paco Lopez, Javier Castellano, Cornelio Velasquez, Joe Bravo, Jose Lezcano, Martin Garcia, David Flores, Alex Solis, Kent Desormeaux.


***This year’s Derby rookies: Jon Court (Archarcharch), Eddie Castro (Toby’s Corner), Rosie Napravnik (Pants on Fire), Kerwin Clark (Decisive Moment), Jesus Castanon (Shackleford), and if Luis Garcia stays on Watch Me Go.


***Corey Nakatani (Nehro) has the disappointing 14-0-0-0 record; John Velazquez (Uncle Mo) 12-0-0-2; Julien Leparoux (Dialed In) 4-0-0-0 – In other words the riders on three of the top betting choices are a combined 30-0-0-2. Garrett Gomez (Master of Hounds) isn’t far behind those guys 7-0-1-0 record. Robby Albarado (Animal Kingdom) is 12-0-0-2. Ramon Dominguez (Stay Thirsty) is 7-0-1-0. Shaun Bridgmohan is 4-0-0-0.


***Yet to get fully established are Rajiv Maragh (Mucho Macho Man) and Joel Rosario (Brilliant Speed) who are both 1-0-0-0 and Alan Garcia (Soldat) 2-0-0-0.


***The best jockey not named Borel in the race is Victor Espinoza (Midnight Interlude). He is 4-1-0-1 thanks to War Emblem in 2002 and Congaree (3rd) the year before in 2001.

Thanks Rolly Hoyt for your great research!

My First Derby:


Jerry Bailey




Richard Migliore

      Posted: Friday, May 06, 2011 2:36 PM

THOROUGHBRED TIMES correspondent and horse racing blogger Teresa Genaro will be talking with notable racing personalities about their first Kentucky Derby experiences. On Friday, Genaro talked to Jerry Bailey and Richard Migliore.


by Teresa Genaro


The noise of 120,000 people. A race run at a mile and a quarter. A 20-horse field. Horses come to the Kentucky Derby(G1) asked to contend with a distance and an atmosphere entirely new to them.


And so, to a certain extent, do their jockeys.


“I didn’t know what the hell was going on,” said former jockey Jerry Bailey about his first Kentucky Derby.  “It was 1982, and I rode a horse named New Discovery. I thought I would be a new discovery until I discovered halfway through the race that I wasn’t.”


Bailey characterized his mount that day as “just very slow,” then added, “But he matched me perfectly: I needed the experience. I remember being glad that I wasn’t saddled with the pressure of a favorite, because it helps to have been through it, it really does, for me at least.”


Bailey had ridden in high-level races prior to the Derby, but, he said, “They weren’t big in terms of people’s awareness. Moneywise they could be significant, but they didn’t have notoriety at all.”


Despite being on racing’s biggest stage at the relatively young age of 24, Bailey wasn’t anxious about riding. READ MORE>>






Updated on 05/03/2011


Toby’s Corner out with injury

By David Grening





Maggie Kimmitt









LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The pot-hole filled road to the Triple Crown that derailed so many top 3-year-olds during the last several months claimed another victim Tuesday when Toby’s Corner, a top-five choice for Saturday’s 137th Kentucky Derby, was withdrawn from consideration for the race due to an unspecified issue involving his left hind leg, his connections said.


The defection of Toby’s Corner opened a spot in the race for Derby Kitten, who only earned enough graded stakes earnings to be considered for the Derby two weeks ago when he won the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Entries for the Derby, whose field is limited to 20 starters, were to be taken Wednesday morning and post positions drawn later Wednesday afternoon.READ MORE>>








Derby Top Ten



Well, with only a few days to go…and hopefully no late scratches…the only thing we are waiting for now is the draw for post positions, and that event is realistically the only thing that could change the top ten at this point. This year’s run for the roses is as evenly matched as any in memory. In my opinion, of my top 8 choices, the horse that gets the best trip from gate to wire will be the winner! There is no such stand out among this group that  would push it to a level that  would allow it to encounter either some form of  trouble, go wide or otherwise be ridden poorly and still win. In  other words, I think it’s a jockeys race this year.  Of my top 8, the jockey that makes the least mistakes will win. #1.  Mucho Macho Man… This Kathy Ritvo trainee won the Risen Star stakes at the Fairgrounds and was a very close third in the Louisiana Derby after losing a shoe at the start. He has tactical speed and should be stalking the front 4 or 5 in the Derby waiting to make a run on the far turn.  His speed numbers are as good or better than most of his competitors, and he will face less traffic and get an early jump on the closers. The fact that he ran well at the fairgrounds and his sire (Macho Uno) won at Churchill Downs suggests that he will have no problem with the surface in Louisville. The six weeks between his last race and the Derby could be a concern however his last  workout  at Gulfstream Park( 7 furlongs in 1:23)  and two maintenance works at CD tell me he is fit and ready. The Kentucky Derby is an event where fairytale like dreams can become a reality…what a perfect storybook ending to Kathy’s Miraculous Story!…SEE MORE [str[stream flv




#2. Archarcharch.. The Arkansas Derby winner is also really starting to blossom heading to Louisville. Jockey John Court and trainer Jinks Fires figured out that his best running style is coming from further back rather than up close  to the pace(the style he used in his only poor performance). His style and breeding tell me he will love the mile and a quarter of the Derby,…he doesn’t need to be as far back as Dialed In and Nehro which means less traffic to weave through or go around. His schedule has been to run every four weeks thus the three week turnaround will be something different for him. My one concern is his hard workout ( 6 furlongs in 1:12) at Churchill Downs may be a bit much after a career best performance in the Arkansas Derby, but then again maybe he’s really blossoming.  

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#3. Dialed In… Conditioned by two-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Nick Zito, this Mineshaft three year old colt has the best and most consistent record in 2011 and has only been beaten once. With this years Derby supporting abundant speed, the race sets up for a closer and he is the most talented one in the field. Like all true closers he will need some racing luck but has perhaps the best come from behind jockey in Julien Leparoux, and the big race moments seem to make him even better. He could easily be my top pick in this evenly matched contest however his speed numbers are lower than those ranked above him and the traffic he will likely encounter push him slightly down the list.





#4. Santiva…

Also was one of the rising stars  for a period this spring. With his win in the Jockey Club stakes at Churchill Downs last fall proving he likes the surface there and running a huge second to Mucho Macho Man in the Risen Star Stakes at the Fairgrounds in Feb., he was on everybody’s radar screen. Instead of running back in the Louisiana Derby, trainer Eddie Kenneally decided the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland on the synthetic surface was a better prep race however he was pushed down inside, pinched and crowded throughout the race and really had little chance. He has tactical speed which is invaluable in the Derby and that style along with the breeding to love a mile and a quarter will greatly enhance his cause. Don’t overlook this guy.  

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#5.Nehro… He is really coming into his own in his last two races, although he has been second in both. You could make a case that with a little more racing luck he would have won both the Louisiana and Arkansas Derby. He like Dialed In comes from way back and he two will need racing luck however  he can lay closer as he did in the Louisiana Derby and I believe his trainer Steve Asmussen gives him an edge. He ran just as well at the Fairgrounds which is a good indicator that he will enjoy the surface at Churchill Downs. My concern and the reason he isn’t higher on this list is that he’s done a lot in a short amount of time and it’s really hard for three year olds to continue to improve race after race without a regression at some point even if only temporary.




#6.Uncle Mo… Only a few weeks ago he was the heavy favorite until his defeat in the Wood Memorial in New York. It wasn’ just that he was beaten, it was the way he lost. He has an easy lead, and had no fight when the competition collared him in mid stretch. Now adding an extra two hundred and twenty yards makes his task even tougher. According to his trainer Todd Pletcher, he had an intestinal infection exiting that race but continues to train while being treated with medication. While I still believe he has Derby distance limitations, he will have to make a monumental rebound off the Wood performance to be a factor on May 7, and his two works at Churchill Downs have been ordinary at best.




#7.Midnight Interlude ... This guy doesn’t have a bad race to point to and his win in the Santa Anita Derby was one in several race to race improvements in both results and Beyer speed figures. His style of having speed but able to rate off the really fast horses is perfect for the Kentucky derby and his trainer Bob Baffert certainly knows how to win on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs. The biggest knock on this horse is that he didn’t make his first start until Jan of this year and no horse has won the Kentucky Derby that didn’t make his first start as a two year old primarily because cramming all the races and the improvement and maturity that comes with it into five months is a tough task.

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#8.Soldat… This Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt was once number two on my list until his flat performance in the Florida Derby. In that race he finished 10th, beaten 10 lengths, but the question is,… why did he perform so poorly?Was it his resentment of being rated off the pace (something he may likely need to do in the Derby) or was it simply a regression off of two huge prior performances? If it’s the latter then the five weeks between that race and the Derby should bode well for him,… however if running poorly was a result of his unwillingness to be rated off the pace then he faces a tough road in this year’s Derby as it is full of other speed horses. If the track comes up sloppy he is a definite factor and the horse to beat.




#9.Twice The Appeal… The biggest reason he is in the top ten is that this race is so wide open,… AND the presence of Calvin Borel on a closer coming out of the Sunland Park Derby.. (does Mine That Bird come to mind??) His  speed numbers are very modest and he hasn’t worked all that great at Churchill Downs since arriving however this is about where I think he will finish.


  #10.Animal Kingdom… He has never run on a real dirt track (all his races on grass or synthetics) and he did have a perfect trip in the Spiral Stakes in his last win. His record of two wins and two seconds in four starts could easily be all wins if not for trouble in both defeats and the fact he worked brilliantly over the Churchill Downs strip tells me if he adapts to the surface he could be a force.






updated on 05/03/2011 2:27PM


Brilliant Speed, Midnight Interlude finish preparations


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Another day in Louisville and another torrential downpour to greet the early arrivals at Churchill Downs on Monday morning for the beginning of a very busy training session which featured the final workouts of five potential Kentucky Derby starters, including Grade 1 Derby prep winners Midnight Interlude and Brilliant Speed, both of whom went out during the special Derby-Oaks training session at 8:30 a.m. KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Watch Mike Welsch’s previous clocker report videos Three Derby horses – Santiva, Watch Me Go, and Nehro – braved the heavy rains to get in their final drills well before sunrise over a racetrack that had been sealed overnight and which was subsequently floated during the renovation break and listed as sloppy throughout the course of the morning. The temperature was in the low 60s to begin the training session, but as is often the case around these parts, began to dip as the morning progressed.Midnight Interlude (five furlongs in 1:00.46): This may have been the most important work of the day as the Santa Anita Derby winner was not overly impressive in his first local workout, which also came over a wet track six days earlier. Midnight Interlude was unable to keep up with his workmate Mythical Power, an older horse who is generally regarded as a strong work horse, during the early stages of that trial. To ensure that did not happen again, Monday morning, trainer Bob Baffert sent Mythical Power out without his blinkers and the result was decidedly different. Breaking off a half-length behind Mythical Power under jockey Martin Garcia, Midnight Interlude was eager from the start, posting splits of 11.97 seconds, 24.30, and 36.06 for the opening three furlongs while turning into the stretch on even terms with his partner. But this time, instead of struggling trying to keep up with his mate through the final furlong, Midnight Interlude proved the stronger of the pair, hitting the wire about a half-length in front under minimal urging while striding out nicely to complete his final quarter in 24.40. Mythical Power’s work was complete at this point as Midnight Interlude moved away readily around the turn in what was arguably the continuation of his work more than a traditional gallop out with Garcia giving him three sharp right-hand taps of the stick for encouragement entering the bend to help him complete six furlongs in 1:13.89. Midnight Interlude did shut down a little abruptly shortly thereafter, pulling up seven-eighths in 1:28.71. Like all the horses who worked Monday and for much of the past week, it’s hard to really ascertain how much the wet racetrack affects their performances one way or the other. That holds true for Midnight Interlude, who did stride out much smoother than he did working over a wet track that seemed a lot less consistent in nature six days earlier. Brilliant Speed (five furlongs in 1:00.98): Arguably the most visually impressive work of the day was turned in by Brilliant Speed, the Blue Grass Stakes winner, in an important test for a horse whose best races have come on either grass or artificial surfaces. With assistant trainer Dan Blacker up, Brilliant Speed seemed to skip over the wet going, settling into a nice rhythm right from the outset and striding out efficiently through a final quarter in 24.78 without urging before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.88. This is obviously a colt who is improving at the right time and from his performance Monday should be expected to move well up should the track come up on the wet side on Derby Day. Santiva (four furlongs in 49.99): He was among the first horses through the gap when the track opened at 5:45 a.m. and the first of the three Derby horses to get their work done before dawn. This horse has appeared a little uncomfortable and lackadaisical during his morning jogs and gallops but looked better while working in company with another 3-year-old from trainer Eddie Kenneally’s barn, the stakes-tested Commonwealth Rush. The pair went off a very soft opening eighth in 13.58 with Santiva beginning about a half-length behind his mate after which they picked up the pace steadily, coming home as a team a final three-eighths in 36.21 with Santiva never really asked to extend himself by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan down the stretch. The gallop out was a solid one, five furlongs in 1:02.76. Watch Me Go (five furlongs in 1:02): For a horse whose trainer, Kathleen O’Connell, said cannot stand up on a wet track, the Tampa Bay Derby winner certainly handled the adverse conditions extremely well. I liked his energy level leaving the pony at the top of the stretch and he showed similar eagerness once finally allowed to level off and stretch his legs a bit nearing the stretch. Like Midnight Interlude, Watch Me Go’s work could have easily been interpreted as a six-furlong move considering the manner in which jockey Freddie Lenclud was still giving him some encouragement around the clubhouse turn to complete six furlongs in 1:15.01. Watch Me Go looked at his best, however, during the gallop out as he continued on very willingly down the backstretch to pull up seven furlongs in 1:29.28 and double gallop out a mile in 1:45.14. Nehro (four furlongs in 50.72): This was obviously just a maintenance move for a horse who will have had three starts in just six weeks come Saturday and as a result the final time is relatively immaterial, although the Louisiana Derby and Arkansas Derby runner-up just did not seem comfortable at any point over the wet racetrack. Nehro looked especially out of sorts through the stretch, trying to drift a bit under exercise rider Carlos Rosas down the lane before suddenly shifting prematurely back to his left lead approaching the wire. He then shut down quickly, galloping out five-eighths in a slow 1:05.48. This was a somewhat puzzling move from a horse who looked much sharper working over a similar track one week earlier and hopefully just a factor of the surface more than an indication of anything else. Dialed In continues to look great physically but is just not the smoothest mover when he jogs or gallops slowly as he did during a driving rain at 7 this morning. In contrast, both Soldat and Archarcharch looked terrific during their routine gallops after the break.Soldat is already a proven commodity over a wet track while Archarcharch continues to get better and better the longer he has been here. Kentucky Derby workouts       Kentucky Derby activity report Monday, May 2, 2011 Animal Kingdom – galloped early at CD. Archarcharch – galloped during 8:30 break at CD. Brilliant Speed – worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.98 during 8:30 break at CD. Comma to the Top – walked after working 5 fur. Sun. at Hol; ships Tues. Decisive Moment – galloped during 8:30 break at CD. Derby Kitten – galloped; Lex S. winner will do so up to race if he gets into field. Dialed In – jogged, galloped early in second day back at CD. Master of Hounds – arrives Tues. from Ireland. Midnight Interlude – worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.46 with M.Garcia up during 8:30 break. Mucho Macho Man – jogged, galloped in first day back after Sat. breeze at CD. Nehro – breezed 4 furlongs in 50.72 with C.Rosas up at CD early. Pants On Fire – walked after working 4 fur. Sun. at CD. Santiva – breezed 4 fur. in 49.99 with S.Bridgmohan up at CD early. Shackleford – jogged during 8:30 break after breezing 5 fur. Sat. at CD. Soldat – galloped during 8:30 break in first day to track at CD after shipping in Sat. Stay Thirsty – jogged after working 5 fur. Sun at CD. Twice the Appeal – walked for a 2nd day after breezing 6 fur. Sat. at CD. Twinspired – jogged, galloped in first day back after Sat. breeze at Trackside; to CD on Tues. Uncle Mo – jogged after working 5 fur. Sun. Watch Me Go – breezed 5 furlongs in 1:02 with F.Lenclud up at CD early.






Kentucky Derby:


Soldat has McLaughlin beaming

By Mike Welsch



LOUISVILLE, Ky. – When trainer Kiaran McLaughlin puts Soldat on the plane that will take his Kentucky Derby prospect to Louisville on Saturday, he will do so with the confidence that his horse couldn’t be doing any better coming into the biggest race of his young career. Soldat, the Fountain of Youth winner, completed his final serious preparations for the Derby on Friday in the seclusion of the Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach, Fla., where he worked four furlongs in 49 seconds and galloped out five-eighths in 1:02.40, according to McLaughlin’s watch. There are currently no official clockers at the training center, which closed its racetrack for the season following the conclusion of training on Friday. READ MORE>>








Arkansas Derby winner Archarcharch got serious on Friday morning at Churchill Downs, working a crisp five furlongs in 59.36 seconds with jockey Jon Court aboard. VIDEO: DRF clocker Mike Welsch says of Archarcharch, “I now have to include him among my major contenders.”Full Story >>

Updated on 04/29/2011 12:29PM


Kentucky Derby works:


Dialed In has easy breeze at Palm Meadows

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – The Kentucky Derby favorite worked on Thursday. Not just any favorite but one trained by a two time Kentucky Derby winner. But something was definitely missing. A crowd. There was no horde of inquisitive reporters, no conga line of lens-toting photographers, no army of television cameras to follow the horse’s every move from the instant he stepped foot out of the barn. In fact, there wasn’t even an official track clocker on the somewhat surreal scene when the Nick Zito-trained Dialed In worked four furlongs in 48.53 seconds in front of a group of fewer than a dozen onlookers shortly after 7 a.m. on Thursday morning at the nearly deserted Palm Meadows training center here. Zito announced immediately after Dialed In’s victory in the Grade 1 Florida Derby on April 3 that he would keep his lightly raced star at his winter home at Palm Meadows as long as possible before shipping to Churchill Downs for the Derby. That strategy has already proven to be a stroke of genius considering all the rain that has pelted the Louisville area and soaked the Churchill Downs racetrack over the past several weeks.READ MORE>>      

Tuesday, April 26 Churchill Downs Cloudy, track sloppy/good Temp. 62° LOUISVILLE, Ky. – All eyes were going to be on Uncle Mo here Tuesday morning when he came out for his all-important five-furlong work scheduled for 8:30 a.m. following the renovation break. As things turned out, most of those eyes were still shut and fast asleep when Uncle Mo actually did get in that work shortly before 6 a.m., once his trainer, Todd Pletcher, decided to call a weather-related audible. A heavy band of showers that appeared to be bearing down on the Louisville area led Pletcher to make the decision to go early, although the expected rain didn’t materialize until the end of training hours shortly before 10 a.m. But the sloppy footing when the track opened for business at 5:45 a.m. was safe and much more to Pletcher’s liking than the floated and harrowed strip that awaited Tuesday morning’s two other Kentucky Derby workers, Midnight Interlude and Santiva, immediately after the break. MONDAY: Nehro splashes an easy five furlongs The morning also saw the breakdown and euthanization of a filly workmate among Kentucky Oaks candidates. Uncle Mo (five furlongs in 1:01.69) – Working in company with stablemate Calibrachoa, a Grade 3 stakes winner in his previous start, and with his regular jockey John Velazquez aboard, Uncle Mo broke off at the five-furlong pole, and less than a furlong into the work both riders had to call an audible themselves, with a trio of horses directly in their paths near the rail at the half-mile pole. Fortunately, Uncle Mo and Calibrachoa were able to slip around the traffic without missing a stride, completing their opening quarter and three furlongs in 25.41 and 37.21 seconds. READ MORE>> Midnight Interlude


04/09/2011 1:55PM


Gulfstream Park:


Mucho Macho Man zips in workout

By Mike Welsch


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Trainer KathyRitvo has scheduled four workouts forMucho Macho Manleading up to the Kentucky Derby, and if the last three are as good as the first one, he could be a force to be reckoned with on May 7 at Churchill Downs.

Working for the first time since losing a shoe leaving the starting gate en route to his third-place finish in the Grade 1 Louisiana Derby, Mucho Macho Man surprised even Ritvo when he zipped five furlongs over a fast track in 58.21 seconds Saturday at Gulfstream Park under exercise rider Mike Herra, completing his final quarter in just a shade over 23 seconds after having to alter course a bit and come around another worker nearing the eighth pole. Mucho Macho Man then proceeded to gallop out six furlongs in 1:11.20 and pull up a mile in 1:40, according to track clockers.READ MORE>>

Mucho Macho Man,


Stay Thirsty stay on schedule

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –  Neither steady rain, a sloppy track, nor even a little thunder and lightning could keep Kentucky Derby hopefuls Mucho Macho Man and Stay Thirsty from keeping their appointed rounds and working at soggy Churchill Downs on Sunday morning. Mucho Macho Man was the first of the pair to go immediately after the renovation break, breezing seven furlongs in 1:29.40 with jockey Rajiv Maragh aboard. The move was in sharp contrast to his 1:23 and change seven-furlong work eight days earlier at Gulfstream Park. READ MORE>>

By Mike Welsch

Stay Thirsty had jockey Calvin Borel aboard and went in company along with stablemate Bridgetown. Stay Thirsty was nearest the rail and dropped about a half-length behind his partner around the turn after zipping along on a quick pace, with early splits of 11.56, 23.22 and 35.06 for three furlongs. The pair were on even terms once settling into the stretch, completing five furlongs in 59.92 with Stay Thirsty under some urging to finish and about a neck in front at the wire. Neither galloped out particularly well, Stay Thirsty pulling up six furlongs in 1:15.06. READ MORE>> KENTUCKY DERBY WORKOUTS: Watch Mike Welsch’s previous clocker report videos















                            Jockey Calvin Borel has won the Kentucky Derby three times in the last four years, but not until Wednesday did he line up a mount for this year’s race on May 7. Borel secured the assignment on Twice the Appeal, a horse he has never ridden and who only got into the Derby after scoring a 25-1 upset in the Sunland Derby with jockey Christian Santiago Reyes. Full Story >>



Kathy Ritvo – A Gutsy Trainer Whose Horse Mucho Macho Man Makes Her Heart Happy!

Ed Kane    Posted on 03/31/11 at 1:12 AM

In November 2008, Kathy Ritvo, suffering from cardiomyopathy, underwent a heart transplant to replace her severely damaged heart.  After the operation, her surgeon, Dr. Joseph Bauerlein III, MD, Cardiologist, Jackson Memorial Hospital, said that her heart condition was so poor that she might have not survived another week. “When we first met, she was very sick, but looking at her you wouldn’t really know that without knowing what her echocardiogram looked like, because she tends to be a very positive person, despite her illness,” says Bauerlein. For years Kathy’s cardiologist was Dr. Michael Chizner, North Broward General.  “Dr. Chizner was very, very good,” Ritvo remarks.  “When we got to a certain point, I had been sick for about nine years.  When I started getting too sick he told me I had to go to Miami.  “It’s time for you to go,” Chizner said.  “You need more help than I can help you with.”  She was sent to a transplant team at Jackson Memorial Hospital.  “They were super,” Kathy says.  “They were very, very good.  They knew how to keep everything calm.  They told you what you needed to know, and were very honest without scaring the death out of you.” READ MORE>>>

My Friend Kathy Ritvo…


Mucho Macho Man


moves up AP’s Derby Top 10 list

(AP) Kathy Ritvo is healthy, the horse she trains is a stakes winner, and the trainer is back home in Florida working on a plan to get Mucho Macho Man to the Kentucky Derby. A little more than two years after receiving a heart transplant, the 41-year-old trainer says she’s never felt better — and having a promising 3-year-old colt is pretty good therapy, too. “I’m just excited because I’ve got my health back, and I’m ready to go,” said Ritvo, who returned to training horses six months after the lifesaving surgery in November 2008. Mucho Macho Man was ready to go, too, taking the lead at the top of the stretch and holding off Santiva for a 1½-length victory in the $300,000 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Saturday. The win — the lanky colt’s second in seven starts — moves Mucho Macho Man up three spots to No. 4 in the AP’s latest Run to the Roses Top 10 list of Derby contenders. The top three remain the same, with unbeaten Uncle Mo at No. 1, followed by To Honor And Serve and Brethren. Uncle Mo’s next start is set for March 12, with To Honor And Serve scheduled to run in Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain Of Youth at Gulfstream Park. Also moving up, to No. 7 from No. 10, is The Factor. The speedy gray colt took the lead early and then held off Sway Away by three-quarters of a length in winning Sunday’s 7-furlong, $150,000 San Vicente at Santa Anita. The Factor is trained by three-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, and was ridden by Martin Garcia, who replaced Rafael Bejarano. A big question is whether The Factor can sustain his speed going the Derby distance of 1¼ miles. “It’s hard to get a horse like this,” Baffert said. “They don’t come around very often. He’ll benefit from this race.” Ritvo is hoping Mucho Macho Man’s final prep will come in the $1 million Florida Derby on April 3, but is keeping her options open. She became the colt’s trainer last fall, taking over for her husband, Tim, who took a job with the company that owns Gulfstream. “I would love to stay home for the Florida Derby,” she said, “but we’re going to see how he comes back” before making a decision. Rajiv Maragh was aboard Mucho Macho Man, a last-minute substitute for Eibar Coa, who remains in a hospital with a fractured neck vertebra from a spill at Gulfstream on Friday. **************** Here’s the official Kentucky Derby 137 Graded Stakes Earnings Top 30 through April 18TH




************** [ad#Commission Junction-1-TIVO SMALL] ********************** Associated Press


VILLAGE PEOPLE’S Derby choice:


Mucho Macho Man

By RICHARD ROSENBLATT , 03.21.11, 01:17 PM EDT 

Village People have discovered a horse to root for in the Kentucky Derby – Mucho Macho Man, naturally.                 The disco divas who turned “Macho Man” into a party-song classic have become big fans of Mucho Macho Man, a 3-year-old colt favored to win the $1 million Louisiana Derby on Saturday in his final prep race before the Kentucky Derby on May 7.READ MORE>>











Kathy Ritvo – A Gutsy Trainer

Whose Horse Mucho Macho Man Makes Her Heart Happy!

Ed Kane    Posted on 03/31/11 at 1:12 AM

In November 2008, Kathy Ritvo, suffering from cardiomyopathy, underwent a heart transplant to replace her severely damaged heart.  After the operation, her surgeon, Dr. Joseph Bauerlein III, MD, Cardiologist, Jackson Memorial Hospital, said that her heart condition was so poor that she might have not survived another week.


“When we first met, she was very sick, but looking at her you wouldn’t really know that without knowing what her echocardiogram looked like, because she tends to be a very positive person, despite her illness,” says Bauerlein.


For years Kathy’s cardiologist was Dr. Michael Chizner, North Broward General.  “Dr. Chizner was very, very good,” Ritvo remarks.  “When we got to a certain point, I had been sick for about nine years.  When I started getting too sick he told me I had to go to Miami.  “It’s time for you to go,” Chizner said.  “You need more help than I can help you with.”  She was sent to a transplant team at Jackson Memorial Hospital.  “They were super,” Kathy says.  “They were very, very good.  They knew how to keep everything calm.  They told you what you needed to know, and were very honest without scaring the death out of you.” READ MORE>>>

My Friend Kathy Ritvo…

Mucho Macho Man

moves up AP’s Derby Top 10 list

(AP) –

Kathy Ritvo is healthy, the horse she trains is a stakes winner, and the trainer is back home in Florida working on a plan to get Mucho Macho Man to the Kentucky Derby.

A little more than two years after receiving a heart transplant, the 41-year-old trainer says she’s never felt better — and having a promising 3-year-old colt is pretty good therapy, too.

“I’m just excited because I’ve got my health back, and I’m ready to go,” said Ritvo, who returned to training horses six months after the lifesaving surgery in November 2008.

Mucho Macho Man was ready to go, too, taking the lead at the top of the stretch and holding off Santiva for a 1½-length victory in the $300,000 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Saturday.

The win — the lanky colt’s second in seven starts — moves Mucho Macho Man up three spots to No. 4 in the AP’s latest Run to the Roses Top 10 list of Derby contenders.

The top three remain the same, with unbeaten Uncle Mo at No. 1, followed by To Honor And Serve and Brethren.

Uncle Mo’s next start is set for March 12, with To Honor And Serve scheduled to run in Saturday’s $400,000 Fountain Of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

Also moving up, to No. 7 from No. 10, is The Factor. The speedy gray colt took the lead early and then held off Sway Away by three-quarters of a length in winning Sunday’s 7-furlong, $150,000 San Vicente at Santa Anita.

The Factor is trained by three-time Derby winner Bob Baffert, and was ridden by Martin Garcia, who replaced Rafael Bejarano. A big question is whether The Factor can sustain his speed going the Derby distance of 1¼ miles.

“It’s hard to get a horse like this,” Baffert said. “They don’t come around very often. He’ll benefit from this race.”

Ritvo is hoping Mucho Macho Man’s final prep will come in the $1 million Florida Derby on April 3, but is keeping her options open. She became the colt’s trainer last fall, taking over for her husband, Tim, who took a job with the company that owns Gulfstream.

“I would love to stay home for the Florida Derby,” she said, “but we’re going to see how he comes back” before making a decision.

Rajiv Maragh was aboard Mucho Macho Man, a last-minute substitute for Eibar Coa, who remains in a hospital with a fractured neck vertebra from a spill at Gulfstream on Friday.










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Belmont Stakes: Ruler On Ice surprises at 24-1; Shackleford fifth, Animal Kingdom sixth

Jose Valdivia Jr. celebrates after BelmontJose Valdivia Jr. celebrates after Belmont
Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. celebrates after Ruler On Ice wins the Belmont Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. – In a Triple Crown punctuated by surprises, Ruler On Ice scored the biggest shocker in the series, holding on for a 24-1 upset as the 2011 Triple Crown came to a close in the 143rd Belmont Stakes before 55,779 on Saturday at Belmont Park.

BELMONT STAKES: Replay, chart, video wrap-ups »

The race was over at the start for 5-2 favorite Animal Kingdom, winner of the Kentucky Derby at 20-1. He clipped heels and stumbled badly, causing jockey John Velazquez to temporarily lose his irons. Though he made a gallant effort on the far turn to get back in the race, Animal Kingdom understandably lost his punch late and finished sixth.

“It was remarkable Johnny stayed on,” said Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom’s trainer.

Shackleford, who won the Preakness as a 12-1 shot, set the pace in the Belmont, but tired to finish fifth.

Instead, a trio of longshots were the first three across the wire. Ruler On Ice beat Stay Thirsty, a 16-1 shot, by three-quarters of a length, and Brilliant Speed, who went off at 10-1, was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. Nehro, the Kentucky Derby runner-up, was fourth. After Shackleford and Animal Kingdom came Mucho Macho Man, Santiva, Monzon, Master of Hounds, Prime Cut, and Isn’t He Perfect.






Belmont Stakes: Ruler On Ice surprises at 24-1; Shackleford fifth, Animal Kingdom sixth

Jose Valdivia Jr. celebrates after BelmontJose Valdivia Jr. celebrates after Belmont
Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. celebrates after Ruler On Ice wins the Belmont Stakes.

ELMONT, N.Y. – In a Triple Crown punctuated by surprises, Ruler On Ice scored the biggest shocker in the series, holding on for a 24-1 upset as the 2011 Triple Crown came to a close in the 143rd Belmont Stakes before 55,779 on Saturday at Belmont Park.

BELMONT STAKES: Replay, chart, video wrap-ups »

The race was over at the start for 5-2 favorite Animal Kingdom, winner of the Kentucky Derby at 20-1. He clipped heels and stumbled badly, causing jockey John Velazquez to temporarily lose his irons. Though he made a gallant effort on the far turn to get back in the race, Animal Kingdom understandably lost his punch late and finished sixth.

“It was remarkable Johnny stayed on,” said Graham Motion, Animal Kingdom’s trainer.

Shackleford, who won the Preakness as a 12-1 shot, set the pace in the Belmont, but tired to finish fifth.

Instead, a trio of longshots were the first three across the wire. Ruler On Ice beat Stay Thirsty, a 16-1 shot, by three-quarters of a length, and Brilliant Speed, who went off at 10-1, was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. Nehro, the Kentucky Derby runner-up, was fourth. After Shackleford and Animal Kingdom came Mucho Macho Man, Santiva, Monzon, Master of Hounds, Prime Cut, and Isn’t He Perfect.