Posts Tagged ‘Battle Hardened’

Tampa Bay Derby 2012 Preview: Prospective lands better post

The final graded route prep at Tampa Bay Downs for Kentucky Derby 2012 hopefuls will be run on March 10 and the full field is reduced by one with the defection of Take Charge Indy.

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

#10 Take Charge Indy (3-1) added a touch of class to this event and figured to make his presence felt throughout but his connections opted to scratch and wait for the G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 31.

#1 Prospective (8-1) overcame a wide trip from post 11 to land the place in the G3 Sam Davis here Feb 4. He captured the G3 Grey as a juvenile at Woodbine and began his sophomore campaign with a victory in the seven panel Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs. He dons the hood and should save all of the ground from the cozy rail.

#6 Cozzetti (12-1) has not lived up to expectations for Romans but he continues to train well and barn is known for striking in graded Derby preps (Paddy O’Prado, Shackleford, Dullahan, News Pending, Finnegans Wake).

#7 Battle Hardened (9-2) graduated in the G3 Sam Davis and is on the upswing for Kenneally. A tactical trip is expected.

#9 Spring Hill Farm (5-2) is 2-for-2 in sprints and the promising Pletcher trainee is bred to go this far. He looms a pace factor at the very least under Castellano.

#2 Golden Ticket (12-1) finally graduated in his sixth lifetime start for McPeek. He ran well in both route starts and is getting better but gets tested for class here.

#4 Chief Energy (12-1) makes his first start in more than six months for new trainer James Toner. He traded decisions with My Adonis last year and probably needs the race.

#8 Ravelo’s Boy (12-1) rallied to finish 4th in the Sam Davis at 69-1. The late runner can clunk up for a minor award once again.

#5 Tell All You Know (15-1) is 2-for-2 over the local main track but has never raced around two turns and meets other speed.

#12 Cajun Charlie (15-1) exits three straight Delta Downs wire job tallies vs. Louisiana-bred foes. He meets much better company and must work out a forwardly placed trip from the outside post.

#11 Fox Rules (30-1) has failed to threaten in four stakes starts since graduating in a turf route at Saratoga last summer.

#3 Twin (30-1) is ambitiously spotted after earning his diploma in his 12th career outing at the Gulf.

The Plays:

$24 to win #1

$2 Exacta Box 1-6 ($4)

.50 cent Trifecta 1-6/1-6-7-9/1-2-6-7-8-9 ($12)

Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders: Alpha Moves Forward in Withers

A trio of Kentucky Derby 2012 graded route preps were run across the nation last weekend and G3 Withers hero Alpha emerged as a potential threat on the first Saturday in May.

Alpha (90 BSF) owns an ascending numbers pattern and has now won back-to-back stakes races at Aqueduct. He is returning to Florida to train for the Wood Memorial in April.

I'll Have Another horse

I'll Have Another will wait for the Santa Anita Derby - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I’ll Have Another (96) upset the applecart in a strange renewal of the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Feb 4. Doug O’Neill’s returnee tracked the pace wide and cruised home.

Post time favorite Liaison clipped heels and fell but was going nowhere fast. He just joined my top ten last time and is dropped in the blink of an eye. He can rejoin the chase with an improved effort next time.

Sky Kingdom flopped in the Robert Lewis and drops off the Exciting Prospects list.

Battle Hardened (81 BSF) won a slow renewal of the G3 Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay and needs to run much faster to be serious considered as a Derby contender.

Dullahan is battling a cough and that is why he has been absent from the worktab since Jan 14. Dale Romans still hopes to make the grassy Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park on March 11.

Click on the names of each horse below to view their HorseRacingNation.com profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders

1. Union Rags (Dixie Union) – G1 Champagne hero failed to run a straight course in unlucky BC Juvenile place finish. He breezed a 4f bullet in :48.67 (1/27) at Palm Meadows on Feb 6 and is gearing up for the Feb 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Alpha horse

Alpha goes next in the Wood Memorial - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. Alpha (Bernardini) – Went back-to-back at the Big A in Count Fleet (85 BSF) and Withers (90 BSF) and was on good behavior in the gate Feb 4. His is back in Florida and will return for Aqueduct’s G1 Wood Memorial on April 7.

3. El Padrino (Pulpit) – Todd Pletcher’s promising colt returned with a vengeance in wet track Optional Claiming win (100 BSF) at Gulfstream on Jan 29. He could resurface in G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on Feb 25.

4. Gemologist (Tiznow) – Sharp G2 Ky Jockey Club (85 BSF) victory for WinStar Farm/Todd Pletcher. Undefeated colt owns fine early-pressing speed and plenty of upside. He is back on the worktab, breezing an easy 3f in :39.88 (10/10) at Palm Meadows on Feb 5.

5. Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – G1 Norfolk hero finished a respectable 3rd in BC Juvenile. He worked 6f in 1:13.80 (6/17) at Hollywood Park on Feb 4 and could return in Santa Anita’s G2 San Vicente at 7f on Feb 19.

6. Out of Bounds (Discreet Cat) – Handled two turns just fine in G3 Sham Stakes (99 BSF). The G2 San Felipe at SA on March 10 is next. Breezed 5f in 1:03 (17/20) at Hollywood Park on Feb 6.

7. Take Charge Indy (A. P. Indy) – BC Juvenile 5th place finisher was clearly second best to El Padrino at Gulfstream on Jan 29. He owns a strong route pedigree and should continue to improve this year.

8. Secret Circle (Eddington) – Bob Baffert’s fleet colt finished a solid 2nd in the G3 Sham. Not sure how much farther he wants to go but he deserves another route shot. Went 7f in 1:24.40 (2/3) at Santa Anita on Feb 6.

9. Algorithms (Bernardini) – A trio of sharp one-turn wins to begin career for Pletcher including G3 Holy Bull tally on Jan 29. We will learn more about his Derby prospects when he travels a route of ground.

10. Hansen (Tapit) – BC Juvenile hero/juvenile champ set the pace and held the place in Holy Bull return. He needs to relax on the lead if he expects to make a dent if future Derby graded route preps.

Exciting Prospects

Currency Swap (High Cotton) – G1 Hopeful moves off the injured reserve list. He has recovered from ankle surgery and breezed 4f in :51 (39/41) at Gulfstream Park on Feb 4.

Cyber Secret (Broken Vow) – Now under the care of Whiting/Cella at Oaklawn Park and exits a highly rated optional claiming route win (96 BSF) in Arkansas. The G3 Southwest on Feb 20 is next.

Discreet Dancer horse

Discreet Dancer spiked a temperature on Feb 6 - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Discreet Dancer (Discreet Cat) – A pair of strong one turn wins at Gulfstream to kick off his promising career. Earned a 96 BSF at 8f on Jan 7. Spiked a fever and missed a scheduled breeze on Feb 6.

Ever So Lucky (Indian Charlie) – Hardly a secret in good looking Churchill sprint bow and set the pace and held the place in G2 Ky Jockey Club Stakes. Breezed 5f in 1:01.75 (4/8) at Gulfstream on Feb 6. He is entered in Saturday’s G2 Hutcheson.

Fed Biz (Giant’s Causeway) – Update: The promising Bob Baffert trainee just captured a flat mile allowance event at Santa Anita on Feb 9 and should be headed to the stakes ranks in the near future.

Midnight Transfer (Hard Spun) – Made it back-to-back sprint wins at Santa Anita in San Pedro. He worked 4f in :49.60 (37/47) at Santa Anita and might try two turns in the G2 San Felipe.

Souper Speedy (Indian Charlie) – Set the pace and held the place in G2 Remsen. Debuted a 7f winner in the mud prior to that and is a ½ to Brilliant Speed. Breezed 4f in :52.22 (36/38) at Palm Meadows on Feb 3.

Injured Reserve

B Shanny (Street Cry) – Ran twice in NY last summer including good looking maiden win over El Padrino at Saratoga Aug 20. Bone chip has him on the sidelines.

Fire On Ice (Unbridled’s Song) – Suffered a non-displaced condylar fracture in his left hind leg. He is expected to return later this year.

O’Prado Again (El Prado) – G2 Remsen hero suffered a condylar fracture of his right front leg on Jan 9 and is off the Triple Crown trail. He is expected to return later this year.

Stephanoatsee (A.P. Indy) – Injured pastern bone has knocked the Graham Motion trainee off the Derby trail. He will go under the knife on Jan 25 and is expected to miss two months.

Timely Tally (Mr. Greeley) – From Ian Wilkes in a recent DRF article – “Timely Tally, on the other hand, will be done for a while. He has a tendon issue. It’s not career-threatening, but I’m trying to work out now how much time I’ll have to give him.”

Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: Robert Lewis, Sam Davis

The road to Kentucky Derby 2012 made stops in Florida and Southern California on Feb 4 and the G3 Sam Davis and G2 Robert Lewis Stakes both produced surprising results.

G3 Sam F. Davis (2-4-12): 81 BSF (Battle Hardened)

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

Saturday’s Sam Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs did not look strong on paper and eventual winner Battle Hardened was a maiden coming in and got the job done in slow time.  He is out of strong route sire Giant’s Causeway and trainer Eddie Kenneally is back on the Triple Crown trail after catching Derby fever with Santiva in 2011.

Three noses were on the wire for runner-up honors with Prospective edging out Reveron and Ravelo’s Boy. Prospective won the G3 Grey at Woodbine as a juvenile and Reveron was last seen capturing the Gulfstream Park Derby.

State of Play set the pace and faded to 7th for Team Valor and Graham Motion. Look for him to return to the sod in the near future.

Sam Davis Stakes Grade: D

I'll Have Another

I'll Have Another goes next in SA Derby - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I’ll Have Another made the most of his first start in five months at Santa Anita on Saturday, posting a surprising $88.60 upset in a strange renewal of the Lewis.

G2 Robert Lewis Stakes (2-4-12): 96 BSF (I’ll Have Another)

Sprinter Isn’t He Clever set the pace with I’ll Have Another tracking him intently. The early leader faded after six panels and the eventual winner inherited the lead and was never seriously threatened in a relatively easy 2-3/4 length tally.

Liaison was the solid favorite for Bob Baffert but was never traveling comfortably and fell in the stretch after clipping heels with Groovin’ Solo, who crossed the line in 3rd but was place last via disqualification.

Royal Delta’s brother Empire Way was up to finish a clear 2nd and Rousing Sermon was elevated to 3rd.

It was double disappointment for Baffert as Sky Kingdom failed to get involved. Chips All In failed to lift a hoof.

The number from the Lewis came back solid enough but the race was dominated by longshots and did not look strong from a visual standpoint. I’ll Have Another is expected to go next in the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7.

Robert Lewis Stakes Grade: C

Sam F Davis Stakes 2012 Preview: Is Reveron Vulnerable?

The first graded route for Kentucky Derby 2012 hopefuls at Tampa Bay Downs is the G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes and Gulfstream Park shipper Reveron is the tepid 3-1 choice.

#10 Reveron (3-1) owns an ascending numbers pattern and is an obvious threat if he runs back to his Gulfstream Park Derby triumph. The improving son of Songandaprayer sat a favorable trip from an advantageous inner post in his last and may not be as good as he appears on paper. Casual Trick, the GP Derby runner-up, came back to run poorly at the Gulf last weekend and Reveron must overcome an outer draw at a different venue today.

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

#9 Burning Time (12-1) seems worth a flyer. The late runner ran out of ground in the seven furlong Pasco here Jan 14. He won the Foolish Pleasure around two turns at Calder last year and will be finishing at square odds.

#1 State of Play (7-2) is an interesting surface switcher for Graham Motion. He captured his first two starts as a juvenile including a graded route at the Spa second time out before flopping from post 13 when last seen in the BC Juvenile Turf. The Team Valor colorbearer has ability and should track the pace from the rail under Alan Garcia.

#4 Ecabroni (7-2) earned a strong number in a sharp seven panel maiden win at Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher on Jan 14. The likely target tries two turns and might get brave if able to shake loose early.

#11 Prospective (6-1) beat Burning Time and company in the Pasco and he also won the G3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine as a juvenile. The versatile sort fits on class but must overcome a wide draw.

#3 Battle Hardened (12-1) is on the upswing for Kenneally. He almost earned his diploma from post 11 at nine furlongs in a Gulfstream special weight contest Dec 31 and his trainer struck with maiden Santiva in a graded stakes event.  His task is not impossible.

#6 Neck ‘N Neck (5-1) is getting better for Wilkes. He graduated under the Twin Spires in November and finished 2nd behind highly regarded Pletcher runner Discreet Dancer at the Gulf on Jan 7.

#8 Ravelo’s Boy (15-1) finished 5th in the GP Derby. He is a capable finisher and can rally for a minor share.

#5 Moroccan Brew (30-1) was not threat in the Pasco Stakes and will probably attend the pace before throwing in the towel.

#7 Fox Rules (30-1) seems most effective on turf and the NY-bred shows up in an ambitious spot.

#2 Holy Highway (20-1) exits a local maiden turf route victory but does not have the numbers to compete here.

The Plays:

$10 to win #9 

.50 cent Trifecta 1-4-6-9-11/3/1-4-6-8-9-10-11 ($15)

. 50 cent Trifecta 1-4-6-10-11/1-3-4-6-8-10-11/9 ($15)

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