KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Florida Derby analysis

Florida Derby favorite Upstart makes his final stop on the Kentucky Derby 2015 trail at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, March 28.

Upstart

Upstart is the Florida Derby fav – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The Fountain of Youth Stakes did not look good from a visual standpoint, and Florida Derby favorites #4 Itsaknockout (2-1) and #9 Upstart (8-5) both exit that less than stellar heat. The former has upside with only three starts under his belt and the latter is a gem of consistency.

#7 MATERIALITY (7-2) is the stranger danger for Todd Pletcher. He has the same profile as 2014 Florida Derby winner Constitution and could easily make it three straight under Johnny V. He’s my top selection.

#1 Ami’s Flatter (8-1) was my longshot underneath key in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7th and he did not disappoint with a solid place finish at 13.50-1. Leading rider Javier Castellano hops aboard and he could spice up the exotics again.

Dale Romans just failed with Shackleford in the 2011 Florida Derby at almost 69-1 and he saddles another longshot this year, #3 Indianaughty (20-1). The son of Indian Charlie is bred for dirt and might move up 3rd off the shelf.

The Florida Derby field is completed by outsiders #2 Jack Tripp (20-1), #5 Quimet (20-1), #6 My Point Exactly (30-1), and #8 Dekabrist (30-1).

Suggested 2015 Florida Derby Wagers:

$20 to win #7

$4 Exacta 7 over 1, 3 ($8)

$2 Exacta 1, 3 over 7 ($4)

$1 Trifecta Key 7 over 1, 3, 4, 9 ($12)

.50 cent Trifecta 4, 7, 9 with 4, 7, 9 with 1, 3 ($6)

Graded Recaps

G3 Spiral (92 BSF): Dubai Sky was always traveling well from the outside and comfortably finished in front of Conquest Typhoon and Firespike.

G3 Sunland Derby (97 BSF): Firing Line could not have had an easier final Derby prep, winning by the length of the grandstand under jockey Gary Stevens. Where’s the Moon was more than fourteen lengths back in 2nd and Pain and Misery landed the show.

Check out my written analysis of the 2015 Louisiana Derby at HorseRacingNation.com!

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.92 (7/30) at Palm Beach Downs on March 21.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Comments: He will have his final Derby prep in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, April 4.

Derby Points (64)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:12 (2/18) at Santa Anita on March 21.

Last Start: 1st in G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Comments: After back-to-back grueling efforts, he got a much needed easy wire job win in the San Felipe. The SA Derby on April 4 is next.

Derby Points (70)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02.47 (19/30) at Gulfstream on March 22.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Risen Star.

Comments: He drew the outside post in the G2 LA Derby at Fair Grounds on March 28.

Derby Points (71)

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in the G2 Rebel Stakes.

Comments: Controlled the pace in all three of his graded wins and will return to Oaklawn for his final Derby prep in the Arkansas Derby.

Derby Points (60)

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir silks

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.90 (1/23) at Belmont (dirt training) on March 22.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Gotham Stakes on March 7.

Comments: He added a new closing weapon to his arsenal in the Gotham Stakes. The Wood Memorial is his final Derby prep.

Derby Points (75)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 5f in :59.55 (4/24) at Palm Meadows on March 21.

Last Start: Disqualified from 1st and placed 2nd in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: Crossed the line first in the FOY but did not look like the sharp Holy Bull winner. He is the Florida Derby favorite.

Derby Points (36)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.85 (1/18) at Palm Meadows on March 20.

Last Start: Fading 4th in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: He returns to his favorite track to compete in the Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (13)

  1. DAREDEVIL (More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) daredevil silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :48.40 (1/30) at Palm Beach Downs on March 21.

Last Start: 2nd in G2 Swale.

Comments: A solid place finish in his Swale return should set him up nicely for the Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (10)

  1. FIRING LINE (Line of David – Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold) firing line silks

Trainer: Simon Callaghan – Owner: Arnold Zetcher

Last Start: 1st in G3 Sunland Derby on March 22.

Comments: After two grueling defeats to Dortmund, he cruised to an effortless tally in New Mexico and has wrapped up his Derby prep campaign.

Derby Points (58)

  1. PROSPECT PARK (Tapit – Quiet Romance, by Bertrando) prospect park silks

Trainer: Clifford Sise Jr. – Owner: Martin & Pam Wygod

Latest Published Workout: 6f bullet in 1:11 (1/8) at San Luis Rey on March 21.

Last Start: 2nd in G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Comments: Rapidly improving colt earned important Derby points in the San Felipe. He is reportedly training well for the Santa Anita Derby.

Derby Points (20)

  1. FAR FROM OVER (Blame – Alchemist, by A. P. Indy) Far From Over silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Black Rock Thoroughbreds, LLC.

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.76 (7/8) at Palm Beach Downs on March 21.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Withers at Aqueduct on Feb 7.

Comments: Skipped the Gotham and goes next in the Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (10)

Honorable Mention: (12) Itsaknockout, (13) Far Right, (14) War Story, (15) Mr. Z, (16) The Truth Or Else, (17) Classy Class, (18) Ami’s Flatter, (19) Bolo, (20) Dubai Sky, (21) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (22) One Lucky Dane, (23) Materiality, (24) Conquest Typhoon, (25) Madefromlucky

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 contenders: Spiral Stakes preview

All-weather specialists take center stage on the Kentucky Derby 2015 trail in Saturday’s Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park.

American Pharoah

American Pharoah romps in the Rebel – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Royal Son went all the way in the local prep for the Spiral and looks like the target from the rail.

1-3 El Camino Real Derby finishers Metaboss and Conquest Typhoon square off again on a different synthetic surface and both merit respect.

Imperia has scratched from the Spiral Stakes for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Check out my HRN written analysis of the 2015 Spiral Stakes!

On Sunday, Firing Line gets away from Dortmund and looms a strong favorite in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby.

Graded Recaps

G2 Rebel (100 BSF): American Pharoah began his sophomore season with a stylish wire job over a wet track. Bob Baffert absolutely owns the Derby preps at Oaklawn and his juvenile champion is expected to return to Hot Springs for the Arkansas Derby.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Last Start: 1st in G2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Comments: He is expected to have his final Derby prep in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, April 4.

Derby Points (64)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Last Start: 1st in G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Comments: After back-to-back grueling efforts, he got a much needed easy wire job win in the San Felipe. The SA Derby is next.

Derby Points (70)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02.83 (9/18) at Gullfstream on March 14.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Risen Star.

Comments: Lecomte-Risen Star will probably return to Fair Grounds for the G2 LA Derby on March 28.

Derby Points (71)

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in the G2 Rebel Stakes.

Comments: Controlled the pace in all three of his graded wins and will return to Oaklawn for his final Derby prep in the Arkansas Derby.

Derby Points (60)

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir silks

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in G3 Gotham Stakes on March 7.

Comments: The former early-pressing type added a new closing weapon to his arsenal in the Gotham Stakes. The Wood Memorial is next.

Derby Points (75)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:13.40 (2/4) at Palm Meadows on March 13.

Last Start: Disqualified from 1st and placed 2nd in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: Crossed the line first in the FOY but did not look like the sharp Holy Bull winner. The Florida Derby is his next engagement.

Derby Points (36)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.85 (1/18) at Palm Meadows on March 20.

Last Start: Fading 4th in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: He competes next in Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (13)

  1. DAREDEVIL (More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) daredevil silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Last Start: 2nd in G2 Swale.

Comments: A solid place finish in his Swale return should set him up nicely for an upcoming two turn Derby prep, possibly the Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (10)

  1. FIRING LINE (Line of David – Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold) firing line silks

Trainer: Simon Callaghan – Owner: Arnold Zetcher

Latest Published Workout: 5f in :59.80 (8/50) at Santa Anita on March 15.

Last Start: 2nd in G3 Robert Lewis Stakes on Feb 7.

Comments: Gave undefeated Dortmund a big scare in the Los Al Futurity and Robert Lewis Stakes. He’s the strong choice in the G3 Sunland Derby on March 22.

Derby Points (8)

  1. PROSPECT PARK (Tapit – Quiet Romance, by Bertrando) prospect park silks

Trainer: Clifford Sise Jr. – Owner: Martin & Pam Wygod

Last Start: 2nd in G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Comments: Rapidly improving colt earned important Derby points in the San Felipe. Up next is the Santa Anita Derby.

Derby Points (20)

  1. FAR FROM OVER (Blame – Alchemist, by A. P. Indy) Far From Over silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Black Rock Thoroughbreds, LLC.

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.03 (1/4) at Palm Beach Downs on March 14.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Withers.

Comments: Skipped the Gotham and goes next in the Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (10)

Honorable Mention: (12) Itsaknockout, (13) Far Right, (14) War Story, (15) Mr. Z, (16) The Truth Or Else, (17) Metaboss, (18) Classy Class, (19) Royal Son, (20) Ami’s Flatter, (21) Bolo, (22) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (23) Ocean Knight, (24) Imperia, (25) One Lucky Dane

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Rebel Stakes video featuring American Pharoah

Two-year-old champion American Pharoah begins his march towards Kentucky Derby 2015 in Saturday’s Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

American Pharoah looms a short priced wire-to-wire winner on Saturday. Bob Baffert owns the Rebel Stakes and his promising colt is training lights out for his first start in more than five months.

Graded Recaps

G2 San Felipe (104 BSF): Dortmund needed an easy race and got it here. He went straight to the front and comfortably went all the way to remain undefeated. The improving Prospect Park finished 2nd and turf specialist Bolo ended up a respectable 3rd.

G2 Tampa Bay Derby (98 BSF): Carpe Diem remains my top ranked Derby contender after a facile win to begin his sophomore campaign in Florida. Queen’s Plate favorite Ami’s Flatter added lasix and blinkers and finished a decent 2nd. Diving Rod was 3rd and Ocean Knight finished up the track in a very disappointing effort. Souper Colossal spiked a temperature and scratched. He is feeling better now but is off the Derby trail.

G3 Gotham (89 BSF): El Kabeir showed a new rallying dimension and continues to rack up Derby points. His versatility is a big weapon, along with his professionalism. Lightly raced and well-bred Tiz Shea D was 2nd and Classy Class crossed the line in 3rd.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Last Start: 1st in G2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Comments: He is expected to have his final Derby prep in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, April 4.

Derby Points (64)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Last Start: 1st in G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Comments: After back-to-back grueling efforts, he got a much needed easy wire job win in the San Felipe.

Derby Points (70)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Last Start: 1st in G2 Risen Star.

Comments: Lecomte-Risen Star will probably return to Fair Grounds for the G2 LA Derby on March 28.

Derby Points (71)

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 6f from the gate in 1:10.40 (1/36) at Santa Anita on March 6.

Last Start: 1st in the G1 FrontRunner at Santa Anita on Sept 27.

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. 2YO Champ returned to the work tab on Feb 2. The G2 Rebel at Oaklawn on Saturday is next.

Derby Points (10)

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir silks

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in G3 Gotham Stakes on March 7.

Comments: The former early-pressing type added a new closing weapon to his arsenal in the Gotham Stakes.

Derby Points (75)

  1. TEXAS RED (Afleet Alex – Ramatuelle, by Jeune Homme) texas red silks

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Start: Close 2nd in G2 San Vicente on Feb 1.

Comments: Used swimming therapy (through March 7) to help heal his foot abscess and is expected to return to the worktab at Santa Anita on March 14. It looks like one more Derby prep, probably the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 4. If he needs an extra week, the G1 Arkansas Derby on April 11 is the backup plan.

Derby Points (12)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:13.40 (2/4) at Palm Meadows on March 13.

Last Start: Disqualified from 1st and placed 2nd in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: Crossed the line first in the FOY but did not look like the sharp Holy Bull winner.

Derby Points (36)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:11.65 (1/4) at Palm Meadows on March 13.

Last Start: Fading 4th in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: He competes next in the Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, or Blue Grass.

Derby Points (13)

  1. DAREDEVIL (More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) daredevil silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Last Start: 2nd in G2 Swale.

Comments: A solid place finish in his Swale return should set him up nicely for an upcoming two turn Derby prep.

Derby Points (10)

  1. FIRING LINE (Line of David – Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold) firing line silks

Trainer: Simon Callaghan – Owner: Arnold Zetcher

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:00.80 (8/22) at Santa Anita on March 8.

Last Start: 2nd in G3 Robert Lewis Stakes on Feb 7.

Comments: Gave undefeated Dortmund a big scare in the Los Al Futurity and Robert Lewis Stakes.

Derby Points (8)

  1. PROSPECT PARK (Tapit – Quiet Romance, by Bertrando) prospect park silks

Trainer: Clifford Sise Jr. – Owner: Martin & Pam Wygod

Last Start: 2nd in G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Comments: Rapidly improving colt earned important Derby points in the San Felipe.

Derby Points (20)

Honorable Mention: (12) Far From Over, (13) Itsaknockout, (14) Far Right, (15) War Story, (16) Mr. Z, (17) Imperia, (18) The Truth Or Else, (19) Metaboss, (20) Classy Class, (21) Royal Son, (22) Ami’s Flatter, (23) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (24) Ocean Knight, (25) Bolo

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Tampa Bay Derby video

Last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity hero and BC Juvenile runner-up Carpe Diem begins his road to Kentucky Derby 2015 in Saturday’s Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby.

Carpe Diem is probably ready to roll off a layoff for Todd Pletcher but his Tampa Bay task will not be easy with Ocean Knight in the field. The latter is undefeated and smartly won the local Sam Davis from an outer post (wide trip). The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has tactical speed and plenty of upside.

In addition to the Tampa Bay race, Derby preps this week include Saturday’s G3 Gotham (Aqueduct), G2 San Felipe (Santa Anita Park), and G2 Swale Stakes (Gulfstream Park). The latter is a seven panel sprint and has no Derby points attached.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49.57 (10/11) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 28.

Last Start: 2nd in G1 BC Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov 1.

Comments: He is entered in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Derby Points (14)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Latest Published Workout: 7f in 1:25.60 (1/1) at Santa Anita on Feb 26.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Robert Lewis Stakes.

Comments: The undefeated colt will run in the G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Derby Points (20)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Last Start: 1st in G2 Risen Star.

Comments: Lecomte-Risen Star winner will probably return to Fair Grounds for the G2 LA Derby on March 28.

Derby Points (71)

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 6f from the gate in 1:10.40 (1/36) at Santa Anita on March 6.

Last Start: 1st in the G1 FrontRunner at Santa Anita on Sept 27.

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. 2YO Champ returned to the work tab on Feb 2. The G2 Rebel at Oaklawn on March 14 is a likely return spot.

Derby Points (10)

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir silks

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :50.10 (41/118) at Belmont (dirt training track) on March 1.

Last Start: 2nd in G3 Withers at Aqueduct on Feb 7.

Comments: Won the pace battle but lost the war in the Withers. He never misses a dance and goes next in the G3 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 7.

Derby Points (25)

  1. TEXAS RED (Afleet Alex – Ramatuelle, by Jeune Homme) texas red silks

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Start: Close 2nd in G2 San Vicente on Feb 1.

Comments: Using swimming therapy (through March 7) to help heal his foot abscess. It looks like one more Derby prep, probably the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 4. If he needs an extra week, the G1 Arkansas Derby on April 11 is the backup plan.

Derby Points (12)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Last Start: Disqualified from 1st and placed 2nd in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: Crossed the line first in the FOY but did not look like the sharp Holy Bull winner.

Derby Points (36)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.45 (8/33) at Palm Meadows on March 6.

Last Start: Fading 4th in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: The runner-up in the Remsen & Holy Bull seemingly had the Fountain of Youth in the bag but spit the bit in the lane.

Derby Points (13)

  1. DAREDEVIL (More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) daredevil silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49.51 (20/29) at Palm Beach Downs on March 2.

Last Start: 11th in G1 BC Juvenile.

Comments: He is the favorite for Saturday’s rescheduled G2 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Derby Points (10)

  1. OCEAN KNIGHT (Curlin – Ocean Goddess, by Stormy Atlantic) Ocean Knight

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49.95 (26/45) at Palm Meadows on Feb 28.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Sam F. Davis.

Comments: Connections decided against shipping to NY so the Tampa Bay Derby is next.

Derby Points (0)

  1. SOUPER COLOSSAL (War Front – Soaring Emotions, by Kingmambo) souper colossal silks

Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr. – Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :50.20 (11/32) at Gulfstream Park West on Feb 21.

Last Start: 1st in Texas Glitter (5f turf) at GP on Feb 7.

Comments: Suddenly everything is going wrong for this one. The G2 Swale Stakes was cancelled last weekend, and he spiked a temperature and scratched out of the Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Derby Points (0)

Honorable Mention: (12) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (13) Lord Nelson, (14) Firing Line, (15) Khozan, (16) Mr. Z, (17) Far From Over, (18) Itsaknockout, (19) Far Right, (20) War Story, (21) Imperia, (22) Prospect Park, (23) The Truth Or Else, (24) Metaboss, (25) Royal Son

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Daredevil returns in Swale Stakes

Last year’s Grade 1 Champagne hero Daredevil begins his road to Kentucky Derby 2015 in Saturday’s Grade 2 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

International Star

International Star is the current Derby points leader with 71 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Daredevil won his first two wet track starts at Belmont Park before racing wide and finishing up the track from an outside post in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He must overcome the inside post off a layoff in the Swale and has bigger fish to fry. He is firing bullets for quality layoff trainer Todd Pletcher and gets pace to chase in the paper race.

Souper Colossal has a nose for the wire (4-for-5) and might have a fitness edge in the Swale following a solid win in the Texas Glitter (5f turf sprint) Feb 7. He showed rating ability in his last and is a logical alternative to morning line favorite Daredevil.

Daredevil and Souper Colossal have both been part of my “Exceptional Eleven” Derby list for quite some time. The Swale is not a Kentucky Derby points race so both will get one upcoming shot at making the gate on the first Saturday in May, if they perform well on Saturday.

Graded Recaps

G2 Fountain of Youth (95 BSF): No doubt the ugliest Derby prep of the season from a visual standpoint. Upstart staggered, bobbed, and weaved across the line 2-3/4ths clear of Itsaknockout. Hold all tickets! Upstart was dq’d and placed 2nd for cutting off Itsaknockout. Frammento snuck past Frosted in the late stages to garner the show. The latter seemed to have this one in the bag turning for home but lost his action in the lane in a very odd race to say the least.

G2 Risen Star (93 BSF): In the best looking Derby prep of the week, International Star somehow found the rail (excellent ride by Mena) from the outside post and replayed his Lecomte score over War Story. Keen Ice was up to finish a non-threatening 3rd. Post time favorite Imperia finished a flat 5th and might be better on turf.

G3 Southwest (91 BSF): Far Right splashed home along the rail from off the pace, defeating longshot The Truth Or Else by 3/4ths of a length with perennial bridesmaid Mr. Z another nose back in 3rd. This was a virtual replay of the Smarty Jones except Mr. Z kept a straighter course.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 1:01.21 (1/5) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 21.

Last Start: 2nd in G1 BC Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov 1.

Comments: He is targeting the Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Derby Points (14)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Latest Published Workout: 7f in 1:25.60 (1/1) at Santa Anita on Feb 26.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Robert Lewis Stakes.

Comments: The undefeated colt will either run in the G2 San Felipe on March 7 or wait for the SA Derby on April 4. Baffert is reportedly pleased with his recent morning activity.

Derby Points (20)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Last Start: 1st in G2 Risen Star.

Comments: Lecomte-Risen Star winner will probably return to Fair Grounds for the G2 LA Derby on March 28.

Derby Points (71)

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:12.40 (2/31) at Santa Anita on Feb 21.

Last Start: 1st in the G1 FrontRunner at Santa Anita on Sept 27.

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. 2YO Champ returned to the work tab on Feb 2. The G2 Rebel at Oaklawn on March 14 is a likely return spot.

Derby Points (10)

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir silks

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.88 (3/35) at Belmont (dirt training track) on Feb 22.

Last Start: 2nd in G3 Withers at Aqueduct on Feb 7.

Comments: Won the pace battle but lost the war in the Withers. He never misses a dance and is expected to go next in the G3 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 7.

Derby Points (25)

  1. TEXAS RED (Afleet Alex – Ramatuelle, by Jeune Homme) texas red silks

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Start: Close 2nd in G2 San Vicente on Feb 1.

Comments: Using swimming therapy (through March 7) to help heal his foot abscess. It looks like one more Derby prep, probably the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 4. If he needs an extra week, the G1 Arkansas Derby on April 11 is the backup plan.

Derby Points (12)

  1. SOUPER COLOSSAL (War Front – Soaring Emotions, by Kingmambo) souper colossal silks

Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr. – Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :50.20 (11/32) at Gulfstream Park West on Feb 21.

Last Start: 1st in Texas Glitter (5f turf) at GP on Feb 7.

Comments: Easy turf sprint return victory should set him up nicely for Saturday’s G2 Swale at 7f.

Derby Points (0)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Last Start: Disqualified from 1st and placed 2nd in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: Crossed the line first in the FOY but did not look like the sharp Holy Bull winner.

Derby Points (36)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Last Start: Fading 4th in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: The runner-up in the Remsen & Holy Bull seemingly had the Fountain of Youth in the bag but spit the bit in the lane.

Derby Points (13)

  1. DAREDEVIL (More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) daredevil silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :48.20 (1/19) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 22.

Last Start: 11th in G1 BC Juvenile.

Comments: Was hung out to dry (wide throughout from outer post) in BC Juvenile and retreated to last in a throw out effort. He drew the rail for Saturday’s Swale.

Derby Points (10)

  1. OCEAN KNIGHT (Curlin – Ocean Goddess, by Stormy Atlantic) Ocean Knight

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.95 (10/26) at Palm Meadows on Feb 21.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Sam F. Davis.

Comments: Replaces stablemate Imperia on the list. The Gotham on March 7 might be next.

Derby Points (0)

Honorable Mention: (12) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (13) Lord Nelson, (14) Firing Line, (15) Khozan, (16) Mr. Z, (17) Far From Over, (18) Itsaknockout, (19) Far Right, (20) War Story, (21) Imperia, (22) The Great War, (23) Prospect Park, (24) The Truth Or Else, (25) Metaboss

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Fountain of Youth Preview

Frosted, currently ranked second on my Kentucky Derby 2015 contenders list, tries to turn the tables on Upstart in Saturday’s Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park.

Imperia

Imperia returns in Saturday’s Risen Star – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I thought Frosted ran well to finish 2nd in the Holy Bull considering how the race shaped up. There wasn’t much early interest and Frosted was stuck inside. Eventual  easy winner Upstart was perfectly perched on the outside of overmatched pace rivals and got first run. Frosted was clearly second best once clear.

Frosted adds blinkers on Saturday and might be sitting on a breakthrough race.

Jarrod Horak’s G2 Fountain of Youth analysis at HorseRacingNation.com.

In addition to the Fountain of Youth, Derby preps this week include Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and the redrawn Southwest Stakes on Feb 22.

Mike Shutty’s G2 Risen Star analysis at HorseRacingNation.com

Graded Recaps

G3 El Camino Real Derby (85 BSF): Metaboss once again proved that nine furlongs was well within his grasp in a smart late running tally at Golden Gate on Feb 14. He needs to elevate his game on dirt if he wants to make the Derby starting gate. Or, he could head to Turfway Park and try to qualify in the all-weather Spiral Stakes. Cross the Line was 2nd and solid favorite Conquest Typhoon held the show.

Jarrod Horak’s G3 Southwest analysis at HorseRacingNation.com

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.88 (1/5) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 14.

Last Start: 2nd in G1 BC Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov 1.

Comments: He is targeting the Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Derby Points (14)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.75 (8/39) at Palm Meadows on Feb 15.

Last Start: 2nd from the inside post in G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan 24.

Comments: He followed up a fine 2nd in the Remsen with another solid runner-up effort in the Holy Bull. He will wear blinkers in The Fountain of Youth on Feb 21.

Derby Points (8)

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:00.40 (10/65) at Santa Anita on Feb 15.

Last Start: 1st in the G1 FrontRunner at Santa Anita on Sept 27.

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. 2YO Champ returned to the work tab on Feb 2. The G2 Rebel at Oaklawn on March 14 is a possible return spot.

Derby Points (10)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49 (19/34) at Santa Anita on Feb 19.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Robert Lewis Stakes.

Comments: The undefeated colt might not run again until the SA Derby on April 4. He is either a very good miler or a Silver Charm clone. Time will tell.

Derby Points (20)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 1:00.25 (1/39) at Gulfstream on Feb 14.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Lecomte.

Comments: Lecomte hero is entered in the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on Feb 21.

Derby Points (21)

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir silks

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 2nd in G3 Withers at Aqueduct on Feb 7.

Comments: Won the pace battle but lost the war in the Withers. He never misses a dance and is expected to go next in the G3 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 7.

Derby Points (25)

  1. SOUPER COLOSSAL (War Front – Soaring Emotions, by Kingmambo) souper colossal silks

Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr. – Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Last Start: 1st in Texas Glitter (5f turf) at GP on Feb 7.

Comments: Easy turf sprint return victory should set him up nicely for the G2 Swale at 7f on Feb 28.

Derby Points (0)

  1. IMPERIA (Medaglia d’Oro – Cocoa Beach, by Doneraile Court) imperia silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.00 (5/44) at Palm Meadows on Feb 14.

Last Start: 2nd by a head in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill on Nov 29.

Comments: Mike Smith is named to ride in the Risen Star.

Derby Points (4)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:00.60 (9/29) at Palm Meadows on Feb 14.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan 24.

Comments: Fountain of Youth favorite sat a great outside tactical trip and got the jump on Frosted in the Holy Bull.

Derby Points (16)

  1. TEXAS RED (Afleet Alex – Ramatuelle, by Jeune Homme) texas red silks

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Start: Close 2nd in G2 San Vicente on Feb 1.

Comments: Using Aqua Tread therapy to help his ailing foot abscess. It looks like one more Derby prep, probably the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 4 if he gets healthy in a hurry, or the G1 Arkansas Derby on April 11.

Derby Points (12)

  1. DAREDEVIL daredevil silks(More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 1:00.00 (1/9) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 15.

Last Start: 11th in G1 BC Juvenile.

Comments: Was hung out to dry (wide throughout from outer post) in BC Juvenile and retreated to last in a throw out effort. He is expected to begin his sophomore campaign in the G2 Swale.

Derby Points (10)

Honorable Mention: (12) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (13) Lord Nelson, (14) Ocean Knight, (15) Firing Line, (16) Mr. Z, (17) Far From Over, (18) Far Right, (19) Khozan, (20) Competitive Edge, (21) Hillbilly Royalty, (22) The Great War, (23) J S Bach, (24) Nasa, (25) Prospect Park

Injured Reserve

Barbados – Minor knee surgery has him sidelined until May.

Calculator – Emerged from Jan 31 work with an injury and is out for 6 months.

Eagle – Knee injury knocked him out of consideration for the Risen Star.

Leave the Light On – Remsen winner is off the Derby trail with an ankle injury.

Mawthooq – Tendon injury knocked him off the Triple Crown trail.

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Dortmund wins again

Los Alamitos Futurity 1-2 finishers Dortmund and Firing Line put on another show in the Robert Lewis Stakes and both look like viable Kentucky Derby 2015 threats.

Dortmund, Firing Line

Dortmund beats Firing Line again – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Firing Line appeared to be on his way to victory but Dortmund came back along the inside and would not be denied.

Derby preps this week include the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Feb 14, and Oaklawn’s Southwest Stakes on Feb 16.

Graded Recaps

G3 Withers (96 BSF): El Kabeir was forced to go after Classy Class early and it cost him dearly in the lane. Far From Over overcame a stumbling start and blew past the aforementioned pacesetters in an outstanding effort. We will learn much more when they face each other again in the Gotham.

G3 Robert Lewis (103 BSF): Dortmund nipped Firing Line in the final jump in the Los Al Futurity, and he came back on his rival in the Robert Lewis Stakes. The undefeated winner is classy and battle tested. Firing Line was unlucky at Los Al but let this one get away from him.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.42 (1/7) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 7.

Last Start: 2nd in G1 BC Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov 1.

Comments: He is targeting the Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Derby Points (14)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :47.55 (1/73) at Palm Meadows on Feb 8.

Last Start: 2nd from the inside post in G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan 24.

Comments: He followed up a fine 2nd in the Remsen with another solid runner-up effort in the Holy Bull. The Fountain of Youth is next.

Derby Points (8)

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 3f in :36.40 (4/12) at Santa Anita on Feb 9.

Last Start: 1st in the G1 FrontRunner at Santa Anita on Sept 27.

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. 2YO Champ returned to the work tab on Feb 2. The G2 Rebel at Oaklawn on March 14 is a likely return spot.

Derby Points (10)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Robert Lewis Stakes.

Comments: The undefeated colt might not run again until the SA Derby on April 4. He is either a very good miler or a Silver Charm clone. Time will tell.

Derby Points (20)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.56 (12/35) at Gulfstream on Feb 7.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Lecomte.

Comments: Lecomte hero will return to Fair Grounds for the G2 Risen Star on Feb 21.

Derby Points (21)

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir silks

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 2nd in G3 Withers at Aqueduct on Feb 7.

Comments: Won the pace battle but lost the war in the Withers. He never misses a dance and is expected to go next in the G3 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 7.

Derby Points (25)

  1. SOUPER COLOSSAL (War Front – Soaring Emotions, by Kingmambo) souper colossal silks

Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr. – Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Last Start: 1st in Texas Glitter (5f turf) at GP on Feb 7.

Comments: Easy turf sprint return victory should set him up nicely for the G2 Swale at 7f on Feb 28.

Derby Points (0)

  1. IMPERIA (Medaglia d’Oro – Cocoa Beach, by Doneraile Court) imperia silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02.45 (34/48) at Palm Meadows on Feb 8.

Last Start: 2nd by a head in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill on Nov 29.

Comments: Mike Smith is scheduled to ride in the Risen Star.

Derby Points (4)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :49.45 (4/20) at Palm Meadows on Feb 4.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan 24.

Comments: Sat a great outside tactical trip and got the jump on Frosted in the Holy Bull.

Derby Points (16)

  1. TEXAS RED (Afleet Alex – Ramatuelle, by Jeune Homme) texas red silks

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Start: Close 2nd in G2 San Vicente on Feb 1.

Comments: No longer targeting the Risen Star after suffering a foot abscess. It looks like one more Derby prep, probably the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 4 if he gets healthy in a hurry, or the G1 Arkansas Derby on April 11.

Derby Points (12)

  1. DAREDEVIL(More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) daredevil silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.64 (1/10) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 8.

Last Start: 11th in G1 BC Juvenile.

Comments: Was hung out to dry (wide throughout from outer post) in BC Juvenile and retreated to last in a throw out effort. He is expected to begin his sophomore campaign in the G2 Swale.

Derby Points (10)

Honorable Mention:  (12) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (13) Lord Nelson, (14) Ocean Knight, (15) Firing Line, (16) Mr. Z, (17) J S Bach, (18) Far From Over, (19) Nasa, (20) Competitive Edge, (21) Hashtag Bourbon, (22) The Great War, (23) Far Right, (24) Khozan, (25) Prospect Park

Injured Reserve

Barbados – Minor knee surgery has him sidelined until May.

Calculator – Emerged from Jan 31 work with an injury and is out for 6 months.

Leave the Light On – Remsen winner is off the Derby trail with an ankle injury.

Mawthooq – Tendon injury knocked him off the Triple Crown trail.

 

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