Archive for November, 2012

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Uncaptured barely clings to top spot

Uncaptured made it back-to-back grade stakes wins under the Twin Spires with a determined effort over Frac Daddy and Dewey Square in Saturday’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He earned a disappointing 76 BSF and his true Kentucky Derby 2013 contender status is unknown at this time.

Uncaptured is 2-for-2 at Churchill Downs – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I believe the Ky Jockey Club horses are better than the numbers suggest and it will be interesting to see how they fare in the coming months.

Overanalyze defeated Normandy Invasion and Delhomme in the G2 Remsen at the Big A and the BSF came back a surprisingly strong 99. The aforementioned top three were miles clear of the rest but the number seems a bit inflated. Uncaptured dusted Overanalyze in the G3 Iroquois on Oct 28 and it is hard to believe that they earned such drastically different figures four weeks later.

In other action last weekend, Revolutionary (War Pass) finished a flat 3rd to former Exciting Prospects member Orb at the Big A on Nov 24. He’s still a promising sort and should graduate in the near future.

On Thanksgiving Day, Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) followed up professional 7f debut win at SA on 10-7 with a rallying place finish in the G3 Hollywood Prevue (94 BSF). He seemingly wants a route of ground and should stretch out in the near future. Baffert trainees swept the top four spots with show finisher Shakin It Up possibly best.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He barely clings to the top spot after earning a surprisingly low 76 BSF. Derby Points (10).

2. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot. Not sure how far he wants to run but O’Neill should have fun with the speedy sort. Derby Points (14).

3. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Based on his strong route pedigree, he is just getting warmed up. He overcame inexperience to capture G2 Nashua and should continue to progress. Pletcher has mentioned the G1 CashCall Futurity on Dec 15 as his next target. Breezed 4f in :48.04 (4/90) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 11-18.

4. Balance the Books(Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation and rallied outside to get up late in the grassy G3 Bourbon (77 BSF). He rallied nicely to just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf and the Chad Brown trainee packs a nice late kick.

5. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim (82 BSF) hero finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and appears to have a bright future for Chad Brown.

6. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Followed up facile maiden route win (90 BSF) with a near miss in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. McPeek will give him a little break and he figures to winter in Florida. Derby Points (4).

7. Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Derby Points (10). Worked 4f in :47 (2/47) at Santa Anita on 11-20 but will not start again this year. Derby Points (10).

8. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut sprint winner at the Spa followed that up with a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful and a 3rd in G1 Champagne. Lasix-free colt finished a flat 4th in the BC Juvenile and needs time off to grow and mature. Derby Points (3).

9. Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner, and he pulled the same trick in the BC Juvenile. John Sadler’s colt bled in the Cup. Derby Points (4).

Overanalyze is expected to take the NY route to the Derby – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

10. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – Pletcher’s versatile colt won his second graded race in the Remsen (99 BSF). Early plans have him contesting the Gotham and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct next year. Derby Points (10).

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Delhomme (Dixie Union) – Set the pace and ended up a rock solid 3rd in a fast renewal of the Remsen. He will get a breather at WinStar Farm before returning to the Pletcher barn at Palm Meadows. Derby Points (2).

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Beat heavy favorite Revolutionary in his 6f Belmont bow Oct 28 and the top two were well clear of the rest. Winning BSF of 101. Michael Mareina trains the WinStar Farm bred colt. Breezed 4f in :48.46 (13/36) at Gulfstream Park on 11-24.

Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown already has two talented turf runners in my top ten and his Remsen runner-up is worth following. The $230k Keeneland sales grad owns a decent late kick. Derby Points (4).

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker is off the Injured Reserve list (bucked shins) and is currently back in Pletcher’s barn in Florida. He should return to the worktab shortly.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Facile 7f tally (97 BSF) under Twin Spires in his 4th start. Lukas will give him every chance to make the gate on the first Saturday in May.

Former Top Ten Members

Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He will probably show up in Florida next year. Derby Points (1).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – 6th in Del Mar Futurity and 7th in FrontRunner. He rebounded smartly in a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita. He worked 5f in 1:01 (7/34) at SA on 11-24.

Know More (Lion Heart) – FrontRunner place finisher was 13th in the BC Juvenile Turf and 8th in the Delta Jackpot. He has been terribly mismanaged since the FrontRunner and needs time to regroup. Derby Points (4).

Shanghai Bobby

Shanghai Bobby will make his 3yo bow in Gulfstream’s Holy Bull Stakes in January – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Finished a distant last in the Remsen. That effort was too bad to believe but that’s back-to-back disappointments after a promising bow. He will try to regroup and I would not be surprised if he bounced back next time.

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity hero finished 4th in G1 Breeders’ Futurity and 5th after hopping at start (blinkers on) in G3 Iroquois. Derby Points (1).

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 5-for-5 with a determined win in the G1 BC Juvenile (82 BSF). I always had my doubts about his stamina and he does not want to go beyond 8.5f based on his slow Juvenile effort. He is expected to make his 3yo bow in the Holy Bull at the Gulf on Jan 26. Derby Points (20).

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Injured Reserve

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is out for 60 days with bucked shins.

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Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Is Shanghai Bobby a Derby horse?

Shanghai Bobby wrapped up the two-year-old championship with a determined victory in the BC Juvenile but his Kentucky Derby 2013 contender stock plummeted, along with the rest of the Juvenile field.

Shanghai Bobby

Likely 2YO champ Shanghai Bobby looks like a Kentucky Derby pretender – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

To be blunt, this was an ugly renewal of the BC Juvenile. It was the third slowest Juvenile ever and the BSF came back a modest 82, the lowest of the 2-day, 15-race BC programs. The lasix-free colts staggered through the stretch, getting the final quarter in a pedestrian :27.50 seconds…yikes!

Shanghai Bobby figured to regress in longer races. After all, trainer Todd Pletcher started him at 4.5f in April of his 2-year-old season, hardly a sign of confidence from a well-known Derby barn, and his pedigree hardly screams nine panels let alone ten on the first Saturday in May. The deserving 2yo champ clearly has determination and a nose for the wire but his luck will almost certainly run out next spring and beyond. He drops out of my top ten.

He’s Has Enough had some traffic stops along the way to a surprising place finish for last year’s dynamic Derby trio of Reddam, O’Neill, and Gutierrez. He ended up missing by a head and probably wins the Juvenile with clear sailing.

Capo Bastone basically ran the same race that he did in the FrontRunner, sitting back and clunking up for the show. Trainer John Sadler said that he bled a 3 on a scale of 5 and will be evaluated before any future plans are made.

Fortify drifted out early, raced wide, and had every chance in the lane but could only manage 4th.

Power Broker

Power Broker got hung out to dry in BC Juvenile – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Power Broker was carried out wide from the outside post by Fortify and remained wide in a throw out effort. Baffert had bad karma throughout the 2-day BC and this colt never got a fair chance to strut his stuff on Saturday.

Title Contender attempted a wire job in the Juvenile but caved quickly when pressured.

Last year’s BC Juvenile was a strong race that produced many subsequent graded winners: Alpha (Jim Dandy, Travers), Creative Cause (San Felipe), Daddy Long Legs (UAE Derby), Drill (San Vicente), Dullahan (Blue Grass, Pacific Classic), Fort Loudon (Carry Back), Hansen (Gotham), Optimizer (Kent), Prospective (Tampa Bay Derby), Take Charge Indy (Florida Derby), and Union Rags (Fountain of Youth, Belmont Stakes). The 2012 Juvenile entrants have a long way to go to match the class of 2011, and, despite future success, last year’s Juvenile did not produce the Derby winner.

Chad Brown’s BC Juvenile Turf duo of Noble Tune and Balance the Books finished a more than respectable 2-3 behind impressive overseas shipper George Vancouver (87 BSF). The winner, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is a KY-bred son of Henrythenavigator, out of Versailles Treaty. I would like to see all three of those colts try conventional dirt in the future.

From the what were they thinking file, Know More flopped as expected from post 13 in the Juvenile Turf. He raced wide throughout and would have been up against it from any post because he had no turf experience against an international field of quality, proven grass foes. He should have run in the BC Juvenile.

In the G2 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct, Violence (86 BSF), trained by Todd Pletcher, ran his record to 2-for-2 with an outside stalk and pounce tally. He owns a promising pedigree and is worth following. Stablemate Darwin was the beaten favorite from the rail. He was in tight in the lane but was going nowhere and did not run to expectations.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 5-for-6 in the G3 Iroquois (90 BSF). He finished a troubled 5th in his lone two turn outing and will get another route chance in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at CD on 11-24.

2. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Sharp debut win (93 BSF) for Doug O’Neill/Leandro Mora on 9-2. Set the pace and gamely held the place in Belmont’s Champagne. Worked 6f in 1:12.60 (2/13) at Santa Anita on 11-7. The G3 Delta Jackpot (Nov 17) is next. Derby Points (4).

Balance the Books

Will Balance the Books switch surfaces and hop on the Derby trail next year? – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

3. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation and rallied outside to get up late in the grassy G3 Bourbon (77 BSF). He rallied nicely to just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf and the Chad Brown trainee packs a nice late kick.

4. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim (82 BSF) hero finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and appears to have a bright future for Chad Brown.

5. Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Cruised in Saratoga bow for Pletcher and his lack of seasoning and wide trip cost him in the Champagne. He is still a promising, long term prospect. He breezed 5f in 1:01.85 (21/49) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 11-11.

6. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Based on his strong route pedigree, he is just getting warmed up. Overcame inexperience to capture G2 Nashua and he should continue to progress for Pletcher.

7. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Played hide and go seek in a facile graduation run (90 BSF) at 8.5f from post 12 at CD on 11-3. Ken McPeek’s colt is a possibility for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

8. Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Derby Points (10).

9. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut sprint winner at the Spa followed that up with a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful and a 3rd in G1 Champagne. Lasix-free colt finished a flat 4th in the BC Juvenile and needs time off to grow and mature. Derby Points (3).

10. Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner, and he pulled the same trick in the BC Juvenile. John Sadler’s colt bled in the Cup. Derby Points (4).

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Delhomme (Dixie Union) – Gamely went all the way in flat mile maiden win at Belmont Park Oct 13 and he earned a solid 93 BSF. Another promising Pletcher trainee.

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Beat heavy favorite Revolutionary in his 6f Belmont bow Oct 28 and the top two were well clear of the rest. Winning BSF of 101. Michael Mareina trains the WinStar Farm bred colt.

Revolutionary (War Pass) – Clearly second best to aforementioned Little Distorted last time. He earned a 95 BSF and won’t be a maiden much longer for Pletcher. He’s out of an AP Indy mare and is owned by WinStar Farm.

Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) – Professional 7f debut win at SA on 10-7. He scratched out of the BC Juvenile Sprint after getting cast in his stall. He worked 4f in :47.40 (2/36) at Santa Anita on 11-8.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Facile 7f tally (97 BSF) under Twin Spires in his 4th start. Lukas will give him every chance to make the gate on the first Saturday in May.

Former Top Ten Members

Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He should prosper in future route races. Breezed 4f in :47.67 (5/76) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 10-22. Derby Points (1). 

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – 6th in Del Mar Futurity and 7th in FrontRunner. He rebounded smartly in a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita.

Know More (Lion Heart) – Distant 2nd to Power Broker in FrontRunner, his first conventional dirt/two turn outing. He inexplicably switched surfaces and had no shot with a rough trip from post 13 in the BC Juvenile Turf. He might wheel back in the Delta Jackpot. Derby Points (4). 

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity hero finished 4th in G1 Breeders’ Futurity and 5th after hopping at start (blinkers on) in G3 Iroquois. Derby Points – (1)

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 5-for-5 with a determined win in the G1 BC Juvenile (82 BSF). I always had my doubts about his stamina and he does not want to go beyond 8.5f based on his slow Juvenile win. Derby Points (20).  

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Injured Reserve

Palace Malice (Curlin) – Smart second time out maiden tally for Pletcher at the Spa on 8-4. He is out of action with bucked shins.

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is out for 60 days with bucked shins.

Beyond the Crown – Trinniberg, The Lumber Guy join list

My top ten active sophomores were busy during the 2-day Breeders’ Cup on Nov 2-3 and Unbridled’s Note produced the best effort with a runner-up finish in the BC Turf Sprint.

Trinniberg and The Lumber Guy join my list after finishing 1-2 in the BC Sprint. To make space for them, I dropped BC Dirt Mile also-ran Fed Biz and Summer Front.

Alpha loses the top spot after back-to-back poor showings in the PA Derby and BC Classic.

Neck ‘n Neck is my new number one after a pair of sharp wins in the Indiana Derby and Ack Ack.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Active 3-Year-olds

Neck 'n Neck

Neck ‘n Neck is expected to make his next start in the G1 Clark ‘Cap at CD on Nov 23 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Neck ‘n Neck (Flower Alley) – Exits back-to-back wins in G2 Indiana Derby (95 BSF) and G3 Ack Ack (98 BSF). He loves Churchill Downs and is a logical threat in the upcoming G1 Clark ‘Cap.

2. Paynter (Awesome Again) – Gave Union Rags a run for his money in the Test of Champions and looked great capturing his first graded stakes in the Haskell. Hopefully his well-documented health issues are behind him and he may return next year if all is well.

3. Bourbon Courage – He put together a trio of strong efforts in the G2 West Va. Derby (2nd), G2 Super Derby (1st), and G2 Indiana Derby (2nd). The aforementioned Clark is probably next.

4. Unbridled’s Note (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Eddie D (92 BSF) winner gamely landed the place in the G1 BC Turf Sprint. Asmussen’s late blooming sprinter handles turf and dirt.

5. Nonios (Pleasantly Perfect) – Haskell place finisher was also second best in the G1 Awesome Again at SA on 9-29.  He ended up a respectable 6th of 12 in the BC Classic.

6. Dullahan (Even The Score) – Ran his Polytrack record to a perfect 3-for-3 in the Pacific Classic but never picked up his feet in his last two G1 turf starts (Jamaica, BC Turf).

7. Alpha (Bernardini) – Jim Dandy/Travers hero tailed off badly in last pair (PA Derby, BC Classic). He clearly does his best work in NY and his long campaign has seemingly caught up with him.

8. Trinniberg (Teuflesberg) – 7f specialist jumped up and won the BC Sprint (108 BSF) at almost 14-1, beating fellow 3yo The Lumber Guy. The fleet colt is based at Calder and will probably show up at the Gulf this winter.

9. The Lumber Guy – G1 Vosburgh winner proved that effort vs. older was no fluke with a game place finish in the BC Sprint. He is supposed to hang around in SoCal and compete in the G1 Malibu at SA on opening day (12-26).

10. Jimmy Creed (Distorted Humor) – Mandella’s $900k purchase rallied for the show vs. salty older sprinters in G1 SA Sprint Championship on 10-6. I knew he lost the BC Sprint after the draw (finished 9th from post 2) and he is probably a major player in the 7f Malibu if he goes there as expected.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 2012 analysis – Fortify can surprise

Saturday’s 8th race from Santa Anita Park is the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for 2-year-olds traveling a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.

Check out my Saturday (Nov 3) Breeders’ Cup analysis (available now) at TodaysRacingDigest.com. Upcoming analysis – Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita (Nov 3) and Churchill Saturdays (Nov 10, 17, 24).

Derby Wars

Play Saturday’s $30k BC November Shootout at DerbyWars.com

SA 8 (G1 BC Juvenile, 8.5f)

COMMENTS:

1. Title Contender (6-1) – Rode SA speed bias to sharp wire job Sept 29.
2. Speak Logistics (8-1) – Back-to-back wire jobs at Monmouth & Calder.
3. He’s Had Enough (20-1) – Late runner never fired in G1 Breeders’ Futurity.
4. Shanghai Bobby (2-1) – 4-for-4 in one turn NY races.
5. Monument (12-1) – Crawled home in Cal Cup Classic win.
6. Dynamic Sky (12-1) – Improving colt landed place in Breeders’ Futurity.
7. Capo Bastone (15-1) – Rallying show finish against the bias in G1 FrontRunner.
8. FORTIFY (9-2) – Lasix-free colt was no match for Shanghai Bobby in NY.
9. Power Broker (5-2) – Smartly earned diploma in FrontRunner romp.

ANALYSIS:

#8 FORTIFY owns an ascending numbers pattern and is bred to improve as distances increase. Dominguez got to know him last time and his grinding tactical style should play well around two turns. The no lasix rule won’t hurt him and the price should be right.

#9 Power Broker sat an outer tactical trip in the G1 FrontRunner and the $360k purchase sure took to conventional dirt that day. He should sit a similar trip today and a G1 win at this course/distance makes him the one to beat.

#1 Title Contender beat next out winner Code West (also Baffert) Sept 29 and he ran faster than FrontRunner hero and stablemate Power Broker. He might flee the rail and forget to stop under Martin Garcia, and he rates higher if early speed is strong.

#4 Shanghai Bobby has done everything right so far. He started his career in April and his seasoning edge should start to evaporate in the near future. He has to ship across country without lasix and go two turns for the first time at underlaid odds. He deserves the 2yo title if he wins this.

#7 Capo Bastone finished a better than appears 3rd over a speed friendly surface last time. He rates a longshot look underneath if he gets pace help over a fair surface.

WAGERS:

#8 to win

Exacta 8/1-9

Exacta 1-9/8

Trifecta 1-4-8-9/1-4-8-9/7

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – BC Juvenile Edition

This is a busy time for my Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders. Many have shipped to Santa Anita Park to take part in the Breeders’ Cup including my top ranked colt Fortify.

Fortify has been slowly improving for Kiaran McLaughlin. He should adore two turns in the BC Juvenile and he has never been administered lasix, so the no lasix rule for juveniles in the BC will not hurt his chances.

Shanghai Bobby

Shanghai Bobby is the 2-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s BC Juvenile – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Shanghai Bobby can clinch the 2yo title with a win in the BC Juvenile. Todd Pletcher’s undefeated colt tries two turns for the first time on Saturday.

Power Broker sports an 8.5f G1 win at Santa Anita and that gives him a home court advantage in the Juvenile. Baffert also has local route winner Title Contender, and he is not without a fighting chance on Saturday.

Other top ten members competing in the BC are Capo Bastone (BC Juvenile), Know More (BC Juvenile Turf), and Balance the Books (BC Juvenile Turf).

Earlier today, Wayne Lukas runner Hightail earned his diploma in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. He snuck up the rail and edged heavy favorite Merit Man in the scratched reduced field of five.

Last week, Uncaptured cruised in the G3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs. He earned a solid 90 BSF in the one turn mile.

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 Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut sprint winner at the Spa followed that up with a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful and a 3rd in G1 Champagne. Lasix-free colt should continue to develop for McLaughlin/Godolphin. He is 9-2 in the BC Juvenile. Derby Points (2).

Power Broker

Power Broker is the top local hope in the BC Juvenile – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. Baffert’s improving colt looks like the one to beat in the BC Juvenile. Derby Points (10).

3. Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 4-for-4 with a decisive win in the G1 Champagne (94 BSF). I have a feeling that he is just more seasoned that his juvenile rivals at this point and they will catch up with him in the near future. BC Juvenile next. Derby Points (10).  

4. Know More (Lion Heart) – Distant 2nd to Power Broker in FrontRunner. That was the first time he stepped on conventional dirt and his initial two turn event so it was not a bad learning experience. He will switch surfaces and give grass a whirl in the BC Juvenile Turf on Saturday. Derby Points (4).

5. Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner. John Sadler’s colt is entered in the BC Juvenile. Derby Points (2).

6. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Sharp debut win (93 BSF) for Doug O’Neill/Leandro Mora on 9-2. Set the pace and gamely held the place in Belmont’s Champagne. Worked 6f in 1:13.60 (8/21) at Santa Anita on 10-28. Derby Points (4).

7. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation and rallied outside to get up late in the grassy G3 Bourbon (77 BSF). The BC Juvenile Turf is his next assignment.

8. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 5-for-6 in the G3 Iroquois. He finished a troubled 5th in his lone two turn outing and still must prove that he can handle a route of ground.

9. Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He should prosper in future route races. Breezed 4f in :47.67 (5/76) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 10-22. Derby Points (1).

10. Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Cruised in Saratoga bow for Pletcher and his lack of seasoning and wide trip cost him in the Champagne. He is still a promising, long term prospect. Breezed 4f in :49.12 (15/79) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 10-27.

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Code West (Lemon Drop Kid) – $340k Keeneland sales grad chased Title Contender around the SA track on 9-29. He broke his maiden at that same venue on 10-26.

Darwin (Big Brown) – Pletcher’s $1.3 million baby professionally got the job done in his 6f Belmont Park debut (94 BSF) on October 6. He is entered in the G2 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov 4.

Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – Ran his turf record to 2-for-2 in visually impressive G3 Pilgrim (82 BSF) tally for Chad Brown. He will take on stablemate Balance the Books in the BC Juvenile Turf.

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Blew the break and rallied to finish a strong 3rd in his bow. McGaughey’s promising colt flopped at low odds (fractious gate) going a flat mile at Belmont second time out. He has raw talent but lacks maturity at this stage. Breezed 4f in :49.58 (37/57) at Belmont Park on 10-22.

Title Contender (Pulpit) – Rode the Santa Anita speed bias to perfection and earned identical 90 BSF as stablemate and FrontRunner hero Power Broker on 9-29. He might be the one to catch in the BC Juvenile.

Former Top Ten Members

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – 6th in Del Mar Futurity and a disappointing 7th in FrontRunner. He has raw talent but has yet to put it all together against salty afternoon rivals. He is entered in the 2nd race at Santa Anita on Saturday, a downhill turf sprint.

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity hero finished 4th in G1 Breeders’ Futurity and 5th after hopping at start (blinkers on) in G3 Iroquois. Derby Points (1).

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Injured Reserve

Palace Malice (Curlin) – Smart second time out maiden tally for Pletcher at the Spa on 8-4. He is out of action with bucked shins.

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is out for 60 days with bucked shins.

Beyond the Crown – Alpha entered in BC Classic

My top ten active sophomores will be busy during the 2-day Breeders’ Cup on Nov 2-3, including  Alpha in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Alpha

Alpha is a 20-1 longshot in Saturday’s BC Classic – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Alpha should relish the ten furlong trip at Santa Anita but he has never run a quality race away from New York. I would be pleasantly surprised if he cracked the top four.

Fellow top ten member Nonios is also entered in the Classic and the late blooming SoCal based colt rates a realistic shot at a Trifecta finish.

The best hopes for one of my members to win a Cup race are Fed Biz (BC Dirt Mile), Jimmy Creed (BC Sprint), and Unbridled’s Note (BC Turf Sprint).

Dullahan goes in the BC Turf and should appreciate firm footing. All three of his career wins were accomplished in Grade 1 Polytrack races and I am not convinced that he can go twelve furlongs on turf against a quality international cast on Saturday.

Indiana Derby hero Neck ‘n Neck runs today in the G3 Ack Ack at his favorite venue (Churchill Downs). A strong effort could lead to a start in the G1 Clark Handicap under the Twin Spires later this month.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Active 3-Year-olds

1. Alpha (Bernardini) – Jim Dandy/Travers hero finished a flat 6th in the PA Derby. He drew post 3 for Saturday’s BC Classic and is listed at 20-1 on the morning line.

2. Paynter (Awesome Again) – Gave Union Rags a run for his money in the Test of Champions and looked great capturing his first graded stakes in the Haskell. Hopefully his health issues are behind him and he may return next year if all continues to go well.

3. Nonios (Pleasantly Perfect) – Haskell place finisher was clearly second best behind BC Classic morning line favorite Game On Dude in the G1 Awesome Again at Santa Anita on Sept 29.  He will try to turn the tables on his aforementioned rival in the Classic.

Dullahan horse

Dullahan seeks his third G1 win of the year in Saturday’s BC Turf – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

4. Dullahan (Even The Score) – Ran his Polytrack record to a perfect 3-for-3 in the Pacific Classic but never picked up his feet in the grassy G1 Jamaica. The BC Turf is next for the synthetic specialist.

5. Neck ‘n Neck (Flower Alley) – Rallied from the back of the pack (post 11) to gamely capture the G2 Indiana Derby (95 BSF). Today’s G3 Ack Ack at Churchill Downs is next.

6. Bourbon Courage – He put together a trio of strong efforts in the G2 West Va. Derby (2nd), G2 Super Derby (1st), and G2 Indiana Derby (2nd).

7. Fed Biz (Giant’s Causeway) – Baffert’s highly regarded colt returned in the pink at Del Mar (El Cajon Stakes) on Aug 31 and finished a close-up 3rd in the Indiana Derby on Oct 6. He is entered in Saturday’s G1 BC Dirt Mile.

8. Jimmy Creed (Distorted Humor) – Gave Fed Biz everything he could handle in El Cajon and  Mandella’s $900k purchase rallied for the show vs. salty older sprinters in G1 SA Sprint Championship on 10-6. He drew post 2 in the BC Sprint.

9. Unbridled’s Note (Unbridled’s Song) –Asmussen trainee switched to turf and smartly nabbed the G3 Eddie D (92 BSF) over Santa Anita’s downhill course from post 12 on Sept 28. The BC Turf Sprint is next and he landed post 13 this time.

10. Summer Front (War Front) – Lost for first time on turf in G1 Secretariat but was hardly disgraced in show finish. He was 3rd again in the G1 Jamaica and could have won that one with clear sailing.