Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Violence ends 2012 on top

My former third ranked Kentucky Derby 2013 contender Violence ascends to the top of the heap following a thoroughly professional tally in the Grade I CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday, December 15.

Violence horse

Violence is my top ranked Kentucky Derby contender heading into 2013 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Violence, now 3-for-3 lifetime, owns two graded triumphs and is a bright light in an otherwise disappointing juvenile crop.

All of the graded juvenile races are in the books and the CashCall Futurity ranks as one of the stronger early Derby preps, along with a fast renewal of the Remsen.

On the other end of the spectrum, the BC Juvenile was an ugly, slow race, and the jury is still out on the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, which did not look bad visually but came back with a low speed figure.

Todd Pletcher is loaded with promising young runners but his West Coast counterpart Bob Baffert has had a bit of a bumpy ride so far.

Bob Baffert lost Rolling Fog to injury after he captured the G1 Del Mar Futurity. G1 Frontrunner hero Power Broker had an eventful journey in the BC Juvenile and is getting a breather. Baffert unveiled promising runners War Academy and Flashback this fall, but the former got sick and was unable to make the CashCall Fururity, while the latter will not be going in the Sham Stakes on Jan 5 after missing a work last Friday. Super Ninety Nine finished a non-threatening 4th as the strong favorite in an allowance sprint at Santa Anita on 12-28.

One trainer worth following on the Triple Crown trail is Chad Brown. He has a trio of Derby hopefuls including turf specialists Balance the Books and Noble Tune, but his best hope might be Remsen runner-up Normandy Invasion.

That wraps up the juvenile portion of this blog. I’ll be back in January to track the progress of the new sophomore set. Happy New Year!

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. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Ran his record to 3-for-3 in smart, professional stalk/pounce tally in the G1 CashCall Futurity (92 BSF). Two Derby preps are planned next year, beginning with the Risen Star or Fountain of Youth, both on Feb 23. Derby Points (10).

Uncaptured loses the top spot to undefeated colt Violence – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, earning a surprisingly low 76 BSF. He is wintering at Palm Meadows and is targeting the Sam Davis and Tampa Bay Derby. Derby Points (10).

3. 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. Drilled a 6f bullet in 1:10.20 (1/14) at Santa Anita on 12-27 and he goes next in the G3 Sham Stakes on Jan 5. Derby Points (14).

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. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Followed up facile maiden route win (90 BSF) with a near miss in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He is wintering in Florida and breezed 4f in :49.72 (32/55) at Gulfstream Park on 12-29. McPeek compares him to Skip Away. Derby Points (4).

6. 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.

7. 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).

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

9. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Finally put it all together in his fourth lifetime start, romping in a flat mile inner dirt MSW affair on Dec 28. The promising Pletcher/WinStar colt earned a 102 BSF and should show up in the stakes ranks next.

10. 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. Sold privately to Silverton Farm. New trainer Darrin Miller. Entered in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at the Gulf on Jan 1.

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).

Distinctiv Passion (With Distinction) – Ran Super Ninety Nine and company off their feet in an allowance sprint win at Santa Anita on 12-28. Not sure how far he wants to run but he sure is fast.

Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8. He missed a recent work so his next start is undetermined.

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 worked four times at Palm Meadows in December, most recently breezing 5f in 1:01.79 (16/24) on the 30th.

War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Was bet down to even money and did not disappoint in his BHP sprint debut on 11-9. Baffert trainee is bred to handle a route of ground and should be heard from in 2013.

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 breezed 3f in :38.56 (20/30) at Palm Meadows on 12-24. Derby Points (1). 

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. He has moved to the Pletcher barn in Florida and is expected to make his 3yo bow in the G2 Hutcehson at 7f on 2-2-13. Derby Points (4).

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).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – He smartly won a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita and was last seen landing the place in the Eddie Logan Stakes (off the turf) on 12-29.

Know More (Lion Heart) – G1 FrontRunner place finisher has been terribly mismanaged since that effort. He most recently faded to last in an allowance dirt sprint at SA on 12-28 and desperately needs a freshening. Derby Points (4).

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 remains in New York and his last published work was a 4f breeze in :48.07 (4/84) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 12-15.

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. Breezed 3f in :37.40 (9/28) at Tampa Bay on 12-24. Derby Points (1).

Power Broker horse

There are no longer any BC Juvenile entrants in my top ten – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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. Baffert said he needs time to grow and will probably return next March. Derby Points (10).

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. Worked 5f in 1:01.79 (14/22) at Palm Meadows on 12-30. 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.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Facile 7f tally (97 BSF) under Twin Spires in his 4th start. Bone chip has sidelined the Lukas trainee.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Harlem Jack on January 1, 2013 at 8:02 am

    You are the MAN! To have Distorted Humor on your list when HRN has his ranking at 144. I’m only sorry that you let the out cat the bag so early, but that is what you do. And pretty darn well I might add.


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