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Preakness 2016 Preview: Nyquist 3-5 Favorite

The Preakness 2016 field is set and 3-5 morning line favorite Nyquist will break for post position 3.

The Kentucky Derby set up perfectly for Nyquist. He sat behind Danzing Candy and when that one threw in the towel as expected, Nyquist cruised to the front and the race was basically over.

preakness draw 2016

On the first Saturday in May, the main track at Churchill Downs played very fast and favored forwardly placed horses.

Fast forward to Baltimore and the pace scenario looks much different. Also, there is an 80% chance of rain (1/2 inch expected) on Preakness Day. The rain is expected to begin around 6am and persist throughout the day. Exaggerator won the Delta Jackpot and Santa Anita Derby on a wet track and figures to enjoy the wet conditions.

As for the Preakness pace scenario, Uncle Lino figures to be hustled away from the gate from post 2, with Nyquist, Awesome Speed, Collected, Laoban, Abiding Star, and Stradivari in close proximity.

Nyquist will have to work hard to keep his perfect record intact. He has beaten his main rival Exaggerator four times but the race shape and track condition might be enough to tip the scales.

Stradivari looks like the most interesting new shooter. He is light on seasoning but has plenty of raw talent and tries to give trainer Todd Pletcher his first Preakness win.

Cherry Wine, Lani, and Fellowship will try to get involved late.

PREAKNESS 2016 FULL CARD ANALYSIS

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Kentucky Derby 2016 Recap + Early Preakness Preview

There was not much drama in Kentucky Derby 2016 and that has been the case the last few years. The Derby has become a stalker’s paradise and Nyquist took full advantage.

Nyquist

Kentucky Derby 2016 winner Nyquist – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Horses showing early/pressing speed dominated on the win end on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs and the main track played extremely fast, hence the rapid fractions and quickest Derby since 2003.

Nyquist and Gun Runner both stalked distance-challenged Danzing Candy and the latter was spent before the mile marker. Gun Runner tried to go with Nyquist but his light speed figures caught up with him and that left the Derby favorite alone in the lane without a challenger.

Exaggerator, Mohaymen, and Suddenbreakingnews were putting in late bids for minor awards but the race for the win was basically over at the top of the lane. Exaggerator finished with a nice head of steam and got to within a length and a quarter of Nyquist at the line. Gun Runner bravely held 3rd by a nose over a slow-starting Mohaymen, with Suddenbreakingnews checking in an unlucky 5th.

My Derby top Mohaymen will not compete in any more Triple Crown races. He will head to Saratoga and point to the Jim Dandy and Travers later this summer.

It is on to the Preakness and Nyquist’s tactical speed makes him a solid threat to take down the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

As of Tuesday, May 17, there is a 100% chance of rain on Preakness Day with a high temperature of 59. If that forecast holds up, mud lover Exaggerator would deserve extra consideration.

Gun Runner will not move on to Baltimore and it now looks like an eleven horse field for the second jewel of the Triple Crown: Abiding Star, Awesome Speed, Cherry Wine, Collected, Exaggerator, Fellowship, Lani, Laoban, Nyquist, Stradivari, and Uncle Lino.

I will be back after the Preakness post position draw later this week with a final look at the contenders.

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If you purchase the pre-sale product for $12.00, I will email Preakness Day selections to you when I complete the full card analysis later this week. The pre-sale special is only available for a limited time. When the Preakness full card is complete, the cost will increase to $15.00.

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Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders: The Final “Exceptional Eleven”

Post positions have been selected for Kentucky Derby 2016 and this is my final update before the big dance.

The wild ride began with my first Derby contenders list last September and the more things change the more they stay the same. Mohaymen was my top contender last fall and Mor Spirit was right behind him at number three. They both made it to the big race and should be viewed as solid contenders. Brody’s Cause is the other horse to make it from my original list and he will try to get involved late under the Twin Spires.

Kentucky-Derby-2016_posts_615x400

I am once again offering my annual Derby Day full card from Churchill and details can be seen below. Good luck in the Derby! I’ll be back next week to recap the Derby and preview the Preakness.

Jarrod Horak’s Final “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders

(1) MOHAYMEN (Tapit – Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union) mohaymen silks 2016

Trainer (Kiaran Mclaughlin) – Owner (Shadwell Stable)

Latest Workout: 4f in :47.40 (5/67) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: He has been my top ranked Derby contender all along and his lone career loss was a 4th place finish (wide trip on wet track) in his last start (Florida Derby). He is working well but has been too aggressive galloping and needs to relax early to have any chance on Saturday.

(2) MOR SPIRIT (Eskendereya – Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union) more spirit silks 2016

Trainer (Bob Baffert) – Owner (Michael Lund Petersen)

Latest Workout: 5f in :59.80 (2/27) at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Comments: I have always been high on him and he has never finished out of the Exacta. He final Derby work was better than his first at Churchill and I do not think we have seen his best effort.

(3) NYQUIST (Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) Nyquist

Trainer (Doug O’Neill) – Owner (Reddam Racing LLC.)

Latest Workout: 8f in 1:41 (1/3) at Keeneland on April 29.

Comments: The main concern is his one sprint/one route prep path. He has never lost, looked solid training at Keeneland and Churchill, and should be in the hunt throughout.

(4) EXAGGERATOR (Curlin – Dawn Raid, by Vindication) exaggerator silks

Trainer (Keith Desormeaux) – Owner (Big Chief Racing, LLC)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:02.60 (48/57) at Churchill Downs on April 30.

Comments: He loves wet footing but it looks like a fast track on Saturday. He owns some of the best speed figures in the field and it would be a great story if he scored for Team Desormeaux.

(5) DESTIN (Giant’s Causeway – Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer) destin silks

Trainer (Todd Pletcher) – Owner (Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:01.40 (29/53) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: He has never raced beyond a mile and a sixteenth and the Kentucky Derby will be his first start in two months. The Tampa Bay Derby winner has tactical speed and tries to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second Derby win.

(6) SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS (Mineshaft – Uchitel, by Afleet Alex)

Trainer (Donnie K Von Hemel) – Owner (Samuel F. Henderson)

Latest Workout: 5f in :59.60 (8/53) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: He has made a nice impression in his training sessions and is one of the better late runners in the field. He needs a fast pace to chase.

(7) CREATOR (Tapit – Morena, by Privately Held)

Trainer (Steve Asmussen) – Owner (WinStar Farm)

Latest Workout: 4f in :50.60 (47/56) at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Comments: He beat Suddenbreakingnews in the Arkansas Derby and is clearly on the improve for Steve Amsussen, who is looking for his first Derby win.

(8) BRODY’S CAUSE (Giant’s Causeway – Sweet Breanna, by Sahm)

Trainer (Dale Romans) – Owner (Albaugh Family Stable)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:00.20 (4/57) at Churchill Downs on April 30.

Comments: The Keeneland specialist broke his maiden at Churchill Downs and should be doing his best running in the stretch.

(9) GUN RUNNER (Candy Ride – Quiet Giant, by Giant’s Causeway)

Trainer (Steve Asmussen) – Owner (Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimney Farms)

Latest Workout: 4f in :50.40 (43/56) at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Comments: The stalker gives trainer Steve Asmussen a strong 1-2 punch. He won both of his Fair Grounds starts this year and is on the upswing.

(10) DANZING CANDY (Twirling Candy – Talkin and Singing, by Songandaprayer)

Trainer (Clifford Sise Jr.) – Owner (Halo Farms)

Latest Workout: 5f in :59.80 (2/17) at San Luis Rey Training Center on April 30.

Comments: He drew post 20 and figures to go straight to the front. He will certainly be there early but might not have the stamina to see out the ten furlong trip.

(11) MO TOM (Uncle Mo – Caroni, by Rubiano)

Trainer (Tom Amoss) – Owner (G M B Racing)

Latest Workout: 4f in :48.60 (28/67) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: Look out if he finds clear sailing. He has had nothing but bad luck lately and will try to weave his way through a 20-horse field. His connections stuck with jockey Corey Lanerie and he is a very good pilot at Churchill.

THE NEXT NINE +2: (12) Outwork, (13) My Man Sam, (14) Whitmore, (15) Shagaf, (16) Tom’s Ready, (17) Lani, (18) Majesto, (19) Oscar Nominated, (20) Trojan Nation, (21) Laoban, (22) Cherry Wine

KENTUCKY DERBY DAY FULL CARD AVAILABLE NOW!

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Kentucky Oaks 2016 with Rachel’s Valentina & Cathryn Sophia (Video)

Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders: Post Positions Drawn Wednesday

The final Kentucky Derby 2016 workouts are complete and the last piece of business is the all-important post position draw on Wednesday, May 4.

Kentucky-Derby-logo-2016_615x400

Outwork is not in my Top 11 but is knocking at the door at #12 and continues to impress in his morning activity leading up to the Derby. The Wood Memorial winner in 3-for-4 with his lone loss a length defeat to his stablemate Destin in the productive Tampa Bay Derby. His lack of experience is a big drawback but the likely pace player is sharp and talented.

On the other end of the workout spectrum, UAE Derby winner Lani is a temperamental son of Tapit. He is playable on pedigree but has been a hot mess in the mornings, sometimes refusing to work. He clearly has a mind of his own and getting him into the Derby starting gate could be an adventure.

After post positions are drawn, I will come back with a final look at the top Derby contenders later this week.

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders

(1) MOHAYMEN (Tapit – Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union) mohaymen silks

Trainer (Kiaran Mclaughlin) – Owner (Shadwell Stable)

Latest Workouts: 4f in :47.40 (5/67) at Churchill Downs on April 29. 4f bullet in :46.80 (1/27) at Churchill Downs on April 20.

Comments: He shipped to Churchill Downs April 17, uncorked a strong four furlong bullet April 20, and galloped out with interest. He has been aggressive and energetic since arriving in Kentucky. He is a dangerous rebound threat if he settles into a nice stalking rhythm under the Twin Spires on May 7. He maintains his #1 ranking, a spot he has occupied since I first started my 2016 Derby contender list more than six months ago.

Derby Points (80)  

(2) MOR SPIRIT (Eskendereya – Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union) more spirit silks 2016

Trainer (Bob Baffert) – Owner (Michael Lund Petersen)

Latest Workouts: 5f in :59.80 (2/27) at Churchill Downs on May 2. 5f in :59.80 (2/18) at Churchill Downs on April 26.

Comments: Both of his five furlong moves at Churchill were identical in time. In his April 26 move, he was fast early and slow late. On May 2, he was fast early but looked a bit better in the late stages. Neither of the works had that “wow” factor and he should be forwardly placed based on his recent morning activity. He stays put at #2, a spot he has occupied for more than five months.

Derby Points (84)

(3) NYQUIST (Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) Nyquist

Trainer (Doug O’Neill) – Owner (Reddam Racing LLC.)

Latest Workout: 8f in 1:41 (1/3) at Keeneland on April 29.

Comments: His final Derby work at Keeneland was solid but not spectacular. My main concern has always been his one sprint/one route prep schedule this year. When the real running begins, I fear that he will not be able to outmaneuver fitter foes.

Derby Points (130)

(4) EXAGGERATOR (Curlin – Dawn Raid, by Vindication) exaggerator silks

Trainer (Keith Desormeaux) – Owner (Big Chief Racing, LLC)

Latest Workouts: 5f in 1:02.60 (48/57) at Churchill Downs on April 30. 5f in 1:00 (7/40) at Santa Anita Park  on April 23.

Comments: Starting with the Delta Jackpot and ending with the SA Derby, his speed figures went over the century mark and three of those numbers were in two turn races. He moves up on a wet track but the track is expected to be fast on May 7. Nyquist beat him three times but he keeps getting closer to that rival and I love the way he has been prepared for the Derby (7f, 8.5f, 9f) by trainer Keith Desormeaux. He stays put at #4 and looks like a solid threat to wear the blanket of roses.

Derby Points (126)

(5) DESTIN (Giant’s Causeway – Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer) destin silks

Trainer (Todd Pletcher) – Owner (Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:01.40 (29/53) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: He was impressive in the productive Tampa Bay Derby but still needs to prove he can run a big race away from Tampa Bay Downs. He has never raced beyond a mile and a sixteenth and the Kentucky Derby will be his first start in two months. His tactical speed is an asset on the first Saturday in May.

Derby Points (51)

(6) SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS (Mineshaft – Uchitel, by Afleet Alex)

Trainer (Donnie K Von Hemel) – Owner (Samuel F. Henderson)

Latest Workout: 5f in :59.60 (8/53) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: The impressive Southwest winner could not overcome a troubled trip from the outside post in the Rebel Stakes but bounced back with a much better effort to land the place in the Arkansas Derby. He has plenty of stamina and is one of several quality late running Derby closers. He has made a nice impression in his Derby training sessions.

Derby Points (50)

(7) CREATOR (Tapit – Morena, by Privately Held)

Trainer (Steve Asmussen) – Owner (WinStar Farm)

Latest Workouts: 4f in :50.60 (47/56) at Churchill Downs on May 2. 5f in 1:02.40 (25/34) at Churchill Downs on April 25.

Comments: He might win the most improved horse award. It took him six starts to graduate and after a 3rd in the Rebel he had his breakout performance in the Arkansas Derby. The late runner has impressed clockers at Churchill and should ready to pounce if the Derby pace gets hot and heavy.

Derby Points (110)

(8) BRODY’S CAUSE (Giant’s Causeway – Sweet Breanna, by Sahm)

Trainer (Dale Romans) – Owner (Albaugh Family Stable)

Latest Workouts: 5f in 1:00.20 (4/57) at Churchill Downs on April 30. 5f in 1:01.80 (35/65) at Churchill Downs on April 23.

Comments: He broke his maiden at Churchill Downs but his three Keeneland numbers stand out and I am not sure he can earn that kind of figure away from the Lexington oval. The Blue Grass pace fell apart and the number did not come back particularly strong. He has been part of my Derby list all along so I have obviously been a fan for quite some time.

Derby Points (114)

(9) GUN RUNNER (Candy Ride – Quiet Giant, by Giant’s Causeway)

Trainer (Steve Asmussen) – Owner (Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimney Farms)

Latest Workouts: 6f in 1:12.20 (1/2) at Churchill Downs on April 25. 5f bullet in 1:00 (1/16) at Churchill Downs on April 18.

Comments: From a running style standpoint, he is a strong Derby threat, but speed figures tell a different story. He may not have beaten the toughest fields in the Risen Star and LA Derby but has room to improve in his third start of 2016. He has looked okay at Churchill in advance of the Derby.

Derby Points (151)     

(10) DANZING CANDY (Twirling Candy – Talkin and Singing, by Songandaprayer)

Trainer (Clifford Sise Jr.) – Owner (Halo Farms)

Latest Workouts: 5f in :59.80 (2/17) at San Luis Rey Training Center on April 30. 6f bullet in 1:12 (1/12) at San Luis Rey Training Center on April 23.

Comments: The sharp wire-to-wire San Felipe winner probably did not like the wet track in the SA Derby. In the latter race, he was sent to the lead and faded badly in a too bad to be true effort. He whipped Mor Spirit and Exaggerator in the San Felipe but finished well behind those rivals in the SA Derby. His biggest obstacle is his ability to relax and finish. He is fast and talented but looks like a one-dimensional speed horse with stamina issues. He is better than his last and would appreciate a fast, speed favoring track but ten furlongs looks like a daunting trip.

Derby Points (60)

(11) MO TOM (Uncle Mo – Caroni, by Rubiano)

Trainer (Tom Amoss) – Owner (G M B Racing)

Latest Workout: 4f in :48.60 (28/67) at Churchill Downs on April 29. 4f in :47 (2/27) at Churchill Downs on April 20.

Comments: The hard luck closer has made a decent impression training for the Derby at Churchill Downs. He is close in ability to Gun Runner but the latter has tactical speed and some quickness to help him avoid traffic woes. He has not run fast yet and the main reason he keeps getting into trouble is probably because he is not nimble enough to avoid it. He is due for some good luck but finding clear sailing on the first Saturday in May will not be an easy task.

Derby Points (32)

THE NEXT NINE +1: (12) Outwork, (13) My Man Sam, (14) Whitmore, (15) Shagaf, (16) Tom’s Ready, (17) Lani, (18) Majesto, (19) Oscar Nominated, (20) Trojan Nation, (21) Fellowship

Kentucky Derby 2016 Preview Video

We are closing in on the post position draw for Kentucky Derby 2016 and with less than a week to go it is time to take a look at the possible pace scenario and strong pedigree players.


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The Triple Crown pre-sale product includes updated notes for all Kentucky Derby 2016 hopefuls. I have also included my Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes 2015 analysis and wagering styles to give you an idea of what to expect when my 2016 full card reports are complete. The Kentucky Derby full card will be finished after post positions are drawn and fields are set next week. If you purchase the Triple Crown pre-sale product, the full cards (Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes) will be emailed to you as soon as they are complete.The special pre-sale prices will only be available for a limited time. Once the Kentucky Derby 2016 full card is complete, the Derby full card will be $15.00.The Triple Crown pre-sale product is a $15.00 savings. The three full cards (Derby, Preakness, Belmont) purchased separately will cost $15/each or $45 total.

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Video Race of the Week: Charles Town Classic with Donworth and Page McKenney

With the Triple Crown preps in the book, we jump over to the Handicap Division and head to Charles Town Races for the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic.

The key to this race might be the horses exiting the productive Santa Anita Handicap. Last weekend at Oaklawn Park, three Big ‘Cap runners, Effinex, Melatonin, and Point Piper, returned to finish 1-2-3 in the Oaklawn Handicap.

Donworth, Imperative, and Hard Aces are the three Big ‘Cap runners entered in the 2016 Charles Town Classic.

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