Posts Tagged ‘Algorithms’

Fountain of Youth Stakes 2012 Preview: Pletcher vs. Union Rags

The South Florida sophomores take a serious step on the road to Kentucky Derby 2012 at Gulfstream Park in Sunday’s Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes and Union Rags makes his much anticipated seasonal debut.

Union Rags

Union Rags is back in action at the Gulf on Sunday - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

#7 Union Rags was the most accomplished juvenile in the land despite missing the G1 BC Juvenile by a head. He won a pair of graded events in 2011 including a powerful win over Alpha in the G1 Champagne at Belmont Park in October. The talented son of Dixie Union should have caught Hansen under the Twin Spires but he failed to keep a straight course in the stretch. He is in great shape on the Derby graded earnings list and does not have to win this prep for the Florida Derby.

#2 Algorithms (8-5) tries to keep his perfect record intact for Todd Pletcher. This is an important race for him, not from a graded earnings standpoint, but he must prove that he can excel around two turns. He sat perfect outside tactical trips in both local wins against Gotham hopefuls Consortium and Hansen. Early-pressing types from inner posts dominate local 8.5 furlong events and the undefeated son of Bernardini should not have any excuses.

#5 Discreet Dancer (3-1) easily captured both local sprint starts and gets a class/distance test today. He spiked a temperature and missed a planned work on Feb 6 but drilled smartly at Palm Meadows on Feb 13 and Feb 20. He figures to set sail for the lead and will probably offer more value than Algorithms and Union Rags.

#3 Fort Loudon (20-1) lands an advantageous inner post and has enough positional speed to work out a forwardly placed journey at square odds. The Calder specialist got a spin over the local main in needed Holy Bull effort in the slop and can go better today.

#4 Casual Trick (6-1) looked great in his Churchill sprint maiden win last November and began his 3-year-old campaign with a fine 2nd in the Gulfstream Park Derby on Jan 1. He threw in a clunker against El Padrino last time but may not have cared for the wet footing. His last was too bad to believe and the well bred Zito runner could rebound in a big way.

#1 Neck ‘N Neck (15-1) dons the hood and lands the cozy rail. He played bridesmaid to Discreet Dancer here Jan 7 and exits a slow renewal of the G3 Sam Davis.

#6 News Pending (20-1) is slowly improving for Dale Romans. He showed a nice late kick in a late turf route Feb 5 and might be better on that footing.

#8 Csaba (20-1) won twice in the Calder slop last year and is probably doing a rain dance. He does not have the numbers to compete here.

Here is HorseRacingNation.com handicapper Mike Shutty’s video analysis of the Fountain of Youth Stakes. My FOY wagering strategies can be found at the bottom of this post.

Jarrod Horak’s Fountain of Youth Plays:

$8 to win #3

.50 cent Trifecta 3-4/2-3-4/1-2-3-4-5-7 ($8)

.50 cent Trifecta 2-4-5-7/3/ALL ($12)

.50 cent Trifecta 2-4-5-7/ALL/3 ($12)

Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders: Alpha Moves Forward in Withers

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

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

I'll Have Another horse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders

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

Alpha horse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exciting Prospects

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

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

Discreet Dancer horse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Injured Reserve

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

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

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

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

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

Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders: Algorithms, El Padrino Shine in Florida

A pair of Kentucky Derby 2012 contenders emerged at Gulfstream Park on Sunday and Todd Pletcher conditions both. Algorithms rolled past juvenile champ Hansen in the G3 Holy Bull and El Padrino scored a sharp allowance victory over Take Charge Indy.

Algorithms

Algorithms beats Hansen in Holy Bull - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Algorithms (98 BSF) is getting the bulk of the press because he secured graded earnings against the 2-year-old champion but El Padrino (100 BSF) won around two turns and earned a better number.

Both colts still have some questions to answer but I have always been fond of El Padrino and he is the stronger Derby prospect at this stage.

El Padrino has a very nice route pedigree and should continue to move forward but it should be noted that both of his wins were accomplished on wet tracks.

Algorithms gets stamina from sire Bernardini but dam Ava Knowsthecode is best known for throwing quality sprinter Justin Phillip and turf sprinter/miler Successful Mission. She also tossed 2006 Kentucky Derby starter Keyed Entry, but he finished 20th and last on the first Saturday in May.

Hansen

Is Hansen a legit Derby threat? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Hansen drops to the bottom of my list after setting the pace and holding the place in his Holy Bull return. He needs to learn how to distribute his energy more efficiently.

Consortium flopped in the Holy Bull and drops off the Exciting Prospects list.

Dullahan has not had a published work since Jan 14 and exits the top ten for now. I could easily replace him with Algorithms but sharp two turn form takes precedence at this stage so Liaison joins the ranks.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders

Union Rags

Union Rags breezed 5f on Jan 31 - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Union Rags (Dixie Union) – G1 Champagne hero failed to run a straight course in unlucky BC Juvenile place finish. He breezed 5f in 1:02.74 (5/11) at Palm Meadows on Jan 31. He is gearing up for the Feb 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

2. Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – G1 Norfolk hero finished a respectable 3rd in BC Juvenile. He fired a 6f in 1:11.60 (1/20) at Hollywood Park on Jan 28 and could return in Santa Anita’s G2 San Vicente at 7f on Feb 19.

3. Alpha (Bernardini) – BC Juvenile also-ran bounced back in Count Fleet but was unruly in the gate again. He has been schooling at the gate and goes next in G3 Withers on Feb 4. He breezed a 5f bullet in 1:01.02 (1/14) at Belmont Park (training track) on Jan 30.

4. Out of Bounds (Discreet Cat) – Handled two turns just fine in G3 Sham Stakes (99 BSF). The G2 San Felipe at SA on March 10 is next. Worked 5f in 1:00.60 (6/19) at Hollywood Park on Jan 30.

5. El Padrino (Pulpit) – Todd Pletcher’s promising colt returned with a vengeance in wet track Optional Claiming win at the Gulf on Jan 29. He earned a 100 BSF in his first start as a sophomore but must prove he is just as good on fast ground.

6. Gemologist (Tiznow) – Sharp G2 Ky Jockey Club (85 BSF) victory for WinStar Farm/Todd Pletcher. Undefeated colt owns fine early-pressing speed and plenty of upside. He is currently at Palm Meadows but has yet to show up on worktab.

7. Secret Circle (Eddington) – Bob Baffert’s fleet colt finished a solid 2nd in the G3 Sham. Not sure how much farther he wants to go but he deserves another route shot. Drilled a 5f bullet in :58.60 (1/61) at Santa Anita on Jan 28.

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

Liaison

Liaison goes next in Saturday's Robert Lewis Stakes - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

9. Liaison (Indian Charlie) – G1 CashCall Futurity (91 BSF) winner has now won three straight and is 2-for-2 in synthetic routes. Worked 4f in :48 (2/7) at Santa Anita on Jan 31 and is expected to be entered in Saturday’s G2 Robert Lewis Stakes.

10. Hansen (Tapit) – BC Juvenile hero and 2YO champ set the pace and held the place in Holy Bull return. He needs to relax on the lead if he expects to make a dent if future Derby graded route preps.

Exciting Prospects

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

Currency Swap – G1 Hopeful moves off the injured reserve list. He has recovered from ankle surgery and breezed 3f in :36.60 (5/14) at Gulfstream Park on Jan 28.

Discreet Dancer

Discreet Dancer worked 5f at Palm Meadows on Jan 30 - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Discreet Dancer (Discreet Cat) – A pair of strong one turn wins at Gulfstream to kick off his promising career. Earned a 96 BSF at 8f on Jan 7. Breezed 5f in 1:02.55 (6/16) at Palm Meadows on Jan 30.

Ever So Lucky (Indian Charlie) – Hardly a secret in good looking Churchill sprint bow. Sheppard trainee set the pace and just held the place in G2 Ky Jockey Club Stakes. Could return in Feb 11 Hutcheson. Worked 5f in :59.20 (1/4) at Gulfstream on Jan 30.

Midnight Transfer (Hard Spun) – Made it back-to-back sprint wins at Santa Anita in Sunday’s San Pedro. He might try two turns in the G2 San Felipe.

Sky Kingdom (Empire Maker) – My CashCall Futurity value top finished a respectable 4th that day but returned to impress in Jan 12 allowance route at Santa Anita. He joins stablemate Liaison in Saturday’s G2 Robert Lewis Stakes.

Souper Speedy (Indian Charlie) – Set the pace and held the place in G2 Remsen. Debuted a 7f winner in the mud prior to that and is a ½ to Brilliant Speed. Breezed 3f in :37.23 (3/6) at Palm Meadows on Jan 26.

Injured Reserve

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

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

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

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

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

Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: Holy Bull Stakes + El Padrino

The G3 Holy Bull Stakes was the first graded prep for Kentucky Derby 2012 contenders in South Florida and Algorithms spoiled juvenile champ Hansen’s much anticipated return.

G3 Holy Bull Stakes (1-29-12): 98 BSF (Algorithms)

Algorithms

Algorithms stays undefeated in Holy Bull - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Algorithms remained undefeated with his first graded score for Todd Pletcher. The promising son of Bernardini is out of Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode. He has yet to try two turns and that has me concerned because serious Derby contenders usually have route races under their belts at this stage.

Hansen always seemed a bit  suspect on stamina based on his pace to late pace ratio, also knows as energy distribution. He stumbled at the start on Sunday but failed to relax on the lead and he paid the price late. It is too early to give up on him but he needs to relax early if he is going to be competitive in upcoming graded Derby route preps.

Consortium never lifted a hoof in a puzzling effort. He may not have cared for wet footing.

Holy Bull Stakes Grade: B-

Earlier on the Gulfstream program, El Padrino captured an allowance route in fast time and stole the thunder from the aforementioned Holy Bull runners.

Gulfstream Allowance Optional Claiming (1-29-12, 7th race): 100 BSF (El Padrino)

Sunday’s 7th race from Gulfstream Park was the most impressive Derby prep I have seen up to this point. Eventual winner El Padrino stalked, pounced, and rolled past pacesetter Take Charge Indy, and it was more than thirteen lengths back to the rest.

{Keep up with the latest Kentucky Derby 2012 trail workouts}

El Padrino has all the tools you want to see in a Derby contender. He has a Kentucky Derby winning trainer (Pletcher) in his corner and a long winded pedigree (Pulpit-Giant’s Causeway). He also owns running style versatility and proved he could break open a race in his sharp maiden win last year. The only knock is that both of his wins were accomplished on wet footing.

Take Charge Indy figured to improve as a sophomore and he got off to a fine start at the Gulf on Sunday.

Casual Trick was a huge disappointment for Nick Zito. The post time favorite stalked the pace after stumbling at the start but faltered badly on the sealed wet track and finished 8th. He may not have cared for the footing.

El Padrino and Take Charge Indy have both been part of my Kentucky Derby Top 10 list since last October.

Gulfstream Allowance/Optional Claiming Grade: A-

Holy Bull Stakes 2012 Preview: Let’s Topple Hansen + El Padrino Returns

Juvenile champ Hansen begins his quest for Kentucky Derby 2012 in the G3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Sunday and he is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the one mile test.

Hansen has never been headed in three lifetime starts and is the one to catch in the Holy Bull (10th race) but I have never been a huge fan of the undefeated colt. The Mike Maker trainee easily captured his first two synthetic starts at Turfway Park and caught a funny drying out track in the G1 BC Juvenile. He controlled the pace under the Twin Spires and was fortunate to just last over Union Rags, who failed to keep a straight course in the lane.

Hansen

2YO Champ Hansen returns in G3 Holy Bull - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The speedy son of Tapit has only worked five times for this engagement. His first four furlong drill was timed in a slow :53 so he probably did not get much out of that one, and he went fast early and got tired late in latest five furlong move. He makes his first start since early November and does not have to win this at low odds. Ramon Dominguez rides.

Consortium is an interesting contender for Kiaran McLaughlin. The promising son of Bernardini, out  of Machiavellian mare Marietta, is bred to run all day. He looked great rallying in his Big A Bow and did all of the pace dirty work in a better than appears place finish behind today’s rival Algorithms in a Gulfstream optional claiming sprint Dec 16. He adds first lasix and there is other speed in here this time, so look for Johnny V to employ patient tactics.

Algorithms sat the perfect outside tactical trip against Consortium last time and it could be deju vu all over again. The Todd Pletcher trainee is also out of hot sire Bernardini and he sports a Palm Meadows bullet for this. Castellano is enjoying a fine meet and he looms large as the 5-2 second choice on the line.

Fort Loudon was last seen finishing 7th in the BC Juvenile from post 12. He raced eight times as a juvenile and all of his wins and works were recorded at Calder. He will likely press the pace under Maragh.

Silver Max goes turf/dirt for Dale Romans. He has fired Exacta shots in all six lifetime starts and finally earned his diploma in a local flat mile turf affair Jan 13. He likes to show speed and should be hustled away from the rail under Leparoux.

My Adonis dueled through strong splits before spitting the bit in a weak renewal of the G3 Delta Jackpot. The Kelly Breen trainee is shooting bullets for this but will have to deal with serious pace rival Hansen early and often.

The Plays:

$20 to win Consortium

$10 Exacta Box Consortium, Algorithms ($20)

Earlier on the Gulfstream Park program, a trio of promising 3-year-olds will hook up in an allowance route (7th race), and El Padrinolooms the value play at 4-1.

El Padrino was originally slated to go in the G3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds last weekend, but trainer Todd Pletcher felt he needed another work and his latest five furlong morning move was accomplished in 1:02 and change at Palm Meadows on Jan 23. I love his distance oriented pedigree (Pulpit-Giant’s Causeway) and early-pressing types from inner posts perform well in 8.5 furlong races at the Gulf. Look for the G2 Remsen show finisher to track the pace under new rider Castellano.

{Keep up with the latest Kentucky Derby 2012 trail workouts}

Take Charge Indy, the 5th place finisher in the BC Juvenile, is another with strong distance breeding (A.P. Indy). He has only worked four times for this but did fire a Palm Meadows bullet on Jan 24 and should stalk the pace under Borel.

Finally, Casual Trick is the one to beat as the 5-2 morning line favorite. Nick Zito’s charge exits a solid place finish in the Gulfstream Park Derby and owns a recency edge over his aforementioned rivals. He is yet another promising runner out of Bernardini, and this entry level route could top the Holy Bull in terms of producing Kentucky Derby contenders.

The Plays:

$20 to win El Padrino

$7 Exacta Box El Padrino, Casual Trick ($14)

$3 Exacta Box El Padrino, Take Charge Indy ($6)

Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders: Mr. Bowling, Midnight Transfer Score

The Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds was the lone graded Kentucky Derby 2012 route prep run over the weekend and Mr. Bowling knocked down twelve rivals in Saturday’s Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Kentucky Derby 2012

The Lecomte did not look strong visually and received a mediocre 79 BSF. Mr. Bowling drifted out in the stretch and held off Z Dager by a head. Shared Property, breaking from post 13, rallied to finish another ½ length back in 3rd place.

The top three are all expected back in New Orleans for the G2 Risen Star Stakes on Feb 25.

 

Midnight Transfergot a 93 BSF for his sharp off the pace tally in the San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Jan 22. The Carla Gaines trainee has an eye on the G2 San Felipe Stakes on March 10.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders

Union Rags

Union Rags is on course for Fountain of Youth Stakes - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Union Rags (Dixie Union) – G1 Champagne hero failed to run a straight course in unlucky BC Juvenile place finish. He breezed 5f in 1:00.82 (2/28) at Palm Meadows on Jan 24. He is gearing up for the Feb 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

2. Gemologist (Tiznow) – Sharp G2 Ky Jockey Club (85 BSF) victory for WinStar Farm/Todd Pletcher. Undefeated colt owns fine early-pressing speed and plenty of upside. He is currently at Palm Meadows and should get back to work in the near future.

3. Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – G1 Norfolk hero finished a respectable 3rd in BC Juvenile. He worked 6f in 1:14 (5/16) at Hollywood Park on 1-20. He could return in Santa Anita’s G2 San Vicente at 7f on Feb 19.

4. Hansen (Tapit) – Undefeated BC Juvenile (94 BSF) hero has never been headed and his true talents are still unknown. He worked 5f in :59.80 (3/40) at Gulfstream on Jan 22 in advance of the G3 Holy Bull Stakes on Jan 29.

5. Alpha (Bernardini) – Champagne runner-up was fractious at gate in BC Juvenile flop. He bounced back in Count Fleet but was unruly in the gate again. He goes next in G3 Withers on Feb 4 and is currently schooling at the gate in New York.

6. Out of Bounds (Discreet Cat) – Handled two turns just fine in G3 Sham Stakes (99 BSF). The G2 San Felipe at SA on March 10 is next. Worked 4f in :48.40 (2/19) at Hollywood Park on Jan 23.

7. Secret Circle (Eddington) – Bob Baffert’s fleet colt finished a solid 2nd in the G3 Sham. Not sure how much farther he wants to go but he deserves another route shot. Worked 5f in :59.40 (3/32) at Santa Anita on Jan 19.

8. Take Charge Indy (A. P. Indy) – 5th place BC Juvenile finisher owns a strong route pedigree and should be much improved this year. Fired a 5f bullet in :59.78 (1/28) at Palm Meadows on Jan 24.

9. El Padrino (Pulpit) – Todd Pletcher’s $210k purchase was last seen finishing a rock solid 3rd in G2 Remsen. He skipped the G3 Lecomte and could return in an allowance race at the Gulf on Jan 29. Breezed 5f in 1:02.77 (3/10) at Palm Meadows on Jan 23.

10. Dullahan (Even The Score) – G1 Breeders’ Futurity winner blew the break in BC Juvenile but still managed to finish a respectable 4th. Breezed 5f in 1:01.40 (16/45) at Gulfstream Park on Jan 14.

Exciting Prospects

Algorithms (Bernardini) – Two nice wins to begin career for Pletcher including sharp 6.5f tally at the Gulf on Dec 16. Breezed 5f bullet in 1:02.02 (1/10) at Palm Meadows on Jan 23. The G3 Holy Bull on Jan 29 is next.

Consortium (Bernardini) – Kiaran McLaughlin trainee did all of the pace dirty work and finished 2nd to Algorithms in aforementioned Dec 16 optional claimer. Breezed 5f in 1:01.22 (7/23) at Palm Meadows on Jan 21. Rematch with Algorithms in Holy Bull is on the horizon.

Discreet Dancer (Discreet Cat) – A pair of strong one turn wins at Gulfstream to kick off his promising career. Earned a 96 BSF at 8f on Jan 7. Breezed 4f in :50.98 (29/36) at Palm Meadows on Jan 23.

Midnight Transfer

Midnight Transfer goes next in G2 San Felipe - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Ever So Lucky (Indian Charlie) – Hardly a secret in good looking Churchill sprint bow. Sheppard trainee set the pace and just held the place in G2 Ky Jockey Club Stakes. Could return in Feb 11 Hutcheson. Breezed 5f on turf in 1:02 (1/2) at Camden on Jan 10.

Liaison (Indian Charlie) – G1 CashCall Futurity (91 BSF) winner has now won three straight and is 2-for-2 in synthetic routes. Drilled 6f bullet in 1:11 (1/16) at Santa Anita on 1-19.

Midnight Transfer (Hard Spun) – Made it back-to-back sprint wins at Santa Anita in Sunday’s San Pedro. He might try two turns in the G2 San Felipe.

Souper Speedy (Indian Charlie) – Set the pace and held the place in G2 Remsen. Debuted a 7f winner in the mud prior to that and is a ½ to Brilliant Speed. Breezed an easy 3f in :39.88 (7/7) at Palm Meadows on 1-21.

Injured Reserve

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

Currency Swap (High Cotton) – Recovering from ankle chip. He is currently galloping on a farm in Ocala.

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

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

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

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

Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders: Alpha on the move

A couple of early Kentucky Derby 2012 route preps were run over the weekend and my former top ranked colt Alpha got back on the beam in New York.

Kentucky Derby 2012

Alpha spent the month of December in Florida but returned to the Big Apple and kicked off the new year in grand style on Saturday. Kiaran McLaughlin’s well bred colt once again had gate issues but settled nicely after the break and pounced on his overmatched rivals in a solid start to his 3yo season. He earned an 85 BSF at the Big A on Jan 7.

Stephanoatsee rebounded from a disappointing effort in the G2 Remsen with a rallying place finish at Aqueduct on Saturday. The Graham Motion trainee should continue to develop.

Switching coasts to Santa Anita Park, Out of Bounds wore down Secret Circle to capture the G3 Sham Stakes.

I put Out of Bounds on the exciting prospects list after his professional seven panel maiden win at Hollywood on Dec 10. He figured to enjoy more ground and did not disappoint in his first start against winners. He garnered a strong 99 BSF on Saturday but that number seems a bit inflated.

I am not sure what to make of Secret Circle. He did all of the pace dirty work but failed to put his rivals away. Baffert’s talented colt can rate but raw speed is his best weapon and that will only carry him so far. He reminds me of The Factor. A very effective early-pressing sprinter but capable of getting a route of ground under the right circumstances.

Hierro took plenty of action but flopped in the Sham for Steve Asmussen. He made a wide early move but weakened to 5th and last in a disappointing performance.

Click on the names of selected horses below to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders

Out of Bounds

Out of Bounds got a 99 BSF in G3 Sham - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Union Rags (Dixie Union) – G1 Champagne hero failed to run a straight course in unlucky BC Juvenile place finish. He is back on the worktab, breezing an easy 3f in :38.35 at Palm Meadows on Jan 11.

2. Gemologist (Tiznow) – Sharp G2 Ky Jockey Club (85 BSF) victory for WinStar Farm/Todd Pletcher. Undefeated colt owns fine early-pressing speed and plenty of upside. He is currently at Palm Meadows and should return to worktab in short order.

3. Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – G1 Norfolk hero finished a respectable 3rd in BC Juvenile. He breezed 3f in :37 at Hollywood on 12-30 and worked 4f in :48 on 1-6. He could return in Santa Anita’s G2 San Vicente at 7f on Feb 19.

4. Hansen (Tapit) – Undefeated BC Juvenile (94 BSF) hero has never been headed and his true talents are still unknown. He breezed 4f in :53 at Gulfstream on Dec 24 and 4f in :48.75 on Dec 31. He most recently worked 5f in 1:00.40 on Jan 7.

5. Alpha (Bernardini) – Champagne runner-up was fractious at gate in BC Juvenile flop. He bounced back in Count Fleet (85 BSF) but was unruly in the gate again. Could go next in G3 Withers on Feb 4.

6. Secret Circle (Eddington) – Bob Baffert’s fleet colt finished a solid 2nd in the G3 Sham. Not sure how much farther he wants to go but he deserves another route shot. No word on his next start.

7. Dullahan (Even The Score) – G1 Breeders’ Futurity winner blew the break in BC Juvenile but still managed to finish a respectable 4th. Breezed 4f in :51 at Gulfstream Park on Jan 7.

8. El Padrino (Pulpit) – Todd Pletcher’s $210k purchase was last seen finishing a rock solid 3rd in G2 Remsen. Fired 5f bullet in 1:00.44 at Palm Meadows on Jan 9.

9. Take Charge Indy (A. P. Indy) – 5th place BC Juvenile finisher owns a strong route pedigree and should be much improved in 2012. Breezed 4f in :50.92 at Palm Meadows on Jan 4.

10. Out of Bounds (Discreet Cat) – Handled two turns just fine in G3 Sham Stakes (99 BSF). The G2 San Felipe at SA on March 10 is probably next.

Exciting Prospects

Algorithms

Algorithms goes next in the G3 Holy Bull - photo by Eclipse Sportwsire

Algorithms (Bernardini) – 2 nice wins to begin career for Pletcher including sharp 6.5f tally at the Gulf on Dec 16. Breezed 5f in 1:02.20 at Palm Meadows on Jan 9. The G3 Holy Bull on Jan 29 is next.

Consortium (Bernardini) – Kiaran McLaughlin trainee did all of the pace dirty work and finished 2nd to Algorithms in aforementioned Dec 16 optional claimer. Worked 4f in :49.07 at Palm Meadows on Dec 31 and breezed 4f in :51.44 on Jan 7.

Discreet Dancer (Discreet Cat) – A pair of strong one turn wins at Gulfstream to kick off his promising career. Earned a 96 BSF at 8f on Jan 7.

Ever So Lucky (Indian Charlie) – Hardly a secret in good looking Churchill sprint bow. Sheppard trainee set the pace and just held the place in G2 Ky Jockey Club Stakes. Could return in Feb 11 Hutcheson.

Liaison (Indian Charlie) – G1 CashCall Futurity (91 BSF) winner has now won three straight and is 2-for-2 in synthetic routes. Worked 5f in 1:00.40 at Santa Anita on 12-30 and 5f in 1:02.80 on 1-6.

Souper Speedy (Indian Charlie) – Set the pace and held the place in G2 Remsen. Debuted a 7f winner in the mud prior to that and is a ½ to Brilliant Speed.

Injured Reserve

O'Prado Again

O'Prado Again is off the Derby trail - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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

Currency Swap (High Cotton) – Recovering from ankle chip. He is currently galloping on a farm in Ocala.

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

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

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