Posts Tagged ‘Belmont Stakes 2013’

Beyond the 2013 Triple Crown: Summer Stakes Preview

The 2013 Triple Crown series is in the books and the 3-year-old calendar will heat up again in July when racing moves to Saratoga.  

Derby winner Orb, Preakness hero Oxbow, and Belmont Stakes upsetter Palace Malice all figure to point to the G1 Travers, the mid-summer Derby at Saratoga on Saturday, August 24.

The G1 Jim Dandy Stakes, the local prep for the Travers, will take place on Saturday, July 27.

Verrazano tops the list of G1 Haskell Invitational contenders following a facile win in the G3 Pegasus at Monmouth Park on July 16. Itsmyluckyday was supposed to test him in the Pegasus but was pulled up with an injury and is out for four months. The Haskell is set for Sunday, July 28.

In the video below, I recap the Triple Crown series, as well as the Matt Winn and Pegasus Stakes. Finally, I look at five horses to watch this summer/fall.

Belmont Stakes 2013 Day Analysis Recap

Thanks to everyone for purchasing my Belmont Stakes Day analysis from Belmont Park on Saturday, June 8. For those who missed it, I have included highlights and analysis below.

Belmont Stakes Day analysis highlights:

BEL 7 (G2 True North) FAST BULLET ($3.60), Exacta w/Laurie’s Rocket ($23.60)
Daily Double (race 6-7, $8.20)
Daily Double (race 7-8, $12.60)
Pick 3 (race 6-7-8, $29)
BEL 9 (G2 Woody Stephens) Forty Tales/Declan’s Warrior EXACTA (best bet #3, $97)
BEL 10 (G1 Manhattan) POINT OF ENTRY ($3.10), TRIFECTA ($57)
Double (race 9-10, $34.60)
Pick 3 (race 8-10, $119)

Upcoming Today’s Racing Digest full cards:

Churchill Saturdays (June 15, June 22, June 29)

Belmont Park Saturdays (July 6, July 13)

Saratoga Saturdays (July 20, July 27, Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31)

Full card analysis can be purchased directly through me or via my Handicapper Page at TodaysRacingDigest.com. contact me at calkid692002@yahoo.com for more information.

Palace Malice Belmont Stakes 2013

Palace Malice surprises foes in Belmont Stakes 2013 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Belmont Stakes Day Full Card Analysis – Saturday, June 8, 2013

By Jarrod Horak (horseracingnation.com, pick6blog.com)
Weather
: AM Showers (50% chance). High 71. Best Bets (races 5, 6, 9, 11)

BEL 1 (OC-14k/1x, 6f) #5 TYCOON CAT (5-1) was nabbed out of his last by claiming artist Jacobson and Alvarado is 7-for-10 with this outfit recently. Both of his career wins occurred here and the versatile 5yo gelding gets pace to chase in the paper race. He is 2-for-45 lifetime and 0-for-15 at 6f but he goes for much better connections now. #9 Master Cip (2-1) earned the best last race number in a clear place finish at this course/distance May 4. The early-pressing threat dons the hood and attracts Rosario. #12 Comandante (8-1) always runs his race on fast/wet dirt. Trombetta excels turf/dirt and the early-pressing type can spring forward 2nd off the shelf. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/9-12, Exacta 9-12/5

BEL 2 (OC-25k/1x. 7f) #2 SLAN ABHAILE (7-2) fired Exacta shots in all three outings including back-to-back strong effort at this distance. The winner from his last came back to score again and Romans is sending out live wires here. #7 Integrity (3-1) cuts back and ran well at 7f at the Gulf Feb. 21. Rosario is 2-for-3 with Chad Brown. #5 Odea (6-1) is dangerous when he shakes loose early on wet tracks. He has yet to race beyond six furlongs. #9 Whatabouthonor (8-1) owns an ascending numbers pattern and hails from a profitable, low profile barn. I think 7f is pushing the stamina envelope. #4 Bad Hombre (15-1) got loose on wet footing at this course/distance May 11. Alvarado hops aboard and I am sure his connections are doing a rain dance. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Trifecta 2-5-7/2-5-7/2-4-5-7-9

BEL 3 (MSW, 7T) #9 ATLANTIC’S SMILE (5-1) fired a local gate bullet May 31 and dam has tossed three winners from as many starters. Stormy Atlantic is a solid turf sire and she might be a factor on any footing. #4 Lara (6-1) earned a better number on the drop here May 12. Dam has tossed a turf winner and Levine excels 2nd off the shelf#6 It’s Your Dime (5-2) is the one to catch on any footing. Stevens hops aboard the returnee. Main Track Only #13 Isn’tshewonderful (2-1) and #14 Concealed (5-2) own competitive dirt numbers. Rosario rides the former and the latter dons the hood for the productive Alvarado/Jacobson team. THE PLAYS: #9 to win, Trifecta 4-9/4-6-9-13-14/4-6-9-13-14

BEL 4 (MSW, 8f) #1 EL GENIO (5-1) deserves a second chance after taking action and finishing 5th from the rail post in his 5.5f local bow May 15. He adds lasix-blinkers and the inside post is 30% at this trip. Iselin is 2-for-3 with second timers. #8 Captain Davrick (4-5) will probably earn his diploma at miniscule odds. He owns an ascending numbers pattern and exits a clear place finish over wet footing at Churchill. Rosario hops aboard the early-pressing gelding. #9 Native Singer (6-1) debuts with some decent local works and Galluscio can strike with a firster. Dam has tossed three winners. THE PLAYS: #1 to win, Quinella 1-9/8

BEL 5 (MSW, 8f) #4 ACCELERARE (6-1) finished a solid 3rd in his local debut at 5-2 in the slop May 11. Pletcher excels with second timers and he also saddles #1 Sneaky Blowout (5-1). The latter ran well in his 7f bow at the Gulf under today’s rider Johnny V and was the beaten favorite at 8.5f here April 28. #6 Howie’s Tiz (7-2) finished a ½ length in front of Accelerare off a lengthy layoff last time. Rosario strings along and Levine excels 2nd off the shelf. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Exacta 4/1-6, Exacta 1-6/4  

BEL 6 (Easy Goer, 8.5f) #9 IRSAAL (4-1) earned vastly improved numbers with the addition of lasix in his last pair and he handled wet tracks both times. #4 Doherty (6-1) finished behind Irsaal in his last pair and his numbers continue to rise. #2 Power Broker (7-5) exits a smart wet track win at Churchill. Napravnik sticks and she has been clicking with Baffert recently (Code West, Midnight Lucky). #8 Wabbajack (8-1) owns a rising numbers pattern and sharp, low profile trainer Toner excels with his recent grads trying winners for the first time. THE PLAYS: #9 to win, Exacta 9/2-4-8, Exacta 2-4-8/9   

BEL 7 (G2 True North, 6f) #1 JUSTIN PHILLIP (7-5) has never been better. He exits back-to-back wins and moves up on wet footing. The Asmussen trainee has struck three times here. #1A FAST BULLET (7-5) makes his first start in more than six months. The lightly raced 5yo clearly has physical problems but he is talented when healthy. #2 Laurie’s Rocket (12-1) handles wet footing and is usually good for at least a share at 6f. #5 Caixa Electronica (7-2) won this last year and handles wet tracks. #6 Sage Valley (5-2) eyes five straight and must avoid a bounce. Johnny V hops off in favor of Justin Phillip. THE PLAYS: #1 to win, Exacta 1-5-6/2

BEL 8 (G1 Just a Game, 8T) Overseas invader #5 LAUGH OUT LOUD (15-1) seems to handle any turf footing and horses bred in Great Britain seem to relish less than firm footing when they run in the U.S. She captured a Group II at this trip over soft ground last year. #1 Hungry Island (4-1) and #2 Stephanie’s Kitten (5-2) finished necks apart at Churchill May 4 and both handle various turf conditions. The former has struck three times here and the latter is 3-for-4 at 8f. #7 Better Lucky (12-1) has won in the mud, slop, and firm turf so why not yielding or soft ground? Rosario at a square price. #3 Centre Court (3-1), #4 Dayatthespa (6-1), and #6 Mizdirection (7-2) are a combined 22-for-32 on turf but all seem to prefer firm footing. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Trifecta 1-2-5/1-2-5/7

BEL 9 (G2 Woody Stephens, 7f) The paper race pace scenario looks demanding and #3 CAPO BASTONE (6-1) would love a speed duel. The Pletcher trainee is an effective late running sprinter and reunites with winning pilot Johnny V. He handles fast/wet dirt and earned his best career number in the G3 Derby Trial last out. #7 Forty Tales (5-1) necked Capo Bastone under the Twin Spires April 27 and is a solid off the pace threat once again.  #1 Declan’s Warrior (6-1) is 2-for-2 at this course/distance and a neck shy of a perfect 5-for-5 career mark. #9 Clearly Now (6-1) is versatile and always runs his race around one turn. #6 Zee Bros (4-1) is lightning quick and new pilot Napravnik is 3-for-4 with Baffert recently. He graduated at seven panels and would appreciate a speed favoring track. #11 Let Em Shine (3-1) is quality SoCal speed for the deadly Maldonado-Kitchingman team. His price is less than ideal and I want to see him prove it in this spot. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta Box 3-7, Exacta 3-7/1-9  

BEL 10 (G1 Manhattan ‘ Cap, 10f inner turf) #1 POINT OF ENTRY (3-5) has won 6 of his last 7 and the fresh, classy 5yo horse handles firm/yielding turf. He owns running style versatility and is reportedly training better than ever. #5 Optimizer (6-1) is an iron horse and the Lukas trainee handles any type of turf footing. The multiple Grade III winner usually falls a bit short vs. classier rivals but Rosario is up and he always tries hard. #4 Real Solution (12-1) won on heavy ground in Italy and can spring forward in his second U.S. start for Chad Brown. Leaproux is a solid grass rider. THE PLAYS: Trifecta 1/4-5/ALL, Trifecta 1/ALL/4-5

BEL 11 (G1 Belmont Stakes, 12f) 12 of the last 14 Belmont Stakes winners skipped the Preakness (exceptions – Afleet Alex, Point Given). 6 Derby losers since 2000 skipped Preakness and won Belmont (Union Rags, Summer Bird, Jazil, Birdstone, Empire Maker, Commendable) #9 REVOLUTIONARY (9-2) was my Derby top and galloped out in front after landing the show on the first Saturday in May. He won his other three routes including the productive LA Derby and is fresh and ready to turn the tables on Orb. He was 2nd in his lone start here last year and his strong female family should enable him to navigate this marathon trip. He handles fast/wet dirt and reunites with winning pilot Castellano. #3 Overanalyze (12-1) wins every other race and he’s a Belmont Stakes winner if that pattern holds. The 3-time Graded winner captured the G2 Futurity here and owns the right grinding style to succeed at this distance. He reunites with 2-time Belmont Stakes winning rider Johnny V. His late sire Dixie Union was responsible for last year’s Belmont hero Union Rags. #5 Orb (3-1) had his 5-race win streak snapped in a flat Preakness effort from the dead-rail. He is better than his last and continues to train forwardly but this is his third start in five weeks. I have always liked Shug’s colt and maybe my Derby exacta box (Revolutionary-Orb) will come together this time around. #1 Frac Daddy (20-1) is firing bullets and there is talk of him going for the lead from the rail. McPeek has won the Belmont before and I liked him earlier this year. #14 Golden Soul (10-1) chugged up for the place in the Derby and can get a small piece of this. #13 Unlimited Budget (8-1) had her undefeated streak snapped with a Ky Oaks show finish. Female family says no to 12f but she will be in the right stalking spot under Napravnik. #12 Palace Malice (15-1) has not won beyond 6.5f and is eligible for entry level spot. #2 Freedom Child (8-1) freaked in the Peter Pan mud and might get wet footing again. He is training well for this but does not look like a marathon type. #7 Oxbow (5-1) stole the Preakness but won’t get loose this time and he never wins when he fails to set the pace. #6 Incognito (20-1) owns a decent pedigree but is not this quality yet. #10 Will Take Charge (20-1) is a gem of inconsistency. #11 Vyjack (20-1) is not bred for this trip. #4 Giant Finish (30-1) looks like a pace factor at the most. #8 Midnight Taboo (30-1) is lightly raced and overmatched. THE PLAYS: #9 to win, Exacta 9/3-5, Exacta 3-5/9, Trifecta 3-5-9/3-5-9/1-2-3-5-9-12-13-14

BEL 12 (OC-20/1x, 7T) #10 VISIONANDAPRAYER (5-1) ran well for new trainer Englehart in the local slop (off the turf) at 7f May 11. Barn $$ rider Irad Ortiz Jr. sticks and he’s a forwardly placed threat on any footing. #5 Why Not Whiskey (8-1) won his lone try at this course/distance (good ground) last year and needed his 8.5f comeback May 18. Main Track Only entrants #13 Bond Vigilante (3-1) and #14 Ultimate Empire (2-1) must be respected on dirt. The former beat a next out winner March 30 and the latter romped in the local mud May 9. THE PLAYS: #10 to win, Exacta 10/5-13-14, Exacta 5-13-14/10 

BEL 13 (Clm-20k, 8.5f inner turf) #1 NINEINTHENINE (3-1) handles firm/yielding turf and wet dirt. #4 J W Blue (4-1) looks like a threat on any footing for the productive Alvarado/Jacobson team. If this race moves to dirt, keep an eye on Main Track Only entrants #13 Sovereign Default (5-2) and #14 Handsome Harbor (7-2). They both exit place finishes in the local slop. THE PLAYS: #1 to win, Exacta 1/4-13-14, Exacta 4-13-14/1

Double/Pick 3/Pick 4 contenders – in order of preference

Race

1   (5-9-12)
2   (2-7-5-9-4)
3   (9-4-6-13-14)
4   (1-8-9)
5   (4-1-6)
6   (9-4-2-8)
7   (1)
8   (5-1-2-7)
9   (3-7-1-9)
10 (1-5-4)
11 (9-3-5)
12 (10-5-13-14)
13 (1-4-13-14)

Belmont Stakes 2013 Preview: Orb 3-1 Favorite

The field has been set for Belmont Stakes 2013 and 3-1 morning line favorite Orb will break from post position five.

Belmont Stakes 2013 Post Positions

PP, Horse, Trainer, Jockey, ML Odds

1. Frac Daddy, Ken McPeek, Alan Garcia  30-1
2. Freedom Child, Tom Albertrani, Luis Saez  8-1
3. Overanalyze, Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez  12-1
4. Giant Finish, Tony Dutrow, Edgar Prado  30-1
5. Orb, Shug McGaughey, Joel Rosario  3-1
6. Incognito, Kiaran McLaughlin, Irad Ortiz Jr.  20-1
7. Oxbow, D. Wayne Lukas, Gary Stevens  5-1
8. Midnight Taboo, Todd Pletcher, Garrett Gomez  30-1
9. Revolutionary, Todd Pletcher, Javier Castellano 9-2
10. Will Take Charge, D. Wayne Lukas, Jon Court 20-1
11. Vyjack, Rudy Rodriguez, Julien Leparoux 20-1
12. Palace Malice, Todd Pletcher, Mike Smith 15-1
13. Unlimited Budget, Todd Pletcher, Rosie Napravnik 8-1
14. Golden Soul, Dallas Stewart, Robby Albarado 10-1

Recent Belmont Stakes History

12 of last 14 Belmont Stakes winners skipped Preakess (exceptions – Afleet Alex, Point Given).

Since 2000, 6 Derby losers skipped Preakness and won Belmont Stakes (Union Rags, Summer Bird, Jazil, Birdstone, Empire Maker, Commendable).

Fast Track Radio Show

For Belmont Stakes Day best bets and more, tune in to The Fast Track with Steve Borstein radio show on Saturday (June 8) morning at 10am (Eastern Time). Saturday’s guests include Joe DePaolo, Jarrod Horak, and Molly Jo Rosen.

Click here to listen to Saturday’s show.

Belmont Stakes Day Full Card Analysis

My Belmont Stakes Day analysis is available on my Handicapper page at Today’s Racing Digest.

Click here to visit my TRD Handicapper page. For bonus free pick, click view sample.

 

 

 

Belmont Stakes 2013 Video Preview

We are less than a week away from Belmont Stakes 2013. In the video below, I discuss the recent history, projected pace scenario, and pedigrees. I have also included a written preview of all fifteen Belmont hopefuls.

Belmont Stakes 2013 hopefuls

Belmont Stakes 2013 Hopefuls (in alphabetical order):

Always in a Tiz (Tiznow) – Wood Memorial also-ran breezed 5f in 1:01.12 (2/8) at Belmont Park on 6-1. I fancied him earlier this year but the Test of Champions looks like an ambitious placement.

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Arkansas Derby runner-up was last seen finishing 16th on the first Saturday in May. He sports back-to-back bullets at Churchill Downs, most recently traveling 4f in :47.80 (1/42) on May 31.

Freedom Child (Malibu Moon): Freaked in the muddy Peter Pan Stakes and looms a pace factor at the very least in the Test of Champions. Split Orb and Revolutionary in a maiden race at the Big A last November. Has reportedly looked good in his Belmont gallops and breezed 5f in :59.87 (5/28) at Big Sandy on 5-27.

Giant Finish (Frost Giant) – New York bred son of Frost Giant finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby. Breezed 4f in :49.20 (4/9) at Fair Hill on 5-27.

Golden Soul (Perfect Soul) – LA Derby 4th place finisher took advantage of a pace meltdown to land the place in the Kentucky Derby. Dallas Stewart’s late runner breezed 5f in 1:00.40 (3/13) at Churchill Downs on 5-30.

Incognito (A.P. Indy) – McLaughlin trainee is by a Belmont Stakes winner and was last seen finishing 5th in the Peter Pan. He breezed 4f in :48.25 (13/57) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 6-2.

Midnight Taboo (Langfuhr) – Lightly raced Pletcher/Repole runner breezed 5f in 1:00.88 (10/26) at Belmont Park on 6-2.

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Everything went right in the Kentucky Derby but the wheels came off the cart in the Preakness, ending his 5-race winning streak. He was confirmed for the Belmont Stakes after a 4f breeze in :48.30 (11/46) at Belmont on 6-2.

Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – 3-time graded winner (G2 Futurity, G2 Remsen, G1 Arkansas Derby) ended up 11th in the Kentucky Derby. He wins every other race and June 8 could be his day if that pattern holds. Breezed 4f in :48.01 (7/46) at Belmont Park on 6-2 and gets the services of 2-time Belmont Stakes winning rider John Velazquez (Union Rags, Rags to Riches).

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – Finished a solid 6th in the Derby after attending fast fractions from an inner post under Gary Stevens. Lukas trainee snuck away early and stole the Preakness for Stevens. He breezed 6f in 1:14.60 (1/2) at Churchill Downs on 5-30.

Palace Malice (Curlin): Risen Star show finisher ended up a troubled 7th in the LA Derby and rebounded with a 2nd in the Blue Grass. He set fast splits (blinkers on) before fading to 12th in the Kentucky Derby. He breezed 4f in :47.56 (4/46) at Belmont Park on 6-2.

Revolutionary (War Pass) – He has been my top ranked 3yo since February and my confidence has not wavered following a solid show finish in the Derby. I thought the Belmont Stakes was perfect for him after his smart Withers score earlier this year and he is bred to run all day on the dam side. He breezed 4f in :48.51 (14/46) at Belmont Park on 6-2.

Unlimited Budget (Street Sense) – 3-time graded winner lost for the first time after landing the show in the Kentucky Oaks. The Pletcher/Repole filly fired a 4f bullet in :47.55 (1/46) at Belmont Park on 6-2 and Rosie Napravnik will ride in the Belmont Stakes.

Vyjack (Into Mischief) – Overachiever does not own a strong marathon pedigree. The Kentucky Derby also-ran is scheduled to have his final Belmont Stakes workout on June 4.

Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) – 2-time stakes winner (Smartly Jones, G2 Rebel) was a troubled 8th in the Derby and 7th in the Preakness. Breezed 6f in 1:15.80 (2/2) at Churchill Downs on 5-30.

Check out my Saturday (June 8) full card analysis from Belmont Park (available soon) at TodaysRacingDigest.com.

Upcoming full cards:

Belmont (Fri. June 7 – Brooklyn ‘Cap Day) – coming soon!
Belmont (Sat. June 8 – Belmont Stakes Day) – coming soon!


Preakness 2013 Recap – Oxbow steals show

Congratulations to Preakness 2013 hero Oxbow. Nobody wanted the early lead and Gary Stevens was more than happy to canter around the track and win this second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Oxbow wires field in Preakness 2013 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Oxbow, owned by Calumet Farm, is a war horse for throwback connections Wayne Lukas and Gary Stevens. The Preakness Stakes was his 11th lifetime start and there is no rest in sight with the Test of Champions squarely on his radar screen.

Did Lukas scare everyone from a pace perspective? He entered sprinter Titletown Five and possibly fooled jockey Kevin Krigger aboard Goldencents.

Titletown Five did not go for the lead under Leaproux, and Goldencents failed to take advantage so Stevens and Oxbow walked the dog from start to finish.

I knew that Oxbow was best on the lead but did not think he was quick enough to get there. The pace figured to be slower than the Derby but I did not see the crawling Preakness pace coming.

Runner-up Itsmyluckyday was making his 12th career start in Baltimore so chalk another one up for experience. He got the best of the draw as an outside stalker and rediscovered his sharp Florida form.

Mylute picked up another minor check in stakes race. He was the only one making up any ground and the Preakness was his fifth place/show finish in the stakes ranks.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb seemed to be living a charmed life until he drew the dead rail. The outside closer never looked comfortable and went through the motions in a flat 4th place finish.

Granted, before the Preakness, Orb handled wet/fast footing and various pace scenarios but the Derby fell into the lap of a closer and everything went perfectly for Shug and company on the first Saturday in May.

Goldencents had one shot and that was to attempt a wire job but was ridden passively. He is a quality early runner with distance limitations and his best weapon was taken away at Pimlico.

Departing sat right outside of Orb and made a top three bid along the inside turning for home. He flattened out to finish 6th and was not disgraced in his toughest test to date.

Will Take Charge, Govenor Charlie, and Titletown Five trailed.

It is on the Belmont Stakes in 20-days and my top ranked sophomore Revolutionary looms large in the Test of Champions.

Belmont Stakes 2013 logo

Early Belmont Stakes 2013 Hopefuls (in alphabetical order):

Code West (Lemon Drop Kid) – Baffert’s runner followed up a place finish in the Risen Star with a 6th in the LA Derby. He finished 2nd on the Derby undercard and beat older allowance rivals to cap the Preakness Day card.

Freedom Child (Malibu Moon): Freaked in the muddy Peter Pan Stakes and looms a pace factor at the very least in the Test of Champions. Split Orb and Revolutionary in a maiden race at the Big A last November.

Golden Soul (Perfect Soul) – LA Derby 4th place finisher took advantage of a pace meltdown to land the place in the Kentucky Derby. Dallas Stewart’s late runner is scheduled to work at Churchill next Wed. or Thurs.

Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Florida Derby runner-up flopped in the Derby and rebounded with a place finish in the Preakness. The Monmouth Park based colt is targeting the Haskell this summer but is still possible for the Belmont Stakes.

Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Finished 10th in the G2 Remsen to end his juvenile campaign. Returned with a game neck victory (wide trip) vs. allowance rivals at Monmouth May 11 and could go next in the Belmont Stakes.

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Everything went right in the Kentucky Derby but the wheels came off the cart in the Preakness, ending his 5-race winning streak. He may try to rebound in the Belmont Stakes but there is talk of resting him and waiting for Saratoga.

Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – G2 Remsen hero finished a wide, flat 5th from post 11 in his needed Gotham return. He bounced back nicely to win the Arkansas Derby and ended up 11th in the Kentucky Derby. Breezed 4f in :47.50 (3/34) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 5-19.

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – Finished a solid 6th in the Derby after attending fast fractions from an inner post under Gary Stevens. Lukas trainee snuck away early and stole the Preakness for Stevens. He shows up for every dance so expect him to complete in the final leg of the Triple Crown series.

Palace Malice (Curlin): Risen Star show finisher ended up a troubled 7th in the LA Derby and rebounded with a 2nd in the Blue Grass. He set fast splits (blinkers on) before fading to 12th in the Kentucky Derby and is now targeting the Belmont. He breezed 4f in :47.49 (2/34) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 5-19.

Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner and raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Baffert trainee finished 5th in his SA Derby return and won an allowance race at Churchill on May 10. The Belmont Stakes is a possibility.

Revolutionary (War Pass) – He has been my top ranked 3yo since February and my confidence has not wavered following a solid show finish in the Derby. I thought the Belmont Stakes was perfect for him after his smart Withers score earlier this year and he is bred to run all day on the dam side. He will work twice for the Belmont beginning Sunday, May 26.

Unlimited Budget (Street Sense) – 3-time graded winner lost for the first time after landing the show in the Kentucky Oaks. The Pletcher/Repole filly breezed 4f in :49.07 (14/34) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 5-19.

Preakness 2013 Contenders – Will Orb capture second jewel?

Congratulations to Kentucky Derby 2013 hero Orb, and it was nice to see Shug McGaughey saddle his first Derby winner as well. He looks like a runaway locomotive at this point and might be too hot to handle in Preakness 2013.

Kentucky Derby 2013 winner Orb

Congrats to Kentucky Derby 2013 winner Orb – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Orb was one of my Exciting Prospects when I posted my first Derby Top 10 list last September. He lacked maturity in his first three outings but has really put everything together since. The Derby was his fifth straight win and he goes to Baltimore on a serious roll. He received a great pace setup in the Derby and it could be more of the same in the Preakness with the likes of Titletown Five and Goldencents on the engine early.

Speaking of rolls, jockey Joel Rosario has been unstoppable since winning the Dubai World Cup. Orb is currently preparing for the second jewel at Belmont Park and will ship to Pimlico early next week.

It is fun to talk about Orb’s Triple Crown chances but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. History is not on his side but he does possess all of the tools to give it a serious run. The son of Malibu Moon wheels back quickly on May 18 and it should be noted that he graduated off two weeks rest last year. I also saw a stat on TVG earlier this week about Shug McGaughey clicking at a 50% rate (6-for-12) when he brings horses back in 14-days. New shooter Departing might be his biggest competition.

Look out if Orb makes it past the Preakness but he will still have to beat fresh, talented rival Revolutionary at Big Sandy. That’s a discussion for another day.

Derby runner-up Golden Soul is pointing to the Belmont Stakes. He finished 2nd in the Derby because of the pace and will be an underlay in the Test of Champions.

My Derby selection Revolutionary, the top ranked contender on my Derby list since February, ran well to land the show on the first Saturday in May. I have not lost faith and he reminds me of my past Derby/Belmont picks Empire Maker and Union Rags.

Oxbow was too close to the rapid Derby pace and Normandy Invasion moved too soon. Both are players in Baltimore, especially the latter if Chad Brown opts to go in that direction.

Mylute took advantage of the fleet fractions and was in the show photo (finished 5th). If he runs in the Preakness, note that jockey Rosie Napravnik has plenty of Pimlico experience.

Will Take Charge was making a move with Orb in the Derby but Verrazano was backing up and stopped his momentum. The Derby was his first start beyond a mile and a sixteenth and he was coming off a layoff so it was not a bad effort finishing 8th.

Goldencents seemingly hated the Derby slop and will be part of the Preakness pace, especially if the track is fast.

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 Preakness 2013 Contenders

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Won his fifth straight race for Shug McGaughey in the G1 Kentucky Derby (wet track) and the strong finisher adapts to various pace scenarios. Red hot jockey Joel Rosario has been on a roll since the Dubai Gold Cup and he is an obvious major stretch player in Baltimore.

Departing (War Front) – Finished 3rd in the productive Louisiana Derby and overcame a wide draw to smartly take down the Illinois Derby. The Al Stall Jr. runner is a dangerous new shooter and it is nice to see him join the Triple Crown series.

Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s colt trained aggressively and moved too soon under Javier Castellano in the Derby. He needs to sit back with Orb and make a big late run in the Preakness. He is reportedly much more relaxed since returning to New York. His ultimate goal is the G1 Travers at the Spa in August.

Mylute (Midnight Lute) – LA Derby runner-up rallied to finish 5th on the first Saturday in May under Rosie Napravnik. Trainer Tom Amoss said that his Preakness status would be revealed on Saturday morning.

Oxbow horse

Oxbow was too close to the hot Derby pace – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – G3 Lecomte hero shows up for every dance and finished a solid 6th in the Derby after attending fast fractions from an inner post under Gary Stevens. Lukas trainee can rate but went all the way in both career wins. His main problem is that he is usually not quick enough to grab the early lead.

Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) – Smarty Jones/Rebel winner finished a respectable 8th in the Derby. He did find some traffic but that is to be expected in a 19-horse field. Mike Smith will ride in the Preakness and he could improve 2nd off the shelf.

Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Eddie Plesa Jr.’s colt was the talk of Florida earlier this year at the Gulf. The Holy Bull hero played second fiddle to Orb in the Florida Derby and finished a disappointing 15th on the first Saturday in May. John Velazquez will ride in the Preakness.

Preakness Dreamers:

Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Doug O’Neill’s quality early-pressing type seemingly hated the Derby wet track and the pace scenario did not help either. He earned a strong number in the SA Derby and is capable of big efforts on fast ground under the proper race shape.

Govenor Charlie (Midnight Lute) – Smartly captured G3 Sunland Derby in his third career start. The Baffert trainee has plenty of upside but still lacks seasoning. He wisely passed on the Derby and has seemingly recovered from a minor hind foot issue. Worked 6f in 1:11.80 (1/3) at Churchill Downs on 5-7.

Street Spice (Street Sense) – Illinois Derby 5th place finisher seems up against it in the Preakness. He likely needs to find a softer spot to be competitive. Breezed 5f from the gate in 1:03.40 (27/33) at Arlington Park on 5-4.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Has lost all three starts this year and looks like a sprinter at this point. He will attend the Preakness pace before fading. Breezed 4f in :47.60 (5/35) at Churchill Downs on 5-7.

Vyjack (Into Mischief) – 18th place Derby finisher has now dropped two straight. He came out of the Wood Memorial with a lung infection and that hiccup probably cost him under the Twin Spires. He has talent but is not sharp right now.

Kentucky Derby 2013 Day Analysis Recap

Thanks to everyone for purchasing my Kentucky Derby Day analysis from Churchill Downs last Saturday, May 4. For those who missed it, I have included highlights and analysis below.

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Kentucky Derby Day analysis highlights:
CD 1 Glamour Puss/Apropos Exacta ($14.60)
CD 5 BELLARMINE ($25.60), Trifecta ($317.20)
CD 8 STEPHANIE’S KITTEN ($9.80), Exacta ($28)
Daily Double (race 7-8, $51.40)
Pick 3 (race 7-9, $146)
Pick 3 (race 8-10, $69)
Pick 4 (race 8-11, $358.80)
Pick 5 (race 7-11, $325.10)

Kentucky Derby Day analysis from Churchill Downs (Saturday: 5-4-13)
By Jarrod Horak (horseracingnation.com, pick6blog.com)  
Weather
:  Showers (50% chance). High 61.
Best Bets (races 4, 9, 11, 12).

CD 1 (OC-62.5k/2x, 6f) #2 FIVE STAR MOMMA (4-1) scored in her local debut in 2011 and earned her best number to date in a Keeneland place finish April 6. Terranova excels 2nd off the shelf and I like her early-pressing versatility. #3 Glamour Puss (2-1) has fired Exacta shots in all five starts. She is 2-for-2 at this trip and Rosario rode her perfectly at Keeneland April 11. #1 Apropos (8-5) ran away from entry level foes at Oaklawn March 7 and the clear place finisher came back to score. She wins this with anything resembling her last. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/1-3, Exacta 2-3/1

CD 2 (OC-75k/1x, 7f) #2 GOMBEY DANCER (7-2) earned a big number in his 6f maiden win at Gulfstream Feb. 3. He disappointed in the G3 Swale but runs well fresh and fired a local bullet April 20. He reunites with winning pilot Lezcano, who is 3-for-3 with Kenneally recently. #8 Slan Abhaile (5-2) went all the way in his 7f bow at the Gulf March 30. Romans has him now and he’s an obvious outside speed threat. #1 River Rocks (3-1) is an inside pace factor at the very least. He won his lone start at this distance. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/1-8, Exacta 1-8/2

CD 3 (OC-80k/3x, 8.5T) #6 SCREENPLAY (3-1) has a nose for the wire on turf. He is 3-for-4 here, like this trip, and new pilot Rosario has options with the sharp, versatile sort. #5 The Pizza Man (3-1) is a turf win machine. He is 6-for-6 at this distance and won for his trainer Amoss at Fair Grounds March 21. #1 Old Time Hockey (5-2) lands the cozy rail and might be aggressively handled under Gomez. He likes this trip, needed his last, and meets a field without much speed. #2 Prime Cut (12-1) won his lone turf start at Fair Grounds Jan. 27 and has always had a touch of class. #7 Cavalero (10-1) packs a decent late kick and lands sharp turf rider Napravnik. He is 5-for-6 at 8.5f. THE PLAYS: #6 to win, Trifecta 1-5-6/1-2-5-6-7/1-2-5-6-7

CD 4 (MSW, 7f) #5 BAMA BOUND (6-1) broke 12th from the intimidating rail in his Keeneland bow April 7 and he ended up an okay 7th that day. Margolis excels with second time starters and barn $$ rider Bridgmohan sticks. #12 Troubadour Tango (5-1) was the beaten favorite in both synthetic starts and he missed by a head in his career bow. #3 Saint X. (3-1) has hit the board in three straight and the $450k purchase ran into the likes of Oxbow here last fall. #6 Esplendido (8-1) finished a respectable 3rd in his synthetic sprint bow and can improve second time out. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/3-6-12, Exacta 3-6-12/5  

CD 5 (OC-75k/1x, 8.5f) #4 BELLARMINE (8-1) is getting better for McPeek. He handles any surface and ran well to land the place in his lone conventional dirt try at Gulfstream. #8 Code West (7-5) wisely skipped the Derby and has the class/speed to be a major player here. He figures to make his presence felt throughout for the productive Bejarano/Baffert team. No value here. #10 Ghost Hunter (6-1) might attempt a wire job and should be given extra consideration if a speed bias pops up. He won his 5.5f dirt sprint bow and finished 2nd to synthetic specialist and G3 Lexington hero Winning Cause at Keeneland last time. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Trifecta 4-10/4-8-10/ALL  

CD 6 (G3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint, 5T) #4 GHOST IS CLEAR (9-2) could sit the right stalk and pounce trip under Rosario. The 2-time turf sprint winner consistently runs his race on any footing and Maker shows a profit synthetic-to-turf. #8 Icon Ike (3-1) is a late running turf sprint win type for the productive Napravnik/Jones team. He could easily make it three straight. #2 Havelock (7-2) just got there off the shelf under Gomez April 13. He has captured half of his ten turf starts at this trip. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Exacta 4/2-8, Exacta 2-8/4  

CD 7 (G1 Humana Distaff, 7f) #8 BYRAMA (5-1) would have won the G1 Madison with a different trip. She broke slow from the rail and encountered traffic in that neck defeat. Rosario knows her now and she can tag there if able to handle dirt. #1 Jamaican Smoke (5-1) has speed to burn and easily won at this course/distance last May. She ran well in both Graded sprints and might not look back under Leparoux. #6 Aubby K (7-2) won the G2 Inside Information off a lengthy layoff and has had plenty of time to recover. She hails from a profitable, low profile barn. #2 Rumor (5-2) runs well fresh but she is 0-for-2 at seven panels and must prove that she can run a big race away from SoCal. THE PLAYS: #8 to win, Exacta Box 1-8, Exacta 1-8/2-6  

CD 8 (G2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, 8T) Honest fractions are expected with #3 Daisy Devine, #4 Frontside, #7 Karlovy Vary, and #10 Stopshoppingmaria vying for early position. #6 STEPHANIE’S KITTEN (4-1) has not been seen in more than six months but she is 2-for-2 over the local weeds and owners Ken & Sarah Ramsey have been rolling since Keeneland. She likes this distance and Leparoux does some of his best work with patient turf runners. #8 Marketing Mix (5-2) has not been seen in more than six months but runs well fresh. Gomez rides her well and she clearly has the class to win this for sharp layoff trainer Proctor. #5 Hungry Island (4-1) captured her Keeneland return April 7. She won this event last year and should get pace to chase. #3 Daisy Devine (3-1) is the best of the speed types. She usually fires Exacta shots on turf, except a fading 5th in this event last year. THE PLAYS: #6 to win, Exacta Box 6-8, Exacta 6-8/3-5 

CD 9 (G2 Churchill Downs, 7f) #5 UNBRIDLED’S NOTE (5-1) is 2-for-2 at CD and could sit the garden spot trip behind the speed. Asmussen’s consistent colt ran into crack sprinter Jimmy Creed (twice) at Santa Anita and downhill specialist Mizdirection in the BC turf Sprint. He fits well here. #2 Hierro (10-1) is also 2-for-2 here including the 2012 Derby Trial. He ran well in both starts this year for new trainer Pletcher and could move forward 3rd off the shelf. #9 Delaunay (2-1) is in the form of his life. He shoots for six straight wins and enjoys seven panels. #8 Trinniberg (8-5) flopped in Dubai March 30 and most U.S. horses need more time to recover from the long journey. I’ve never been a big fan of this horse but he likes this trip. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/2-9, Exacta 2-9/5  

CD 10 (G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, 9T) #9 POINT OF ENTRY (7-5) looked great beating Animal Kingdom in his Gulfstream return at this trip Feb. 9. The classy turf marathon specialist is fresh and strictly the one to fear if he duplicates his last. #8 Wise Dan (6-5) was good but not great in his G1 Maker’s 46 comeback at Keeneland. He liked 9f in the past but has been a flat mile specialist since last August. He needs to relax early if he expects to win this race. All of his past success at this distance came on dirt and synthetic. THE PLAYS: #9 to win, Exacta 9-8

CD 11 (G1 Kentucky Derby, 10f) #3 REVOLUTIONARY (10-1) has been my top ranked Derby contender since February. He is 3-3 around two turns, has overcome trouble, owns a nice finishing kick, and Borel has won the Derby three times, including the 2010 renewal aboard Super Saver for Pletcher & WinStar Farm. Both CD works were impressive and LA Derby show finisher Departing came back to win the Illinois Derby. #16 Orb (7-2) is also 3-for-3 around two turns and shoots for his fifth win in a row today. He adapts to various pace scenarios and his work and gallop sessions have been impressive. Red hot rider Rosario has booted him home twice and he beat Revolutionary last fall but both are much better now. #5 Normandy Invasion (12-1) is sitting on a career top in his 3rd start off the shelf. He is training aggressively for this and won’t be as far back as expected. Castellano chose him over Revolutionary. His only good races occurred at the Big A. #12 Itsmyluckyday (15-1) is growing on me. He was fast earlier this year and his morning gallops suggest that he is back on top of his game. He can move forward 2nd off the shelf after landing the place behind Orb in the Florida Derby.  #2 Oxbow (20-1) finally draws an inner post but I’m sure Lukas did not want post 2 in Derby. He is best as a free runner and might attempt a wire job under Stevens. #1 Black Onyx (50-1) drew the dreaded rail. He is on the upswing and training well but must work out a trip from the worst possible post. He is a late scratch. #9 Overanalyze (15-1) never runs two alike but Bejarano is on a roll. #14 Verrazano (4-1) has been less dynamic with each passing furlong. The unraced juvenile has accomplished plenty this year but is no longer improving. #8 Goldencents (5-1) must relax at a distance that he is not bred to get. Lightning will not strike twice for O’Neill. #6 Mylute (15-1) would be a great story with Rosie in the irons. #4 Golden Soul (50-1) will be passing tired horses. With Black Onyx now scratched, I will use him underneath in the Trifecta instead. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta Box 3-16, Exacta 3-16/5-12, Trifecta 3-16/3-5-12-16/2-3-4-5-12-16   

CD 12 (OC-62.5k/2x, 7f) #7 WILD TARGET (4-1) runs well fresh and Rosario hops aboard. He handles seven panels and figures to stalk the pace for sharp trainer Kenneally. #2 Rightfully So (3-1) earned a big number March 30 and the show finisher came back to score. He romped at this course/distance last fall. #4 Seven Lively Sins (12-1) hails from a deadly synthetic-to-dirt barn (Stall). He has won at this course and distance and should offer value. THE PLAYS: #7 to win, Trifecta 2-7/ALL/4  

Double/Pick 3/Pick 4/Pick 5 contenders – in order of preference

Race

1   (2-3-1)
2   (2-8-1)
3   (6-5-1-2-7)
4   (5-12-3-6)
5   (4-8-10)
6   (4-8-2)
7   (8-1-6-2)
8   (6-8-5-3)
9   (5-2-9)
10 (9-8)
11 (3-16-5-12)
12 (7-2-4)