Posts Tagged ‘Bob Baffert’

Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders: Rebel Stakes video analysis

Mohaymen and Mor Spirit are still my top two Kentucky Derby 2016 contenders but I made some changes to the list after the Tampa Bay Derby and San Felipe Stakes were run on March 12.


Someone failed to tell Brody’s Cause, one of my top Derby contenders, that he was running last weekend because he never lifted a hoof in the Tampa Bay Derby. He only has one Derby prep remaining (Blue Grass) and that is the problem with two prep campaigns. There is not much wiggle room left if something goes wrong. He is my biggest dropper going from #3 to #11.

Fountain of Youth runner-up Zulu was expected to take on Mohaymen and Nyquist in the Florida Derby but it took him 20 days to return to the worktab and it was a very slow four furlong breeze in :50.98 (15/16) on March 18. Pletcher may end up shipping him out of town for his final Derby prep. The combination of his lack of experience and light morning activity since his last has me concerned. He drops off the list and is replaced by another Pletcher trainee with more experience and more Derby points (Destin).

Malibu Sunset has a ton of potential but with only two lifetime starts (no Derby points) and some big efforts in graded points races last weekend, I no longer have room for him on my list. He worked six furlongs in 1:14.80 (8/12) at Santa Anita on March 17.

The Grade 2 Rebel Stakes is the Derby prep this week and it is worth a total of 85 Derby points (50-20-10-5). A full field of fourteen will line up in what promises to be a competitive betting event.

Keep a close eye on Cupid. The Bob Baffert runner was originally targeting the Sunland Derby but when that race was canceled, he was entered in the San Felipe. Baffert, as he is apt to do, especially with his sophomores, changed his mind and scratched Cupid from the San Felipe. He worked him a strong six furlongs late last week and was redirected to the Rebel, and Baffert is deadly when he ships his 3-year-olds to Oaklawn Park to run in stakes races.

Graded Recaps (2016 Derby Points Races)

G2 Tampa Bay Derby (3-12-16, 100 BSF): Sam F. Davis hero Destin made all the right moves under Javier Castellano. He smartly stalked stablemate Outwork and wore that one down to win by a length. The latter set the pace and was seven lengths clear of show finisher Star Hill. Sam Davis runner-up Rafting failed to move forward on the speed figure scale and ended up 4th. Post time favorite Brody’s Cause was last after six furlongs and only managed to pass two rivals in a surprising non-effort.

G2 San Felipe (3-12-16, 100 BSF): Danzing Candy was one of four early runners but went straight to the front and discouraged the other pace players in a good looking 2-length wire-to-wire score under Mike Smith. Mor Spirit was too fresh under Gary Stevens and wanted to go early. He ended up rallying for the place after all was said and done and he galloped out well. Exaggerator was last early and made an eye-catching premature move before running out of gas and finishing a clear 3rd.

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

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

Trainer (Kiaran Mclaughlin) – Owner (Shadwell Stable)

Latest Workout: 5f bullet in 1:01 (1/10) at Palm Meadows on March 18.

Comments: The $2.2 million purchase ran his record to 5-for-5 after comfortably winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Feb 27. He took the G2 Nashua and G2 Remsen as a juvenile (both at Aqueduct), and easily captured his sophomore debut in the Holy Bull at the Gulf on Jan 30. He continues to train forwardly in advance of the Florida Derby on April 2. He maintains at number one, a spot he has occupied since I started my list September 30, 2015.

Derby Points (70)  

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

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

Comments: Bob Baffert’s $650k purchase is a 2-time graded winner (G1 Los Al Futurity, G3 Robert Lewis) and he got valuable shipping experience in a place finish over wet footing in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill last fall. He has never finished out of the exacta including a better than appears place finish behind wire job winner Danzing Candy in the G2 San Felipe at Santa Anita on March 12. In the San Felipe, jockey Gary Stevens said he was too fresh and eager to go early and after settling he passed Exaggerator for the place and galloped out nicely. Baffert and company keep learning more about him and the versatile sort will take on Danzing Candy again in the Santa Anita Derby on Saturday, April 9. He stays put at #2, a spot he has occupied since Oct 24.

Derby Points (44)

(3) GREENPOINTCRUSADER (Bernardini – Ava Knowsthecode, by Cryptoclearance) greenpointcrusader silks 2016

Trainer (Dominick Schettino) – Owner (St. Elias Stable)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:02.30 (6/10) at Palm Meadows on March 18.

Comments: The G1 Champagne winner was too far back early as the favorite in the BC Juvenile and ended up 7th after getting fanned very wide in the lane. He exited the Juvenile with an eye ulcer, probably caused by flying dirt during the running of the race. He resurfaced in the Jan 30 Holy Bull and the patient sort surprisingly took up the running in the paceless affair and was clearly second best. His future plans are set with the G2 Louisiana Derby next but I do not like the wide gaps between his three-year-old starts. He moves up on notch to #3 and must run big in the LA Derby on March 26.

Derby Points (14)

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

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

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:01.40 (21/53) at Santa Anita on March 18.

Comments: The 2-year-old champion looked like the real deal in his sophomore debut in the G2 San Vicente at seven furlongs. He ran fast throughout at Santa Anita on Feb 15, stopping the timer in 1:20.71 (100 BSF) and winning by 1.5 lengths over Exaggerator. He keeps on winning but I am not sure he wants to go ten furlongs and I do not like his one sprint/one route path to the Derby. He will have his final Derby prep in the G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on April 2. He jumps back in front of Exaggerator and makes his debut in the Top 5.

Derby Points (30)

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

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

Comments: He uncorked a new career top BSF (98) in his San Vicente return but so did Nyquist and he had to settle for a clear place finish after giving the champ a scare in mid-stretch. In his second sophomore start in the San Felipe, he was much farther back than normal after a less than ideal start and unleashed a strong, premature run at Danzing Candy before understandably flattening out and finishing 3rd (96 BSF). Trainer Keith Desormeaux is concerned that he is a miler but will give him another Derby prep race shot in the Santa Anita Derby. I am not sure if he wants to go run longer distances but he is tough, durable, battle-tested, and deserves every chance to make the Derby. If he does not want to go that far, there is always races like the G1 King’s Bishop (seven furlongs) at Saratoga this summer. He stays put at #5 for now.

Derby Points (26)

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

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

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:02 (7/22) at Oaklawn Park on March 14.

Comments: He replaced stablemate Synchrony on the list after rallying powerfully and going last-to-first in the G3 Southwest. He has fired Exacta shots in all six career starts and has a smart route-oriented pedigree. He had his final G2 Rebel Stakes work March 14 and is all set for his next Oaklawn Park test on March 19. He drew post 14 in the Rebel but the late runner won the Southwest from post 13 so his wide draw may not matter.

Derby Points (10)

(7) MATT KING COAL (Cool Coal Man – Donna Marie, by Came Home)

Trainer (Linda Rice) – Owner (Lady Sheila Stable)

Comments: Earned two of the better juvenile speed figures in a clear place finish at 8.5 furlongs at Belmont Oct 3 (93 BSF) and a 96 BSF for his easy flat mile wire job maiden win at that same venue Oct 29. Following a respiratory infection, he spiked a fever, missed the G3 Jerome on Jan 3, and went to the farm for a vacation. He returned to the work tab Feb 7 and made his first 2016 start in the third race on Sunday, March 6 at Aqueduct (inner dirt). In that Optional Claiming event at a mile and a sixteenth, he went wire-to-wire and earned a 97 BSF, a much better number than the G3 Gotham the day before. He was getting tired late and My Man Sam was closing but he had enough gas in the tank to get the job done despite being much less than 100% fit. The Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9 is next and he should be much fitter for that engagement.

(8) DESTIN (Giant’s Causeway – Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer)

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

Comments: The improving newcomer to my list responded in a big way in his last two wins in the Sam F. Davis (91 BSF) and G2 Tampa Bay Derby (100 BSF). Creative Cause’s brother owns fine positional speed and is getting good at the right time but still needs to prove his worth away from the friendly confines of Tampa.

Derby Points (51)

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

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

Comments: Ran his win streak to three with a sharp wire-to-wire score in the G2 San Felipe, smartly beating quality Derby contenders Mor Spirit and Exaggerator. He is fast and talented but he still has some stamina and versatility questions to answer. I would consider him a very serious Kentucky Derby contender if he relaxes and finish strongly in the SA Derby at nine furlongs. He is a new addition to the “exceptional eleven.”

Derby Points (50)

(10) JENSEN  (Haynesfield – Spun Lake, by Hard Spun)

Trainer (Larry Jones) – Owner (Larry and Cindy Jones)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:02.60 (27/51) at Fair Grounds on March 13.

Comments: Fired exacta shots in all four starts at Fair Grounds including a romping two turn entry level wire job Feb 25 (89 BSF). He seems to be developing at the right time and Jones says he reminds him of Hard Spun. The Louisiana Derby was being discussed but now it looks as though they will target the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. He moves up one spot to #10.

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

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

Comments: The closer ended his 2YO season with a win in Keeneland’s G1 Breeders’ Futurity and a show finish in the BC Juvenile. He made his much anticipated 3-year-old debut in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby March 12 and never picked his feet up in a very surprising non-effort. He is expected to return to Kentucky for his final Derby prep in the G1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 9 and he needs a big performance to make the Derby cut. He plummets from #3 to #11.

Derby Points (14)

The Next Nine: (12) Mo Tom, (13) Gun Runner, (14) Zulu, (15) Malibu Sunset, (16) Shagaf, (17) My Man Sam, (18) Kasseopia, (19) Outwork, (20) Cupid

Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders: Mor Spirit retains high ranking after Los Al Futurity

Mor Spirit, ranked #2 on my Kentucky Derby 2016 contenders list since October 24, maintains his high standing after a determined victory in the Grade 1 Los Al Futurity.

Mor Spirit

Mor Spirit wins 2015 Los Al Futurity – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Mor Spirit had every reason to regress a bit after doing all of the pace dirty work and finishing a game 2nd in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs on Nov 28. He shipped back to SoCal, returned in three weeks, and won yesterday’s Los Al Futurity by a length and a quarter.

Graded Recaps (Derby Points Races)

G1 Los Alamitos Futurity (12-19-15, 88 BSF): Mor Spirit stalked the pace in 6th for much of the opening six furlongs before rallying wide in the lane and running down stablemate Toews On Ice. The latter was all over the pace throughout and ended up six lengths clear of show finisher I’malreadythere. The top two ran well and the winner should have more to offer in the speed figure department next year with better spacing.

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

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

Trainer (Kiaran Mclaughlin) – Owner (Shadwell Stable)

Comments: The $2.2 million yearling purchase beat promising $900k purchase Seymourdini at six furlongs in his Belmont Park debut on 9-19-15 (87 BSF). In the G2 Nashua on Nov 4 at Aqueduct, he stalked wide, took a clear lead in the stretch, and won nicely by 1.75 lengths (89 BSF) under a hand drive. He wrapped up his juvenile campaign with an effortless stalk/pounce win by 1.5 lengths (96 BSF) in the G2 Remsen at Aqueduct on Nov 28. He retains the top spot and might make his sophomore bow in the G2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park on January 30.

Derby Points (10)  

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

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

Comments: $650k purchase had a slow start, made a nice inside middle move, took the lead, and ended up a clear 2nd (83 BSF) in his 6f Santa Anita debut Sept 27. He returned at a flat mile Oct 23 and cantered to an easy win (92 BSF) as the 1-2 favorite (geared down under Gary Stevens). He shipped to Churchill Downs and battled hard throughout in a good runner-up performance in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on Nov 28. He wrapped up his fine juvenile season with a win in the G1 Los Al Futurity on Dec 19 (see recap above). He has been on my list since the beginning and stays put at #2.

Derby Points (14)

(3) BRODY’S CAUSE (Giant’s Causeway – Sweet Breanna, by Sahm) brody's cause silks

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

Comments: Looked great from off the pace in back-to-back wins at Churchill (one mile maiden win) and Keeneland (G1 Breeders’ Futurity). He worked his way through traffic to finish a decent 3rd in the BC Juvenile and continues to look like a solid stretch factor on the Derby trail. He remains at #3.

Derby Points (14)

(4) GREENPOINTCRUSADER (Bernardini – Ava Knowsthecode, by Cryptoclearance) greenpointcrusader silks

Trainer (Dominick Schettino) – Owner (St. Elias Stable)

Comments: Put it all together from off the pace in a strong 4-1/2 length victory in the Champagne. I really like his pedigree and he figures to get better with age. The BC Juvenile favorite was too far back early and ended up a better than appears 7th after getting fanned very wide in the lane at Keeneland Oct 31. He exited the BC Juvenile with an eye ulcer, probably caused by flying dirt during the running of the race. His connections are deciding whether to winter in New York or Florida and he will not run again this year.  He retains his #4 ranking and I still like him as a long term prospect.

Derby Points (10)

(5) CONQUEST BIG E (Tapit – Seeinsbelieven, by Carson City) conquest big e silks

Trainer (Mark Casse) – Owner (Conquest Stables, LLC.)

Comments: Visually impressive maiden win at Keeneland Oct 2. In the BC Juvenile, he chased the pace from the inside pace and faded to finish 8th. He bounced back with a solid stalk/pounce 2-length flat mile Optional Claiming win at Churchill Downs on Nov 28. He remains at #5.

(6) SEYMOURDINI (Bernardini – Graeme Six, by Graeme Hall) seymourdini silks

Trainer (Linda Rice) – Owner (Iris Smith Stable)

Comments: $900k purchase battled with Mohaymen throughout and ended up 2nd in his debut.He was clearly second best as the favorite (beaten 1/2 length) in a 6f special weight sprint at Belmont Park Oct 28 on a muddy (sealed) racetrack. In a one mile straight maiden race at Aqueduct on Nov 22, he controlled the pace as the heavy favorite and won by nine lengths under hand urging. He goes from #7 to #6.

(7) GIFT BOX (Twirling Candy – Special Me, by Unbridled’s Song) gift box silks

Trainer (Chad Brown) – Owner (W. S. Farish)

Comments: Beat Matt King Coal by a nose at 8.5f (Belmont Park, Oct 3) and was flattered when that one returned to win impressively four weeks later. He fought restraint in the Remsen and ended up an even 3rd in his first stakes try. He moves up a notch to #7.

Derby Points (2) 

(8) MATT KING COAL (Cool Coal Man – Donna Marie, by Came Home) matt king coal silks

Trainer (Linda Rice) – Owner (Lady Sheila Stable)

Latest Workout: 6f in 1:15.55 (1/1) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on Nov 27.

Comments: Owns two of the better juvenile speed figures this year in a clear place finish at 8.5 furlongs at Belmont Oct 3 (93 BSF) and a 96 BSF for his easy flat mile wire job maiden win at that same venue Oct 29. He is down one peg to #8.

(9) NYQUIST (Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) nyquist silks

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

Latest Workout: 3f in :37 (6/20) at Santa Anita on Dec 19.

Comments: Ran his record to 5-for-5 and wrapped up the 2-year-old title in the BC Juvenile. To his credit, he was farther back than usual and raced wide from post 13. He gamely held off Swipe for the fourth consecutive race but the final clocking was more than a second slower than filly counterpart Songbird once again. He still seems like a miler type but keeps on winning. At this stage he is in great shape in regards to Derby points and is expected to have two 2016 preps prior to the first Saturday in May. The likely juvenile champ stays put at #9 and might make his 2016 debut in the G2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on February 15.

Derby Points (30)

(10) SAIL AHOY (Bernardini – Matlacha Pass, by Seeking the Gold) sail ahoy silks

Trainer (Shug McGaughey) – Owner (Phipps Stable)

Comments: He did not run a complete race from start to finish and ended up an even 4th in the Champagne. He was last for much of the race and rallied for the show (missed 2nd by a neck) in the G2 Nashua. In the Remsen, he made a decent run from off the pace but flattened out and ended up 4th.  He dropped four spots from #6 to #10 last time and holds position this week.

Derby Points (2)

(11) STREET VISION (Street Sense – Emmy’s Storm, by Stormy Atlantic) street vision silks

Trainer (Mark Glatt) – Owner (Norman Stables, LLC.)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:00.80 (8/82) at Santa Anita on Dec 13.

Comments: Could not match strides with Los Al Futurity runner-up Toews On Ice in the Speakeasy (six furlongs) at Santa Anita Oct 18 but was clearly second best. He failed to threaten when 5th of 7 in the G3 Bob Hope (7f @ DMR on Nov 14), a race in which the top three dominated throughout (Toews On Ice, Mac Daddy Mac, I’malreadythere). I believe he will improve around two turns and hope he gets a chance to route in the near future. He clings to the bottom of the list.

Honorable Mention: (12) Exaggerator, (13) Airoforce, (14) Toews On Ice, (15) Swipe, (16) I Will Score, (17) Riker, (18) Rafting, (19) Flexibility, (20) Mac Daddy Mac

Haskell 2015 Video Analysis Featuring American Pharoah

Triple Crown 2015 winner American Pharoah makes his first start since turning the racing world upside down in the Belmont Stakes on June 6.

haskell 2015 odds

American Pharoah, trained by Bob Baffert, owned by Zayat Stables, and ridden by Victor Espinoza, puts his 7-race win streak on the line in Sunday’s Haskell at Monmouth Park.


Triple Crown 2015: Belmont Stakes Preview (Video)

Is American Pharoah the next Triple Crown winner? The last 9 Belmont Stakes winners did not compete in the Preakness, and the final leg of the Triple Crown series has been dominated by fresh horses since the early 2000’s.

In the video below, Handicapper Jarrod Horak takes a look back at the Preakness Stakes and previews the Belmont Stakes.

Preakness 2015 Recap + Belmont Stakes Triple Crown Preview

Once again, 2-Year-Old Champion and post time favorite American Pharoah lived up to the hype with a romping victory in Preakness 2015.

American Pharoah

American Pharoah wins Preakness 2015 – Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

A beautiful day turned ugly in a hurry with heavy rains pelting the Pimlico oval shortly before the running of the Preakness Stakes.

Jockey Victor Espinoza changed tactics and the race was over before it started. He was planning on rating from the inside post on a fast track, but when the rains came, he decided to send and play catch me if you can. The competition never stood a chance as the Derby winner floated over the wet footing and was never headed in his fourth triumph from as many 2015 starts.

Longshot Tale of Verve was up for the place for trainer Dallas Stewart, who also saddled Kentucky Derby runner-ups Golden Soul (2013) and Commanding Curve (2014).

Divining Rod finished 3rd for Lael Stable, the owners of 2006 Kentucky Derby hero Barbaro.

American Pharoah goes for the Triple Crown sweep at Belmont Park on Saturday, June 6, and it will almost certainly be the biggest test of his career.

Can American Pharoah win the Triple Crown? Affirmed in 1978 was the last horse to sweep the series and an unlucky thirteen horses have failed to complete the hat trick since. The last nine Belmont Stakes winners did not compete in the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes will be Pharoah’s fifth start in twelve weeks.

A talented group of fresh, graded winners will be waiting for Pharoah in New York, including G1 Wood Memorial winner Frosted, G1 Florida Derby hero Materiality, G1 Blue Grass winner Carpe Diem, G1 UAE Derby romper Mubtaahib, and G2 Peter Pan winner Madefromlucky.

Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders: Carpe Diem New Number One

This is my December 2014 update and fourth in a series of blogs devoted to Kentucky Derby 2015 contenders. Once again, I am got an early start in September, and there will be many twists and turns in the weeks and months ahead.

Kentucky Derby 2015 logo

You will notice a few changes to the list. International Star is no longer the top dog. He drops to 7th after an even 4th in the Ky Jockey Club Stakes. Carpe Diem is the new Number 1.

Frosted is the big upward mover, going from 7th to 2nd after landing the place in the Remsen.

Chief Istan has been inactive since breaking his maiden at Delaware on Sept 3 and has been replaced by Dortmund.

Lord Nelson is 2-for-2 sprinting and 0-for-2 around two turns. His replacement is Imperia.

Graded Recaps

G2 Remsen (90 BSF): Leave the Light On (Chad Brown) rode the inside speed bias to victory over unlucky favorite Frosted. The latter broke from the outside post and was wide throughout in a fine effort. It was another 8 lengths back to show finisher Keen Ice.

G2 Kentucky Jockey Club (94): El Kabeir established the early lead and had just enough left in the tank to hold off Imperia. The latter was making his dirt debut for McLaughlin-Godolphin and seems to want more ground. Eagle, International Star, and Lord Nelson rounded out the top five finishers.

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

Jarrod Horak’s “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders

  1. CARPE DIEM (Giant’s Causeway – Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song) carpe diem silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: WinStar Farm & Stonestreet Stables

Last Start: 2nd in G1 BC Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov 1.

Comments: Enjoying some R & R at Winstar Farm.

Derby Points (14)

  1. FROSTED (Tapit – Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister) frosted silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Last Start: 2nd from the outside post in G2 Remsen.

Comments: He almost certainly would have won the Remsen with a better post position.

Derby Points (4)

  1. BLOFELD (Quality Road – Storm Minstrel, by Storm Cat) blofeld silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Glencrest Farm

Last Start: 1st in G2 Nashua (8f, 93 BSF) at Aqueduct on Nov 2.

Comments: Blew past pacesetter El Kabeir to win G2 Nashua by five. He skipped the Remsen and will winter in Florida.

  1. AMERICAN PHAROAH (Pioneerof The Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) american pharoah silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in the G1 FrontRunner at Santa Anita on Sept 27.

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. He is expected to resurface next February.

Derby Points (10)

  1. SOUPER COLOSSAL (War Front – Soaring Emotions, by Kingmambo) souper colossal silks

Trainer: Eddie Plesa Jr. – Owner: Live Oak Plantation

Last Start: 7th in G1 BC Juvenile on Nov 1.

Comments: Stumbled at the start and dueled 3-wide before slowly fading to 7th in the BC Juvenile at Santa Anita on Nov 1.

  1. EL KABEIR (Scat Daddy – Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song) el kabeir

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill on Nov 29.

Comments: Snuck away early in the Remsen and was all out to hold on. I stand by my November comment that he is fast but might have distance limitations.

Derby Points (11)

  1. INTERNATIONAL STAR (Fusaichi Pegasus – Parlez, by French Deputy) international star silks

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Last Start: 4th in G2 Ky Jockey Club at Churchill on Nov 29.

Comments: Still searching for his best footing. He needs to kick it up on dirt in the near future.

Derby Points (11)

  1. TEXAS RED (Afleet Alex – Ramatuelle, by Jeune Homme) texas red silks

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Start: 1st in G1 BC Juvenile on Nov 1 (104 BSF).

Comments: Big, romping off the pace win in G1 BC Juvenile for Team Desormeaux. I like his pedigree moving forward but note that the pace sort of fell apart in the Juvenile and the top four finishers rallied from 11th, 10th, 8th, and 7th.

Derby Points (12)

  1. IMPERIA (Medaglia d’Oro – Cocoa Beach, by Doneraile Court) Imperia silks

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Last Start: 2nd by a head in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill on Nov 29.

Comments: Handled dirt just fine under the Twin Spires on Thanksgiving weekend.

Derby Points (4)

  1. DAREDEVIL (More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) Daredevil silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Let’s Go Stable

Last Start: 11th and last in G1 BC Juvenile.

Comments: Was hung out to dry (wide throughout from outer post) in BC Juvenile and retreated to last in a throw out effort. Enjoying some R & R at Winstar Farm.

Derby Points (10)

  1. DORTMUND (Big Brown – Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat) Dortmund silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Kaleem Shah, Inc.

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:00.80 (7/19) at Santa Anita on Dec 9.

Comments: 2-for-2 including a visually impressive optional claiming victory at Churchill Downs (8f, 97 BSF) on Nov 29. The G1 Los Al Futurity might be next.

Honorable Mention: (12) Upstart, (13) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (14) Calculator, (15) Lord Nelson, (16) Mr. Jordan, (17) Eagle, (18) Leave the Light On, (19) Startup Nation, (20) Chief Istan

Injured Reserve

Competitive Edge – Hairline fracture (9-17-14). Out for rest of 2014. Back in Pletcher barn at Palm Meadows.

Hashtag Bourbon – Ankle chip (left front). Could show up at Oaklawn Park in 2015.

Om – Hock injury. Out for rest of 2014.




Video Race of the Week: G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes

Saturday’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes is one of two Kentucky Derby 2015 preps. The other big juvenile event on November 29 is Aqueduct’s Grade II Remsen Stakes at nine furlongs.

In the Ky Jockey Club (11th race at Churchill Downs), Bob Baffert trains morning line favorite Lord Nelson. The promising son of late sire Pulpit is 2-for-3 lifetime with his lone setback a 4th place finish behind stablemate American Pharoah in the Grade I FrontRunner at Santa Anita Park.

El Kabeir invades from NY, removes the hood, and might be the one to catch. International Star drew favorably (PP 3) and gets pace to chase. All three of the aforementioned colts are part of my “Exceptional Eleven” Derby 2015 contender list.

Saturday’s written play at is the Grade II Remsen Stakes featuring Frosted.



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