Posts Tagged ‘Dynamic Sky’

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Overanalyze back on the beam

Longtime Kentucky Derby 2013 contender Overanalyze is used to rebounding from below par efforts and he did it again in the Grade I Arkansas Derby.

Overanalyze horse

The Derby would be a great time for Overanalyze to run two alike – photo by Eclipse sportswire

Overanalyze earned a less than inspiring 88 BSF at Oaklawn Park but he won easily and Bejarano seemingly saved something for the Derby. He has been in my top ten since last November but never won two straight and the Derby looks like a tall order.

Former top ten member Frac Daddy ran his best race since the 2012 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes with a place finish in Hot Springs. He still lacks mental maturity and would be a big surprise on the first Saturday in May.

Oxbow inexplicably dropped back to last early under Gary Stevens before splitting the 10-horse Arkansas Derby field. He has speed and figures to use it at Churchill Downs.

War Academy pulled up after four furlongs but appears alright after going through a battery of tests at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.

Java’s War is 1 of 2 Derby hopefuls for Ken McPeek – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

In the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, Java’s War flattered Verrazano with a late running score over Palace Malice. The BSF was only a tick better than the Arkansas Derby and this looked like a Polytrack special.

Charming Kitten rallied to garner the show and is going to the big show if he has enough points.

Disappointments included Rydilluc (4th), Balance the Books (6th), My Name Is Michael (7th), Dymanic Sky (9th), and Uncaptured (10th). The last two are both Ontario-breds and will probably target the Queen’s Plate.

That’ll do it for the major Derby preps. The Grade III Lexington Stakes will go on Saturday, April 20 and could produce a Derby starter. A win is worth 20 points and that looks like the Derby cutoff at this stage.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

Revolutionary horse

Revolutionary has been my top ranked Derby contender since Feb. 28 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Followed up a big fig maiden score with a winning adventure in the G3 Withers. He broke slow, raced wide, and smartly held off Mylute in the G2 LA Derby on March 30. He arrived at Churchill Downs on April 12 and Calvin Borel will be the passenger on Derby Day. Derby Points (110). 

2. Orb (Malibu Moon) – Won his fourth straight race for Shug McGaughey in the G1 Florida Derby and the strong finisher adapts to various pace scenarios. Joel Rosario has been named to ride on the first Saturday in May. Breezed 4f in :48 (2/8) at Payson Park on 4-14. Derby Points (150).

3. Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s colt ended his juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort in the G2 Remsen and ended up a troubled 5th in his G2 Risen Star return. He bounced back in the Wood Memorial to gain the place late and appears to be sitting on a career top in the Derby. Javier Castellano chose him over Orb. Derby Points (44).

4. Verrazano(More Than Ready) – Pletcher trainee cruised in his first three outings but was not nearly as brilliant winning the Wood Memorial. He no longer looks like a dominant force and will probably take too much action under the Twin Spires. No unraced 2yo has won the Derby since Apollo in 1882. Derby Points (150).

Black Onyx has quietly crept into my Top 5 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

5. Black Onyx (Rock Hard Ten) – He is 2-for-2 since Kelly Breen took over the training duties and he smartly won the G3 Spiral Stakes with a wide stalk and pounce trip under Joe Bravo. He was the first Derby contender to arrive at Churchill Downs and posted his initial Louisville move on April 13, breezing 5f in 1:00.60 (3/26). Derby Points (50). 

6. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – G2 Remsen hero finished a wide, flat 5th from post 11 in his needed Gotham return. He bounced back nicely in the Arkansas Derby (88 BSF) and tries to run two alike for the first time at Churchill in three weeks. Derby Points (110).

7. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot and scored again in the G3 Sham Stakes. He faded to 4th in the San Felipe and bounced back with a big win in the Santa Anita Derby. Ten furlongs is his biggest Derby obstacle. Worked 4f in :48.40 (6/24) at Santa Anita on 4-17. Derby Points (129).

8. Vyjack (Into Mischief) – Tasted defeat for the first time in the Wood Memorial but was hardly disgraced with a solid show finish. Garrett Gomez has been named to ride in the Kentucky Derby. He has pedigree questions to answer. Derby Points (70).

9. Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Still not sold on this one as a legit Derby contender because I am skeptical about ten panels and he looks like be a Florida specialist. G3 Holy Bull hero finished a solid 2nd in the Florida Derby, his first start in nine weeks. Breezed a 5f bullet in 1:01 (1/9) at Calder on 4-11. Derby Points (50).

10. Mylute (Midnight Lute) – His sire is on fire and the Amoss runner was 3rd in the Delta Jackpot, 7th in the Risen Star, and 2nd in the LA Derby.  He is on the grounds at Churchill Downs and will reunite with Rosie Napravnik in the Derby. Breezed a 6f bullet in 1:12.20 (1/6) at Churchill on 4-14. Derby Points (42).

Derby Dreamers (in alphabetical order):

Charming Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) – Pletcher’s talented turf runner ended up 3rd in the Blue Grass and seemingly did just enough to quality for a starting gate spot on May 4. Derby Points (20).

Falling Sky (Lion Heart) – G3 Sam Davis winner finished 3rd in the Tampa Bay Derby and 4th in the Arkansas Derby. He seems a cut below the best. Derby Points (30).

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Ky Jockey Club Stakes runner-up grabbed a quarter and finished 6th in the Holy Bull. He finished 7th in the Florida Derby and snuck into the Derby back door with a runner-up effort in the Arkansas Derby. Derby Points (44).

Govenor Charlie (Midnight Lute) – Smartly captured G3 Sunland Derby in his third career start. The Baffert trainee has plenty of upside but the Derby is an ambitious spot considering his lack of experience. He has a hind foot issue and is being examined at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. Derby Points (50).

Java’s War (War Pass) – G2 Tampa Bay Derby runner-up flattered Verrazano with his late running G1 Blue Grass tally but he only received an 89 BSF. He will try to get involved late under the Twin Spires. Derby Points (122).

Lines of Battle (War Front) – UAE Derby has never been a successful path to Churchill so it is hard to take this one seriously. Finished 7th in the 2012 BC Juvenile Turf, his lone trek to the states. Derby Points (100).

Oxbow horse

Oxbow is the one Derby pretender who scares me – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – G3 Lecomte hero shows up for every dance and just missed in the G2 Rebel on March 16. Gary Stevens hopped aboard for the Arkansas Derby and he rallied from last to split the field from yet another outer post. Lukas trainee can rate but went all the way in both career wins and can surprise in Derby if he flashes speed. Derby Points (36).

Palace Malice (Curlin) – Risen Star show finisher finished a troubled 7th in the Louisiana Derby. He desperately needed Derby points in the Blue Grass and made the cut with a solid place finish. Derby Points (50).

Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) – Facile G3 Southwest hero finished a flat 5th as the beaten favorite in the Rebel. Baffert trainee set the pace and weakened to 3rd in the SA Derby and appears to have distance limitations. Derby Points (30).

Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) – Smarty Jones/Rebel winner is training up to the Kentucky Derby, a rare move for Wayne Lukas. Breezed 8f in 1:40.80 (1/1) at Oaklawn Park on 4-12. Derby Points (60).

Former Top Ten Members

Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Late running turf specialist flopped in his Spiral Stakes return and ran better (6th of 14) but not good enough in the Blue Grass. He will return to New York and get back on the sod this summer.

Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – G1 FrontRunner and G1 BC Juvenile show finisher won an optional claiming route at Gulfstream on 2-16 for his new trainer Todd Pletcher and ended up 9th from the outside post in the Spiral Stakes. Breezed 4f in :51.20 (34/43) at Churchill Downs on 4-14. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – BC Juvenile 4th place finisher finished 6th in the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on 2-14. He scratched out of the Al Bastayika at Meydan on 3-9. Derby Points (3).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – He smartly won a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita and was last seen landing the place in the Eddie Logan Stakes (off the turf) on 12-29. No published works since 1-31.

Know More (Lion Heart) – G1 FrontRunner place finisher was terribly mismanaged after that effort, most recently faded to last in an allowance dirt sprint at SA on 12-28. He worked 4f in :50.40 (28/35) at Santa Anita on 4-15. Derby Points (4).

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Earned a 101 BSF in his NY bow Oct 28 and looks like a one hit wonder after three disappointing efforts since. He raced for his third trainer (Marty Wolfson) in the G3 Swale Stakes (finished 6th) on 3-2. They should probably regroup and give this one a breather.

Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Finished a distant last in the Remsen. That effort was too bad to believe but that’s back-to-back disappointments after a promising bow. Breezed 5f in 1:00.16 (3/10) at Palm Meadows (turf) on 4-8.

Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim winner finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and flew home to capture a turf allowance event (84 BSF) at Tampa Bay to begin his 3yo season. Chad Brown decided not to enter the Blue Grass. Breezed 5f in 1:01.60 (11/26) at Keeneland on 4-14.

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arl-Wash Futurity hero finished 7th in the G2 Hutcheson in his first start of the year and 3rd to Noble Tune in a Tampa Bay turf allowance affair. He finished 6th in the third race (allowance turf route) at Keeneland on 4-14. Derby Points (1).

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 returned in the Santa Anita Derby and finished 5th in that needed effort. Worked 4f in :47.60 (2/35) at Santa Anita on 4-15. Derby Points (10).

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred finished a solid 2nd in the Spiral but stalked and faded in a disappointing Blue Grass effort. He will regroup and likely point to the Queen’s Plate. Derby Points (30).

War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Baffert’s highly regarded debut winner returned with an even 4th place finish in the San Vicente on Feb. 17. He bounced back with a stylish Optional Claiming route win (98 BSF) at Santa Anita on March 15 and was pulled up as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby. He appears to be alright after taking a bad step at Oaklawn Park.

Injured Reserve

Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He has not worked since 12-24 and is reportedly getting a break after an undisclosed physical problem. Derby Points (1).

Darwin (Big Brown) – Former exciting prospect and 4th place Nashua finisher is on holiday and could return this summer.

Flashback (Tapit) – Came out of his 2nd place finish in the Santa Anita Derby with a bone chip but is expected to make a full recovery. Derby Points (70).

Gulfport (Unbridled’s Song) – Promising Romans trainee is injured and off the Derby trail.

Hear the Ghost (Ghostzapper) – Injured his right front leg preparing for the SA Derby and if off the Triple Crown trail.

Hightail (Mineshaft) – BC Juvenile Sprint winner was injured following a recent workout at Oaklawn Park and has been retired.

Ive Struck a Nerve (Yankee Gentleman) – Surprising G2 Risen Star winner had ankle surgery on 3-12 and is off the Derby trail.

Joha (Johar) – He was pulled from the Keeneland January sale because of a minor injury. He is expected to resume racing later this year.

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – BC Juvenile winner and 2yo champ tasted defeat for the first time in the Holy Bull and faded to 5th in the nine furlong Florida Derby. He came out of the Florida Derby with a pelvic stress fracture and will need at least three months rest. Derby Points (24).

Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Was diagnosed with a fractured sesamoid following his game runner-up effort in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on 2-23. He has been retired. Derby Points (10).

A Day at Keeneland + Blue Grass Stakes 2013 Preview

We spent the day at Keeneland on Wednesday, April 10, and here are some of the highlights:

Francisco Torres

Jockey Francisco Torres

Hanging out with ‘Cisco Torres at Keeneland.

I became friends with jockey Francisco Torres when I worked as Track Handicapper/TV Host at Louisiana Downs in 2008-09. He moved his tack to the Midwest shortly after that and my current employer Horse Racing Nation relocated from Shreveport to Kentucky late last year.

‘Cisco had a few mounts on Wednesday and it was nice to see him again. He said that he will ride at Churchill Downs after the current Keeneland meet ends.

War Dancer

Wednesday’s feature race was a salty $60,000 allowance turf route for 3-year-olds and War Dancer mowed ’em all down after blowing the break under Alan Garcia.

War Dancer

War Dancer storms home on Keeneland turf

Ken McPeek’s $220k son of War Front could end up in the graded turf ranks in the near future. Look for him in races like the Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs and the Secretariat at Arlington Park this summer.

Positively ended up 2nd in his first start of the season and is worth following as well. He faced graded main track rivals on multiple occasions last year and dam has tossed four turf winners.

Blue Grass Stakes Draw

Blue Grass stakes draw

Fourteen horses will break from the starting gate in the $750,000, Grade I Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, April 13. The field was drawn on Wednesday morning and Dynamic Sky will start from the inside post.

Morning line favorite Uncaptured drew well in post seven.

Balance the Books goes from post one in the Spiral to post eleven in the Blue Grass.

Rydilluc will try to overcome unlucky number thirteen and Fear the Kitten is marooned in the far outside post.

Blue Grass Video with Joe DePaolo

I have been working with Steve Bortstein for more than fifteen years. We were colleagues at Racing on the Net and I have contributed to his Fast Track radio show for many years. Joe DePaolo and I became Fast Track fixtures a few years ago and were joined by Molly Jo Rosen recently.

I shot a couple of Derby prep videos with Molly Jo earlier this year and I finally got to meet Joe DePaolo in person at Keeneland on Wednesday. We had a great time shooting the Blue Grass video below and hope to do more in the future. Thanks, Joe. It was a pleasure working with you.

Amazingly, I have yet to meet Steve in person. We have to make that happen!

If you would like to listen to the Fast Track with Steve Bortstein, you can tune in each Saturday & Sunday from 10am to 11am Eastern Time on the FoxSports 1340 New Mexico IHeart radio channel – http://www.iheart.com/#/live/5306/?autoplay=true

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Super Ninety Nine headlines Rebel Stakes

Verrazano remained undefeated with another strong win in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby and vaulted to top of many Kentucky Derby 2013 lists.

Verrazano is the right now Derby horse after another facile win in the Tampa Bay Derby – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The waters will get a bit deeper for Verrazano in the G1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 6. He figures to face better horses while attempting to navigate nine furlongs for the first time. So far so, good for El Padrino’s promising brother, and he remains my second ranked contender.

Java’s War made a big run from the back of the pack to finish a clear 2nd but he was never going to catch Verrazano. Falling Sky attended the pace and comfortably held the show over Dymanic Sky.

Hear the Ghost upset the applecart in the G2 San Felipe at Santa Anita on March 9 and the quick early pace helped his cause. I am not a believer yet and want to see him do it again.

Flashback ran too good to lose in the San Felipe. He did all of the pace dirty work and fought hard until the bitter end. He ended up a fine 2nd and should have gotten plenty out of it. Not sure if he is a ten furlong horse but I like his fighting spirit and he could go better under new pilot Garrett Gomez in the Santa Anita Derby if he relaxes early.

Goldencents always seemed a bit suspect on stamina and he had nothing to offer late in the San Felipe after losing the pace battle. He is another that needs to relax but early speed is his best weapon. He has talent but does not look like a ten furlong horse.

Tiz a Minister was far back early and rallied past Goldencents to finish a surprising 3rd. The Blue Grass Stakes might be next.

My longtime Exciting Prospect War Academy is one to watch after a sharp victory on March 15 in his first start around two turns. The Baffert runner will get one shot to make the Derby gate and could be the late bloomer we have been waiting for.

The Derby prep race of the weekend is the Grade II Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. A field of 11 has been drawn for the March 16 contest and Southwest hero Super Ninety Nine drew the outside post. The flashy Baffert trainee faces a pair of my Exciting Prospects, Remsen show finisher Delhomme and San Vicente runner-up Treasury Bill. See my Rebel video preview below with special guest Ryan Patterson.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Followed up a big fig maiden score with a winning adventure in the G3 Withers. He breezed 5f in 1:01.48 (6/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-10 and the G2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 30 is next. Derby Points (10).

2. Verrazano (More Than Ready) – Pletcher trainee looks like any kind after three straight facile wins to kick off his career including a 3-length victory in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby on 3-9. The G1 Wood Memorial at the Big A on April 6 is next. Derby Points (50).

3. Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase was an easy wire job vs. three rivals in the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb 2. He got tested early and often in the G2 San Felipe and was nailed late by Hear the Ghost. He will try to turn the tables in the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 6. Derby Points (30).

Super Ninety Nine is the solid choice in Saturday’s Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

4. Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) – Baffert trainee has found his niche in main track routes. Facile G3 Southwest hero does not seem to be getting the same respect as some of the other top tier Derby contenders. Worked 5f in :59.80 (2/52) at Santa Anita on 3-10 and drew post 11 in the upcoming G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on 3-16. Derby Points (10).

5. Orb (Malibu Moon) – Won his third straight race for Shug McGaughey in the G2 Fountain of Youth. He seems to have plenty of stamina and John Velazquez will ride again in the G1 Florida Derby at the Gulf on March 30. Breezed 4f in :48.40 (2/16) at Payson Park on 3-11. Derby Points (50).

6. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Won G2 With Anticipation and G3 Bourbon on turf last year and just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf. He breezed 4f in :49.96 (20/39) at Palm Meadows on 3-10 and is expected to show up in the G3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway on 3-23.

7. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim winner finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and flew home to capture a turf allowance event (84 BSF) at Tampa Bay to begin his 3yo season. Chad Brown and company will give him a shot to make the Derby in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 13.

8. Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s $230k Keeneland sales grad completed his juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort in the G2 Remsen and ended up a troubled 5th in his G2 Risen Star return. He breezed 4f in :48.01 (2/39) at Palm Meadows on 3-10 and will try to rebound in the Wood Memorial. Derby Points (4).

9. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – G2 Remsen hero finished a flat 5th in his Gotham return. He probably needed the race but should have run better. It appears as though he will switch gears and go in the G3 Sunland Derby on March 24 instead of the Wood Memorial. Derby Points (10).

10. War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Baffert’s highly regarded debut winner returned with an even 4th place finish in the San Vicente on Feb. 17. He bounced back with a stylish Optional Claiming route win at Santa Anita on March 15 and could be ready to hit the big time.

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Abstraction (Pulpit) – Exciting colt gave his rivals the slip in facile two turn graduation run at Fair Grounds on 3-13. The David Carroll trainee earned a 92 BSF and might end up being a good one.

Delhomme (Dixie Union) – Set the pace and ended up a rock solid 3rd in a fast renewal of the Remsen. He breezed 5f in 1:00.88 (3/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-10 and makes his sophomore bow in the Rebel Stakes. Derby Points (2).

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker returned from an injury to finish a clear 2nd at 7f in the GP slop vs. Optional Claiming company on 1-19. He ended up a solid 3rd in the Risen Star on 2-23. Breezed 4f in :49.40 (13/39) at Palm Meadows on 3-10. Derby Points (10).

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Promising Lukas trainee set the pace and held the place in his needed Gazebo Stakes (6 furlongs) return at Oaklawn Park on 3-2. Breezed 5f in 1:01.20 (2/14) at Oaklawn Park on 3-12. The G3 Sunland Derby (March 24) is next on his dance card and Gary Stevens will ride.

Treasury Bill (Lemon Drop Kid) – Followed a visually impressive maiden tally at Santa Anita on 1-27 with a rallying place finish in the G2 San Vicente on 2-17. He drilled a 4f bullet in :48 (1/26) at Betfair Hollywood Park on 3-11 and will try two turns for the first time in the Rebel.

Former Top Ten Members

Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – G1 FrontRunner and G1 BC Juvenile show finisher won an optional claiming route at Gulfstream on 2-16 for his new trainer Todd Pletcher. He only received a 69 BSF in his last and skipped the Rebel in favor of the Spiral a week later. Breezed 5f in 1:01.48 (6/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-10. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – BC Juvenile 4th place finisher finished 6th in the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on 2-14. He scratched out of the Al Bastayika at Meydan on 3-9. Derby Points (3).

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Ky Jockey Club Stakes runner-up grabbed a quarter and finished 6th in the Holy Bull. I’ll draw a line through his last and give him another chance. He breezed a 5f bullet in :58.47 (1/25) at Gulfstream Park on 3-8 and will try his luck in the G1 Florida Derby as opposed to the Spiral Stakes as originally intended. Derby Points (4).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – He smartly won a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita and was last seen landing the place in the Eddie Logan Stakes (off the turf) on 12-29. No published works since 1-31.

Goldencents is the latest Top 10 casualty after fading in the San Felipe – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot and scored again in the G3 Sham Stakes. He faded to 4th in the San Felipe and appears to have distance limitations. O’Neill trainee is targeting the Santa Anita Derby. Derby Points (29).

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

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Earned a 101 BSF in his NY bow Oct 28 and looks like a one hit wonder after three disappointing efforts since. He raced for his third trainer (Marty Wolfson) in last weekend’s G3 Swale Stakes (finished 6th).

Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Finished a distant last in the Remsen. That effort was too bad to believe but that’s back-to-back disappointments after a promising bow. Breezed 4f in :50.20 (24/39) at Palm Meadows on 3-10.

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arl-Wash Futurity hero finished a disappointing 7th in the G2 Hutcheson in his first start of the year. He finished 3rd to Noble Tune in a Tampa Bay turf allowance affair. Derby Points (1).

Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Baffert trainee worked 5f in 1:01 (25/82) at Santa Anita on 3-11. Derby Points (10).

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – BC Juvenile winner and 2yo champ tasted defeat for the first time in the Holy Bull but was hardly disgraced in a clear place finish. I always had my doubts about his stamina and he did nothing to sway my opinion in the Holy Bull. Breezed 5f in 1:02.90 (18/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-10. Derby Points (24).

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He probably goes next in Turfway’s Spiral. Breezed a flat mile in 1:40 (1/2) at Ocala Training Center on 3-12 and probably goes next in Turfway’s Spiral. Derby Points (10).

Injured Reserve

Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He has not worked since 12-24 and is reportedly getting a break after an undisclosed physical problem. Derby Points (1).

Darwin (Big Brown) – Former exciting prospect and 4th place Nashua finisher is on holiday and could return this summer.

Gulfport (Unbridled’s Song) – Promising Romans trainee is injured and off the Derby trail.

Hightail (Mineshaft) – BC Juvenile Sprint winner was injured following a recent workout at Oaklawn Park and has been retired.

Ive Struck a Nerve (Yankee Gentleman) – Surprising G2 Risen Star winner had ankle surgery on 3-12 and is off the Derby trail.

Joha (Johar) – He was pulled from the Keeneland January sale because of a minor injury. He is expected to resume racing later this year.

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is sidelined with bucked shins.

Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Was diagnosed with a fractured sesamoid following his game runner-up effort in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on 2-23. He has been retired. Derby Points (10).

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Revolutionary ousts Big A rivals

Revolutionary made a surprise late attack to overthrow his foes in the G3 Withers at Aqueduct and is the latest Kentucky Derby 2013 flavor of the week for Todd Pletcher.

Revolutionary horse

Revolutionary overcomes troubled trip in G3 Withers – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The winning BSF in the G3 Withers was 86 and there was not much behind Revolutionary but he overcame traffic woes and a slow pace to make the grade in his first start vs. winners. He still has some growing up to do but clearly has talent and is bred to run all day.

Flashback (92 BSF) made it 2-for-2 with a facile wire job against stablemate Den’s Legacy and BC Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough in the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. Baffert’s promising winner has plenty of upside but still has to prove himself in a legitimately run graded route.

Falling Sky (92 BSF) made the pace and stole Dynamic Sky’s thunder in the G3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay. Those two solid colts, along with rallying show finisher My Name Is Michael, could meet again in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Verrazano (105 BSF) jumps into the top ten after his second facile tally in as many starts at the Gulf. El Padrino’s talented brother is conditioned by Todd Pletcher and will likely show up in a stakes race next.

Bob Baffert’s Super Ninety Nine (101) got the best of stablemate Code West in a flat mile allowance affair at the Great Race Place. Both colts are former members of my Exciting Prospects list.

No major shakeups in my top ten with the magnificent seven remaining intact. The bottom of the list took a hit with Verrazano and Flashback replacing Frac Daddy and Uncaptured.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Ran his record to 3-for-3 in smart, professional stalk/pounce tally in the G1 CashCall Futurity (92 BSF). Two Derby preps are planned, beginning with the Fountain of Youth on Feb 23. Breezed 5f in 1:02.29 (15/24) at Palm Meadows on 2-3. Derby Points (10).

Violence horse

Violence breezed 5f at Palm Meadows on Feb 3 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s $230k Keeneland sales grad owns a decent late kick and is definitely worth following. The Remsen runner-up breezed 5f in 1:01.23 (5/24) at Palm Meadows on 2-3 and might kick off his sophomore campaign in the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on 2-23. Derby Points (4).

3. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – Pletcher’s versatile colt won his second graded race in the Remsen (99 BSF). He is expected to contest the Gotham and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. Breezed 5f in 1:02.29 (5/24) at Palm Meadows on 2-3. Derby Points (10).

4. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Followed up a big fig maiden win with an adventurous journey in the G3 Withers. The Pletcher trainee has now won two straight and will spend the rest of the winter in Florida. Derby Points (10).

5. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Won G2 With Anticipation and G3 Bourbon on turf last year. He rallied nicely to just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf and the Chad Brown trainee will start his 3yo season in the G3 Palm Beach at the Gulf on 3-3. Breezed 4f in :50.22 (32/51) at Palm Meadows on 2-4.

6. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim winner finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and appears to have a bright future for Chad Brown. Breezed 4f in :50.22 (32/51) at Palm Meadows on 2-4.

7. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot and scored again in the G3 Sham Stakes. Not sure how far he wants to run but O’Neill is having fun with the speedy sort. Fired a 6f bullet in 1:12.40 (1/17) at Santa Anita on 2-4. Derby Points (24).

8. Verrazano (More Than Ready) – Pletcher trainee looks like any kind after a pair of romping Gulfstream victories to kick off his career. We will learn more about El Pardino’s brother when he tackles stakes foes in the near future.

Flashback

Flashback has Baffert smelling the roses again – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

9. Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8 and followed that up with an easy wire job vs. three rivals in the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb 2. Derby Points (10).

10. Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Beat Revolutionary in his Belmont bow Oct 28 (101 BSF). He raced for new connections (Silverton Farm – Darrin Miller) in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at the Gulf on Jan 1 and finished 3rd as the beaten favorite. Scratched from the Hutcheson Stakes and breezed 4f in :50.10 (11/14) at Payson Park on 2-3. He is entered in a 6.5f optional claimer at the Gulf on 2-9.

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Delhomme (Dixie Union) – Set the pace and ended up a rock solid 3rd in a fast renewal of the Remsen. He breezed 4f in :49.09 (17/28) at Palm Meadows on 2-3. Derby Points (2).

Distinctiv Passion (With Distinction) – Wired an allowance sprint field at Santa Anita on 12-28 and pulled the same trick in the San Pedro Stakes on 1-21. Not sure how far he wants to run but he sure is fast. Next up is the G2 San Vicente on Feb 17.

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker returned from an injury to finish a clear 2nd at 7f in the GP slop vs. Optional Claiming company on 1-19. Breezed 4f in :48.19 (6/28) at Palm Meadows on 2-3.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Promising Lukas trainee is off the IR list following a 3f breeze in :37.20 (5/9) at Oaklawn Park on 2-3.

War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Was bet down to even money and did not disappoint in his BHP sprint debut on 11-9. Baffert trainee is bred to handle a route of ground and should be heard from this year. Worked 6f from the gate in 1:12.90 (2/17) at Santa Anita on 2-4.

Former Top Ten Members

Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner, and he pulled the same trick in the BC Juvenile. He is now trained by Todd Pletcher and breezed 5f in 1:02.90 (22/24) at Palm Meadows on 2-3. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – BC Juvenile 4th place finisher in wintering in Dubai. He has been nominated to the Triple Crown and is expected to begin his 3yo campaign in the UAE 2000 Gunieas at Meydan on 2-7. Derby Points (3).

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Ky Jockey Club Stakes runner-up grabbed a quarter and finished 5th in the Holy Bull. I’ll draw a line through the Holy Bull and give him another chance. “I don’t know when he did it, whether he did it coming out or the gate or pulling up,” trainer Ken McPeek said. “He’ll probably miss 4 or 5 days, but it could be as long as two weeks, depending on how sore it is.” Derby Points (4).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – He smartly won a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita and was last seen landing the place in the Eddie Logan Stakes (off the turf) on 12-29. Worked 5f in 1:02.80 (5/6) at Santa Anita (turf) on 1-31.

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

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arl-Wash Futurity hero finished a disappointing 7th in the G2 Hutcheson in his first start of the year. He prefers synthetic. Derby Points (1).

Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Baffert said he needs time to grow and will probably return next March. Derby Points (10).

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – BC Juvenile winner and 2yo champ tasted defeat for the first time in the Holy Bull but was hardly disgraced in a clear place finish. I always had my doubts about his stamina and he did nothing to sway my opinion in the Holy Bull. Derby Points (24).

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Uncaptured

Uncaptured loses his top ten spot after a pair of foot ailments – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. His plans have been altered following a foot bruise and popped abscess, and he is now pointing to the Rushaway, Spiral, or Blue Grass. Derby Points (10).

Injured Reserve

Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He has not worked since 12-24 and is reportedly getting a break after an undisclosed physical problem. Derby Points (1).

Darwin (Big Brown) – Former exciting prospect and 4th place Nashua finisher is on holiday and could return this summer.

Gulfport (Unbridled’s Song) – Promising Romans trainee is injured and off the Derby trail.

Joha (Johar) – He was pulled from the Keeneland January sale because of a minor injury. He is expected to resume racing later this year.

Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Finished a distant last in the Remsen. That effort was too bad to believe but that’s back-to-back disappointments after a promising bow. He was reportedly sent to Ocala recently and could return in April if everything goes well.

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is sidelined with bucked shins.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 2012 analysis – Fortify can surprise

Saturday’s 8th race from Santa Anita Park is the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for 2-year-olds traveling a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.

Check out my Saturday (Nov 3) Breeders’ Cup analysis (available now) at TodaysRacingDigest.com. Upcoming analysis – Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita (Nov 3) and Churchill Saturdays (Nov 10, 17, 24).

Derby Wars

Play Saturday’s $30k BC November Shootout at DerbyWars.com

SA 8 (G1 BC Juvenile, 8.5f)

COMMENTS:

1. Title Contender (6-1) – Rode SA speed bias to sharp wire job Sept 29.
2. Speak Logistics (8-1) – Back-to-back wire jobs at Monmouth & Calder.
3. He’s Had Enough (20-1) – Late runner never fired in G1 Breeders’ Futurity.
4. Shanghai Bobby (2-1) – 4-for-4 in one turn NY races.
5. Monument (12-1) – Crawled home in Cal Cup Classic win.
6. Dynamic Sky (12-1) – Improving colt landed place in Breeders’ Futurity.
7. Capo Bastone (15-1) – Rallying show finish against the bias in G1 FrontRunner.
8. FORTIFY (9-2) – Lasix-free colt was no match for Shanghai Bobby in NY.
9. Power Broker (5-2) – Smartly earned diploma in FrontRunner romp.

ANALYSIS:

#8 FORTIFY owns an ascending numbers pattern and is bred to improve as distances increase. Dominguez got to know him last time and his grinding tactical style should play well around two turns. The no lasix rule won’t hurt him and the price should be right.

#9 Power Broker sat an outer tactical trip in the G1 FrontRunner and the $360k purchase sure took to conventional dirt that day. He should sit a similar trip today and a G1 win at this course/distance makes him the one to beat.

#1 Title Contender beat next out winner Code West (also Baffert) Sept 29 and he ran faster than FrontRunner hero and stablemate Power Broker. He might flee the rail and forget to stop under Martin Garcia, and he rates higher if early speed is strong.

#4 Shanghai Bobby has done everything right so far. He started his career in April and his seasoning edge should start to evaporate in the near future. He has to ship across country without lasix and go two turns for the first time at underlaid odds. He deserves the 2yo title if he wins this.

#7 Capo Bastone finished a better than appears 3rd over a speed friendly surface last time. He rates a longshot look underneath if he gets pace help over a fair surface.

WAGERS:

#8 to win

Exacta 8/1-9

Exacta 1-9/8

Trifecta 1-4-8-9/1-4-8-9/7