Posts Tagged ‘Itsaknockout’

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: The Final Countdown

Post positions have been selected and the field has been set for Kentucky Derby 2015. I have posted odds and post positions below.

The Derby blog began last September and my final “Exceptional Eleven” rankings are listed below. It has been an especially fun ride this year with five of my contenders from September making the Derby cut.

Stanford scratched, allowing #21 Frammento to make the Derby starting gate.

ky-derby-draw_615x400

El Kabeir missed his morning gallop on Friday, May 1 and seems to have a tender left foot. His Derby status will be determined Saturday morning.

I will continue to follow the current sophomore class through the Triple Crown series and beyond, and my 2016 Kentucky Derby contenders blog will debut after Del Mar & Saratoga in September.

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

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.60 (2/63) at Keeneland on April 25.

Last Start: 1st in G1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 4.

Comments: He’s been part of my list since last September and has occupied the top spot for more than four months. The feeling here is that we have not seen his best but he might have a tough go of it from post 2.

Derby Points (164)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:13.60 (19/33) at Santa Anita on April 25.

Last Start: 1st in G1 SA Derby on April 4.

Comments: The undefeated Derby contender elevated his game to new heights in back-to-back graded wire jobs in the San Felipe and SA Derby. The massive colt owns early-pressing versatility and cruised in his lone Churchill start. He is training forwardly and did well landing post 8.

Derby Points (170)

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

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Latest Published Workout: 4f in 50.80 (11/12) at Churchill Training on April 25.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on Saturday, March 28.

Comments: My original #1 ranked Ky Derby contender when I started this list Sept. ’14. The very experienced Derby contender began his career last June. He keeps getting better but needs further improvement to make a splash on the first Saturday in May. I love his professionalism and he drew favorably in post 12.    

Derby Points (171)

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

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 58.80 (1/33) at Churchill Downs on April 26.

Last Start: 1st in the G1 Arkansas Derby.

Comments: The 2YO Champ did not break a sweat in the Rebel or Arkansas Derby and heads to Churchill Downs as the Kentucky Derby favorite. He has looked sensational in the mornings and will break from post 18.

Derby Points (160)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.10 (2/9) at Palm Meadows on April 25.

Last Start: 1st in G1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 4.

Comments: He’s the fourth member of my original list from September and I played him Derby Future Pool 1. He showed a new closing dimension in the Wood Memorial and did the bulk of his Kentucky Derby preparations in Florida. He will break from the auxiliary gate in post 15 and should have plenty of room to maneuver.

Derby Points (113)

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

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :46.81 (3/55) at Belmont Park on April 25.

Last Start: 3rd in G1 Wood Memorial on April 4.

Comments: The 5th and final member of my original Derby list. Nothing bothers the versatile, consistent sort and he certainly brings plenty of experience to the table. He will leave from post 7 and you know Borel will find the rail at some point. He seemingly has a foot bruise and is not certain to compete in the Derby.

Derby Points (95)

  1. FIRING LINE (Line of David – Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold) firing line silks

Trainer: Simon Callaghan – Owner: Arnold Zetcher

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02.20 (51/59) at Santa Anita on April 25.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Sunland Derby on March 22.

Comments: After two grueling defeats to Dortmund, he cruised to a very easy win at Sunland. The Kentucky Derby will be his first start in six weeks. Jockey Gary Stevens was ecstatic after getting post 10. He is training well and if you like Dortmund, you will be getting a contender with similar ability at four times the price as the Baffert trainee.

Derby Points (58)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.95 (1/9) at Palm Meadows on April 25.

Last Start: 2nd in G1 Florida Derby on March 28.

Comments: Spiked a fever and missed a workout earlier in April but bounced back with two bullets on April 17 & 25. He owns competitive speed figures but must overcome post 19. I will like his chances more when the Belmont Stakes rolls around.

Derby Points (76)

  1. MATERIALITY (Afleet Alex – Wildwood Flower, by Langfuhr) materiality silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Alto Racing, LLC.

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48 (7/78) at Churchill Downs on April 24.

Last Start: 1st in G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on March 28.

Comments: The last unraced 2-year-old to win the Kentucky Derby was Apollo in 1882. He earned a 110 BSF in the G1 Florida Derby and looms a pace player on the first Saturday in May. He must overcome a lack of experience and post 3 on Derby Day.

Derby Points (100)

  1. WAR STORY (Northern Afleet – Belle Watling, by Pulpit) war story silks

Trainer: Tom Amoss – Owner: Loooch Racing Stable

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02 (7/20) at Churchill Downs on April 22.

Last Start: 3rd in G2 LA Derby on March 28.

Comments: Hard-knocking gelding earned his way into the Kentucky Derby with a 2nd in the G3 Lecomte, another 2nd in the G2 Risen Star, and a 3rd in the G2 LA Derby. The 50-1 longshot will leave from gate 16.

Derby Points (44)

  1. MUBTAAHIJ (Dubawi – Pennegale, by Pennekamp) Mubtaahij silks

Trainer: Michael F. de Kock – Owner: Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa al Maktoum

Latest Published Workout: 3f in :37.40 (10/15) at Churchill Downs on April 30.

Last Start: 1st UAE Derby.

Comments: The Irish-bred mystery horse is traveling across the globe for a shot at Derby glory. Trainer Mike de Kock is one of the best in the world. He will break from post position 6.

Derby Points (100)

The Rest of the Derby Field: Far Right, Bolo, Itsaknockout, Ocho Ocho Ocho, Danzig Moon, Tencendur, Mr. Z, Keen Ice, Frammento. Stanford (scratched). Also-eligible Tale of Verve will not make the Derby field.

SATURDAY’S KENTUCKY DERBY DAY (MAY 2) full card analysis from Churchill Downs is now available to purchase at:

The Runaway Horse

Upcoming full cards: Santa Anita weekends (May 2-3). PREAKNESS DAY (May 16) analysis from Pimlico coming soon! Every full card includes suggested Early Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6, and Late Pick 4 spread tickets.

Weekend full card recaps with highlights are posted on The Runaway Horse What You Missed page

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Florida Derby analysis

Florida Derby favorite Upstart makes his final stop on the Kentucky Derby 2015 trail at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, March 28.

Upstart

Upstart is the Florida Derby fav – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The Fountain of Youth Stakes did not look good from a visual standpoint, and Florida Derby favorites #4 Itsaknockout (2-1) and #9 Upstart (8-5) both exit that less than stellar heat. The former has upside with only three starts under his belt and the latter is a gem of consistency.

#7 MATERIALITY (7-2) is the stranger danger for Todd Pletcher. He has the same profile as 2014 Florida Derby winner Constitution and could easily make it three straight under Johnny V. He’s my top selection.

#1 Ami’s Flatter (8-1) was my longshot underneath key in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7th and he did not disappoint with a solid place finish at 13.50-1. Leading rider Javier Castellano hops aboard and he could spice up the exotics again.

Dale Romans just failed with Shackleford in the 2011 Florida Derby at almost 69-1 and he saddles another longshot this year, #3 Indianaughty (20-1). The son of Indian Charlie is bred for dirt and might move up 3rd off the shelf.

The Florida Derby field is completed by outsiders #2 Jack Tripp (20-1), #5 Quimet (20-1), #6 My Point Exactly (30-1), and #8 Dekabrist (30-1).

Suggested 2015 Florida Derby Wagers:

$20 to win #7

$4 Exacta 7 over 1, 3 ($8)

$2 Exacta 1, 3 over 7 ($4)

$1 Trifecta Key 7 over 1, 3, 4, 9 ($12)

.50 cent Trifecta 4, 7, 9 with 4, 7, 9 with 1, 3 ($6)

Graded Recaps

G3 Spiral (92 BSF): Dubai Sky was always traveling well from the outside and comfortably finished in front of Conquest Typhoon and Firespike.

G3 Sunland Derby (97 BSF): Firing Line could not have had an easier final Derby prep, winning by the length of the grandstand under jockey Gary Stevens. Where’s the Moon was more than fourteen lengths back in 2nd and Pain and Misery landed the show.

Check out my written analysis of the 2015 Louisiana Derby at HorseRacingNation.com!

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

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.92 (7/30) at Palm Beach Downs on March 21.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Comments: He will have his final Derby prep in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday, April 4.

Derby Points (64)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:12 (2/18) at Santa Anita on March 21.

Last Start: 1st in G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Comments: After back-to-back grueling efforts, he got a much needed easy wire job win in the San Felipe. The SA Derby on April 4 is next.

Derby Points (70)

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

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02.47 (19/30) at Gulfstream on March 22.

Last Start: 1st in G2 Risen Star.

Comments: He drew the outside post in the G2 LA Derby at Fair Grounds on March 28.

Derby Points (71)

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

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in the G2 Rebel Stakes.

Comments: Controlled the pace in all three of his graded wins and will return to Oaklawn for his final Derby prep in the Arkansas Derby.

Derby Points (60)

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

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.90 (1/23) at Belmont (dirt training) on March 22.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Gotham Stakes on March 7.

Comments: He added a new closing weapon to his arsenal in the Gotham Stakes. The Wood Memorial is his final Derby prep.

Derby Points (75)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 5f in :59.55 (4/24) at Palm Meadows on March 21.

Last Start: Disqualified from 1st and placed 2nd in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: Crossed the line first in the FOY but did not look like the sharp Holy Bull winner. He is the Florida Derby favorite.

Derby Points (36)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.85 (1/18) at Palm Meadows on March 20.

Last Start: Fading 4th in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: He returns to his favorite track to compete in the Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (13)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :48.40 (1/30) at Palm Beach Downs on March 21.

Last Start: 2nd in G2 Swale.

Comments: A solid place finish in his Swale return should set him up nicely for the Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (10)

  1. FIRING LINE (Line of David – Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold) firing line silks

Trainer: Simon Callaghan – Owner: Arnold Zetcher

Last Start: 1st in G3 Sunland Derby on March 22.

Comments: After two grueling defeats to Dortmund, he cruised to an effortless tally in New Mexico and has wrapped up his Derby prep campaign.

Derby Points (58)

  1. PROSPECT PARK (Tapit – Quiet Romance, by Bertrando) prospect park silks

Trainer: Clifford Sise Jr. – Owner: Martin & Pam Wygod

Latest Published Workout: 6f bullet in 1:11 (1/8) at San Luis Rey on March 21.

Last Start: 2nd in G2 San Felipe on March 7.

Comments: Rapidly improving colt earned important Derby points in the San Felipe. He is reportedly training well for the Santa Anita Derby.

Derby Points (20)

  1. FAR FROM OVER (Blame – Alchemist, by A. P. Indy) Far From Over silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Black Rock Thoroughbreds, LLC.

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.76 (7/8) at Palm Beach Downs on March 21.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Withers at Aqueduct on Feb 7.

Comments: Skipped the Gotham and goes next in the Wood Memorial.

Derby Points (10)

Honorable Mention: (12) Itsaknockout, (13) Far Right, (14) War Story, (15) Mr. Z, (16) The Truth Or Else, (17) Classy Class, (18) Ami’s Flatter, (19) Bolo, (20) Dubai Sky, (21) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (22) One Lucky Dane, (23) Materiality, (24) Conquest Typhoon, (25) Madefromlucky

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Daredevil returns in Swale Stakes

Last year’s Grade 1 Champagne hero Daredevil begins his road to Kentucky Derby 2015 in Saturday’s Grade 2 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

International Star

International Star is the current Derby points leader with 71 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Daredevil won his first two wet track starts at Belmont Park before racing wide and finishing up the track from an outside post in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He must overcome the inside post off a layoff in the Swale and has bigger fish to fry. He is firing bullets for quality layoff trainer Todd Pletcher and gets pace to chase in the paper race.

Souper Colossal has a nose for the wire (4-for-5) and might have a fitness edge in the Swale following a solid win in the Texas Glitter (5f turf sprint) Feb 7. He showed rating ability in his last and is a logical alternative to morning line favorite Daredevil.

Daredevil and Souper Colossal have both been part of my “Exceptional Eleven” Derby list for quite some time. The Swale is not a Kentucky Derby points race so both will get one upcoming shot at making the gate on the first Saturday in May, if they perform well on Saturday.

Graded Recaps

G2 Fountain of Youth (95 BSF): No doubt the ugliest Derby prep of the season from a visual standpoint. Upstart staggered, bobbed, and weaved across the line 2-3/4ths clear of Itsaknockout. Hold all tickets! Upstart was dq’d and placed 2nd for cutting off Itsaknockout. Frammento snuck past Frosted in the late stages to garner the show. The latter seemed to have this one in the bag turning for home but lost his action in the lane in a very odd race to say the least.

G2 Risen Star (93 BSF): In the best looking Derby prep of the week, International Star somehow found the rail (excellent ride by Mena) from the outside post and replayed his Lecomte score over War Story. Keen Ice was up to finish a non-threatening 3rd. Post time favorite Imperia finished a flat 5th and might be better on turf.

G3 Southwest (91 BSF): Far Right splashed home along the rail from off the pace, defeating longshot The Truth Or Else by 3/4ths of a length with perennial bridesmaid Mr. Z another nose back in 3rd. This was a virtual replay of the Smarty Jones except Mr. Z kept a straighter course.

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

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 1:01.21 (1/5) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 21.

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

Comments: He is targeting the Tampa Bay Derby on March 7.

Derby Points (14)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 7f in 1:25.60 (1/1) at Santa Anita on Feb 26.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Robert Lewis Stakes.

Comments: The undefeated colt will either run in the G2 San Felipe on March 7 or wait for the SA Derby on April 4. Baffert is reportedly pleased with his recent morning activity.

Derby Points (20)

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

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Last Start: 1st in G2 Risen Star.

Comments: Lecomte-Risen Star winner will probably return to Fair Grounds for the G2 LA Derby on March 28.

Derby Points (71)

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

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 6f in 1:12.40 (2/31) at Santa Anita on Feb 21.

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

Comments: Foot bruise knocked him out of the G1 BC Juvenile. 2YO Champ returned to the work tab on Feb 2. The G2 Rebel at Oaklawn on March 14 is a likely return spot.

Derby Points (10)

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

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.88 (3/35) at Belmont (dirt training track) on Feb 22.

Last Start: 2nd in G3 Withers at Aqueduct on Feb 7.

Comments: Won the pace battle but lost the war in the Withers. He never misses a dance and is expected to go next in the G3 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 7.

Derby Points (25)

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

Trainer: Keith Desormeaux

Last Start: Close 2nd in G2 San Vicente on Feb 1.

Comments: Using swimming therapy (through March 7) to help heal his foot abscess. It looks like one more Derby prep, probably the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 4. If he needs an extra week, the G1 Arkansas Derby on April 11 is the backup plan.

Derby Points (12)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :50.20 (11/32) at Gulfstream Park West on Feb 21.

Last Start: 1st in Texas Glitter (5f turf) at GP on Feb 7.

Comments: Easy turf sprint return victory should set him up nicely for Saturday’s G2 Swale at 7f.

Derby Points (0)

  1. UPSTART (Flatter – Party Silks, by Touch Gold) upstart silks

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Last Start: Disqualified from 1st and placed 2nd in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: Crossed the line first in the FOY but did not look like the sharp Holy Bull winner.

Derby Points (36)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Last Start: Fading 4th in G2 Fountain of Youth.

Comments: The runner-up in the Remsen & Holy Bull seemingly had the Fountain of Youth in the bag but spit the bit in the lane.

Derby Points (13)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :48.20 (1/19) at Palm Beach Downs on Feb 22.

Last Start: 11th 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. He drew the rail for Saturday’s Swale.

Derby Points (10)

  1. OCEAN KNIGHT (Curlin – Ocean Goddess, by Stormy Atlantic) Ocean Knight

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Stonestreet Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.95 (10/26) at Palm Meadows on Feb 21.

Last Start: 1st in G3 Sam F. Davis.

Comments: Replaces stablemate Imperia on the list. The Gotham on March 7 might be next.

Derby Points (0)

Honorable Mention: (12) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (13) Lord Nelson, (14) Firing Line, (15) Khozan, (16) Mr. Z, (17) Far From Over, (18) Itsaknockout, (19) Far Right, (20) War Story, (21) Imperia, (22) The Great War, (23) Prospect Park, (24) The Truth Or Else, (25) Metaboss