Posts Tagged ‘Louisiana Derby 2012’

KENTUCKY DERBY 2012 Contenders – Union Rags still on top

There were surprises galore on the Kentucky Derby 2012 trail last weekend with Take Charge Indy going all the way in the G1 Florida Derby and 109-1 bomb Hero of Order stunning his rivals in the G2 Louisiana Derby.

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

I recapped the G1 Florida Derby here on Sunday and in the video below. I have always liked Union Rags and am not going to abandon ship after a less than ideal trip behind tepid splits in his final Derby prep. Julien Leparoux could not do much after he committed to taking back early, coupled with getting pinned down along the inside by El Padrino’s rider Javier Castellano.

Union Rags finished up nicely after finding room in the lane and almost caught Reveron for the place. He galloped out in front and horse/rider should move forward following that learning experience. In reality, he qualified for the Derby on graded earnings long ago, so Saturday’s race was meaningless from that standpoint. He remains a solid contender on the first Saturday in May as long as he trains well leading up to the big day.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders

1. Union Rags (Dixie Union) – My longtime top ranked Derby contender remains #1 after a troubled show finish in the G1 Florida Derby. I will monitor him closely in the weeks leading up to the Derby to see how he training. Graded Earnings: $1,170,000

Alpha horse

Alpha runs in Saturday's G1 Wood Memorial - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. Alpha (Bernardini) – Went back-to-back at the Big A in Count Fleet and Withers. Breezed 4f in :49.17 (6/21) at Palm Meadows on March 30. The G1 Wood Memorial on 4-7 is next. Graded Earnings: $180,000

3. Gemologist (Tiznow) – G2 Ky Jockey Club hero returned in the pink at the Gulf on March 16. The undefeated WinStar Farm/Todd Pletcher runner fired a 5f bullet in 1:00.44 (1/9) at Palm Meadows on April 1. Saturday’s G1 Wood Memorial is next. Graded Earnings: $103,855

4. Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – Captured his second graded route in G2 San Felipe (102 BSF) at Santa Anita on 3-10. He breezed 4f in :48.40 (5/14) at Hollywood Park on 4-3 and goes next in Saturday’s G1 SA Derby. Graded Earnings: $686,000

5. Hansen (Tapit) – BC Juvenile hero relaxed nicely in sharp G3 Gotham tally. He breezed 5f in :59.80 (2/10) at Churchill (training track) on 3-31. The G1 Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 14 in next on the docket. Graded Earnings: $1,400,000

6. Secret Circle (Eddington) – Captured back-to-back graded routes at Oaklawn in G3 Southwest (102 BSF) and G2 Rebel (92 BSF). He drilled a 5f bullet in :58.40 (1/37) at Santa Anita on 3-29 and is expected to return to Hot Springs for the G1 Arkansas Derby on April 14. Graded Earnings: $470,000

7. Take Charge Indy (A. P. Indy) – Stole the Florida Derby but could only muster a 95 BSF despite everything going his way. I have always been fond of this one but he could be a pace casualty on the first Saturday in May. Graded Earnings: $698,400

8. Daddy Nose Best (Scat Daddy) – Back-to-back nine furlong wins in G3 El Camino Real Derby (92 BSF) and G3 Sunland Derby (100 BSF). Late running Asmussen trainee can run on anything. Graded Earnings: $545,558

9. El Padrino (Pulpit) – Finished a flat 4th in a very disappointing Florida Derby performance. He is on the graded earnings bubble and seemingly moves up on wet footing. Graded Earnings: $250,000

10. Mark Valeski (Proud Citizen) – Almost upset El Padrino in his G2 Risen Star route/stakes bow. Fired 5f bullet in 1:00.60 (1/14) at Fair Grounds on 3-27. Sunday’s G2 Louisiana Derby is next. Graded Earnings: $260,000

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order)

Bodemeister

Bodemeister is likely for the G1 Arkansas Derby on April 14 - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Bodemeister (Empire Maker) – Followed up 101 BSF maiden romp with another 101 BSF in San Felipe runner-up effort on 3-10. He zipped 6f in 1:10.40 (1/9) at Santa Anita on 4-2 and looms a serious prominent throughout player in the Arkansas Derby on 4-14. Graded Earnings: $60,000

2. Currency Swap (High Cotton) – G1 Hopeful hero was clearly second best behind romping, undefeated colt Gemologist at the Gulf on 3-16. Breezed 5f in 1:00 (2/9) at Gulfstream on 3-27 and goes next in G3 Illinois Derby on 4-7. Graded Earnings: $150,000

3. Midnight Transfer (Hard Spun) – Ended up a respectable 3rd in his G2 San Felipe, his first start around two turns. He fired a 6f bullet at Santa Anita on March 30 and goes next in the G1 SA Derby on April 7.

4. Prospective (Malibu Moon) – Professional winner of the G2 Tampa Bay Derby (88 BSF) for Mark Casse. Blinkers helped him get involved earlier and he will face better next time in G1 Blue Grass. Breezed 5f in 1:01.20 (2/5) at Churchill Downs on 4-2.

5. Went The Day Well (Proud Citizen) – Followed in Animal Kingdom’s footsteps with a win in the G3 Spiral Stakes (92 BSF) for Motion/Team Valor. He was green in the stretch and might run one more time before the Derby, with the G3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on 4-21 a logical target.

Injured Reserve (in alphabetical order)

1. Algorithms – Missed scheduled Fountain of Youth appearance with bone split injury and is off the Triple Crown trail.

2. B Shanny (Street Cry) – Ran twice in NY last summer including good looking maiden win over El Padrino at Saratoga Aug 20. Bone chip had him on the sidelines and he returned to the worktab on March 30, breezing 3f in :38.09 (16/22) at Belmont Park (training track).

3. Consortium (Bernardini) – Ankle chip knocked him out of the Gotham and off the Derby trail. He is expected to return later this year.

4. Fed Biz (Giant’s Causeway) – Hind-end issue has knocked him off the Derby trail, according to trainer Bob Baffert.

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

6. Junebugred (Corinthian) – Smarty Jones Stakes hero is off the Derby trail with a bone chip in his ankle.

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

8. Out of Bounds (Discreet Cat) – G3 Sham hero goes to the sidelines after suffering a non-displaced condylar fracture to his left front ankle. He is off the Triple Crown trail.

9. Sky Kingdom (Empire Maker) – According to Bob Baffert via Twitter, Sky Kingdom needs 60 days off and is no longer on the Triple Crown trail.

10. Spring Hill Farm (Smart Strike) – 4th place Tampa Bay Derby finisher goes to the sidelines with a right knee fracture. He will have surgery and his racing future is unknown at this time.

11. Stephanoatsee (A.P. Indy) – Injured pastern bone has knocked the Graham Motion trainee off the Derby trail. He is expected to miss at least two months and could return this summer.

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

Hero of Order Stuns Mark Valeski in Louisiana Derby

The winding road to Kentucky Derby 2012 took an unexpected turn in Louisiana on Sunday when 109-1 outsider Hero of Order shocked the world in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

G2 Louisiana Derby (4-1-12): 90 BSF (Hero of Order)

Hero of Order wins 2012 Louisiana Derby

Hero of Order shocks the world in Sunday's LA Derby - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

As expected, longshot Comisky’s Humor shot to the early lead in the Fair Grounds showcase on Sunday with Hero of Order, Windsurfer, Cigar Street, and Mark Valeski chasing.

The 26-1 early leader was done after six furlongs and bomber Hero of Order took over. Windsurfer was one paced along the inside and Mark Valeski started to advance turning for home.

Hero of Order opened up a 1.5 length advantage and appeared to be saying come and get me…but nobody could. In the end, the Gennadi Dorochenko trainee held on by a 1/2 length under Eddie Martin Jr. with Mark Valeski settling for runner-up honors once again. The latter threw a shoe and bruised his foot during the race.

Rousing Sermon was the only late runner to make an impact, checking in a solid 3rd under Mike Smith. Cigar Street was 4th, followed by Shared Property, Windsurfer, Afford, Z Dager, Fire Alarm, Finnegans Wake, Flashy Sunrise, Mr. Bowling, and Comisky’s Humor.

Hero of Order is not a Kentucky Derby nominee so he won’t be running under the Twin Spires on the first Saturday in May.

The Fair Grounds Derby prep series proved disappointing with slow renewals of the G3 Lecomte and G2 Louisiana Derby. El Padrino and Mark Valeski put on a show in the G2 Risen Star but both failed to live up to expectations this weekend. I don’t think anybody coming out of this heat is a serious Derby threat.

Louisiana Derby Grade: D (66 out of 100)

 

 

Louisiana Derby 2012 Preview: Is Mark Valeski the real deal?

The Fair Grounds sophomores complete their Kentucky Derby 2012 road in Sunday’s Grade 2 Louisiana Derby and Mark Valeski tries to prove that he is a worthy morning line favorite.

Pace

Early-Pressers:

Cigar Street
Mark Valeski
Arm Force
Comisky’s Humor
Hero of Order

Stalkers:

Fire Alarm
Windsurfer
Mr. Bowling
Z Dager
Afford

Late Runners:

Finnegans Wake
Flashy Sunrise
Shared Property
Rousing Sermon

Analysis:

#7 SHARED PROPERTY (10-1) experienced wide trips in the G3 Lecomte (3rd from post 13) and G2 Risen Star (4th from post 10). He captured a Graded event as a juvenile, gets a much better draw (post 6), fired a local bullet March 19, and dons the hood for sharp trainer Tom Amoss. #3 Windsurfer (12-1) is on the upswing for Pletcher/Winstar Farm. The talented colt won despite a wide trip at the Gulf Feb 18 and was flattered when the runner-up returned to score. The $190k purchase fired a Palm Meadows bullet for this March 18 and projects an inner tactical trip under Johnny V. #1a Mark Valeski (2-1) did everything but win the G2 Risen Star. He stalked, pounced, and was nipped on the line by favorite El Padrino in his first route try for Larry Jones. The improving son of Proud Citizen should make his presence felt throughout under Napravnik.

Wagering Strategies:

$15 to win #7
$5 to win #3
$5 Exacta 7/1-3 ($10)
$5 Exacta 1-3/7 ($10)