Posts Tagged ‘Merit Man’

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Can Goldencents go the distance?

Goldencents continues to make inroads on the Kentucky Derby 2013 trail. He followed up a sharp wire job in the Delta Jackpot with a solid stalk and pounce victory in the one mile Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park on January 6.

Goldencents

Goldencents wins 2013 Sham Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Bob Baffert trainee Manando carved out the Sham splits with Goldencents parked to his outside. Kevin Krigger pulled the trigger on Doug O’Neill’s charge in the lane and he came home 1-1/2 lengths to the good, earning a rock solid 93 BSF.

Den’s Legacy saved all the ground under Gomez and caught Manando for the place, giving Baffert a 2-3 finish.

Goldencents reminds me of Tapizar and figures to be effective up to a mile and a sixteenth. He has done everything asked of him and owns dangerous early-pressing speed. I will keep an open mind in regards to getting ten panels on the first Saturday in May, but at this point I have my doubts.

Vyjack nipped longshot Siete de Oros in the G2 Jerome at the Big A on 1-5. The big story here is sire Into Mischief is responsible for Vyjack as well as Goldencents. No Derby points were rewarded in the Jerome and I doubt we saw a legit Derby contender but the race did earn a respectable 90 BSF.

Itsmyluckyday romped in the GP Derby on New Year’s Day. He garnered a 95 BSF but still must prove himself over a route of ground against tougher graded rivals. I’ll reserve judgment on him for now.

Merit Man got a disappointing 76 BSF in the Spectacular Bid, beating my 10th ranked colt Little Distorted. The latter broke slow off the shelf in his second lifetime start and grabbed show dough in an inconclusive effort. He has raw talent and deserves another chance.

Demonic (Bernardini) was a solid debut winner at Santa Anita on Jan 13. He ran seven panels in 1:22.89 and paid $4.00 to win. John Sadler’s $400k purchase is definitely worth following.

Another unraced juvenile to watch is Verrazano. The Pletcher trainee was an easy debut winner at the Gulf on New Year’s Day and earned a 94 BSF. El Padrino’s baby brother could be any kind. He breezed 4f in :49.45 (24/45) at Palm Meadows on 1-13.

Uncaptured drops a few pegs after getting knocked out of the Sam Davis Stakes with a foot bruise. He needs to get healthy in a hurry.

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

Violence will probably make 3yo bow in Fountain of Youth Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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. Derby Points (10).

2. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Followed up stellar maiden route win with a near miss in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He breezed 5f in :59.89 (3/27) at Gulfstream Park on 1-12 and is possible for the Holy Bull Stakes. Derby Points (4).

3. 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 4f in :49.33 (17/45) at Palm Meadows on 1-13 and might kick off his sophomore campaign in the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on 2-23. Derby Points (4).

4. 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. He breezed 3f in :36.94 (4/15) at Palm Meadows on 1-13. Derby Points (10).

5. 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. Derby Points (24).

6. 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 packs a nice late kick.

Uncaptured horse

A foot bruised knocked Uncaptured out of the Sam Davis Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

7. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He is wintering at Palm Meadows and a foot bruise has knocked him out of the Sam Davis. Derby Points (10).

8. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Finally put it all together in his fourth lifetime start, romping in a flat mile inner dirt MSW affair on Dec 28. The promising Pletcher/WinStar colt earned a 102 BSF and should show up in the stakes ranks next.

9. 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.

10. Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Earned a 101 BSF in his winning Belmont bow Oct 28. 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. Not sure what is next but I would like to see him try a route of ground.

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 will get a breather at WinStar Farm before returning to the Pletcher barn at Palm Meadows. Derby Points (2).

Distinctiv Passion (With Distinction) – Ran Super Ninety Nine and company off their feet in an allowance sprint win at Santa Anita on 12-28. Not sure how far he wants to run but he sure is fast. Worked 5f in 1:00.60 (6/41) at Santa Anita on 1-13.

Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8. He worked 5f in 1:00.40 (9/53) at Santa Anita on 1-7.

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker is off the Injured Reserve list (bucked shins) and is currently back in Pletcher’s barn in Florida. He breezed 5f in 1:01.42 (12/21) at Palm Meadows on 1-13.

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 in 2013. Worked 4f in :48 (10/33) at Santa Anita on 1-4.

Former Top Ten Members (in alphabetical order)

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 has moved to the Pletcher barn in Florida and he breezed 3f in :39.22 (4/5) at Palm Meadows on 1-1. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut win at the Spa followed by a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful, a 3rd in G1 Champagne, and a flat 4th in the BC Juvenile. Lasix-free colt is reportedly wintering in Dubai. 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.

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 4th in G1 Breeders’ Futurity and 5th after hopping at start (blinkers on) in G3 Iroquois. Zipped a 5f bullet in :59.40 (1/27) at Gulfstream on 1-12. 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

Shanghai Bobby remains on course for the Holy Bull Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 5-for-5 with a determined win in the G1 BC Juvenile (82 BSF). I always had my doubts about his stamina and he does not want to go beyond 8.5f based on his slow Juvenile effort. He is expected to make his 3yo bow in the Holy Bull at the Gulf on Jan 26. Breezed 5f in 1:01.42 (12/23) at Palm Meadows on 1-13. Derby Points (20).

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.

Injured Reserve (in alphabetical order)

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.

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.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Facile 7f tally (97 BSF) under Twin Spires in his 4th start. Bone chip has sidelined the Lukas trainee.

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – BC Juvenile Edition

This is a busy time for my Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders. Many have shipped to Santa Anita Park to take part in the Breeders’ Cup including my top ranked colt Fortify.

Fortify has been slowly improving for Kiaran McLaughlin. He should adore two turns in the BC Juvenile and he has never been administered lasix, so the no lasix rule for juveniles in the BC will not hurt his chances.

Shanghai Bobby

Shanghai Bobby is the 2-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s BC Juvenile – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Shanghai Bobby can clinch the 2yo title with a win in the BC Juvenile. Todd Pletcher’s undefeated colt tries two turns for the first time on Saturday.

Power Broker sports an 8.5f G1 win at Santa Anita and that gives him a home court advantage in the Juvenile. Baffert also has local route winner Title Contender, and he is not without a fighting chance on Saturday.

Other top ten members competing in the BC are Capo Bastone (BC Juvenile), Know More (BC Juvenile Turf), and Balance the Books (BC Juvenile Turf).

Earlier today, Wayne Lukas runner Hightail earned his diploma in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. He snuck up the rail and edged heavy favorite Merit Man in the scratched reduced field of five.

Last week, Uncaptured cruised in the G3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs. He earned a solid 90 BSF in the one turn mile.

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 Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut sprint winner at the Spa followed that up with a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful and a 3rd in G1 Champagne. Lasix-free colt should continue to develop for McLaughlin/Godolphin. He is 9-2 in the BC Juvenile. Derby Points (2).

Power Broker

Power Broker is the top local hope in the BC Juvenile – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. Baffert’s improving colt looks like the one to beat in the BC Juvenile. Derby Points (10).

3. Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 4-for-4 with a decisive win in the G1 Champagne (94 BSF). I have a feeling that he is just more seasoned that his juvenile rivals at this point and they will catch up with him in the near future. BC Juvenile next. Derby Points (10).  

4. Know More (Lion Heart) – Distant 2nd to Power Broker in FrontRunner. That was the first time he stepped on conventional dirt and his initial two turn event so it was not a bad learning experience. He will switch surfaces and give grass a whirl in the BC Juvenile Turf on Saturday. Derby Points (4).

5. Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner. John Sadler’s colt is entered in the BC Juvenile. Derby Points (2).

6. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Sharp debut win (93 BSF) for Doug O’Neill/Leandro Mora on 9-2. Set the pace and gamely held the place in Belmont’s Champagne. Worked 6f in 1:13.60 (8/21) at Santa Anita on 10-28. Derby Points (4).

7. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation and rallied outside to get up late in the grassy G3 Bourbon (77 BSF). The BC Juvenile Turf is his next assignment.

8. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 5-for-6 in the G3 Iroquois. He finished a troubled 5th in his lone two turn outing and still must prove that he can handle a route of ground.

9. 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 should prosper in future route races. Breezed 4f in :47.67 (5/76) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 10-22. Derby Points (1).

10. Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Cruised in Saratoga bow for Pletcher and his lack of seasoning and wide trip cost him in the Champagne. He is still a promising, long term prospect. Breezed 4f in :49.12 (15/79) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 10-27.

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Code West (Lemon Drop Kid) – $340k Keeneland sales grad chased Title Contender around the SA track on 9-29. He broke his maiden at that same venue on 10-26.

Darwin (Big Brown) – Pletcher’s $1.3 million baby professionally got the job done in his 6f Belmont Park debut (94 BSF) on October 6. He is entered in the G2 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov 4.

Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – Ran his turf record to 2-for-2 in visually impressive G3 Pilgrim (82 BSF) tally for Chad Brown. He will take on stablemate Balance the Books in the BC Juvenile Turf.

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Blew the break and rallied to finish a strong 3rd in his bow. McGaughey’s promising colt flopped at low odds (fractious gate) going a flat mile at Belmont second time out. He has raw talent but lacks maturity at this stage. Breezed 4f in :49.58 (37/57) at Belmont Park on 10-22.

Title Contender (Pulpit) – Rode the Santa Anita speed bias to perfection and earned identical 90 BSF as stablemate and FrontRunner hero Power Broker on 9-29. He might be the one to catch in the BC Juvenile.

Former Top Ten Members

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – 6th in Del Mar Futurity and a disappointing 7th in FrontRunner. He has raw talent but has yet to put it all together against salty afternoon rivals. He is entered in the 2nd race at Santa Anita on Saturday, a downhill turf sprint.

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity hero finished 4th in G1 Breeders’ Futurity and 5th after hopping at start (blinkers on) in G3 Iroquois. Derby Points (1).

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.

Injured Reserve

Palace Malice (Curlin) – Smart second time out maiden tally for Pletcher at the Spa on 8-4. He is out of action with bucked shins.

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is out for 60 days with bucked shins.