Posts Tagged ‘Mr. Bowling’

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)

 

 

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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) 

Ranking the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps

I began grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 preps with the Breeders’ Cup last November and the BC Juvenile has turned out to be quite a productive race.

Kentucky Derby 2012 logo

I gave the BC Juvenile a B grade, which was my highest ranked 2-year-old Derby prep of 2011. The race did not earn a triple digit speed rating but I liked the looks visually and thought there were numerous well bred prospects capable of making noise on the Derby trail including Union Rags, Creative Cause, and Alpha.

So far, I have graded 29 Kentucky Derby preps, beginning with the  BC Juvenile Sprint (11-4-11) through the Rebel Stakes (3-17-12). The next phase of Derby preps stretch the stamina limits to nine furlongs so I thought this was an appropriate time to rank the aforementioned 29 Derby prep races.

I graded each prep along the way like a teacher, using the A-B-C-D format. For ranking purposes, I have included a number with the letter grade. For example, 100 is the highest number possible, an A+ perfect prep. A 60 or D- is the lowest possible grade.

In the chart below, El Padrino‘s allowance win at Gulfstream Park in January received an A- grade or 90, which is my highest ranked race on the Derby trail up to this point. The Delta Jackpot is ranked lowest with a grade of 65.

How did I come up with the rankings? I considered speed figures, strength of competition, and visual impressions, which helped me compile the rankings below.

Kentucky Derby 2012

 

Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: Risen Star Stakes

The final major local prep for the Louisiana Derby was contested at Fair Grounds on Saturday and Kentucky Derby 2012 hopeful El Padrino nipped Mark Valeski a thrilling renewal of the G2 Risen Star Stakes.

G2 Risen Star Stakes (2-25-12): El Padrino (99 BSF)

El Padrino horse

El Padrino wins thrilling renewal of Risen Star - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

It was not easy by any means but overwhelming favorite El Padrino notched his first stakes win and garnered a much needed $180,000 in Derby graded earnings on Feb 25.

The Pletcher trainee settled into a nice stalking rhythm on the outside under Castellano with Rosie Napravnik and Mark Valeski intently tracking longshot Hero of Order.

Mark Valeski poked his head in front but was quickly joined by El Padrino and the two leaders matched strides and brushed in the lane with The Godfather getting his nose down on the line.

El Padrino was not flashy or brilliant in New Orleans but he proved he could win a dogfight and walked away win the victory. The versatile sort handles any footing and has fired in all five lifetime starts at Saratoga, Belmont, Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Fair Grounds. He possesses all of the tools to win on the first Saturday in May and will have one more race before the big dance under the Twin Spires.

Mark Valeski had the most upside in the Risen Star but did not offer much value because he was coupled with Lecomte hero Mr. Bowling. The Larry Jones trainee did everything but win and the top two were well clear of the rest. He could continue to progress and looms a major player in the Louisiana Derby on April 1. El Padrino could end up in that spot as well.

Z Dager landed the show and was the only Lecomte runner to do anything. Mr. Bowling ended up last.

Optimizer ended up 9th for Wayne Lukas and needs to return to synthetic or turf.

Risen Star Stakes Grade: B-

Risen Star Stakes 2012 Preview: El Padrino deserving favorite

The road to Kentucky Derby 2012 heats up in New Orleans on Saturday with the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes and El Padrino looms large for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Kentucky Derby logo

#7 EL PADRINO (2-1) is the deserving favorite following a visually impressive and fast Optional Claiming route tally at Gulfstream Jan 29. He owns fine positional speed and should win this with anything resembling his last. Is he better on wet ground?

#3 Afford (8-1) might be worth a gamble in here. He exits a decent Fair Grounds route tally in the Optional Claiming ranks and figured to relish two turns with Street Sense on top and Unbridled on the bottom of his pedigree. He won despite a wide trip last time and could end up saving ground from the cozy rail today.

The G3 Lecomte came back with a low number so I will toss all six entrants (#1 Mr. Bowling, #2 Adena’s Chance, #2b Hero of Order, #5 Z Dager, #6 Ted’s Folly, #8 Shared Property)  that ran in that below par local prep.

I am a bit intrigued by #1a Mark Valeski (4-1) but he will offer no value due to coupling with Lecomte hero #1 Mr. Bowling. Mark Valeski is on the upswing and tries a route of ground for the first time. Leading rider Rosie Napravnik ends up riding this one for trainer Larry Jones.

#4 Optimizer (6-1) appears best on turf/synthetic for trainer Wayne Lukas. 

#9 Tizanexpense (10-1) exits back-to-back local route (off the turf) tallies against softer company. He drew the outside post and owns ordinary numbers.

THE PLAYS:

$10 to win #3

$18 Exacta 7-3

$5 exacta 3-7

$1 Trifecta 7/ALL/3 ($7)


Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders: Mr. Bowling, Midnight Transfer Score

The Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds was the lone graded Kentucky Derby 2012 route prep run over the weekend and Mr. Bowling knocked down twelve rivals in Saturday’s Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Kentucky Derby 2012

The Lecomte did not look strong visually and received a mediocre 79 BSF. Mr. Bowling drifted out in the stretch and held off Z Dager by a head. Shared Property, breaking from post 13, rallied to finish another ½ length back in 3rd place.

The top three are all expected back in New Orleans for the G2 Risen Star Stakes on Feb 25.

 

Midnight Transfergot a 93 BSF for his sharp off the pace tally in the San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Jan 22. The Carla Gaines trainee has an eye on the G2 San Felipe Stakes on March 10.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders

Union Rags

Union Rags is on course for Fountain of Youth Stakes - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Union Rags (Dixie Union) – G1 Champagne hero failed to run a straight course in unlucky BC Juvenile place finish. He breezed 5f in 1:00.82 (2/28) at Palm Meadows on Jan 24. He is gearing up for the Feb 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

2. Gemologist (Tiznow) – Sharp G2 Ky Jockey Club (85 BSF) victory for WinStar Farm/Todd Pletcher. Undefeated colt owns fine early-pressing speed and plenty of upside. He is currently at Palm Meadows and should get back to work in the near future.

3. Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – G1 Norfolk hero finished a respectable 3rd in BC Juvenile. He worked 6f in 1:14 (5/16) at Hollywood Park on 1-20. He could return in Santa Anita’s G2 San Vicente at 7f on Feb 19.

4. Hansen (Tapit) – Undefeated BC Juvenile (94 BSF) hero has never been headed and his true talents are still unknown. He worked 5f in :59.80 (3/40) at Gulfstream on Jan 22 in advance of the G3 Holy Bull Stakes on Jan 29.

5. Alpha (Bernardini) – Champagne runner-up was fractious at gate in BC Juvenile flop. He bounced back in Count Fleet but was unruly in the gate again. He goes next in G3 Withers on Feb 4 and is currently schooling at the gate in New York.

6. Out of Bounds (Discreet Cat) – Handled two turns just fine in G3 Sham Stakes (99 BSF). The G2 San Felipe at SA on March 10 is next. Worked 4f in :48.40 (2/19) at Hollywood Park on Jan 23.

7. Secret Circle (Eddington) – Bob Baffert’s fleet colt finished a solid 2nd in the G3 Sham. Not sure how much farther he wants to go but he deserves another route shot. Worked 5f in :59.40 (3/32) at Santa Anita on Jan 19.

8. Take Charge Indy (A. P. Indy) – 5th place BC Juvenile finisher owns a strong route pedigree and should be much improved this year. Fired a 5f bullet in :59.78 (1/28) at Palm Meadows on Jan 24.

9. El Padrino (Pulpit) – Todd Pletcher’s $210k purchase was last seen finishing a rock solid 3rd in G2 Remsen. He skipped the G3 Lecomte and could return in an allowance race at the Gulf on Jan 29. Breezed 5f in 1:02.77 (3/10) at Palm Meadows on Jan 23.

10. Dullahan (Even The Score) – G1 Breeders’ Futurity winner blew the break in BC Juvenile but still managed to finish a respectable 4th. Breezed 5f in 1:01.40 (16/45) at Gulfstream Park on Jan 14.

Exciting Prospects

Algorithms (Bernardini) – Two nice wins to begin career for Pletcher including sharp 6.5f tally at the Gulf on Dec 16. Breezed 5f bullet in 1:02.02 (1/10) at Palm Meadows on Jan 23. The G3 Holy Bull on Jan 29 is next.

Consortium (Bernardini) – Kiaran McLaughlin trainee did all of the pace dirty work and finished 2nd to Algorithms in aforementioned Dec 16 optional claimer. Breezed 5f in 1:01.22 (7/23) at Palm Meadows on Jan 21. Rematch with Algorithms in Holy Bull is on the horizon.

Discreet Dancer (Discreet Cat) – A pair of strong one turn wins at Gulfstream to kick off his promising career. Earned a 96 BSF at 8f on Jan 7. Breezed 4f in :50.98 (29/36) at Palm Meadows on Jan 23.

Midnight Transfer

Midnight Transfer goes next in G2 San Felipe - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Ever So Lucky (Indian Charlie) – Hardly a secret in good looking Churchill sprint bow. Sheppard trainee set the pace and just held the place in G2 Ky Jockey Club Stakes. Could return in Feb 11 Hutcheson. Breezed 5f on turf in 1:02 (1/2) at Camden on Jan 10.

Liaison (Indian Charlie) – G1 CashCall Futurity (91 BSF) winner has now won three straight and is 2-for-2 in synthetic routes. Drilled 6f bullet in 1:11 (1/16) at Santa Anita on 1-19.

Midnight Transfer (Hard Spun) – Made it back-to-back sprint wins at Santa Anita in Sunday’s San Pedro. He might try two turns in the G2 San Felipe.

Souper Speedy (Indian Charlie) – Set the pace and held the place in G2 Remsen. Debuted a 7f winner in the mud prior to that and is a ½ to Brilliant Speed. Breezed an easy 3f in :39.88 (7/7) at Palm Meadows on 1-21.

Injured Reserve

B Shanny (Street Cry) – Ran twice in NY last summer including good looking maiden win over El Padrino at Saratoga Aug 20. Bone chip has him on the sidelines.

Currency Swap (High Cotton) – Recovering from ankle chip. He is currently galloping on a farm in Ocala.

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.

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.

Stephanoatsee (A.P. Indy) – Injured pastern bone has knocked the Graham Motion trainee off the Derby trail. He will go under the knife on Jan 25 and is expected to miss two months.

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.”

Grading the Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps: Lecomte, San Pedro

A single graded Kentucky Derby 2012 route prep was run over the weekend and Mr. Bowling struck out twelve rivals in Saturday’s Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes (1-21-12): 79 BSF (Mr. Bowling)

Mr. Bowling

Mr. Bowling goes next in the G2 Risen Star on Feb 25 - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The Lecomte did not look strong from a visual standpoint and was run in a mediocre 1:43.49. For final time comparisons, sophomore fillies covered the same distance in the Silverbulletday Stakes with Believe You Can stopping the clock in 1:42.34. Two races later, 3-year-old Atlantic Titan broke his maiden in 1:43.42.

Mr. Bowling drifted out in the stretch and held off Z Dager by a head. Shared Property, breaking from post 13, rallied to finish another ½ length back in 3rd, followed by Z Dager’s stablemate Dan And Shelia.

The top three are all expected back in New Orleans for the G2 Risen Star Stakes. Based on the weakness of the Lecomte, look for new shooters to make the grade in New Orleans next time.

Lecomte Stakes Grade: D

The Lecomte might not produce a legitimate Derby contender but the six and one-half furlong San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita Park was the coming out party for Midnight Transfer.

San Pedro Stakes (1-22-12): 93 BSF (Midnight Transfer)

The Carla Gaines trainee, a 3-year-old son of Hard Spun, out of French Deputy mare French Satin, garnered a rock solid 93 BSF for his good looking off the pace tally on Sunday and might try two turns in the G2 San Felipe Stakes at the Great Race Place on March 10.

Got Even set the pace and got nailed late by the winner. Drill made a wide early move before flattening out in yet another disappointing effort.

San Pedro Stakes Grade: B-