Posts Tagged ‘One Lucky Dane’

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Calm Before the Storm

We are now one week away from Kentucky Derby 2015 and the participants are starting to assemble under the Twin Spires.

The next few days will bring final workouts and post positions will be drawn on Wednesday.

One Lucky Dane was injured in a workout last weekend and is off the Derby trail for Bob Baffert. Todd Pletcher’s Madefromlucky will not run in the Derby after an unsatisfactory workout at Churchill Downs on April 24. Keen Ice takes over the 20th and final spot with Frammento and Bold Conquest on the outside looking in.

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 (5/76) at Keeneland on April 18.

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. He continues to prepare for the Derby at Keeneland and the feeling here is that we have not seen his best.

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: 5f bullet in :58.80 (1/59) at Santa Anita on April 18.

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.

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: 5f in 1:01.80 (35/60) at Churchill Downs on April 18.

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.    

Derby Points (171)

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

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Last Start: 1st in the G1 Arkansas Derby.

Comments: The 2YO Champ did not break a sweat in the Rebel or Arkansas Derby and the Kentucky Derby favorite was an early arrival at Churchill Downs.

Derby Points (160)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 1:01.35 (1/7) at Palm Meadows on April 16.

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 will do the bulk of his Kentucky Derby preparations in Florida.

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: 5f in 1:00.19 (3/16) at Belmont Park on April 19.

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 was reportedly energetic in his Belmont Park workout on April 19.

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 1:00.40 (22/59) at Santa Anita on April 18.

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.

Derby Points (58)

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

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :47.40 (1/6) at Palm Meadows on April 17.

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

Comments: Spiked a fever and missed his workout last week but looked good returning to the worktab April 17.

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.

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.

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 :36.20 (1/2) at Arlington Park on April 21.

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.

Derby Points (100)

Honorable Mention: (12) Far Right, (13) Bolo, (14) Itsaknockout, (15) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (16) Stanford, (17) Danzig Moon, (18) Tencendur, (19) Mr. Z, (20) Keen Ice, (21) Frammento, (22) Bold Conquest, (23) Firespike

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: American Pharoah is the favorite

American Pharoah is the Kentucky Derby 2015 favorite following another facile win in the Grade I Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park on Saturday, April 4.

American Pharoah did not control the pace this time. Instead, he allowed overmatched longshot Bridget’s Big Luvy to scoot away early. American Pharaoh inhaled the speed and coasted home by eight lengths under a hand ride.

The Kentucky Derby favorite arrived at Churchill Downs earlier this week. He got a late start this year and the Derby will be his third start in seven weeks.

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

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.

Derby Points (164)

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

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

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.

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 :49 (7/9) at Churchill Training on April 11.

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.    

Derby Points (171)

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

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

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.

Derby Points (160)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in 1:01.35 (1/7) at Palm Meadows on April 16.

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 will do the bulk of his Kentucky Derby preparations in Florida.

Derby Points (113)

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

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

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.

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 :59.20 (5/56) at Santa Anita on April 11.

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.

Derby Points (58)

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

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

Latest Published Workout: 4f bullet in :47.40 (1/6) at Palm Meadows on April 17.

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

Comments: Spiked a fever and missed his workout last week but looked good returning to the worktab April 17.

Derby Points (76)

  1. ONE LUCKY DANE (Lookin At Lucky – Echo Harbor, by Boston Harbor) one lucky dane silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Michael Lund Petersen

Last Start: 2nd in G1 SA Derby on April 4.

Comments: His sire Lookin at Lucky was my Kentucky Derby horse in 2010 and his son qualified for the Derby with a smart runner-up finish behind stablemate Dortmund in the SA Derby on April 4.

Derby Points (40)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.50 (4/15) at Palm Beach Downs on April 11.

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.

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: 4f in :49.40 (12/18) at Churchill Downs on April 15.

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.

Derby Points (44)

Honorable Mention: (12) Far Right, (13) Bolo, (14) Itsaknockout, (15) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (16) Stanford, (17) Mubtaahij, (18) Danzig Moon, (19) Tencendur, (20) Mr. Z, (21) Madefromlucky, (22) Keen Ice, (23) Frammento, (24) Bold Conquest, (25) Metaboss

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: Arkansas Derby video + Lexington Stakes analysis

Arkansas Derby favorite and Eclipse Champion American Pharoah completes his Kentucky Derby 2015 prep campaign at Oaklawn Park on Saturday.

American Pharoah was the controlling speed in the G1 Del Mar Futurity, G1 FrontRunner, and G2 Rebel Stakes, and it might be déjà vu all over again in the Arkansas Derby.

The G3 Coolmore Lexington Stakes has minor qualifying points attached but none of the entrants are seriously considering the Kentucky Derby. There are a few promising runners worth following, including my top choice #3 COMFORT (5-1). His first two turf routes were not great but he looked like a new horse in a facile two turn maiden win on the Fair Grounds main track. He was purchased privately by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and is now trained by Todd Pletcher. He fired a Florida bullet last month and looks ready to roll off the shelf under Javier Castellano.

#7 Donworth (5-1) overcame trouble to beat twelve rivals in his extended sprint bow at Gulfstream Park. Motion chose this over an easier allowance spot and he’s bred to be a quality two turn performer (Tiznow-Street Cry). He has raw talent but lacks seasoning.

#5 Fame and Power (5-2) put it all together vs. four foes in his fifth lifetime start at Santa Anita March 8. The Juddmonte-Baffert runner should make his presence felt from the outset.

#1 Divining Rod (3-1) was 2nd in the G3 Sam F Davis and 3rd in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby. He’s an inside pace factor.

#4 Tiznow R J (5-1) lost his way after finishing a solid 3rd in the G3 Lecomte.

#3 Quimet (8-1) dons the hood after getting dusted in the G1 Florida Derby.

#5 Henry Jones (6-1) stretches out and looms a pace player for D. Wayne Lukas.

THE PLAYS:

$20 to win #3

$10 Exacta Box 3-7 ($20)

Analysis by Jarrod Horak

Graded Recaps

G1 Wood Memorial (103 BSF): Frosted rebounded in a big way while racing wide and rallying to a convincing win under new pilot Joel Rosario. Tencendur was a surprising 2nd and El Kabeir chugged along for the show. Beaten favorite Daredevil has been sent to WinStar Farm for a freshening and is expected to target the G1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga this summer.

G1 Blue Grass (95 BSF): Carpe Diem was a complete standout in the paper race and did not disappoint on the racetrack in virtual replay of his Tampa Bay Derby triumph.Danzig Moon finished 2nd and Ocho Ocho Ocho bounced back with a respectable show finish.

G1 SA Derby (103 BSF): Dortmund basically repeated his San Felipe wire job over many of the same rivals and late blooming stablemate One Lucky Dane to keep his perfect record intact. Bolo collected the show and 4th place finisher Prospect Park had an elevate white blood cell count this week and is no longer under consideration for the Kentucky Derby.

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

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

Comments: He has done little wrong in his career and the best is yet to come. He’s been part of my list since last September and is one of only two that occupied my Number 1 spot, the other being International Star.

Derby Points (164)

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

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

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

Comments: The hits just keep on coming for Baffert’s undefeated colt. In his last two wire jobs he did not face Firing Line, the only horse to challenge him, and that one romped in the Sunland Derby a few weeks ago. The massive colt owns early-pressing versatility and cruised in his lone Churchill start.

Derby Points (170)

  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 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on Saturday, March 28.

Comments: My original #1 ranked Ky Derby contender when I started this list Sept. ’14. He keeps getting better but needs further improvement to make a splash on the first Saturday in May. I love his professionalism.

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: 6f bullet in 1:11.60 (1/25) at Santa Anita on April 5.

Last Start: 1st in the G2 Rebel Stakes.

Comments: He has also been part of my list since the beginning. Controlled the pace in all three of his graded wins and is back at Oaklawn for his final Derby prep in Saturday’s G1 Arkansas Derby.

Derby Points (60)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

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

Comments: He’s the fourth member of my original list from list September and I played him Derby Future Pool 1. The Wood was a huge step forward and he is peaking at the right time.

Derby Points (113)

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

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

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

Comments: The 5th and final member of my original Derby list. The versatile, consistent sort has been in steady training throughout his career and never seems to miss a beat.

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: 4f in :48 (12/40) at Santa Anita on April 3.

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 had his first Kentucky Derby workout earlier this month.

Derby Points (58)

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

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

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

Comments: Gem of consistency might appreciate getting away from the demanding Gulfstream Park surface.

Derby Points (76)

  1. ONE LUCKY DANE (Lookin At Lucky – Echo Haarbor, by Boston Harbor) one lucky dane silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Michael Lund Petersen

Last Start: 2nd in G1 SA Derby on April 4.

Comments: Last year’s 6th place BC Juvenile finisher jumped into the Derby fray in a hurry this season with a smart Optional Claiming win March 19 and a runner-up to stablemate Dortmund in the SA Derby on April 4.

Derby Points (40)

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

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

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.

Derby Points (100)

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

Trainer: Tom Amoss – Owner: Loooch Racing Stable

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

Comments: Hard-trying gelding qualified for the big dance with a 2nd in the G3 Lecomte, another 2nd in the G2 Risen Star, and a 3rd in the G2 LA Derby.

Derby Points (44)

Honorable Mention: (12) Far Right, (13) The Truth Or Else, (14) Bolo, (15) Itsaknockout, (16) Ocho Ocho Ocho, (17) Stanford, (18) Madefromlucky, (19) Mubtaahij, (20) Danzig Moon, (21) Tencendur, (22) Keen Ice, (23) Frammento, (24) Bold Conquest, (25) Ami’s Flatter

Kentucky Derby 2015: SA Derby video + Wood Memorial analysis

KENTUCKY DERBY 2015 Contenders: SA Derby video

Santa Anita Derby favorite Dortmund makes his final Kentucky Derby 2015 trail prep start and tries to stay unbeaten on Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

Dortmund has already qualified for the Kentucky Derby on points but his main rivals have not so look for Prospect Park, Bolo, and One Lucky Dane to put everything on the line at the Great Race Place.

The G1 Wood Memorial features NY lover El Kabeir vs. Florida shippers Daredevil and Frosted.

Daredevil horse

Daredevil is the Wood Memorial favorite – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

#4 FROSTED (5-2) looked like he was on his way to a facile victory in the FOY but he inexplicably came to a stop in the stretch. The Gulfstream Park main track was very strange on the FOY and Florida Derby Day and McLaughlin did the right thing getting out of dodge. He is proven at Aqueduct, switches to Rosario, and might bounce back in a big way. He’s my top selection.

#6 Daredevil (9-5) loves the Belmont goo and clearly relishes one turn races. He has put up some big numbers but only has one start at seven panels in 5+ months and must prove himself around two turns.

#5 El Kabeir (3-1) owns running style versatility and always runs his race. He will be there to pick up the pieces if Frosted and-or Daredevil stub their toe.

#1 Tiz Shea D (8-1) has a ton of upside and sports a strong pedigree but I am expecting much more from the lightly raced G3 Gotham runner-up later this year.

The Wood Memorial field is completed by outsiders #2 Toasting Master (20-1), #3 Lieutenant Colonel (15-1), and #7 Tencendur (12-1).

A final note about the Wood Memorial. Far From Over was originally pointing to the Wood but came up with an injury and is off the Derby trail.

Suggested 2015 Wood Memorial Wagers:

$24 to win #4

$5 Exacta 5, 6 over 4 ($10)

$1 Trifecta Key 7 over 1, 5, 6 ($6)

Graded Recaps

G1 Florida Derby (110 BSF): Materiality ran his record to 3-for-3 with a solid win over Upstart but I am not buying the inflated speed figure. Upstart had his number taken down in an ugly renewal of the FOY and I was not impressed with the stretch run of the Florida Derby either. The Gulfstream Park main track was odd to say the least and I do not know what to make of the Kentucky Derby contenders exiting that oval.

G2 Louisiana Derby (98 BSF): International Star completed a sweep of the two turn graded Derby preps at Fair Grounds with a determined, hard fought win over Stanford in the LA Derby. War Story finished 3rd.

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 :47.98 (3/19) at Palm Beach Downs on March 28.

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

Comments: He looks like a complete standout in the G1 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 1:11.60 (3/31) at Santa Anita on March 28.

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. He is the strong G1 SA Derby favorite.

Derby Points (70)

  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 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on Saturday, March 28.

Comments: My original #1 ranked Ky Derby contender when I started this list Sept. ’14. He keeps getting better but needs further improvement to make a splash on the first Saturday in May.

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 in :58.60 (2/88) at Santa Anita on March 29.

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 in 1:01.12 (2/28) at Belmont (dirt training) on March 30.

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

Trainer: Richard Violette – Owner: Ralph M. Evans

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

Comments: Gem of consistency exits the baffling Gulfstream Park Ky Derby prep series.

Derby Points (76)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:00.45 (2/15) at Palm Meadows on March 29.

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 in :48.45 (23/89) at Belmont (dirt training) on March 29.

Last Start: 2nd in G2 Swale at Gulfstream Park on March 7.

Comments: He is the Wood Memorial favorite but still has some questions to answer Saturday.

Derby Points (10)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:01.20 (46/83) at Santa Anita on March 28.

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

Comments: Rapidly improving colt finished well for the place in the San Felipe. He is training well for the SA Derby.

Derby Points (20)

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

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

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.

Derby Points (100)

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

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 2014 Preview (Video)

Saturday’s 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park changed dramatically this week following the defection of sharp speedster and morning line favorite American Pharoah.

With Bob Baffert’s aforementioned colt out of action, Todd Pletcher trainees Carpe Diem and Daredevil figure to vie for favoritism. Bob Baffert will still be represented by One Lucky Dane.

A few of my “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2015 contenders are entered in the BC Juvenile, including Carpe Diem, Daredevil, and Souper Colossal.

Click here to view free Breeders’ Cup Friday Early Pick 3 Tickets!

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Today’s Racing Digest

 

Kentucky Derby 2015 Contenders: International Star retains top spot

This is my second in a series of blogs devoted to Kentucky Derby 2015 contenders. Once again, I got an early start in September, and there will be many twists and turns in the weeks and months ahead.

Kentucky Derby 2015 logo

Some of my highly regarded horses from the first September blog came back to run extremely well, including International Star, Blofeld, Carpe Diem, and American Pharoah.

Graded Recaps

G1 FrontRunner (101 BSF): In a virtual replay of the G1 Del Mar Futurity, American Pharoah was in complete control throughout. He is the deserving BC Juvenile favorite for Bob Baffert.

G1 Champagne (107 BSF): Daredevil was perfectly drawn on the outside and easily captured his second from as many wet track starts at Belmont Park. He clearly has talent and we will learn more when he faces quality foes on fast ground.

G1 Breeders’ Futurity (91 BSF): Carpe Diem dominated his eleven rivals for Johnny V-Pletcher. He is 2-for-2 lifetime and is a very promising prospect.

G3 Grey (66 BSF): International Star sat comfortably behind tepid splits before rallying nicely to win under a hand ride. The final number came back very low but the winner looked good from a visual standpoint.

G2 Futurity (100 BSF): Blofeld sat behind horses along the inside and won in a professional manner for Johnny V-Pletcher. This is exactly what you want to see in a young horse. Very promising colt.

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

Trainer: Michael Maker – Owner: Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey

Latest Published Workout: Breezed 4f in :50.20 (16/21) at Churchill (dirt training) on Oct 18.

Comments: Retains the top spot after a nice win in the G3 Grey at Woodbine on Oct 5. He looked good visually, rallying to win under a hand ride, but only received a 66 BSF. He picked up 10 Derby Points and the versatile sort has now run well on dirt, turf, and synthetic.

Derby Points (10)

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

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

Latest Published Workout: Breezed 4f in :48.60 (3/34) at Monmouth on Oct 19.

Comments: 3-for-3 at Monmouth Park including stakes tallies in the Tyro and Sapling (86 BSF). War Front, sire of 31 stakes winners, captured the G2 Vanderbilt in ’06 and placed in numerous other graded sprints. Dam Soaring Emotions won a flat mile allowance turf race at Tampa Bay in ’09 for Clement, and dam sire Kingmambo won a couple of overseas Group 1’s in ’93.

3. BLOFELD (Quality Road – Storm Minstrel, by Storm Cat) blofeld silks

Trainer: Todd Pletcher – Owner: Glencrest Farm

Latest Published Workout: 4f in :48.34 (3/49) at Belmont (dirt training) on Oct 20.

Comments: Followed up his sharp Saratoga debut with a fast tally (100 BSF) in the G2 Futurity at Belmont Park on Oct 5. In the Futurity, he showed professional maturity, waiting for room behind horses along the rail without being intimidated. The G2 Nashua at Aqueduct on Nov 2 might be next.

4. 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 :48.33 (2/49) at Belmont (dirt training) on Oct 19.

Comments: Looked great from start to finish in sharp G1 Breeders’ Futurity score. WinStar says he is their best juvenile ever. He looks like a solid BC Juvenile contender.

Derby Points (10)

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

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :58.60 (1/42) at Santa Anita on Oct 20.

Comments: Back-to-back facile Grade I wins in the Del Mar Futurity and FrontRunner. His easy home court win at the BC Juvenile distance makes him the solid early favorite for that event. His promising stablemate One Lucky Dane could join him in the gate for the BC Juvenile.

Derby Points (10)

6. STARTUP NATION (Temple City – Pennyrile, by Wagon Limit)startup nation silks

Trainer: Chad Brown – Owner: Klaravich Stables

Latest Published Workout: Breezed 5f in 1:03.57 (11/18) at Belmont (good inner turf) on Oct 19.

Comments: Two big turf wins to begin his career before finishing a flat 4th in the G3 Pilgrim at Belmont on Sept 28.

7. CHIEF ISTAN (Istan – My Indian, by Indian Charlie) chief istan silks

Trainer: Larry Jones – Owner: Brereton C. Jones

Latest Published Workout: 5f bullet in :59.40 (1/20) at Keeneland on Oct 6.

Comments: Shook off pace foe and drew off in romping DelPark debut Sept 3. Multiple graded winning sire Istan is responsible for ’14 graded stakes winners Istanford and Albano. Dam sire Indian Charlie won his first four starts including the G1 SA Derby and his show finish in the ‘98 G1 Kentucky Derby was his career finale.

8. DAREDEVIL (More Than Ready – Chasethewildwind, by Forty Niner) Daredevil silks

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

Comments: 2-for-2 after easy win in the G1 Champagne. Both wins at Belmont on wet tracks so he still has some proving to do.

Derby Points (10)

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

Trainer: John Terranova II – Owner: Zayat Stables

Latest Published Workout: 5f in 1:02.14 (3/18) at Belmont (good inner turf) on Oct 19.

Comments: Bad start from the rail over wet footing cost him dearly in the G1 Champagne (well-beaten 4th). He showed plenty of promise at Saratoga and deserves another chance.

Derby Points (1)

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

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin – Owner: Godolphin Racing

Latest Workout: 4f in :48.40 (3/30) at Saratoga (dirt training) on Oct 21.

Comments: 2nd to runaway winner Bayerd in his Saratoga debut Aug 23, and he occupied that same spot at Belmont on Sept 20. Talented maiden should graduate soon.

11. LORD NELSON (Pulpit – African Jade, by Seeking the Gold) lord nelson silks

Trainer: Bob Baffert – Owner: Peachtree Stable

Comments: Smart Del Mar debut sprint win July 19 before finishing 4th to stablemate American Phaorah in the Sept 27 FrontRunner. Cruised to an easy win in the 6f Speakeasy Stakes (92 BSF) at Santa Anita on Oct 13.

Derby Points (1)

Honorable Mention: (12) Calculator, (13) I Spent It, (14) Upstart, (15) Iron Fist, (16) Bayerd, (17) Pride of Stride, (18) Wild Zambezi, (19) Today’s Agenda, (20) Bustin It

Injured Reserve

Competitive Edge – Hairline fracture (9-17-14). Out for rest of 2014.

Hashtag Bourbon – Ankle chip (left front). Could show up at Oaklawn Park in 2015.

Om – Hock injury. Out for rest of 2014.