Posts Tagged ‘O’Prado Again’

Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders: Alpha on the move

A couple of early Kentucky Derby 2012 route preps were run over the weekend and my former top ranked colt Alpha got back on the beam in New York.

Kentucky Derby 2012

Alpha spent the month of December in Florida but returned to the Big Apple and kicked off the new year in grand style on Saturday. Kiaran McLaughlin’s well bred colt once again had gate issues but settled nicely after the break and pounced on his overmatched rivals in a solid start to his 3yo season. He earned an 85 BSF at the Big A on Jan 7.

Stephanoatsee rebounded from a disappointing effort in the G2 Remsen with a rallying place finish at Aqueduct on Saturday. The Graham Motion trainee should continue to develop.

Switching coasts to Santa Anita Park, Out of Bounds wore down Secret Circle to capture the G3 Sham Stakes.

I put Out of Bounds on the exciting prospects list after his professional seven panel maiden win at Hollywood on Dec 10. He figured to enjoy more ground and did not disappoint in his first start against winners. He garnered a strong 99 BSF on Saturday but that number seems a bit inflated.

I am not sure what to make of Secret Circle. He did all of the pace dirty work but failed to put his rivals away. Baffert’s talented colt can rate but raw speed is his best weapon and that will only carry him so far. He reminds me of The Factor. A very effective early-pressing sprinter but capable of getting a route of ground under the right circumstances.

Hierro took plenty of action but flopped in the Sham for Steve Asmussen. He made a wide early move but weakened to 5th and last in a disappointing performance.

Click on the names of selected horses 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

Out of Bounds

Out of Bounds got a 99 BSF in G3 Sham - 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 is back on the worktab, breezing an easy 3f in :38.35 at Palm Meadows on Jan 11.

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 return to worktab in short order.

3. Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – G1 Norfolk hero finished a respectable 3rd in BC Juvenile. He breezed 3f in :37 at Hollywood on 12-30 and worked 4f in :48 on 1-6. 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 breezed 4f in :53 at Gulfstream on Dec 24 and 4f in :48.75 on Dec 31. He most recently worked 5f in 1:00.40 on Jan 7.

5. Alpha (Bernardini) – Champagne runner-up was fractious at gate in BC Juvenile flop. He bounced back in Count Fleet (85 BSF) but was unruly in the gate again. Could go next in G3 Withers on Feb 4.

6. 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. No word on his next start.

7. Dullahan (Even The Score) – G1 Breeders’ Futurity winner blew the break in BC Juvenile but still managed to finish a respectable 4th. Breezed 4f in :51 at Gulfstream Park on Jan 7.

8. El Padrino (Pulpit) – Todd Pletcher’s $210k purchase was last seen finishing a rock solid 3rd in G2 Remsen. Fired 5f bullet in 1:00.44 at Palm Meadows on Jan 9.

9. Take Charge Indy (A. P. Indy) – 5th place BC Juvenile finisher owns a strong route pedigree and should be much improved in 2012. Breezed 4f in :50.92 at Palm Meadows on Jan 4.

10. 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 probably next.

Exciting Prospects


Algorithms goes next in the G3 Holy Bull - photo by Eclipse Sportwsire

Algorithms (Bernardini) – 2 nice wins to begin career for Pletcher including sharp 6.5f tally at the Gulf on Dec 16. Breezed 5f in 1:02.20 at Palm Meadows on Jan 9. 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. Worked 4f in :49.07 at Palm Meadows on Dec 31 and breezed 4f in :51.44 on Jan 7.

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.

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.

Liaison (Indian Charlie) – G1 CashCall Futurity (91 BSF) winner has now won three straight and is 2-for-2 in synthetic routes. Worked 5f in 1:00.40 at Santa Anita on 12-30 and 5f in 1:02.80 on 1-6.

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.

Injured Reserve

O'Prado Again

O'Prado Again is off the Derby trail - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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.

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 Early Kentucky Derby 2012 Preps

The unofficial road to the 2012 Kentucky Derby began with the Breeders’ Cup in early November and now that we have multiple graded routes in the books it is time to rate the quality of the preps so far.

2012 Kentucky Derby

BC Juvenile Sprint (11-4-11) – 95 BSF (Secret Circle)

Not sure about the overall strength of the field but winner Secret Circle is arguably the fastest juvenile in the land with 97-97-95 BSF’s in his three winning races to date. He owns three of the top ten BSF’s for juveniles as of 11-29. Grade: B-

Secret Circle had every right to fold after dueling through quick splits of :20.96 and :44.55 but the Baffert trainee gamely held off overseas filly Shumoos to remain undefeated. He has route influences in his pedigree and might try two turns in the G1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on 12-17.

G1 BC Juvenile (11-5-11) – 94 BSF (Hansen)

The deepest juvenile prep race of the season with seven Graded/Group winners in the starting gate. Hansen went all the way, becoming the eighth member of the field to make the grade. The number came back solid if unspectacular and the top three were well clear of the rest. Grade: B


Is Hansen a legit Ky Derby threat? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Hansen kept his perfect record intact with a game wire job head victory. He has never been headed in three career starts and it remains to be seen how he will react to serious pace pressure. Mike Maker’s talented colt is wintering in Florida with the Gulfstream 3-year-old preps on his radar screen.

Union Rags tasted defeat for the first time but was probably best after breaking 12th from post 10, racing wide, and wandering in the stretch. He is also spending the winter in Florida.

Creative Cause ended his productive juvenile season with a solid show finish in the BC Juvenile. He will likely resurface at Santa Anita in 2012 with the G2 San Vicente at 7f on Feb 19 a possible starting point.

Dullahan was bumped at the start and rallied to finish a respectable 4th. He graduated in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity and might be better on turf/synthetic.

Real Quiet Stakes (11-12-11) – 81 BSF (Liaison)

A bit of quality in this six-pack with a pair of multiple winners including CalCup Juvenile hero Rousing Sermon. Liaison gamely edged the aforementioned CalCup winner but did not earn much of a number. Grade: C-

Liaison has now won two straight and is clearly making nice progress. He has the right connections (Baffert) and a decent pedigree (Indian Charlie-Victory Gallop). The CashCall Futurity might be next.

G3 Delta Jackpot (11-19-11) – 80 BSF (Sabercat)

Pace meltdown with morning line favorite Drill and My Adonis dueling through splits of :22.11, :45.41, and 1:11.60. Top three finishers Sabercat, Basmati, and Longview Drive rallied from 9th, 6th, and 10th while crawling home in slow final time of 1:46.62. Delta Princess winner Now I Know earned a slightly better 81 BSF. Grade: D

Sabercat was making his sixth start of the year and won his third straight route in Delta Jackpot. Improving Asmussen runner breezed an easy 4f in :53 at Fair Grounds on 11-28.

Basmati took six tries to break his maiden and earned a nice chunk of change in place finish at Delta Downs. The busy juvenile might show up next in the CashCall Futurity.

Jerry Hollendorfer’s NoCal invader Longview Drive showed a new dimension rallying for the show. The $175k Keeneland sales grad has earned his best numbers in sprint races.

Drill came back in two weeks after a failed BC Juvenile attempt and flopped once again in Louisiana for Baffert. He has dropped three straight Graded dirt routes and seemingly needs a break. Both wins occurred at Del Mar in synthetic sprints.

G3 Hollywood Prevue (11-24-11) – 83 BSF (So Brilliant)

So Brilliant gamely wired six rivals but all members of the field were eligible for their entry level condition prior to this seven furlong synthetic affair. Grade: D+

So Brilliant was hardly as secret in his winning bow and made the betting public happy again on Thanksgiving Day. Bob Baffert’s $300k purchase is bred to route and has plenty of room to improve. CashCall Futurity is on his radar screen.

Empire Way was visually impressive in his Nov 13 bow but did not earn much of a number in that event and showed nothing in his Stakes debut. He should improve next year in routes but needed to run much faster.

G2 Remsen (11-26-11) – 80 BSF (O’Prado Again)

The pace was crawling (4f – :49.97, 6f – 1:15.05) and they ran the final 3f in :37.02. Tough to get a true gauge on this event with an overall impression of something close to average. Grade: C

O'Prado Again

O'Prado Again wins his second 9f race in Remsen - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

O’Prado Again won his second straight 9f affair in the Remsen. Trainer Dale Romans has had some success in recent Triple Crown events (Paddy O’Prado, First Dude, Shackleford).

Souper Speedy set the aforementioned crawling fractions and had just enough left to hold the place. Not a bad effort considering he was coming off a layoff after graduating in his 7f mud bow at 31-1.

El Padrino is an interesting long term prospect. He graduated by open lengths in his second career start and saved all the ground tracking the pace while showing late interest in the Remsen. Todd Pletcher’s $210k purchase has a nice distance pedigree and plenty of room to develop.

G2 Kentucky Jockey Club (11-26-11) – 85 BSF (Gemologist)

This one could turn out to be a decent prep. The fractions and final time were solid and the top three ran well. One/all could be heard from next year. Grade: C+

Gemologist remained unbeaten with a sharp stalk/pounce tally. Super Saver won this for same connections (Pletcher/WinStar Farm) en route to 2010 Kentucky Derby triumph. Interesting pedigree with Tiznow on top and Mr. Prospector on bottom.

Ever So Lucky set the pace and gamely held the place. Souper Speedy had a similar effort/pattern in the Remsen but Ever So Lucky carved out stronger splits and looks like the better long term prospect for Jonathan Sheppard. Like the speed (Indian Charlie), stamina (Summer Squall) pedigree mix.

Timely Tally has clearly kicked it up a few notches around two turns. He had some traffic issues under Borel and flew late to just miss the place. Gemologist seemingly has his number but the $220k son of Mr. Greeley is coming around and could be a player next year for Ian Wilkes.