Posts Tagged ‘Orb horse’

Saturday Saratoga Race Course Free Play for Travers Day – Aug. 24

I am offering full card analysis from Saratoga Race Course each Saturday on my Today’s Racing Digest Handicapper page. For the August 24 Travers program, I have posted a free play below. I also posted my August 17 analysis from Saratoga at the bottom of this post, along with full card highlights.

Check out my free analysis of the King’s Bishop at

Saratoga Race Course Free Play for Saturday, August 24

Saratoga Race 6 (MSW, 8.5f inner turf) #6 BIRCHWOOD ROAD (3-1) missed by a neck vs. similar local rivals July 19. He attracts Rosario, dons the hood, and could be sitting on a new top 3rd off the shelf. #10 Hudson Miracle (7-2) finished 3rd, a neck behind Birchwood Road last time after racing rank and wide. Brown reaches out for $$ rider Castellano. #1 Grahamandwithers (4-1) and #7 Irish Jade (5-1) finished 2-3 here July 28. The former should flash speed from the rail and the latter dons the hood. THE PLAYS: #6 to win, Exacta Box 6-10, Exacta 6-10/1-7

Check out my Saturday (August 24) Saratoga full card analysis (available now) at For bonus free pick (SAR 14th race), click view sample. DRF TicketMaker Pick 6 tickets included in Travers Day full card analysis.

Upcoming full cards:
Saratoga Race Course (Sat. August 24) – available now!

Saratoga Saturdays (Aug. 31)
Belmont Park: Jockey Club Gold Cup Day (Saturday, Sept. 28)
Keeneland: Fall Stars Saturday (Saturday, October 5)
Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita (Friday, Nov. 1 & Sat., Nov. 2)

Orb horse

Derby winner Orb returns in Saturday’s Travers – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Saratoga full card analysis for Saturday (8-17-13)
By Jarrod Horak (,
: Mostly Sunny. High 82.  Best Bets (races 4, 6, 9, 11)
Pick 6:  Races 7-12 (see DRF Ticketmaker P6 tickets below)


SAR 5 Westside Corral/Annawon EXACTA ($84.50)
SAR 7 Lawyer Jim ($13.20), EXACTA w/Tater Downs ($79)
SAR 9 Big Blue Kitten/Twilight Eclipse EXACTA (best bet #3, $36.20)
SAR 10 Princess of Sylmar ($3)
DAILY DOUBLE (race 9-10, $11.20)
SAR 11 So Outspoken/Tiu EXACTA (best bet #4, $25.20)
PICK 3 (race 9-11, $52.50)
DAILY DOUBLE (race 10-11, $14)
PICK 3 (race 10-12, $116)
PICK 4 (race 9-12, $443)

The Fast Track with Steve Borstein

For Travers Day best bets, check out The Fast Track with Steve Bortstein on Saturday morning at 10am eastern

SAR 1 (Clm-20k, 5.5T) #3 DISSENSION (4-1) overcame trouble to beat similar course/distance rivals July 28 and Gary Gullo is good (25%) with his recent claiming winners attempting a repeat. #6 Ideal Place (3-1) won her Maiden Claiming turf sprint bow before fading to last vs. state bred stakes sprinters on the lawn second time out. Chas Brown excels with 46-90 day layoff runners and she reunites with winning pilot Javier Castellano. #8 Tapit to Me (8-1) has fired Trifecta shots in 5 of 7 turf starts at 7.5f or shorter including her last three outings. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta Box 3-6, Trifecta 3-6/ALL/8

SAR 2 (MSW, 6.5f) #3 TAPITURE (3-1) is by 13% debut sire Tapit and dam has tossed three winners from as many starters (2 Stakes winners). Steve Asmussen is clicking here and this one fired a local 5f gate bullet Aug. 12. #4 Crescent (5-2) finished a solid 3rd in his bow and winner Corfu came back to take the G2 Saratoga Special. The $215k Keeneland sales grad can improve for patient trainer Bill Mott. #1 Rebranded (7-2) is a $350k son of Tiznow debuting from the intimidating rail for the profitable Johnny V/Pletcher team. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Quinella 3/1-4   

SAR 3 (Mcl-20k, 6f) #5 MY ITALIAN ICES (9-2) dueled and faded as the beaten favorite in his debut and the clear place finisher came back to score. Jason Servis excels first off the claim. #6 Ocala Jim (2-1) turns back, switches surfaces, and drops in for a tag. He has solid connections (Castellano/Levine) in his corner. Levine also trains #3 Pete and David (4-1), and he is back at his claimed level. Trainer George Weaver is sending out live wires here and he has first timer #1 John Silver (5-1).  THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/1-3-6, Exacta 1-3-6/5  

SAR 4 (OC-25k/1x, 9f) #8 INDY’S ILLUSION (5-1) needed his last 7f prep and ran well at 9f in Florida earlier this year. The highly regarded A.P. Indy colt ran in the G2 Remsen as a juvenile and hooked Orb twice at the Gulf this winter. Tagg shows a profit sprint-to-route. #6 Sliver and Onions (3-1) exits a sharp course/distance graduation run for high % trainer Hushion. THE PLAYS: #8 to win, Quinella 6-8  

SAR 5 (Clm-20k, 8.5f inner turf) #10 ANNAWON (12-1) rates a look at a price for solid trainer Jack Fisher. The realistically spotted Virginia shipper won here before and attracts sharp turf rider Lezcano. #11 Livingston Street (7-2) drops into a winning spot in his third start off the Trombetta claim. Johnny V hops aboard the fresh, tactical gelding. #12 Yankee Fourtune (10-1) can improve in his second start off the Servis claim. He has won twice here and three times at this trip. #9 Westside Corral (3-1) drops off the claim but Galluscio is winning here and Castellano has booted him home before. THE PLAYS: #10 to win, Exacta 10/9-11-12, Exacta 9-11-12/10

SAR 6 (Alw-1x, 5.5T) #2 IRON POWER (6-1) split a 12-horse field off a layoff after breaking last and making a wide move under Rosario at this course/distance July 29. Hushion excels 2nd off the shelf and quality turf rider Lezcano takes the call. #3 Countknickerboker (3-1) proved once again that he likes local turf sprints with a place finish from post 10 vs. this kind July 29. #5 River Tune (4-1) ran well at 6f on turf May 26 but not nearly as good in two longer starts since. Castellano sticks and he may regain his punch at this abbreviated trip. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/3-5, Exacta 3-5/2  

SAR 7 (OC-35k, 8.5f inner turf) #5 LAWYER JIM (10-1) is versatile for profitable turf trainer Lisa Lewis and I like the rider switch to Jose Lezcano. He lands a better post and should offer value. #3 Liquidity Trap (9-2) ran well off the Jacobson claim in a slow early/fast late turf route at Belmont July 7. He has fired Trifecta shots in 6 of 8 turf tries. #6 Gold Megillah (7-2) and #12 Tater Downs (4-1) both figure for Mike Maker. The former enters fresh after a pair of close-up 4th place finishes at Belmont and the latter has won twice on turf and is usually thereabouts. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta Box 3-5, Exacta 3-5/6-12

SAR 8 (OC-35k, 9.5T) #8 MASTER WESLEY (5-1) ran well at Monmouth Park July 6 and the show finish came back to score. Castellano hops aboard 3rd off the shelf. #5 Now and Then (7-2) tries turf for McLaughlin and is the likely target. #6 Royal Blessing (4-1) reunites with winning pilot Saez but might be better at 8.5f. #2 Ampersand (4-1) won here last year and will try to get involved late under Lezcano. THE PLAYS: #8 to win, Exacta Box 5-8, Exacta 5-8/2-6

SAR 9 (G1 Sword Dancer, 12f inner turf) #4 TWILIGHT ECLIPSE (5-1) ran well despite some give in the ground in the G1 Man o’ War last time. He prefers firm turf and can turn the tables on Boisterous if he gets the right ground. He is 2-for-2 at this trip. #10 Boisterous (5-2) has fired Exacta shots in six straight and exits back-to-back Graded wins for Shug. He has won here before and moves up with some give in the ground. #1 Big Blue Kitten (4-1) exits a smart win in the G1 U.N. at Monmouth at 11f and was 2nd to Boisterous at 9f before that. He is 1-for-1 over the Saratoga turf course. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Exacta 4/1-10, Exacta 1-10/4

SAR 10 (G1 Alabama, 10f) #4 PRINCESS OF SYLMAR (3-5) is 6 for 7 in routes and the G1 Kentucky Oaks heroine easily won the local prep for this, the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks at 9f. Pletcher’s versatile miss probably seals the Eclipse Award deal with a victory in this spot. #6 Fiftyshadesofhay (2-1) has the breeding (Pulpit-Real Quiet) to handle this trip and exits back-to-back Graded route tallies. Baffert’s filly is fresh, attracts Johnny V, and is expected to attempt a wire job. #5 Carnival Court (15-1) offers Exacta value. McLaughlin excels first lasix and Royal Delta’s $650k half-sister has won two straight. Barn won this with Questing last year. THE PLAYS: Exacta 4-6/5  

SAR 11 (Mcl-25k, 8.5f inner turf) #12 TIU (3-1) drops to a new low and should be very competitive in this spot based on his last two turf numbers. #6 Ryvit (6-1) found the pace at a flat mile a bit too quick for his liking here Aug. 3 and he probably regressed 2nd off the shelf as well. He fits off his July 21 place finish here and should be much closer to softer splits this time. He is 0-for-15. #9 So Outspoken (5-2) is the obligatory favorite for Johnny V/Pletcher. He ran into multiple next out winners in both turf starts and finished 2nd in a local 9f dirt route on the drop July 28. THE PLAYS: #12 to win, Exacta 12/6-9, Exacta 6-9/12

SAR 12 (MSW, 7f) #10 SHOT TO WIN (4-1) hails from a profitable debut outfit and sports two bullets for this. #4 Summer Place to Be (6-1) is a $100k purchase and Tony Dutrow can click with a first time starter. #6 Bottleofredorwhite (7-2) is a $135k purchase debuting for the recently hot Johnny V/Pletcher team. #3 Native Singer (3-1) dons the hood after back-to-back place finishes. THE PLAYS: #10 to win, Exacta 4-6-10/3     

Double/Pick 3/Pick 4 contenders – in order of preference


1   (3-6-8)
2   (3-4-1)
3   (5-6-3-1)
4   (8-6)
5   (10-11-12-9)
6   (2-3-5)
7   (5-3-6-12)
8   (8-5-6-2)
9   (4-10-1)
10 (4-6-5)
11 (12-6-9)
12 (10-4-6-3)

Preakness 2013 Recap – Oxbow steals show

Congratulations to Preakness 2013 hero Oxbow. Nobody wanted the early lead and Gary Stevens was more than happy to canter around the track and win this second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Oxbow wires field in Preakness 2013 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Oxbow, owned by Calumet Farm, is a war horse for throwback connections Wayne Lukas and Gary Stevens. The Preakness Stakes was his 11th lifetime start and there is no rest in sight with the Test of Champions squarely on his radar screen.

Did Lukas scare everyone from a pace perspective? He entered sprinter Titletown Five and possibly fooled jockey Kevin Krigger aboard Goldencents.

Titletown Five did not go for the lead under Leaproux, and Goldencents failed to take advantage so Stevens and Oxbow walked the dog from start to finish.

I knew that Oxbow was best on the lead but did not think he was quick enough to get there. The pace figured to be slower than the Derby but I did not see the crawling Preakness pace coming.

Runner-up Itsmyluckyday was making his 12th career start in Baltimore so chalk another one up for experience. He got the best of the draw as an outside stalker and rediscovered his sharp Florida form.

Mylute picked up another minor check in stakes race. He was the only one making up any ground and the Preakness was his fifth place/show finish in the stakes ranks.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb seemed to be living a charmed life until he drew the dead rail. The outside closer never looked comfortable and went through the motions in a flat 4th place finish.

Granted, before the Preakness, Orb handled wet/fast footing and various pace scenarios but the Derby fell into the lap of a closer and everything went perfectly for Shug and company on the first Saturday in May.

Goldencents had one shot and that was to attempt a wire job but was ridden passively. He is a quality early runner with distance limitations and his best weapon was taken away at Pimlico.

Departing sat right outside of Orb and made a top three bid along the inside turning for home. He flattened out to finish 6th and was not disgraced in his toughest test to date.

Will Take Charge, Govenor Charlie, and Titletown Five trailed.

It is on the Belmont Stakes in 20-days and my top ranked sophomore Revolutionary looms large in the Test of Champions.

Belmont Stakes 2013 logo

Early Belmont Stakes 2013 Hopefuls (in alphabetical order):

Code West (Lemon Drop Kid) – Baffert’s runner followed up a place finish in the Risen Star with a 6th in the LA Derby. He finished 2nd on the Derby undercard and beat older allowance rivals to cap the Preakness Day card.

Freedom Child (Malibu Moon): Freaked in the muddy Peter Pan Stakes and looms a pace factor at the very least in the Test of Champions. Split Orb and Revolutionary in a maiden race at the Big A last November.

Golden Soul (Perfect Soul) – LA Derby 4th place finisher took advantage of a pace meltdown to land the place in the Kentucky Derby. Dallas Stewart’s late runner is scheduled to work at Churchill next Wed. or Thurs.

Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Florida Derby runner-up flopped in the Derby and rebounded with a place finish in the Preakness. The Monmouth Park based colt is targeting the Haskell this summer but is still possible for the Belmont Stakes.

Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Finished 10th in the G2 Remsen to end his juvenile campaign. Returned with a game neck victory (wide trip) vs. allowance rivals at Monmouth May 11 and could go next in the Belmont Stakes.

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Everything went right in the Kentucky Derby but the wheels came off the cart in the Preakness, ending his 5-race winning streak. He may try to rebound in the Belmont Stakes but there is talk of resting him and waiting for Saratoga.

Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – G2 Remsen hero finished a wide, flat 5th from post 11 in his needed Gotham return. He bounced back nicely to win the Arkansas Derby and ended up 11th in the Kentucky Derby. Breezed 4f in :47.50 (3/34) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 5-19.

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – Finished a solid 6th in the Derby after attending fast fractions from an inner post under Gary Stevens. Lukas trainee snuck away early and stole the Preakness for Stevens. He shows up for every dance so expect him to complete in the final leg of the Triple Crown series.

Palace Malice (Curlin): Risen Star show finisher ended up a troubled 7th in the LA Derby and rebounded with a 2nd in the Blue Grass. He set fast splits (blinkers on) before fading to 12th in the Kentucky Derby and is now targeting the Belmont. He breezed 4f in :47.49 (2/34) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 5-19.

Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner and raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Baffert trainee finished 5th in his SA Derby return and won an allowance race at Churchill on May 10. The Belmont Stakes is a possibility.

Revolutionary (War Pass) – He has been my top ranked 3yo since February and my confidence has not wavered following a solid show finish in the Derby. I thought the Belmont Stakes was perfect for him after his smart Withers score earlier this year and he is bred to run all day on the dam side. He will work twice for the Belmont beginning Sunday, May 26.

Unlimited Budget (Street Sense) – 3-time graded winner lost for the first time after landing the show in the Kentucky Oaks. The Pletcher/Repole filly breezed 4f in :49.07 (14/34) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 5-19.

Black-Eyed Susan Day 2013 Analysis Recap

Thanks to everyone for purchasing my Black-Eyed Susan Day analysis from Pimlico on Friday, May 17. For those who missed it, I have included highlights and analysis below. My 2013 Preakness Day full card is complete and ready to purchase.

Check out my Saturday (May 18) Preakness Day full card analysis from Pimlico (available now) and Bonus Free Pick (PIM 13th race, click view sample) at

Upcoming full cards:

Pimlico (Sat. May 18 – Preakness Day) – available now!
(Fri. June 7 – Brooklyn ‘Cap Day)
Belmont (Sat. June 8 – Belmont Stakes Day)
Churchill Saturdays (May 25, June 1, June 15, June 22, June 29)

Black-Eyed Susan Day analysis highlights:

PIM 3 HEART OF ROME ($6.40), Exacta ($16.60)
PIM 4 HAYWIRED ($6.20), Exacta ($24.60)
Pick 3 (2-4, $41.30)
Pick 3 (8-10, $9.95)
Pick 3 (9-11, $23.70)
PIM 12 LAST GUNFIGHTER, best bet #2, $3.20), Exacta ($7)
Pick 3 (race 10-12, $21.30)
Pick 4 (race 9-12, $47.10)
Pick 5 (race 8-12, $60.20)

Orb Kentucky Derby 2013

Can anybody topple Orb in Preakness 2013? – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Black-Eyed Susan Day full card analysis from Pimlico (5-17-13)
By Jarrod Horak (,  
:  Mostly Sunny. High 84.  Best Bets (races 8, 12, 13)

PIM 1 (Str-Hcp, 8.5f) #2 FRANSTEIN (5-2) can spring forward 3rd off the shelf. She hails from a profitable barn, has won here before, and is a 6-time winner at this trip. #8 Bayonne (2-1) gets pace to chase in the paper race and does some of her best work at this distance. #4 Side by Side (9-2) was nabbed out her last by claiming artist Cathal Lynch. She exits a sharp Parx sprint win and should be forwardly placed but I’m not sure she wants to go this far. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/4-8, Exacta 4-8/2

PIM 2 (MSW, 8.5T) #3 YUZURU (5-1) makes her first start in more than seven months for profitable layoff trainer Matz. Dam has tossed two turf winners and she looks ready to roll off the shelf. #7 More Than Sweet (7-2) broke last from post 1 in her Keeneland sprint bow and ended up a respectable 4th that day. Motion excels first turf and dam has tossed five turf winners. She is by More Than Ready so there is turf breeding on top as well. #2 Queen Jezebel (15-1) is bred for turf but did not handle the sod for Shirreffs in her SoCal bow. She finished a decent 3rd here (off the turf) April 13 and current trainer Corrales excels 2nd off the shelf. #8 Jessica C (10-1) ran out of ground as the beaten favorite in her 5f turf sprint bow here April 14. Dam has tossed three turf winners and she is bred to handle today’s added ground. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta Box 3-7, Exacta 3-7/2-8

PIM 3 (OC-50/1x, 6f) #5 HEART OF ROME (7-2) landed the place in both starts since the Dilodovico claim. She had more speed before her last pair and owns running style versatility in a race with plenty of early zip. She seems to enjoy completing the Exacta so I will tread a bit lightly on the win end. #3 Orlyana Queen (9-2) exits a sharp course/distance wire job and Vazquez excels with his recent grads trying winners for the first time. #7 Talent n Passion (8-5) has speed to burn and Rodriguez excels with shippers. She is not the only early runner and won’t offer any value. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/3-7, Exacta 3-7/5  

PIM 4 (Alw-1x, 6f) #3 HAYWIRED (6-1) is dangerous when he grabs the early lead. He was bumped at the start in a turf sprint last time and can rebound on preferred footing with a clean start. #8 Outbacker (4-1) finished 2nd in a fast Laurel race when last seen more than six months ago. Wolfendale excels with 90+ day layoff runners and he is 2-for-2 at this distance. #1 Dance With Bull (7-2) disappointed here last out but is another rebound threat if he gets involved early. #7 Grain (5-2) was competitive in all four starts last year. Voss struggles with this type of layoff runner but the profitable low profile trainer is having some success at the current stand. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta Box 3-8, Exacta 3-8/1-7

PIM 5 (Alw-1x, 8.5T) #3 HEAR THE WORD (5-1) makes his first start in 8+ months and new trainer Wyatt excels with 90+ day layoff runners. #5 Locche (8-1) exits a troubled 4th vs. this kind April 21 and he rallied nicely after falling way behind early. He hails from a profitable low profile barn and can go better following a spin over the local green. #8 Fly’n Bayou (9-2) finished a nose in front of Locche last time and he also rallied from far back. He can move up 2nd off the shelf. #12 Readyshakego (4-1) was competitive in both Gulfstream turf starts and barn shows a profit with layoff runners. It won’t be easy from this post and the 3yo takes on older. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta Box 3-5, Exacta 3-5/8-12

PIM 6 (Skipat, 6f) #2 FUNNYS APPROVAL (9-2) lost for the first time on dirt in the G2 Ruffian (one mile) at Aqueduct April 6. Today’s shorter trip helps and this is a softer spot as well. I like her early-pressing versatility. #5 Dance to Bristol (7-5) has fired Exacta shots in 13 of 14 starts and shoots for a four-bagger today. #3 Winning Image (3-1) likes to win races and runs well fresh. She is a need to lead type. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/3-5, Exacta 3-5/2

PIM 7 (OC-25k/2x, 8.5T) #3 ROCK IN BAGE (10-1) exits a romping $10k synthetic route win at Keeneland and McMahon excels first off the claim. The 8yo horse was once this good on turf. #7 Livingston Street (9-2) also goes first off the claim (Trombetta) and he has been part of the Exacta in 7 of last 9. #5 Humble and Hungry (7-2) finished 2nd in the G2 Dixie here last year. The lightly raced 5yo horse needed his last start and attracts Napravnik. He has had physical problems since his 2011 sophomore season. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta 3/5-7, Exacta 5-7/3   

PIM 8 (Miss Preakness, 6f) #5 BLUEEYESINTHEREIN (3-1) found Grade 3 foes and seven panels a bit too much at CD May 3. She won her first 3 starts (2 at 6f) and earned a quality number April 12. #9 Lighthouse Bay (8-1) needed her Gulfstream return April 4. She is best as a stalker and reunites with winning pilot Carmouche. #8 I’m Mom’s Favorite (8-5) exits a romping course-distance tally and earned a strong number for sharp trainer Tony Dutrow. #2 Tread (9-2) showed fighting spirit in 2 wins and a nose defeat at Fair Grounds this winter. Rosario hops aboard Stall’s pace player. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta Box 5-9, Exacta 5-9/2-8

PIM 9 (Jim McKay Turf Sprint, 5T) #6 KENS CAPE (12-1) beat stablemate Ben’s Cat here last April and enters in decent form. He is a prominent throughout threat in his 3rd start off the shelf. #1 Spring to the Sky (10-1) won his lone turf sprint try last year and was competitive vs. the likes of Summer Front. Castellano has booted him home twice. #7 Ben’s Cat (9-5) is a 20-for-30 win machine for Leatherbury. The 7yo gelding won his local return April 6. #2 Bridgetown (8-5) usually fires a fresh shot so the 6-month layoff is not a big deal. He hits hard at five panels. THE PLAYS: #6 to win, Trifecta 1-6/1-2-6-7/1-2-6-7

PIM 10 (G2 Black-Eyed Susan, 9f) #3 FIFTYSHADESOFHAY (2-1) ran into 2yo champ and Kentucky Oaks runner-up Beholder in her last pair. The Baffert trainee dons the hood and drilled a strong bullet at CD May 10. #7 Emollient (9-5) controlled proceedings throughout in facile G1 Ashland wire job at Keeneland April 6. She meets other speed on different footing and figures to take a ton of action. She handles conventional dirt and is not a need to lead type. #5 Walkwithapurpose (5-1) has been pointing to this event for quite some time. The Sagamore Farms filly has been stabled here since March and has a nose for the wire. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta 3/5-7, Exacta 5-7/3

PIM 11 (Very One, 5T) #14 THERE IS NO LIMIT (8-1) is a decent turf sprinter and Napravnik booted her home at Keeneland April 18. #3 Sensible Lady (6-1) is 2-for-2 here and can move up 2nd off the shelf. #13 Sweet Cassiopeia (5-2) has won 5 straight and is 3-for-3 at this trip. #10 Spun Cat (5-1) is a sharp pace factor under Rosario. #7 Sounds of the City (6-1) is usually in the hunt. THE PLAYS: #14 to win, Trifecta 3-14/3-7-10-13-14/3-7-10-13-14

PIM 12 (G3 Pimlico Special, 9.5f) #7 LAST GUNFIGHTER (7-5) has rattled off five straight for Chad Brown and should sit a nice tactical trip. Castellano is 2-for-2 with him and he runs well fresh. #4 Eighttofasttocatch (9-5) will take them as far as he can. The 7yo gelding cruised here April 20 and faded badly in this event last year when he failed to get the early lead. #5 Richard’s Kid (7-2) has dropped nine straight and has lost a step at age 8. The classy MD-bred will almost certainly take too much win action under Napravnik. THE PLAYS: Exacta 7-4

PIM 13 (Hilltop, 8.5T) #10 SUMMER OF FUN (4-1) rallied to land the show in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf last year and winner Flotilla just captured the French 1,000 Guineas. She cruised in her March return at the Gulf and was flattered when the 2-3 finishers from that heat both came back to score. The versatile filly is a neck shy of a 3-for-3 record at this distance. #1 Kitten’s Point (5-2) won a Grade 3 turf route at GP this winter and beat my top in Kentucky last year. #4 Birdlover (5-1) is a pace player for Krigger/O’Neill.  Look out if she sneaks away early. THE PLAYS: #10 to win, Exacta 10/1-4, Exacta 1-4/10

Double/Pick 3/Pick 4/Pick 5 contenders – in order of preference


1   (2-8-4)
2   (3-7-2-8)
3   (5-3-7)
4   (3-8-1-7)
5   (3-5-8-12)
6   (2-5-3)
7   (3-7-5)
8   (5-9-8-2)
9   (6-1-7-2)
10 (3-7-5)
11 (14-3-13-10-7)
12 (7-4)
13 (10-1-4)

Preakness 2013 Preview: Will Orb overcome inside post?

The field has been set for Preakness 2013 and even money favorite Orb will break from the rail.

Preakness 2013 Post Positions

PP, Horse, Trainer, Jockey, ML Odds

 1. Orb, Shug McGaughey, Joel Rosario  1-1
2. Goldencents, Doug O’Neill, Kevin Krigger  8-1
3. Titletown Five, D. Wayne Lukas, Julien Leparoux  30-1
4. Departing, Al Stall Jr., Brian Hernandez Jr.  6-1
5. Mylute, Tom Amoss, Rosie Napravnik  5-1
6. Oxbow, D. Wayne Lukas, Gary Stevens  15-1
7. Will Take Charge, D. Wayne Lukas, Mike Smith  12-1
8. Govenor Charlie, Bob Baffert, Martin Garcia  12-1
9. Itsmyluckyday, Eddie Plesa Jr., John Velazquez  10-1

Preakness 2013

Jarrod Horak’s Preakness 2013 Preview (in post position order):

1. Orb (Malibu Moon) – Tabasco Cat is the only horse in the last 41 years to win the Preakness Stakes from post one and Orb likes to make wide, sweeping moves. If he is a legit Triple Crown threat the inside post will not bother him and Rosario continues to ride great. I have always liked Shug’s colt but he won’t offer any value in Baltimore.

2. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – SA Derby winner hated the Derby wet track and the pace scenario did not help his cause. He is a quality speed horse but needs everything to go his way to compete vs. these at this distance. Krigger might send him and play catch me if you can.

3. Titletown Five (Tiznow) – He finished in front of Orb in a Saratoga maiden race last summer. He has raw talent but is best as a sprinter at this stage. Interesting that patient rider Leparoux takes over. They are trying to get him to relax.

4. Departing (War Front) – Playing the part of Red Bullet is Departing and taking over the role of Fusaichi Pegasus is Orb. At least that is what trainer Al Stall Jr.  is hoping. He is 4-for-5 lifetime and the LA Derby was a productive prep. He did not beat much in the Illinois Derby but looked good doing it.

5. Mylute (Midnight Lute) – He is winless in seven stakes outings but is usually in the hunt. Napravnik was the queen of Maryland racing when she rode at Laurel/Pimlico and she really wants to win the Preakness.

6. Oxbow (Awesome Again) – Lukas trainee was done in by the quick Derby splits but hung in there to finish a fine 6th. His main problem is that he pulled off wire jobs in both career wins but is not quick enough to grab the early lead in the Preakness.

7. Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) – Smarty Jones/Rebel winner finished a troubled 8th in the Derby. He is a bit interesting if he finds clear sailing under Mike Smith but is not fast enough and has yet to win beyond a mile and a sixteenth.

8. Govenor Charlie (Midnight Lute) – G3 Sunland Derby hero is lightly raced and on the improve. He lacks seasoning and has recovered from the minor hind foot issue that forced him to miss the Derby. Look for him to make some noise later this year.

9. Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Eddie Plesa’s colt got the best of the draw based on his preferred outside stalk and pounce style. The Florida Derby runner-up flopped in the Derby and may have peaked in January. Orb beat him in his last pair.

Check out my Friday & Saturday (May 17-18) Black-Eyed Susan & Preakness Day full card analysis from Pimlico (available now) and Bonus Free Pick (PIM 8th race, click view sample) at

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Preakness 2013 Contenders – Will Orb capture second jewel?

Congratulations to Kentucky Derby 2013 hero Orb, and it was nice to see Shug McGaughey saddle his first Derby winner as well. He looks like a runaway locomotive at this point and might be too hot to handle in Preakness 2013.

Kentucky Derby 2013 winner Orb

Congrats to Kentucky Derby 2013 winner Orb – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Orb was one of my Exciting Prospects when I posted my first Derby Top 10 list last September. He lacked maturity in his first three outings but has really put everything together since. The Derby was his fifth straight win and he goes to Baltimore on a serious roll. He received a great pace setup in the Derby and it could be more of the same in the Preakness with the likes of Titletown Five and Goldencents on the engine early.

Speaking of rolls, jockey Joel Rosario has been unstoppable since winning the Dubai World Cup. Orb is currently preparing for the second jewel at Belmont Park and will ship to Pimlico early next week.

It is fun to talk about Orb’s Triple Crown chances but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. History is not on his side but he does possess all of the tools to give it a serious run. The son of Malibu Moon wheels back quickly on May 18 and it should be noted that he graduated off two weeks rest last year. I also saw a stat on TVG earlier this week about Shug McGaughey clicking at a 50% rate (6-for-12) when he brings horses back in 14-days. New shooter Departing might be his biggest competition.

Look out if Orb makes it past the Preakness but he will still have to beat fresh, talented rival Revolutionary at Big Sandy. That’s a discussion for another day.

Derby runner-up Golden Soul is pointing to the Belmont Stakes. He finished 2nd in the Derby because of the pace and will be an underlay in the Test of Champions.

My Derby selection Revolutionary, the top ranked contender on my Derby list since February, ran well to land the show on the first Saturday in May. I have not lost faith and he reminds me of my past Derby/Belmont picks Empire Maker and Union Rags.

Oxbow was too close to the rapid Derby pace and Normandy Invasion moved too soon. Both are players in Baltimore, especially the latter if Chad Brown opts to go in that direction.

Mylute took advantage of the fleet fractions and was in the show photo (finished 5th). If he runs in the Preakness, note that jockey Rosie Napravnik has plenty of Pimlico experience.

Will Take Charge was making a move with Orb in the Derby but Verrazano was backing up and stopped his momentum. The Derby was his first start beyond a mile and a sixteenth and he was coming off a layoff so it was not a bad effort finishing 8th.

Goldencents seemingly hated the Derby slop and will be part of the Preakness pace, especially if the track is fast.

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 Preakness 2013 Contenders

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Won his fifth straight race for Shug McGaughey in the G1 Kentucky Derby (wet track) and the strong finisher adapts to various pace scenarios. Red hot jockey Joel Rosario has been on a roll since the Dubai Gold Cup and he is an obvious major stretch player in Baltimore.

Departing (War Front) – Finished 3rd in the productive Louisiana Derby and overcame a wide draw to smartly take down the Illinois Derby. The Al Stall Jr. runner is a dangerous new shooter and it is nice to see him join the Triple Crown series.

Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s colt trained aggressively and moved too soon under Javier Castellano in the Derby. He needs to sit back with Orb and make a big late run in the Preakness. He is reportedly much more relaxed since returning to New York. His ultimate goal is the G1 Travers at the Spa in August.

Mylute (Midnight Lute) – LA Derby runner-up rallied to finish 5th on the first Saturday in May under Rosie Napravnik. Trainer Tom Amoss said that his Preakness status would be revealed on Saturday morning.

Oxbow horse

Oxbow was too close to the hot Derby pace – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – G3 Lecomte hero shows up for every dance and finished a solid 6th in the Derby after attending fast fractions from an inner post under Gary Stevens. Lukas trainee can rate but went all the way in both career wins. His main problem is that he is usually not quick enough to grab the early lead.

Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) – Smarty Jones/Rebel winner finished a respectable 8th in the Derby. He did find some traffic but that is to be expected in a 19-horse field. Mike Smith will ride in the Preakness and he could improve 2nd off the shelf.

Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Eddie Plesa Jr.’s colt was the talk of Florida earlier this year at the Gulf. The Holy Bull hero played second fiddle to Orb in the Florida Derby and finished a disappointing 15th on the first Saturday in May. John Velazquez will ride in the Preakness.

Preakness Dreamers:

Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Doug O’Neill’s quality early-pressing type seemingly hated the Derby wet track and the pace scenario did not help either. He earned a strong number in the SA Derby and is capable of big efforts on fast ground under the proper race shape.

Govenor Charlie (Midnight Lute) – Smartly captured G3 Sunland Derby in his third career start. The Baffert trainee has plenty of upside but still lacks seasoning. He wisely passed on the Derby and has seemingly recovered from a minor hind foot issue. Worked 6f in 1:11.80 (1/3) at Churchill Downs on 5-7.

Street Spice (Street Sense) – Illinois Derby 5th place finisher seems up against it in the Preakness. He likely needs to find a softer spot to be competitive. Breezed 5f from the gate in 1:03.40 (27/33) at Arlington Park on 5-4.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Has lost all three starts this year and looks like a sprinter at this point. He will attend the Preakness pace before fading. Breezed 4f in :47.60 (5/35) at Churchill Downs on 5-7.

Vyjack (Into Mischief) – 18th place Derby finisher has now dropped two straight. He came out of the Wood Memorial with a lung infection and that hiccup probably cost him under the Twin Spires. He has talent but is not sharp right now.

Kentucky Derby 2013 Day Analysis Recap

Thanks to everyone for purchasing my Kentucky Derby Day analysis from Churchill Downs last Saturday, May 4. For those who missed it, I have included highlights and analysis below.

Check out my Saturday (May 11) Churchill Downs full card analysis (available now) and Bonus Free Pick (CD 11th race, click view sample) at

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The Fast Track with Steve Bortstein

For best bets and more, listen to the Fast Track radio show every Saturday and Sunday morning. (10am eastern)

Kentucky Derby Day analysis highlights:
CD 1 Glamour Puss/Apropos Exacta ($14.60)
CD 5 BELLARMINE ($25.60), Trifecta ($317.20)
CD 8 STEPHANIE’S KITTEN ($9.80), Exacta ($28)
Daily Double (race 7-8, $51.40)
Pick 3 (race 7-9, $146)
Pick 3 (race 8-10, $69)
Pick 4 (race 8-11, $358.80)
Pick 5 (race 7-11, $325.10)

Kentucky Derby Day analysis from Churchill Downs (Saturday: 5-4-13)
By Jarrod Horak (,  
:  Showers (50% chance). High 61.
Best Bets (races 4, 9, 11, 12).

CD 1 (OC-62.5k/2x, 6f) #2 FIVE STAR MOMMA (4-1) scored in her local debut in 2011 and earned her best number to date in a Keeneland place finish April 6. Terranova excels 2nd off the shelf and I like her early-pressing versatility. #3 Glamour Puss (2-1) has fired Exacta shots in all five starts. She is 2-for-2 at this trip and Rosario rode her perfectly at Keeneland April 11. #1 Apropos (8-5) ran away from entry level foes at Oaklawn March 7 and the clear place finisher came back to score. She wins this with anything resembling her last. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/1-3, Exacta 2-3/1

CD 2 (OC-75k/1x, 7f) #2 GOMBEY DANCER (7-2) earned a big number in his 6f maiden win at Gulfstream Feb. 3. He disappointed in the G3 Swale but runs well fresh and fired a local bullet April 20. He reunites with winning pilot Lezcano, who is 3-for-3 with Kenneally recently. #8 Slan Abhaile (5-2) went all the way in his 7f bow at the Gulf March 30. Romans has him now and he’s an obvious outside speed threat. #1 River Rocks (3-1) is an inside pace factor at the very least. He won his lone start at this distance. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/1-8, Exacta 1-8/2

CD 3 (OC-80k/3x, 8.5T) #6 SCREENPLAY (3-1) has a nose for the wire on turf. He is 3-for-4 here, like this trip, and new pilot Rosario has options with the sharp, versatile sort. #5 The Pizza Man (3-1) is a turf win machine. He is 6-for-6 at this distance and won for his trainer Amoss at Fair Grounds March 21. #1 Old Time Hockey (5-2) lands the cozy rail and might be aggressively handled under Gomez. He likes this trip, needed his last, and meets a field without much speed. #2 Prime Cut (12-1) won his lone turf start at Fair Grounds Jan. 27 and has always had a touch of class. #7 Cavalero (10-1) packs a decent late kick and lands sharp turf rider Napravnik. He is 5-for-6 at 8.5f. THE PLAYS: #6 to win, Trifecta 1-5-6/1-2-5-6-7/1-2-5-6-7

CD 4 (MSW, 7f) #5 BAMA BOUND (6-1) broke 12th from the intimidating rail in his Keeneland bow April 7 and he ended up an okay 7th that day. Margolis excels with second time starters and barn $$ rider Bridgmohan sticks. #12 Troubadour Tango (5-1) was the beaten favorite in both synthetic starts and he missed by a head in his career bow. #3 Saint X. (3-1) has hit the board in three straight and the $450k purchase ran into the likes of Oxbow here last fall. #6 Esplendido (8-1) finished a respectable 3rd in his synthetic sprint bow and can improve second time out. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/3-6-12, Exacta 3-6-12/5  

CD 5 (OC-75k/1x, 8.5f) #4 BELLARMINE (8-1) is getting better for McPeek. He handles any surface and ran well to land the place in his lone conventional dirt try at Gulfstream. #8 Code West (7-5) wisely skipped the Derby and has the class/speed to be a major player here. He figures to make his presence felt throughout for the productive Bejarano/Baffert team. No value here. #10 Ghost Hunter (6-1) might attempt a wire job and should be given extra consideration if a speed bias pops up. He won his 5.5f dirt sprint bow and finished 2nd to synthetic specialist and G3 Lexington hero Winning Cause at Keeneland last time. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Trifecta 4-10/4-8-10/ALL  

CD 6 (G3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint, 5T) #4 GHOST IS CLEAR (9-2) could sit the right stalk and pounce trip under Rosario. The 2-time turf sprint winner consistently runs his race on any footing and Maker shows a profit synthetic-to-turf. #8 Icon Ike (3-1) is a late running turf sprint win type for the productive Napravnik/Jones team. He could easily make it three straight. #2 Havelock (7-2) just got there off the shelf under Gomez April 13. He has captured half of his ten turf starts at this trip. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Exacta 4/2-8, Exacta 2-8/4  

CD 7 (G1 Humana Distaff, 7f) #8 BYRAMA (5-1) would have won the G1 Madison with a different trip. She broke slow from the rail and encountered traffic in that neck defeat. Rosario knows her now and she can tag there if able to handle dirt. #1 Jamaican Smoke (5-1) has speed to burn and easily won at this course/distance last May. She ran well in both Graded sprints and might not look back under Leparoux. #6 Aubby K (7-2) won the G2 Inside Information off a lengthy layoff and has had plenty of time to recover. She hails from a profitable, low profile barn. #2 Rumor (5-2) runs well fresh but she is 0-for-2 at seven panels and must prove that she can run a big race away from SoCal. THE PLAYS: #8 to win, Exacta Box 1-8, Exacta 1-8/2-6  

CD 8 (G2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, 8T) Honest fractions are expected with #3 Daisy Devine, #4 Frontside, #7 Karlovy Vary, and #10 Stopshoppingmaria vying for early position. #6 STEPHANIE’S KITTEN (4-1) has not been seen in more than six months but she is 2-for-2 over the local weeds and owners Ken & Sarah Ramsey have been rolling since Keeneland. She likes this distance and Leparoux does some of his best work with patient turf runners. #8 Marketing Mix (5-2) has not been seen in more than six months but runs well fresh. Gomez rides her well and she clearly has the class to win this for sharp layoff trainer Proctor. #5 Hungry Island (4-1) captured her Keeneland return April 7. She won this event last year and should get pace to chase. #3 Daisy Devine (3-1) is the best of the speed types. She usually fires Exacta shots on turf, except a fading 5th in this event last year. THE PLAYS: #6 to win, Exacta Box 6-8, Exacta 6-8/3-5 

CD 9 (G2 Churchill Downs, 7f) #5 UNBRIDLED’S NOTE (5-1) is 2-for-2 at CD and could sit the garden spot trip behind the speed. Asmussen’s consistent colt ran into crack sprinter Jimmy Creed (twice) at Santa Anita and downhill specialist Mizdirection in the BC turf Sprint. He fits well here. #2 Hierro (10-1) is also 2-for-2 here including the 2012 Derby Trial. He ran well in both starts this year for new trainer Pletcher and could move forward 3rd off the shelf. #9 Delaunay (2-1) is in the form of his life. He shoots for six straight wins and enjoys seven panels. #8 Trinniberg (8-5) flopped in Dubai March 30 and most U.S. horses need more time to recover from the long journey. I’ve never been a big fan of this horse but he likes this trip. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/2-9, Exacta 2-9/5  

CD 10 (G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, 9T) #9 POINT OF ENTRY (7-5) looked great beating Animal Kingdom in his Gulfstream return at this trip Feb. 9. The classy turf marathon specialist is fresh and strictly the one to fear if he duplicates his last. #8 Wise Dan (6-5) was good but not great in his G1 Maker’s 46 comeback at Keeneland. He liked 9f in the past but has been a flat mile specialist since last August. He needs to relax early if he expects to win this race. All of his past success at this distance came on dirt and synthetic. THE PLAYS: #9 to win, Exacta 9-8

CD 11 (G1 Kentucky Derby, 10f) #3 REVOLUTIONARY (10-1) has been my top ranked Derby contender since February. He is 3-3 around two turns, has overcome trouble, owns a nice finishing kick, and Borel has won the Derby three times, including the 2010 renewal aboard Super Saver for Pletcher & WinStar Farm. Both CD works were impressive and LA Derby show finisher Departing came back to win the Illinois Derby. #16 Orb (7-2) is also 3-for-3 around two turns and shoots for his fifth win in a row today. He adapts to various pace scenarios and his work and gallop sessions have been impressive. Red hot rider Rosario has booted him home twice and he beat Revolutionary last fall but both are much better now. #5 Normandy Invasion (12-1) is sitting on a career top in his 3rd start off the shelf. He is training aggressively for this and won’t be as far back as expected. Castellano chose him over Revolutionary. His only good races occurred at the Big A. #12 Itsmyluckyday (15-1) is growing on me. He was fast earlier this year and his morning gallops suggest that he is back on top of his game. He can move forward 2nd off the shelf after landing the place behind Orb in the Florida Derby.  #2 Oxbow (20-1) finally draws an inner post but I’m sure Lukas did not want post 2 in Derby. He is best as a free runner and might attempt a wire job under Stevens. #1 Black Onyx (50-1) drew the dreaded rail. He is on the upswing and training well but must work out a trip from the worst possible post. He is a late scratch. #9 Overanalyze (15-1) never runs two alike but Bejarano is on a roll. #14 Verrazano (4-1) has been less dynamic with each passing furlong. The unraced juvenile has accomplished plenty this year but is no longer improving. #8 Goldencents (5-1) must relax at a distance that he is not bred to get. Lightning will not strike twice for O’Neill. #6 Mylute (15-1) would be a great story with Rosie in the irons. #4 Golden Soul (50-1) will be passing tired horses. With Black Onyx now scratched, I will use him underneath in the Trifecta instead. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta Box 3-16, Exacta 3-16/5-12, Trifecta 3-16/3-5-12-16/2-3-4-5-12-16   

CD 12 (OC-62.5k/2x, 7f) #7 WILD TARGET (4-1) runs well fresh and Rosario hops aboard. He handles seven panels and figures to stalk the pace for sharp trainer Kenneally. #2 Rightfully So (3-1) earned a big number March 30 and the show finisher came back to score. He romped at this course/distance last fall. #4 Seven Lively Sins (12-1) hails from a deadly synthetic-to-dirt barn (Stall). He has won at this course and distance and should offer value. THE PLAYS: #7 to win, Trifecta 2-7/ALL/4  

Double/Pick 3/Pick 4/Pick 5 contenders – in order of preference


1   (2-3-1)
2   (2-8-1)
3   (6-5-1-2-7)
4   (5-12-3-6)
5   (4-8-10)
6   (4-8-2)
7   (8-1-6-2)
8   (6-8-5-3)
9   (5-2-9)
10 (9-8)
11 (3-16-5-12)
12 (7-2-4)

Kentucky Derby 2013 Week Videos

The field is set for Kentucky Derby 2013 and it has been a crazy week at the offices of

On Tuesday, I traveled to Churchill Downs and interviewed trainer Michelle Lovell. She is based at Fair Grounds in the winter and Churchill Downs in the spring. I wanted to find out about the differences in the two tracks and I also asked her about Rosie Napravnik, Mylute, and the Fair Grounds Derby horses.

Thursday was fun. I got to shoot three videos with special guests. Ryan Patterson had a great idea about a video consisting of a wet track scenario for the Derby. We did not have time to shoot it last week but jumped right into that one after checking the weather forecast for the first Saturday in May.

I have not done a video with Mike Shutty for quite some time. It was good to see him again and our video theme was live Derby longshots. If you need help in the Derby, check out Mike’s Kentucky Derby Super Screener product.

Finally, Jasen Mangrum contacted me last week and we set up a video for Thursday afternoon. I told him to pick a topic and he settled on the Kentucky Oaks-Woodford Reserve Turf Classic-Kentucky Derby Pick 3. Also, check out the Super Screener Handicapping Seminars.

My Kentucky Derby Day full card selections are now available:

Check out my Kentucky Derby 2013 full card at

If you would like to hear our Derby Day thoughts, I will be at my regular weekend spot on The Fast Track with Steve Bortstein radio show on Saturday morning (weekends at 10am eastern time).

Special thanks to my video editor and photographer, Stacy Edwards.