Posts Tagged ‘Title Contender’

CashCall Futurity 2012 Analysis: Will Violence remain unbeaten?

Saturday’s 9th race from Betfair Hollywood Park is the Grade I CashCall Futurity for 2-year-olds traveling a mile and a sixteenth on Cushion Track.

Kentucky Derby 2013

Check out the top Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders at HorseRacingNation.com

BHP 9 (G1 CashCall Futurity, 8.5f)

COMMENTS:

1. He’s Had Enough (9-2) – BC Juvenile runner-up remains eligible for entry level spot.
2. Den’s Legacy (6-1) – G3 Generous hero is 1 of 4 Baffert runners entered here.
3. Dirty Swagg (20-1) – Real Quiet show finished hails from sneaky longshot barn.
4. Carving (8-1) – Real Quiet winner is 2-for-2 on synthetic ground.
5. Fury Kapcori (8-1) – Real Quiet runner-up is out of hot Hollendorfer barn.
6. VIOLENCE (7-2) – Pletcher’s promising colt tries synthetic route for first time.
7. Simon Eyes (12-1) – Wesley Ward’s longshot is training well for this.
8. Really Mr Greely (5-1) – Back-to-back wins including G3 Hollywood Prevue.
9. Title Contender (10-1) – Set the pace and spit the bit in BC Juvenile.
10. Little Jerry (12-1) – Rode late running bias to local route maiden win Nov 18.
11. Oxbow (15-1) – $250k purchase went all the way in 7f affair at CD on Nov 25.

ANALYSIS:

#6 VIOLENCE  (7-2) (7-2) could be any kind for Pletcher. He professionally captured his 7f debut at the Spa and runner-up Titletown Five flattered him with a big fig next out graduation run under the Twin Spires. The $600k son of Medaglia d’Oro came off the bench to take the G2 Nashua last out and is bred to improve with added distance. He projects a tactical trip under Castellano and could easily make it three straight.

#9 Really Mr Greely (5-1) beat highly regarded stablemates Super Ninety Nine and Shakin It Up in a fast renewal of the G3 Hollywood Prevue. He looms a pace factor at the very least in his first start around two turns.

#2 Den’s Legacy (6-1) exits a solid victory in the G3 Generous at a flat mile on the turf. The versatile sort graduated on synthetic and could sit the right ground saving tactical trip at playable odds.

#1 He’s Had Enough (9-2) rallied for the place in a slow renewal of the G1 BC Juvenile. I’ll try to beat the likely underlay.

#9 Title Contender (10-1) set the pace and faded in the aforementioned BC Juvenile.

Several of these (Dirty Swagg, Carving, Fury Kapcori, Simon Eyes) competed in the Real Quiet Stakes, the local prep for this, and number from that heat came back light.

The Plays:

$30 to win #6

$5 Quinella 6/2-9 ($10)

analysis by Jarrod Horak

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Violence ready for CashCall Futurity

My current third ranked Kentucky Derby 2013 contender Violence can make a run at the top spot with a strong effort in Saturday’s Grade I CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Violence, an undefeated son of Medaglia d’Oro, out of Gone West mare Violent Beauty, began his career with a neck victory in a Saratoga extended sprint, and place/show finishers Titletown Five and Orb have both graduated since.

Trainer Bob Baffert

Baffert is expected to start four in the G1 CashCall Futurity – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The highly regarded Pletcher trainee faced graded rivals second time out and passed that test with flying colors, winning the G2 Nashua by a comfortable two lengths at a flat mile around the Big A oval.

Violence has done everything asked of him up to this point, and now he must ship to SoCal and run on synthetic ground and around two turns for the first time. His CashCall foes are expected to include Carving, Den’s Legacy, Really Mr Greely, and Title Contender, all from the Bob Baffert barn. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough is also expected to compete.

Speaking of Bob Baffert, he unveiled exciting prospect Flashback at Hollywood on Saturday. He easily put away promising Shirreffs runner Mentor Cane in the seven panel Cushion Track test.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5 contenders) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He barely clings to the top spot after earning a surprisingly low 76 BSF. Derby Points (10). 

2. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot. Not sure how far he wants to run but O’Neill should have fun with the speedy sort. Worked 6f in 1:12.80 (2/10) at Santa Anita on 12-7. Derby Points (14).

3. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Based on his strong route pedigree, he is just getting warmed up. He overcame inexperience to capture G2 Nashua and should continue to progress. Pletcher has mentioned the G1 CashCall Futurity on Dec 15 as his next target. Breezed 4f in :50.15 (3/4) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 12-9.

4. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation and rallied outside to get up late in the grassy G3 Bourbon (77 BSF). He rallied nicely to just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf and the Chad Brown trainee packs a nice late kick.

5. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim (82 BSF) hero finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and appears to have a bright future for Chad Brown.

6. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Followed up facile maiden route win (90 BSF) with a near miss in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. McPeek will give him a little break and he figures to winter in Florida. Derby Points (4).

Power Broker horse

Power Broker gets a breather and will not represent Baffert in the CashCall Futurity – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

7. Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Baffert was considering the CashCall Futurity but ultimately decided against it. Derby Points (10).

8. Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner, and he pulled the same trick in the BC Juvenile. He has moved to the Pletcher barn in Florida and is expected to make his 3yo bow in the G2 Hutcehson at 7f on 2-2-13. Derby Points (4).

9. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut sprint winner at the Spa followed that up with a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful and a 3rd in G1 Champagne. Lasix-free colt finished a flat 4th in the BC Juvenile and needs time off to grow and mature. Derby Points (3).

10. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – Pletcher’s versatile colt won his second graded race in the Remsen (99 BSF). Early plans have him contesting the Gotham and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct next year. Derby Points (10).

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Delhomme (Dixie Union) – Set the pace and ended up a rock solid 3rd in a fast renewal of the Remsen. He will get a breather at WinStar Farm before returning to the Pletcher barn at Palm Meadows. Derby Points (2).

Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8. Zazu’s brother cruised past highly regarded Shirreffs colt Mentor Cane (Mizzen Mast).

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Beat heavy favorite Revolutionary in his 6f Belmont bow Oct 28 and the top two were well clear of the rest. Winning BSF of 101. Sold privately to Silverton Farm. New trainer Darrin Miller. Breezed 5f in 1:00.42 (2/17) at Gulfstream on 12-2.

Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown already has two talented turf runners in my top ten and his Remsen runner-up is worth following. The $230k Keeneland sales grad owns a decent late kick. Derby Points (4).

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker is off the Injured Reserve list (bucked shins) and is currently back in Pletcher’s barn in Florida. He should return to the worktab shortly.

Former Top Ten Members

Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He might return to the worktab next week. Derby Points (1).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – 6th in Del Mar Futurity and 7th in FrontRunner. He rebounded smartly in a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita. He worked 5f in 1:00.40 (7/55) at Hollywood on 12-8.

Know More (Lion Heart) – FrontRunner place finisher was 13th in the BC Juvenile Turf and 8th in the Delta Jackpot. He has been terribly mismanaged since the FrontRunner and needs time to regroup. Derby Points (4).

Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Finished a distant last in the Remsen. That effort was too bad to believe but that’s back-to-back disappointments after a promising bow. He remains in New York and is scheduled to make his next start at the Big A on Jan 5.

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

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

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Injured Reserve

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

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

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Is Shanghai Bobby a Derby horse?

Shanghai Bobby wrapped up the two-year-old championship with a determined victory in the BC Juvenile but his Kentucky Derby 2013 contender stock plummeted, along with the rest of the Juvenile field.

Shanghai Bobby

Likely 2YO champ Shanghai Bobby looks like a Kentucky Derby pretender – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

To be blunt, this was an ugly renewal of the BC Juvenile. It was the third slowest Juvenile ever and the BSF came back a modest 82, the lowest of the 2-day, 15-race BC programs. The lasix-free colts staggered through the stretch, getting the final quarter in a pedestrian :27.50 seconds…yikes!

Shanghai Bobby figured to regress in longer races. After all, trainer Todd Pletcher started him at 4.5f in April of his 2-year-old season, hardly a sign of confidence from a well-known Derby barn, and his pedigree hardly screams nine panels let alone ten on the first Saturday in May. The deserving 2yo champ clearly has determination and a nose for the wire but his luck will almost certainly run out next spring and beyond. He drops out of my top ten.

He’s Has Enough had some traffic stops along the way to a surprising place finish for last year’s dynamic Derby trio of Reddam, O’Neill, and Gutierrez. He ended up missing by a head and probably wins the Juvenile with clear sailing.

Capo Bastone basically ran the same race that he did in the FrontRunner, sitting back and clunking up for the show. Trainer John Sadler said that he bled a 3 on a scale of 5 and will be evaluated before any future plans are made.

Fortify drifted out early, raced wide, and had every chance in the lane but could only manage 4th.

Power Broker

Power Broker got hung out to dry in BC Juvenile – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Power Broker was carried out wide from the outside post by Fortify and remained wide in a throw out effort. Baffert had bad karma throughout the 2-day BC and this colt never got a fair chance to strut his stuff on Saturday.

Title Contender attempted a wire job in the Juvenile but caved quickly when pressured.

Last year’s BC Juvenile was a strong race that produced many subsequent graded winners: Alpha (Jim Dandy, Travers), Creative Cause (San Felipe), Daddy Long Legs (UAE Derby), Drill (San Vicente), Dullahan (Blue Grass, Pacific Classic), Fort Loudon (Carry Back), Hansen (Gotham), Optimizer (Kent), Prospective (Tampa Bay Derby), Take Charge Indy (Florida Derby), and Union Rags (Fountain of Youth, Belmont Stakes). The 2012 Juvenile entrants have a long way to go to match the class of 2011, and, despite future success, last year’s Juvenile did not produce the Derby winner.

Chad Brown’s BC Juvenile Turf duo of Noble Tune and Balance the Books finished a more than respectable 2-3 behind impressive overseas shipper George Vancouver (87 BSF). The winner, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is a KY-bred son of Henrythenavigator, out of Versailles Treaty. I would like to see all three of those colts try conventional dirt in the future.

From the what were they thinking file, Know More flopped as expected from post 13 in the Juvenile Turf. He raced wide throughout and would have been up against it from any post because he had no turf experience against an international field of quality, proven grass foes. He should have run in the BC Juvenile.

In the G2 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct, Violence (86 BSF), trained by Todd Pletcher, ran his record to 2-for-2 with an outside stalk and pounce tally. He owns a promising pedigree and is worth following. Stablemate Darwin was the beaten favorite from the rail. He was in tight in the lane but was going nowhere and did not run to expectations.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5 contenders) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 5-for-6 in the G3 Iroquois (90 BSF). He finished a troubled 5th in his lone two turn outing and will get another route chance in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at CD on 11-24.

2. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Sharp debut win (93 BSF) for Doug O’Neill/Leandro Mora on 9-2. Set the pace and gamely held the place in Belmont’s Champagne. Worked 6f in 1:12.60 (2/13) at Santa Anita on 11-7. The G3 Delta Jackpot (Nov 17) is next. Derby Points (4).

Balance the Books

Will Balance the Books switch surfaces and hop on the Derby trail next year? – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

3. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation and rallied outside to get up late in the grassy G3 Bourbon (77 BSF). He rallied nicely to just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf and the Chad Brown trainee packs a nice late kick.

4. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim (82 BSF) hero finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and appears to have a bright future for Chad Brown.

5. Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Cruised in Saratoga bow for Pletcher and his lack of seasoning and wide trip cost him in the Champagne. He is still a promising, long term prospect. He breezed 5f in 1:01.85 (21/49) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 11-11.

6. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Based on his strong route pedigree, he is just getting warmed up. Overcame inexperience to capture G2 Nashua and he should continue to progress for Pletcher.

7. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Played hide and go seek in a facile graduation run (90 BSF) at 8.5f from post 12 at CD on 11-3. Ken McPeek’s colt is a possibility for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

8. Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Derby Points (10).

9. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut sprint winner at the Spa followed that up with a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful and a 3rd in G1 Champagne. Lasix-free colt finished a flat 4th in the BC Juvenile and needs time off to grow and mature. Derby Points (3).

10. Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner, and he pulled the same trick in the BC Juvenile. John Sadler’s colt bled in the Cup. Derby Points (4).

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Delhomme (Dixie Union) – Gamely went all the way in flat mile maiden win at Belmont Park Oct 13 and he earned a solid 93 BSF. Another promising Pletcher trainee.

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Beat heavy favorite Revolutionary in his 6f Belmont bow Oct 28 and the top two were well clear of the rest. Winning BSF of 101. Michael Mareina trains the WinStar Farm bred colt.

Revolutionary (War Pass) – Clearly second best to aforementioned Little Distorted last time. He earned a 95 BSF and won’t be a maiden much longer for Pletcher. He’s out of an AP Indy mare and is owned by WinStar Farm.

Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) – Professional 7f debut win at SA on 10-7. He scratched out of the BC Juvenile Sprint after getting cast in his stall. He worked 4f in :47.40 (2/36) at Santa Anita on 11-8.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Facile 7f tally (97 BSF) under Twin Spires in his 4th start. Lukas will give him every chance to make the gate on the first Saturday in May.

Former Top Ten Members

Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He should prosper in future route races. Breezed 4f in :47.67 (5/76) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 10-22. Derby Points (1). 

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – 6th in Del Mar Futurity and 7th in FrontRunner. He rebounded smartly in a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita.

Know More (Lion Heart) – Distant 2nd to Power Broker in FrontRunner, his first conventional dirt/two turn outing. He inexplicably switched surfaces and had no shot with a rough trip from post 13 in the BC Juvenile Turf. He might wheel back in the Delta Jackpot. Derby Points (4). 

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

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 5-for-5 with a determined win in the G1 BC Juvenile (82 BSF). I always had my doubts about his stamina and he does not want to go beyond 8.5f based on his slow Juvenile win. Derby Points (20).  

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Injured Reserve

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

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

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile 2012 analysis – Fortify can surprise

Saturday’s 8th race from Santa Anita Park is the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile for 2-year-olds traveling a mile and a sixteenth on the main track.

Check out my Saturday (Nov 3) Breeders’ Cup analysis (available now) at TodaysRacingDigest.com. Upcoming analysis – Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita (Nov 3) and Churchill Saturdays (Nov 10, 17, 24).

Derby Wars

Play Saturday’s $30k BC November Shootout at DerbyWars.com

SA 8 (G1 BC Juvenile, 8.5f)

COMMENTS:

1. Title Contender (6-1) – Rode SA speed bias to sharp wire job Sept 29.
2. Speak Logistics (8-1) – Back-to-back wire jobs at Monmouth & Calder.
3. He’s Had Enough (20-1) – Late runner never fired in G1 Breeders’ Futurity.
4. Shanghai Bobby (2-1) – 4-for-4 in one turn NY races.
5. Monument (12-1) – Crawled home in Cal Cup Classic win.
6. Dynamic Sky (12-1) – Improving colt landed place in Breeders’ Futurity.
7. Capo Bastone (15-1) – Rallying show finish against the bias in G1 FrontRunner.
8. FORTIFY (9-2) – Lasix-free colt was no match for Shanghai Bobby in NY.
9. Power Broker (5-2) – Smartly earned diploma in FrontRunner romp.

ANALYSIS:

#8 FORTIFY owns an ascending numbers pattern and is bred to improve as distances increase. Dominguez got to know him last time and his grinding tactical style should play well around two turns. The no lasix rule won’t hurt him and the price should be right.

#9 Power Broker sat an outer tactical trip in the G1 FrontRunner and the $360k purchase sure took to conventional dirt that day. He should sit a similar trip today and a G1 win at this course/distance makes him the one to beat.

#1 Title Contender beat next out winner Code West (also Baffert) Sept 29 and he ran faster than FrontRunner hero and stablemate Power Broker. He might flee the rail and forget to stop under Martin Garcia, and he rates higher if early speed is strong.

#4 Shanghai Bobby has done everything right so far. He started his career in April and his seasoning edge should start to evaporate in the near future. He has to ship across country without lasix and go two turns for the first time at underlaid odds. He deserves the 2yo title if he wins this.

#7 Capo Bastone finished a better than appears 3rd over a speed friendly surface last time. He rates a longshot look underneath if he gets pace help over a fair surface.

WAGERS:

#8 to win

Exacta 8/1-9

Exacta 1-9/8

Trifecta 1-4-8-9/1-4-8-9/7

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – BC Juvenile Edition

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

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

Shanghai Bobby

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

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

Power Broker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He should prosper in future route races. Breezed 4f in :47.67 (5/76) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 10-22. Derby Points (1).

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

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

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

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

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

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

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

Former Top Ten Members

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

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

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Injured Reserve

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

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

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Shanghai Bobby BC Juvenile bound

This is my third in a series of blogs devoted to Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders and Fortify remains on top after a solid if unspectacular 3rd place finish in the Grade I Champagne at Belmont Park on October 6.

The key at this stage is not to get carried away with a big performance and not to get discouraged by an average effort. The goal is to stay healthy, learn something from racing experience, and move forward next time.

Shanghai Bobby

Will Shanghai Bobby win the BC Juvenile? – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Shanghai Bobby keeps on trucking after another strong effort in the Champagne but the waters get much deeper when he leaves the friendly confines of New York and tries two turns in the BC Juvenile at Santa Anita. So far so good for Pletcher’s undefeated colt.

Goldencents moves up from the exciting prospects list. He made the pace from the inside post in the Champagne and held the place in a rock solid effort. He only had one SoCal synthetic sprint win at 5.5f prior to his strong effort on Saturday and hung in there despite his lack of seasoning. He is an interesting, long term prospect.

Fortify remains my top ranked colt and I firmly believe that he will be much better around two turns next year. Each race has been a learning experience for the McLaughlin trainee and his grinding tactical style should play well over a route of ground.

It is way too early to give up on the likes of Archwarrior and Micromanage. Both Pletcher runners needed the Champagne experience and remain worth following.

Tizracer faded badly in Keeneland’s Breeders’ Futurity but he ran well on dirt prior to that so he may not have cared for synthetic footing.

River Seven upset Uncaptured (5th of 6) in the compact G3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine. The gelded son of Johannesburg earned an 85 BSF for his efforts and secured 10 Derby points. The race did not seem particularly strong and the Ontario-bred winner is probably more likely to show up in next year’s Queen’s Plate if he stays healthy.

The Nov 3 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is the next Derby points race (10-4-2-1). Upcoming points races include the Nov 17 Delta Jackpot, the Remsen on Nov 24, and the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes under the Twin Spires on Nov 24.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5 contenders) to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – He graduated in 6.5f bow at the Spa and followed that up with a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful and a 3rd in G1 Champagne. Lasix-free colt should continue to develop for McLaughlin/Godolphin. He is expected to ship to Santa Anita for the BC Juvenile. Derby Points (2).

Power Broker

Power Broker will have the home field advantage in the BC Juvenile – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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

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

4. Know More (Lion Heart) – Distant 2nd to Power Broker in FrontRunner. That was the first time he stepped on conventional dirt and his initial two turn event so it was not a bad learning experience. He will train for the BC Juvenile at Santa Anita. Derby Points (4).

5. Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner. John Sadler’s colt could show up next in BC Juvenile. Worked 4f in :48.60 (9/44) at Santa Anita on 10-8. Derby Points (2).

6. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Sharp debut win (93 BSF) for Doug O’Neill/Leandro Mora on 9-2. Set the pace and gamely held the place in Belmont’s Champagne. The inexperienced colt gets bonus points for shipping across country and running well. Derby Points (4).

7. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation in his second lifetime start for Chad Brown. He scratched out of the Breeders’ Futurity in favor of the grassy G3 Bourbon (77 BSF) and rallied outside to get up late. The BC Juvenile Turf is his next assignment.

8. Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity hero was hardly disgraced finishing a close-up 4th (beaten 1.5 lengths) in G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He clearly has some talent but might have distance limitations. Derby Points (1).

9. Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th (beaten 7-1/4 lengths) in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He should prosper in future route races. Derby Points (1).

10. Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Cruised in Saratoga debut on 9-1 for Pletcher and his lack of seasoning and wide trip cost him dearly in the Champagne (5th, beaten 10 lengths). He is still a promising, long term prospect.

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Code West (Lemon Drop Kid) – $340k Keeneland sales grad chased Title Contender around the SA track on 9-29. He won’t be a maiden much longer.

Darwin (Big Brown) – Pletcher’s $1.3 million baby professionally got the job done in his 6f Belmont Park debut (94 BSF) on October 6.

Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – Ran his turf record to 2-for-2 with a visually impressive G3 Pilgrim (82 BSF) tally for Chad Brown. He might be better than stablemate Balance the Books.

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Blew the break and rallied to finish a strong 3rd in his bow. McGaughey’s promising colt flopped at low odds (fractious gate) going a flat mile at Belmont second time out. He has raw talent but lacks maturity at this stage. Breezed 4f in :48.88 (10/49) at Belmont Park on 10-6.

Title Contender (Pulpit) – Rode the Santa Anita speed bias to perfection and earned identical 90 BSF as stablemate and FrontRunner hero Power Broker on 9-29. Not sure where the promising Baffert runner goes next.

Former Top Ten Members

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – 6th in Del Mar Futurity and a disappointing 7th in FrontRunner. He has raw talent but has yet to put it all together against salty afternoon rivals. Worked 4f in :47.40 (1/4) at Santa Anita (turf) on 10-6.

Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.

Injured Reserve

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

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

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Fortify runs in Champagne

This is my second in a series of blogs devoted to Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders and my top ranked colt Fortify goes in the Grade I Champagne at Belmont Park today.

I got off to a decent start last week with top ten players Know More and Capo Bastone running 2-3 in Santa Anita’s FrontRunner.

Power Broker

Power Broker runs away with FrontRunner – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Power Broker, the romping FrontRunner hero (90 BSF), was on my Exciting Prospects list and moves into the top ten. A couple of my other exciting prospects ran well last week with Title Contender beating stablemate Code West at the Great Race Place.

Santa Anita Park had a pronounced speed bias in place on 9-29 so Power Broker’s romp might not be as strong as appears. Runner-up Know More was up close throughout and show finisher Capo Bastone raced against the bias in a better than appears rallying show finish.

Plenty of changes could be forthcoming with 7 of my top 10 running in the Champagne or Breeders’ Futurity.

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

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Reminds me of Stay Thirsty and Alpha. Love the long winded pedigree. He graduated in 6.5f bow and finished solid 2nd in G2 Hopeful. Sprinting is probably not his game and he should continue to develop for McLaughlin/Godolphin. Breezed 4f in :47.20 (2/4) at Greentree Training Center on 9-29. He is entered in G1 Champagne on 10-6.

2. Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity hero continues to train well and is entered in Keeneland’s G1 Breeders’ Futurity on 10-6. Breezed 5f  in 1:00.60 (7/24) at Keeneland on 10-1.

3. Know More (Lion Heart) – Distant 2nd to Power Broker in FrontRunner. That was the first time he stepped on conventional dirt and his initial two turn event so it was not a bad learning experience. He will train for the BC Juvenile at Santa Anita. Derby Points (4).

4. Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. Breezed 5f in 1:00.09 (8/48) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 9-30. He is entered in the G1 Champagne.

5. Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Cruised in Saratoga debut on 9-1. Yet another exciting prospect for Pletcher. Breezed 5f in 1:00.10 9/48) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 9-30. He entered the G1 Champagne and Dover Stakes at Delaware on 10-6 but is expected to run in the former.

Shanghai Bobby

Shanghai Bobby tries to remain undefeated in G1 Champagne – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

6. Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 3-for-3 with a decisive win in the G2 Hopeful (88 BSF). Not sure how far he wants to go but he is off to a flying start for Pletcher. The Champagne is next and he breezed 4f in :50.07 (68/108) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 9-30.

7. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation in his second lifetime start for Chad Brown. He has only run on turf so far but seems like the type to run all day. Breezed 4f in :48.99 (22/70) at Saratoga (dirt training) on 9-22. He is entered the Breeders’ Futurity and Sunday’s grassy Bourbon at Keeneland.

8. Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee breezed 4f in :50.09 (69/208) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 9-30. He is entered in the Breeders’ Futurity.

9. Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He has a chance to scurry up my list, depending what happens in the Champagne and Breeders’ Futurity. He is a solid BC Juvenile contender. Derby Points (10).

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

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Code West (Lemon Drop Kid) – $340k Keeneland sales grad chased Title Contender around the SA track on 9-29. He won’t be a maiden much longer.

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – Troubled 6th in Del Mar Futurity and a disappointing 7th in FrontRunner. He has raw talent but has yet to put it all together against salty afternoon rivals. Too early to give up on him.

Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Sharp debut win (93 BSF) for Doug O’Neill/Leandro Mora on 9-2. Worked 6f in 1:16.20 (2/3) at Hollywood Park on 9-26. He is entered in the G1 Champagne.

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Blew the break and rallied to finish a strong 3rd in his bow. McGaughey’s promising colt flopped at low odds (fractious gate) going a flat mile at Belmont second time out. He has raw talent but lacks maturity at this stage. Breezed 4f in :51.03 (18/23) at Belmont Park on 9-26.

Title Contender (Pulpit) – Rode the Santa Anita speed bias to perfection and earned identical 90 BSF as stablemate and FrontRunner hero Power Broker on 9-29. Not sure where the promising Baffert runner goes next.

Injured Reserve

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

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