Posts Tagged ‘Violence’

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Orb joins top ten list

Orb threw his hat into the Kentucky Derby 2013 ring with a solid off the pace tally in the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes (97 BSF) at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 23.

Orb horse

My former Exciting Prospect Orb jumps into my Top 10 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I put Orb on my Exciting Prospects list when I posted my first Derby blog last September. He struggled a bit after a promising debut and has put it all together with three wins in a row for Shug McGaughey.

Orb took advantage of a fast early/slow late race shape at the Gulf on Saturday. He has plenty of promise and will probably make his next start in the Grade I Florida Derby on March 30.

Violence, a perfect 3-for-3 in 2012, did all of the pace dirty work and ran a winning race in his return. Unfortunately, my former number one ranked colt fractured a sesamoid and is off the Derby trail.

Ive Struck a Nerve

Ive Struck a Nerve shocks the world in the Risen Star – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The Grade II Risen Star Stakes was also run on Feb. 23 and bomber Ive Struck a Nerve lit up the tote to the tune of $272.40. Keith Desormeaux’s overachiever garnered a 95 BSF and earned 50 precious Derby qualifying points.

Code West and Palace Malice finished 2-3 in the Risen Star and my former second ranked colt Normandy Invasion was a disappointing 5th in his sophomore bow.

The top eight Risen Star finishers were separated by less than four lengths and it is rarely a good sign when the field finishes bunched up at the wire.

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

Revolutionary

Revolutionary is my new top ranked Derby contender – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Followed up a big fig maiden win with an adventurous journey in the G3 Withers. The Pletcher trainee has now won two straight and is wintering in Florida. He breezed 4f in :48.43 (13/60) at Palm Meadows on 2-25. Derby Points (10). 

2. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – Pletcher’s versatile colt won his second graded race in the Remsen (99 BSF). He is entered in the G3 Gotham at the Big A on March 2. Breezed 4f in :48.75 (17/60) at Palm Meadows on 2-25. Derby Points (10).

3. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot and scored again in the G3 Sham Stakes. Not sure how far he wants to run but O’Neill is having fun with the speedy sort. Fired a 6f bullet in 1:10.40 (1/19) at Santa Anita on 2-22. Derby Points (24). 

4. Verrazano (More Than Ready) – Pletcher trainee looks like any kind after back-to-back romping Gulfstream victories to kick off his career. We will learn more about El Padrino’s brother when he tackles stakes foes in G2 Tampa Bay Derby on 3-9. Fired a 5f bullet in :59.21 (1/38) at Palm Meadows on 2-25.

5. Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8 and followed that up with an easy wire job vs. three rivals in the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb 2. He drilled a 6f bullet in 1:11 (1/14) at Santa Anita on 2-25. The G2 San Felipe on 3-9 is next. Derby Points (10).   

6. Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) – Baffert trainee has found his niche in main track routes. Facile G3 Southwest hero reminds me of Secret Circle. Derby Points (10).

7. Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s $230k Keeneland sales grad finished up his juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort in the G2 Remsen. He ended up a troubled 5th in his G2 Risen Star return and will try to rebound in the G1 Wood Memorial at the Big A on 4-6. Derby Points (4).

8. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Won G2 With Anticipation and G3 Bourbon on turf last year and just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf. Chad Brown trainee recently missed a couple of days due to a fever and will miss the G3 Palm Beach at the Gulf on 3-3. He could be rerouted to the G3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway on 3-23.

9. Orb (Malibu Moon) – Won his third straight race for Shug McGaughey in the G2 Fountain of Youth. He has plenty of stamina and will go next in the G1 Florida Derby at the Gulf on March 30. Derby Points (50).

10. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim winner finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and appears to have a bright future for Chad Brown. Breezed 5f in 1:02.55 (4/40) at Palm Meadows (turf) on 2-25.

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 breezed 5f in 1:00.09 (4/38) at Palm Meadows on 2-25. Derby Points (2).

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker returned from an injury to finish a clear 2nd at 7f in the GP slop vs. Optional Claiming company on 1-19. He ended up a solid 3rd in the Risen Star on 2-23. Derby Points (10).

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Promising Lukas trainee is off the IR list after a bone chip as a juvenile. He breezed a 4f bullet in :48 (1/14) at Oaklawn Park on 2-26 and is entered in the 6f Gazebo Stakes at Oaklawn on 3-2.

Treasury Bill (Lemon Drop Kid) – Followed a visually impressive maiden tally at Santa Anita on 1-27 with a rallying place finish in the G2 San Vicente on 2-17. He worked 4f in :49.40 (10/13) at Betfair Hollywood Park on 2-26.

War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Baffert’s highly regarded debut winner returned with an even 4th place finish in the San Vicente on Feb. 17. He worked 4f in :48.20 (6/38) at Santa Anita on 2-26.

Former Top Ten Members

Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – G1 FrontRunner and G1 BC Juvenile show finisher won an optional claiming route at Gulfstream on 2-16 for his new trainer Todd Pletcher. He only received a 69 BSF in his last and will be hard pressed to make a dent in upcoming stakes races. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – BC Juvenile 4th place finisher finished 6th in the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on 2-14. Derby Points (3).

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Ky Jockey Club Stakes runner-up grabbed a quarter and finished 6th in the Holy Bull. I’ll draw a line through his last and give him another chance. He breezed 4f in  :49.28 (23/35) at Palm Meadows on 2-9. Derby Points (4). 

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – He smartly won a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita and was last seen landing the place in the Eddie Logan Stakes (off the turf) on 12-29.

Know More (Lion Heart) – G1 FrontRunner place finisher has been terribly mismanaged since that effort. He most recently faded to last in an allowance dirt sprint at SA on 12-28 and is currently on vacation. Derby Points (4). 

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Earned a 101 BSF in his NY bow Oct 28. He raced for new connections (Silverton Farm – Darrin Miller) in the Spectacular Bid at the Gulf on 1-1 and finished 3rd as the beaten favorite. Scratched from the Hutcheson S. and flopped as the favorite in a 6.5f optional claiming sprint at the Gulf on 2-9. Breezed 4f in :49.20 (6/19) at Calder on 2-25.

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. Breezed 3f in :39.98 (15/15) at Palm Meadows on 2-26.

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arl-Wash Futurity hero finished a disappointing 7th in the G2 Hutcheson in his first start of the year. He seems to prefer synthetic. Breezed 5f bullet in 1:00.80 (1/6) at Tampa Bay on 2-27. Derby Points (1).

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 trainee worked 4f in :47.80 (7/42) at Santa Anita on 2-25. Derby Points (10). 

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – BC Juvenile winner and 2yo champ tasted defeat for the first time in the Holy Bull but was hardly disgraced in a clear place finish. I always had my doubts about his stamina and he did nothing to sway my opinion in the Holy Bull. Breezed 4f in :49.61 (32/60) at Palm Meadows on 2-25. Derby Points (24).  

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.

Uncaptured fired a 5f bullet on Feb. 26 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. His plans have been altered following a foot bruise and popped abscess, and he is now pointing to the Rushaway, Spiral, or Blue Grass. Breezed a 5f bullet in :59.80 (1/4) at Ocala Training Center on 2-26. Derby Points (10).

Injured Reserve

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 has not worked since 12-24 and is reportedly getting a break after an undisclosed physical problem. Derby Points (1).

Darwin (Big Brown) – Former exciting prospect and 4th place Nashua finisher is on holiday and could return this summer.

Gulfport (Unbridled’s Song) – Promising Romans trainee is injured and off the Derby trail.

Hightail (Mineshaft) – BC Juvenile Sprint winner was injured following a recent workout at Oaklawn Park and has been retired.

Joha (Johar) – He was pulled from the Keeneland January sale because of a minor injury. He is expected to resume racing later this year.

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is sidelined with bucked shins.

Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Was diagnosed with a fractured sesamoid following his game runner-up effort in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on 2-23. He is off the Derby trail. Derby Points (10).

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Violence ends 2012 on top

My former third ranked Kentucky Derby 2013 contender Violence ascends to the top of the heap following a thoroughly professional tally in the Grade I CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday, December 15.

Violence horse

Violence is my top ranked Kentucky Derby contender heading into 2013 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Violence, now 3-for-3 lifetime, owns two graded triumphs and is a bright light in an otherwise disappointing juvenile crop.

All of the graded juvenile races are in the books and the CashCall Futurity ranks as one of the stronger early Derby preps, along with a fast renewal of the Remsen.

On the other end of the spectrum, the BC Juvenile was an ugly, slow race, and the jury is still out on the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, which did not look bad visually but came back with a low speed figure.

Todd Pletcher is loaded with promising young runners but his West Coast counterpart Bob Baffert has had a bit of a bumpy ride so far.

Bob Baffert lost Rolling Fog to injury after he captured the G1 Del Mar Futurity. G1 Frontrunner hero Power Broker had an eventful journey in the BC Juvenile and is getting a breather. Baffert unveiled promising runners War Academy and Flashback this fall, but the former got sick and was unable to make the CashCall Fururity, while the latter will not be going in the Sham Stakes on Jan 5 after missing a work last Friday. Super Ninety Nine finished a non-threatening 4th as the strong favorite in an allowance sprint at Santa Anita on 12-28.

One trainer worth following on the Triple Crown trail is Chad Brown. He has a trio of Derby hopefuls including turf specialists Balance the Books and Noble Tune, but his best hope might be Remsen runner-up Normandy Invasion.

That wraps up the juvenile portion of this blog. I’ll be back in January to track the progress of the new sophomore set. Happy New Year!

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. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Ran his record to 3-for-3 in smart, professional stalk/pounce tally in the G1 CashCall Futurity (92 BSF). Two Derby preps are planned next year, beginning with the Risen Star or Fountain of Youth, both on Feb 23. Derby Points (10).

Uncaptured loses the top spot to undefeated colt Violence – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, earning a surprisingly low 76 BSF. He is wintering at Palm Meadows and is targeting the Sam Davis and Tampa Bay Derby. Derby Points (10).

3. 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. Drilled a 6f bullet in 1:10.20 (1/14) at Santa Anita on 12-27 and he goes next in the G3 Sham Stakes on Jan 5. Derby Points (14).

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. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Followed up facile maiden route win (90 BSF) with a near miss in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He is wintering in Florida and breezed 4f in :49.72 (32/55) at Gulfstream Park on 12-29. McPeek compares him to Skip Away. Derby Points (4).

6. 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.

7. 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).

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

9. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Finally put it all together in his fourth lifetime start, romping in a flat mile inner dirt MSW affair on Dec 28. The promising Pletcher/WinStar colt earned a 102 BSF and should show up in the stakes ranks next.

10. 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. Entered in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at the Gulf on Jan 1.

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).

Distinctiv Passion (With Distinction) – Ran Super Ninety Nine and company off their feet in an allowance sprint win at Santa Anita on 12-28. Not sure how far he wants to run but he sure is fast.

Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8. He missed a recent work so his next start is undetermined.

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 worked four times at Palm Meadows in December, most recently breezing 5f in 1:01.79 (16/24) on the 30th.

War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Was bet down to even money and did not disappoint in his BHP sprint debut on 11-9. Baffert trainee is bred to handle a route of ground and should be heard from in 2013.

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 breezed 3f in :38.56 (20/30) at Palm Meadows on 12-24. Derby Points (1). 

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).

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).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – He smartly won a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita and was last seen landing the place in the Eddie Logan Stakes (off the turf) on 12-29.

Know More (Lion Heart) – G1 FrontRunner place finisher has been terribly mismanaged since that effort. He most recently faded to last in an allowance dirt sprint at SA on 12-28 and desperately needs a freshening. 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 his last published work was a 4f breeze in :48.07 (4/84) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 12-15.

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. Breezed 3f in :37.40 (9/28) at Tampa Bay on 12-24. Derby Points (1).

Power Broker horse

There are no longer any BC Juvenile entrants in my top ten – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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 said he needs time to grow and will probably return next March. Derby Points (10).

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. Worked 5f in 1:01.79 (14/22) at Palm Meadows on 12-30. 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.

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 – Uncaptured barely clings to top spot

Uncaptured made it back-to-back grade stakes wins under the Twin Spires with a determined effort over Frac Daddy and Dewey Square in Saturday’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He earned a disappointing 76 BSF and his true Kentucky Derby 2013 contender status is unknown at this time.

Uncaptured is 2-for-2 at Churchill Downs – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

I believe the Ky Jockey Club horses are better than the numbers suggest and it will be interesting to see how they fare in the coming months.

Overanalyze defeated Normandy Invasion and Delhomme in the G2 Remsen at the Big A and the BSF came back a surprisingly strong 99. The aforementioned top three were miles clear of the rest but the number seems a bit inflated. Uncaptured dusted Overanalyze in the G3 Iroquois on Oct 28 and it is hard to believe that they earned such drastically different figures four weeks later.

In other action last weekend, Revolutionary (War Pass) finished a flat 3rd to former Exciting Prospects member Orb at the Big A on Nov 24. He’s still a promising sort and should graduate in the near future.

On Thanksgiving Day, Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) followed up professional 7f debut win at SA on 10-7 with a rallying place finish in the G3 Hollywood Prevue (94 BSF). He seemingly wants a route of ground and should stretch out in the near future. Baffert trainees swept the top four spots with show finisher Shakin It Up possibly best.

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. 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 :48.04 (4/90) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 11-18.

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).

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. Derby Points (10). Worked 4f in :47 (2/47) at Santa Anita on 11-20 but will not start again this year. Derby Points (10).

8. 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).

9. 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).

Overanalyze is expected to take the NY route to the Derby – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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).

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. Breezed 4f in :48.46 (13/36) at Gulfstream Park on 11-24.

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.

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 will probably show up in Florida next year. 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 1:01 (7/34) at SA on 11-24.

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).

Shanghai Bobby

Shanghai Bobby will make his 3yo bow in Gulfstream’s Holy Bull Stakes in January – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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 will try to regroup and I would not be surprised if he bounced back next time.

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.

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.