Thursday, April 30, 2015
An interesting card for Thursday racing at Churchill Downs...hopefully the rain holds off. I handicapped for a fast track and firm turf. I hope I get it, or it'll be chaos.
These, of course, are for entertainment purposes (or Porpoises?) only.
Also, an early look on who I like in the Kentucky Oaks. We'll have the whole stakes race card picked in tomorrow's entry. Post time 12:45 today. Arrive early.
2- Greek Life
1- Prom Theme
6- Flattering Touch
3- Redlace and Pearls
4- Little Norwegian
6- Tanner's Popsicle
2- Quiet Ry
1- All Star Red
3- Bluffalo Bill
1- Lookin Might Fast
4- Uneven Score
3- Forty Four North
9- Good Quality
7- De Facto
1- Lemon Drop Title
7- Kings Knight
6- Tinto Mesa
3- Big Big Easy
5- Sergios Pride
9- Wood Machine
10- Tally Jax
5- Captain Genius
1- Guns Loaded
2- Be a Hero
4- Gambler's Ghost
3- Queenie's Song
8- Candy Crush
9- Jester and Me
7- Secret Stash
4- Midnight Escapade
2- Mauk Dirty to Me
6- Daddy's Profit
In the Kentucky OAKS on Friday, here's my early thinking...
Condo Commando has won three in a row by a combined 36 lengths. Cagey Joel Rosario returns as the rider and the horse likes to be up near the front. They may have to catch her or she'll blow by the early speed. Lovely Maria has been no worse than second in seven starts and could be there to pick up the pieces if "The Commando" fails. I'm not sold on Kerwin Clark as the rider, though. I'm A Chatterbox will get a lot of support at the window and is 3 for 3 as a three year old. Florent Geroux as jockey is the only drawback. Stellar Wind will have to overcome the 12 post position...but had a 5 1/2 length win in the Santa Anita Oaks and Victor Espinoza had was aboard for that one and returns. As a longshot, I'm looking at Forever Unbridled...despite the rail post...she's a determined filly and Mike Smith will keep her safe and in contention.
We'll look at it again tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The post positions for the 141st. Kentucky Derby have been drawn and projected odds have been assigned.
Bob Baffert's American Pharoah drew the 18 slot. That's not good for the horse that is listed as the potential favorite at 5-2.
Baffert's other "heavy hitter" in the race...Dortmund...drew slot 8. That's real good andit's part of the reason I do think that he will win the Kentucky Derby. Projected odds on "Dortie" are 3-1.
Who knows? I'd be surprised if America Pharoah actually gets bet down to 5-2. Not with that post...
Carpe Diem, another serious contender for the Roses got PP 2. That's a tough break for Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez. Those inside posts near the rail are like playing bumper cars when they break from the gate.
International Star drew PP 12. Not bad...not bad at all.
El Kabier got a great spot at PP 7. Just sayin'...Calvin Borel. Won the Kentucky Jockey Club and the Wood Memorial. I'll take 30-1 on him all day long and thrice on Thurby.
We're hitting Churchill Thursday for "Thurby" Thould be a thantastic thime at the Thurchill Dowths...
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
My buddy J.J. Hysell knows horses. As one of the racing handicappers for our Courier-Journal and with her website In The Money she not only picks horses...but she tries to educate the general public on why she offers the selections she does.
She, like me, is high on Dortmund. No, that doesn't mean we've been out pounding down German Pilsner beer and are buzzed. Dortmund is an incredible horse, has been tearing up Churchill since he arrived and is huge...physically.
He is "17 hands"...an old way of measuring the size of a horse. To put it in modern-day or sports parlance...he's Gorgui Dieng or Shaq.
Dortmund remains my pick to win the Roses on the first Saturday in May.
J.J. also brought up a couple of horses to keep an eye on. One I agree with...International Star...and the other I have my doubts about...Stanford.
Tomorrow the Derby post position draw will be held around 6 p.m. or so and we'll analyze that and see what changes in our top five we need to make.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
IS THE RUN FOR THE ROSES BAFFERT'S TO LOSE?
The 141st. Kentucky Derby is six days away. If Bob Baffert is practicing his winning trainer speech already, few could blame him. Mr. White-Hair has two of the best in the probable field, you see...in AMERICAN PHAROAH and DORTMUND.
Some are calling the two the strongest trainer entry for the "fastest two minutes in sports" ever. American Pharoah obliterated the field in the Arkansas Derby with Victor Espinoza on board. Dortmund blew away the competition in the Santa Anita Derby under a confident ride by Martin Garcia.
They are monsters, for sure...but they aren't the only two horses in the mile and a quarter event.
Todd Pletcher has a very viable contender in CARPE DIEM. The best jockey in the world (IMHO) Johnny Velazquez stays on board after they ruled the Bluegrass Stakes. If you play the "exotics" the Giant Causeway son cannot be excluded.
Calvin Borel climbs aboard EL KABIER. This is a "horse for the course" and loves Churchill Downs. Nobody knows Churchill better that veteran Calvin Borel. Don't neglect this Kentucky Jockey Club winner as a two-year old.
INTERNATIONAL STAR won the Louisiana Derby and swept all three Louisiana Derby prep races. Miguel Mena, another jockey who knows Churchill inside and out, stays on as the rider and I fully expect him to come from behind and sweep by most of the field in that long Churchill homestretch.
So...there you have it. The top five I'm looking at six days out. Things can always change. Post positions, weather conditions and how the horses adapt to Churchill and the largest crowd any of them have ever seen.
I'll keep a watchful eye on Ocho Ocho Ocho, Mubtaahij and Frosted. Firing Line and Upstart round out my top ten.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Three 3 yr. olds ascending to the top
With racing at Keeneland and Santa Anita yesterday confirming that Dortmund and Carpe Diem are legitimate threats to contend for the 141st. Kentucky Derby on Saturday May 2nd...let's take a look at their big wins yesterday and also a third major contender in the Run For The Roses in American Pharoah.
Dortmund added legitimacy for his inclusion as one of the horses to beat by romping past foes for Bob Baffert in the Santa Anita Derby yesterday by 4 1/2 lengths. The 1 1/8 miles was covered in a brisk 1:48:73...Dortmund to the lead and then cruising home down the stretch to win his sixth out of six races in his career. Another Baffert entry, One Lucky Dane, ran second and could very well join his stablemate and another Baffert trained horse in American Pharoah in Louisville in early May.
At Keenland, Carpe Diem disposed of Ocho Ocho Ocho in stretch running fashion and took the Bluegrass Stakes by three lengths over stretch follower Danzig Moon and fading Ocho Ocho Ocho...who probably needed the race...all three have the possibility of answering the call at Churchill in the first leg of the Triple Crown.
He covered the 1 1/8 Keeneland dirt in a average 1:49:77.
American Pharoah will test the Arkansas Derby next Saturday after winning the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. He won the muddy Rebel Stakes by eight lengths in wire-to-wire fashion. He's our third contender for the garland of Roses...the only knock so far is that he hasn't faced very strong competition. That will end in the Arkansas Derby.
Others to watch? Frosted won the Wood Memorial yesterday at Aqueduct by two lengths over a determined Tencendur and covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:50:31. Upstart, Stanford, Firing Line and International Star fill our our "dirty dozen" of the top potential horse that could enter the starting gate at Churchill Downs four weeks from now.
Less than a month to go...