2005 Triple Crown Trail

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Ian Lozada, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's that time already...

    http://www.drf.com/eclipse/2004/pps/2c.pdf

    Here are some of the major contenders you'll be hearing a lot about before the first Saturday in May, grouped by the route they're expected to take.

    California:
    Declan's Moon
    The likely Eclipse Award for 2 year old colts and winner of the G1 Hollywood Futurity, Declan's Moon is 4 for 4 with a best Beyer of 107. Ron Ellis has him headed to the Santa Catalina (G2, 1 1/16 miles), then the Santa Anita Derby in April.

    Sweet Catomine
    I know, I know, she's a filly. But a 102 Beyer makes you a contender, and the obvious choice for the juvenile filly Eclipse has started her 3 yr old campaign with a bang in the G3 Santa Ysabel.

    Also consider Bob Baffert's Roman Ruler (106 best Beyer) and NorCal speedster Lost in the Fog, who has the best 2004 Beyer (109) for this class. I can't bear to include Wilko-- despite the Breeders Cup Juvenile, he simply doesn't have the resume.

    ***

    Arkansas:
    Afleet Alex
    A lot of air went out of this balloon after Wilko overtook him in the last strides of the BC Juvenile, but he had pretty rough trip, going off slowly and getting bumped as well. The worry is that they started this colt too quickly-- not too many Derby winners debuted so early in their 2 year old season

    Rockport Harbor
    This is no Smarty Jones that John Servis is running out, but the wire to wire win in the Remsen showed tons of guts, as this rabbit dueled the whole stretch with Galloping Grocer, sustaining a gash in his hoof. How he deals with the layoff will be one of the big storylines of the Oaklawn meet.

    ***

    Florida/New York
    Fusaichi Samurai
    Is there a maiden winner with more buzz than the Samurai? He scored by 12 lengths first out, which his Derby winning sire (Fusaichi Pegasus) couldn't, and the $4.5M colt will likely follow the same Florida-Wood Memorial trail as his sire, guided by Neil Drysdale.

    High Fly
    The Bill White trainee had his first picture taken in 2005 in the Aventura under a hand ride, beating highly regarded Deputy Indy. With Atticus in his pedigree, this one should have the stamina.

    Galloping Grocer
    The runner-up in the Remsen turned in a nice 4f work in 47 2/5 at Belmont recently, but no word yet when he returns to action. The concern here is that he's only faced statebreds so far, but the 102 Beyer still stands out.

    ***

    Louisiana:

    Storm Surge
    The LeComte field turned into a disappointment when Biloxi Palace scratched, and I'm still not convinced this guy's a router yet, but Dallas Stewart sees him as a Derby horse.


    ***

    So who am I missing? Who are you touting for the Roses?
     
  2. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    TVG just spoke to the owners of superfilly Sweet Catomine, who just said, they "will test the waters against the boys in the Santa Anita Derby."

    Winning Colors redux, anyone? Or will it be the back and forth Bob Baffert gave us a few years back with Silverbulletday for the entire Triple Crown season before finally running her against Charismatic in the Belmont?

    The Beyers stand up with the leading contenders-- I wouldn't be surprised to see her forego the Kentucky Oaks for the Derby... this year, she's got two million reasons to face the colts.
     
  3. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    http://www.equibase.com/premium/eqb...TRK=GP&CY=USA&DATE=01/29/2005&STYLE=EQB#RACE8

    http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=26456

    The fastest three year old in the nation put his third win in as many starts together.

    Lost in the Fog took the $250K Ocala Stud Dash, part of the Sunshine Millions series, by 4 1/2 lengths in a 6 furlong breeze. The NorCal shipper, who posted triple digit Beyers in his previous two outings took the lead right before the quarter pull and drew off in the stretch under Russell Baze.

    Lost in the Fog paid $3.40, $3 and $2.60. Santana Springs, piloted by John Velasquez, returned $5.60 and $4.40 for the place, and Lucky Frolic's show price was $12.40.

    The big question for trainer Greg Gilchrist is when to stretch out Lost in the Fog to routes, as all three photo ops have come at 6 furlongs. Gilchrist said that the colt will stay in Florida with an eye to the Gr. II Swale (7f) on March 5.

    Bushwacker, who was the other 3 year old of note in the field, pressed the pace early but did not fire and finished 8th.
     
  4. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    Bob Baffert-trained Only in Reno put up the highest Beyer of a 3 year old this year over the week, winning an MSW with a 103 number. Downside-- the dam is a sprinter.

    This Saturday, we'll see undefeated High Fly back in action in the Grade 3 Holy Bull (1 mile) at Gulfstream. Trainer Bill White had jock Eddie Castro work him 6 furlongs, but over two turns, which is unusual. Dearest Mon (5f in 59 1/31) may be the main competition.

    3 year old standouts Proud Accolade and Defer are in action in the Hutcheson at Gulfstream as well.

    ***

    In older horses, there's a great matchup in the Gr.1 Donn Handicap, where Roses in May will be carrying 121 lbs, but I like the look of Saint Liam, who gave Ghostzapper his toughest test of 2004, dueling with him down the center of the track in the Woodward, then scoring his next time out.
     
  5. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    And here's why 7-1 in the Derby Futures Wagering is no bargain...

    Trainer Neil Drysdale announced today that Fusaichi Samurai has a pulled muscle and will be taken out of training. The 3 year old colt showed symptoms shortly after a Jan. 21 drill at Hollywood Park. The $4.5M colt is not expected to resume training in time to be ready for the May 7 Kentucky Derby.
     
  6. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    Every Saturday from here on in separates the wheat from the chaff.

    Some major horses took big falls from grace this weekend. Chief among them was Defer, who ran today in the G2. Hutcheson Stakes (6f) at Gulfstream. I've seen a lot of stuff out there suggesting that Defer is an underlay at 50-1 on the Derby Future books. However, the Beyers going into today were all mediocre (mid-70's) and Defer ran 4th in the Hutcheson, 9 1/2 lengths beaten.

    Two other horses came out of the Hutcheson with their resumes enhanced however. Proud Accolade was lost in the post-Breeders Cup shuffle, and his 5th place showing in the Hollywood Futurity (G1) didn't help. Today, Todd Pletcher cut him back to one turn to boost the colt's confidence. On the turn, Proud Accolade sat 5th of 6, boxed in on the rail, when John Velazquez pulled him up and then wheeled 3 wide around the entire pack and dueled Belmont Futurity (G2) winner Park Avenue Ball at the top of the stretch before pulling away. Both horses looked very sharp, and as impressive as Proud Accolade was in the win, Park Avenue Ball re-established his credentials.

    (On a personal note, the triple, paying $96.80 on a $2 bet, keyed a nice run, including a 25-1 score at Santa Anita later in the day that led to me leaving Aqueduct at a $175 profit for the day. Yes, I'm also the guy who writes the Credit Repair and Personal Finance column. No, this is not my suggestion for improving your financial situation. :D )

    Earlier in the 3rd at GP, a NW1x allowance race, saw Andromeda's Hero, the other Fusaichi Pegasus 3 year old, fail to fire after stalking the pace throughout. We'll keep an eye on him if he improves, but this one's coming off the radar for awhile.

    The 11th race at Gulfstream, the G3 Holy Bull, saw High Fly break from the 8th and widest post in a field where no other runner had a Beyer within 7 points of his lowest Andy. The problem was that at 1 1/8 miles, the first turn at GP is awful close to the gate. High Fly got hung 4 wide in that turn, and Eddie Castro kept him even and 3 wide with the leaders throughout the backstretch and the far turn. This added roughly an extra 8 lengths onto his trip, and down the stretch, High Fly dueled Closing Argument, who pulled off late. High Fly started to drift in to try and pass, and Closing Argument also drifted, forcing High Fly to check, giving just enough delay for Kansas City Boy to get up for the place. No stewards inquiry, but I couldn't see any way High Fly was going to overhaul the winner. I think High Fly continues to bear watching, as it was a very bad trip, but I hope trainer Bill White needs to consider replacing Castro with a higher quality rider.

    I did not stay with Santa Anita long enough to see the Sham, but Going Wild who won the San Miguel on Jan. 17, added to his win total with a length win over Papi Chullo and Giacomo, who placed a length behind Declan's Moon in the Hollywood Futurity, was a neck back for show.

    ***

    The biggest race of the day was in the handicap division where Saint Liam, as predicted, held off Roses In May in the G1 Donn Handicap. Truth be told, while you hardly ever want to term a $500K purse G1 as prep race, with Roses In May pointed to the Dubai World Cup and its $6M purse, that's exactly what it was. Eddington bobbled the start and couldn't overhaul the tiring Roses in May, and settled for the show.
     
  7. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    Tough week for me on the Derby Trail. Was up $50 when the Derby Preps at Aqueduct and Fair Grounds started. Was down $60 within 90 minutes.

    ***

    Three races worth mentioning this weekend:

    At Aqueduct in the Whirlaway Handicap, 3-5 favorite Galloping Grocer led most of the way, but faltered on the backstretch, and was caught by Sort It Out (22-1), Naughty New Yorker and Scrappy T. Guess which one of those three I didn't have covered?

    In the first turn, Galloping Grocer sustained a small gash which trainer Dominick Schettino is saying is not serious. The gash probably occured from clipping heels with Daddy Joe, whose trainer, Jennifer Pedersen, said lost a shoe. The Grocer closed on Sunday at 35-1 in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

    Sort It Out will likely get a supplementary Derby nomination now, and is likely headed to the 1 mile Gotham in March on Aqueduct's main track, which re-opens the second week of March.

    ***

    At Fair Grounds, the Grade 3 Risen Star saw a host of shippers come in, including the favorite, Todd Pletcher-trained Harlington. Scipion, with Gary Stevens up, showed a tremendous closing kick down America's longest homestretch, going last-to-first to power past Storm Surge for the win. Harlington finished 6th.

    Harlington finished Future Wager Pool 1 at 19-1, Storm Surge at 70-1, and Rush Bay who also ran, was at 60-1.

    ***

    On Sunday at Santa Anita, Bob Baffert's Roman Ruler was scratched from the Gr. 2 San Vincente for a quarter crack, in addition to the off track, leaving Consolidator as the odds on favorite. Kirkendahl was expected to be the pace, while Ron Ellis sent Don't Get Mad out to get his 2005 debut without an expectation of winning. In the end, however, Baffert's other horse, Fusaichi Rock Star (no relation to Fusaichi Pegasus or Fusaichi Samurai) wired the field on a wet-fast track. Don't Get Mad showed a late kick and got the place, while Kirkendahl outlasted Consolidator, who again showed he does not appreciate an off track.

    Consolidator finished Future Wagering at 30-1.

    ***

    The only other Pool member in action was Texcess, who emerged from the San Mateo Mile as the longest shot in the Pool at 80-1 after Stellar Magic won that event.

    ***

    I covered four horses in the first Pool, looking strictly for value: Proud Accolade (35-1), [/b]Closing Argument (50-1), Giacomo (25-1) and High Fly (25-1).

    2005 KENTUCKY DERBY FUTURE WAGER POOL 1 FINAL ODDS

    Number Morning Line Wagering Interest Final Odds ($ wagered)
    1. 12-1 Afleet Alex 15-1 (31,366)
    2. 30-1 Bandini 20-1 (24,412)
    3. 20-1 Closing Argument 50-1 (9,632)
    4. 20-1 Consolidator 30-1 (15,727)
    5. 6-1 Declan’s Moon 9-1 (48,415)
    6. 30-1 Galloping Grocer 35-1 (12,902)
    7. 50-1 Giacomo 25-1 (19,990)
    8. 30-1 Going Wild 25-1 (17,803)
    9. 30-1 Greater Good 35-1 (12,783)
    10. 20-1 Harlington 19-1 (24,983)
    11. 20-1 High Fly 25-1 (17,544)
    12. 30-1 High Limit 25-1 (17,032)
    13. 30-1 Lost In The Fog* 21-1 (22,692)
    14. 12-1 Proud Accolade 35-1 (14,207)
    15. 8-1 Rockport Harbor 13-1 (36,373)
    16. 12-1 Roman Ruler 18-1 (26,606)
    17. 50-1 Rush Bay 60-1 (7,781)
    18. 20-1 Spanish Chestnut 35-1 (12,759)
    19. 30-1 Storm Surge 70-1 (7,158)
    20. 30-1 Sun King 19-1 (25,455)
    21. 20-1 Sweet Catomine (f) 21-1 (22,829)
    22. 20-1 Texcess 80-1 (6,150)
    23. 30-1 Wilko 23-1 (21,057)
    24. 3-1 All Other 3-Year-Olds 2-1 (164,706)
    Total $620,362


    *not currently nominated to Visa Triple Crown
    (f) - filly
     
  8. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    One race of note on the trail this weekend:

    http://www.drf.com/row/pps/05southwest.pdf

    The Southwest was the first race Smarty Jones won last year in his southern swing en route to the Kentucky Derby. This year, it draws 2 Triple Crown nominated horses: Greater Good and Silver Haze.

    Greater Good is the obvious class of the race, with Grade 2 and 3 wins, but he's a deep closer and he needs the pace to fall apart some. He's been off since late November, however, and I expect the colt to come back more mature and filled out. The works look awesome, and his last drill on Saturday was 6 furlongs in 1:13 1/5. Unfortunately, you're going to get a short price on him. I'd like to beat him, but the best horse for doing that, Copy My Notes on the rail is being sent out by the same trainer.

    I'm not a fan of Silver Haze. He's only beaten maidens and turfers in a race rained off the main track.

    Munificence is stretching out from a sprint, but he's going to be challenged for the front by the 7 horse, Humor at Last, who faltered down the stretch in his first route. The 7 is also adding first time Lasix off a freshening, and looks very attractive to me.

    My flat bet pick is going to be the #7, Humor at Last, as I'm going for a price.

    For the exacta however, I'm going to spread the net a little wider. I'm going with part wheels, with the 3, Greater Good, and the 7, Humor at Last on top, and the 1,3,4,5,7 underneath. However, since I can't get a price on the 3, I'm going to invest $4 on the exacta with him on top ($16 total), and only $2 on the 7's wheel ($8). Then I'll $2 box the 3/7 combo to bring my total up to $30.

    You're probably wondering why I'm investing more in the horse I like less. Simple: If I don't, there's a good chance that if the 3 horse wins, I may win my bets and still not show a profit for the total wager.

    For more picks, see the DRF Race of the Week thread in my sig line.
     
  9. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    Well, that didn't go so well.

    Greater Good broke awkwardly and ended up 12 lengths back early, while my pick, Humor at Last, got hung out 5 wide going into the first turn, allowing Munificence an uncontested lead. Greater Good cut the deficit to 8 lengths heading into the first turn and then swung into the 5-path for the short stretch (Oaklawn actually has a very long stretch, but for mile races, they end the race where the 1/16th pole is.), where he turned it on. Humor at Last bore in to try and get past Munificence, but couldn't cut into the lead, but Greater Good blew right on by to catch Munificence at the wire and win by 3/4 of a length.

    The exacta paid a measly $10.40, so we're down $2 on the flat bet, and minus $19.60 on the main bankroll.

    For older horses, Monday's General George Handicap will be addressed on the DRF thread.
     
  10. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    http://www.drf.com/row/pps/05borderland.pdf

    For a hole in the wall track like Sunland in New Mexico, the Borderland Derby features a salty field. Undefeated Cajun Pepper, Southern Africa, Dover Dere and Thor's Echo are all Ky Derby nominated.

    Cajun Pepper has the hometrack advantage but hasn't really faced anyone. Dover Dere is coming out of the Golden Gate Derby, where he faced Texcess and Buzzards Bay, finishing 3rd (better than Texcess, who won the Delta Jackpot) but is basically a 70's Beyer horse.

    In my mind, the big contenders are Southern Africa and Thor's Echo. Southern Africa (4) has faced a lot of the biggest horses in the nation already, including Declan's Moon (twice), Giacomo (twice), Bushwacker (twice), Wilko, and Going Wild. He's been competitive in this company, and may warrant a breakthrough here.

    But my play is going to be Thor's Echo. What the PP's don't tell you is that in his first race, Thor's Echo hit the gate at the start (note that he started 9 of 14) yet he led at the first call and tired, before wiring the field in his next out. Granted, it was against statebreds, but he's got the best Beyer in the field. He moves to Doug O'Neill's barn and Corey Nakatani climbs aboard to seal the deal. I don't like the post, but I think they have enough room before the first turn to get to the front.

    For the larger play, I'm going to play the exacta here with the 12, 4 and the 2 (El Batallon, the other early speed horse) on top with the 1, 3, 4, 5 and 12 in the two hole for a $26 total play. The reason why the 2 is not in my two-hole group is that I expect the 2 to drop off entirely if he can't get the lead, while the 12 is in there in case the 4 gets up late to win.

    ***

    Also of note, Sun King (3rd Breeders Cup Juvenile) makes his first 2005 appearance in a Gulfstream Park allowance on Saturday. Undefeated Monarch Lane and Shug McGaughey's Survivalist also contend.

    ***

    http://209.220.246.140/Racing/Noms/Sam%20F.%20Davis%20(pp).pdf
    (Tampa Bay Downs website only made nominations available, check DRF or track website for post draw)

    Also Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, the Sam Lane features a nice group of horses, including Killenaule, GP's Black Knight, Get Down and Andromeda's Hero.
     
  11. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Weekend update...

    Saturday saw Andromeda's Hero post a convincing win over long shot leader Summer's Legacy to win the Sam Davis at Tampa Bay Downs. The Nick Zito trainee pulled away by 2 1/2 lengths late to win. The Fusaichi Pegasus colt had a rough trip in his winning effort, being bumped early and going 5-wide around the first turn, but Rafael Bejarano sent him in a monster move on the far turn and he angled out wide to catch the leader late. Owner Robert LaPenta hinted that the colt may stick around for the G3 Tampa Bay Derby.

    Trainer Nick Zito also saddled last year's winner of this event, The Cliff's Edge.

    At Gulfstream, Sun King made a fine 2005 debut with a runaway win over Survivalist in a 1 mile allowance race. The 3rd place finisher from the Breeders' Cup Juvenile is also a Zito trainee. Zito's High Fly also worked this weekend in preparation for next weekend's Fountain of Youth Stakes.

    ***

    At the Borderland Derby at Sunland Park in New Mexico, Thor's Echo overtook Cajun Pepper at the top of the stretch, but succumbed in the altitude as Southern Africa overhauled him in the final 1/16th. Southern Africa may be pointed to the Winstar Derby on the same track in his next start.

    ***

    Other notables: Declan's Moon worked seven furlongs in 1:25 3/5 Saturday, with regular rider Victor Espinoza in conjunction with stablemate Power Boy. Declan's Moon makes his 2005 debut next weekend in the G2 Santa Catalina at Santa Anita... Roman Ruler worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:12 2/5 with Gary Stevens up this morning. He's headed to the Gotham in New York Mar. 19... The nation's fastest 3yo, Lost in the Fog, who is looking less and less likely to go on the Derby trail also worked 5 furlongs in :58 1/5 on a track rated wet-fast with Russell Baze in the irons. He's being shipped back to Florida for the G2 Swale (7f), which takes place on Saturday... Harlington is off the trail as well, being rested for the next 45 days due to an injury sustained in last week's Risen Star. He'll be pointed by Todd Pletcher at the Travers Stakes this August in Saratoga.
     
  12. zpjohnstone

    zpjohnstone Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    Wow. You're on top of this stuff- I'm not sure about other cities, but I always figured we were one of the only places where horse racing is still covered. Lack of a professional sports team in a city of 1.5 million+ helps.

    As much as I want to like Fusaichi Rock Star (I have an irrational attraction to gray horses, though the more I think about it, I make more money off irrationality at the track than through careful analysis), I think the Derby is going to be too long of a race for him- A strong, powerful runner, who tires a little quicker than other horses.

    Rockport Harbor might be a decent bet, if there weren't 20981360956213 people betting him down. He will be game for the whole race.

    Who knows about Roman Ruler? Honestly, that might be where my money goes, if he shows good form again.

    Greater Good has the 'requiste' dosage index, knows how to win, and looks to be able to handle the distance.

    Right now, if I just wanted to win some money (not that you can bet like this on futures), I would take Greater Good and Scipion to show, but because I'm a greedy fool who likes to make silly bets, we'll go with a dollar Greater Good/Scipion trifecta box wheeled against the field.

    I don't know if you already know to look here, but the C-J does a pretty decent job of covering horse racing-
    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=SPORTS08
     
  13. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    I read the C-J once a week or so, but until the Turfway meet finishes, I can't say I'm really following Ky racing.

    My worry about Roman Ruler is this: I absolutely hate the choice of jockey. I've made a lot of money over the last few months betting against Jerry Bailey. Ever since he had his injury during the time when the hurricanes were pounding Florida, he's had a lot of suspect rides. Notice how many less mounts he's getting these days. It's not an accident.

    I agree about Fusaichi Rock Star. The horse that impressed me in that race was Don't Get Mad. Ron Ellis told us all beforehand that he wasn't going to ask the horse to do much, which means that that furious rally was from the horse, not the rider. (I had Kirkendahl that day-- whatever you do, don't ever bet Consolidator in the mud.)

    Despite the fact I've gotten a lot of chances to see Rockport Harbor, being an Aqueduct guy, I'm not a fan. Just too many injuries and I don't think he's gonna get the preps he needs to be ready for 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday of May.

    Greater Good met expectations in the Oaklawn race last weekend. I still want to see what he does against quality 3 year olds, however. I don't recall any of the horses in that race having an Andy above 90, so it's hard to give him much credit for the win.

    Scipion's run was absolutely outstanding, and I give extra credit for a win at Fair Grounds or the longer configuration of Oaklawn (as opposed to the mile) because the stretch runs approximate CD much better. With the high quality of horses in the Risen Star, I like what I saw a lot.

    The thing that makes handicapping this year's Derby so tough is none of the major players have done anything yet. No Afleet Alex, no Declan's Moon yet, Wilko can't even work with all the rain in SoCal lately. At least Sun King is back in action. Add the Lost in the Fog factor-- on Dosage, he fits, and his Beyer's are the best of any contender-- but he's not nominated, and I suspect now he won't be unless someone makes the owner an offer he can't refuse.

    I still also want to see if Proud Accolade can handle two turns, and I'm still a believer in High Fly, especially with him moving to Nick Zito's barn.

    Until someone proves otherwise, Declan's Moon is the horse to beat, I think, but there's a lot that can happen in the two weeks till Pool 2 opens in the Future Wagers. I'm not sure if I'm going to add any horses on my NYRA Cash Card yet. I might add Scipion if pressed, and I've got Andromeda's Hero, Southern Africa and Thor's Echo on my DRF watch list. My theory, however, is not to put money down without a 15-1 minimum.
     
  14. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    GP:Swale Stakes 3/5/05 (7f)

    Despite the two DRF Races of the Week (Fountain of Youth and Santa Catalina) and Big 'Cap this week, the race getting all the attention is the Swale:

    http://ntra.equibase.com/eqbNTRAGetFreeFF.cfm?trk=GP&rd=03/05/2005&cty=USA&de=D&rn=9

    Why? Because of Lost in the Fog. 3 triple digit Beyers in three outings, all wins, and this race determines if he gets nominated to the Triple Crown or not. (The speed figures in these PP's are from Equibase, and they're not comparable to the Andys.)

    Quite simply, this may be the best horse in the country, but he may also be a glorified sprinter. With a bad post position, I'm still not willing to take a stand against him in the flat bet.

    However, I'm going to try and work some angles on the bigger play. I'm going to play him over and under the 2, Santana Strings (who came in second to him in the Sunshine Millions Dash) with the All button in a $1 trifecta ($18) and over and under the 6, Straight Line, and the 9, More Smoke in the exacta ($4).
     
  15. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Fountain of Youth (G2)

    http://www.drf.com/row/pps/05fountainofyouth.pdf

    Another race featuring some horses with questions being asked about them, and High Fly (7) leads the pack. Was the poor trip in the Holy Bull to blame or is this horse not a real contender? Now in Nick Zito's barn, he's drawn in roughly the same post position this time at the same distance, with the same short run into the first turn, but with his main competition (Bandini) drawn outside of him in a larger field. With Jerry Bailey taking over, the post position and a fast pace scenario, I'm inclined to take a stand against him.

    Bandini (8), with John Velazquez up, is an improving Fusaichi Pegasus colt, with Dixieland Band blood on his dam's side. The pedigree says distance and speed together, loads of class. This Pletcher trainee hasn't faced great opposition till now, and I don't think he can get to the front before that first turn either, especially with High Fly right next to him.

    Shug McGaughey sends out Defer (6), who loses Jerry Bailey but gets Cornelio Velasquez instead, and this year, that's an even trade at least. One problem. The colts run 4 straight Beyers in the 70's. He'll need a 15 point jump minimum to beat this group.

    Kansas City Boy (1, coupled with Wild Desert) has flown under a lot of people's radar up to now, but he's kept some great company, and held off High Fly for place in the Holy Bull. He'll be the main speed tomorrow, but with so many horses going to the front, I think he burns out.

    Papi Chullo (5) is a maiden, but he finished just a length back of Going Wild last out in the San Miguel. He exchanges Patrick Valenzuela for Russell Baze, who's out east to ride Lost in the Fog in the Swale. Without P-Val, I think he gets a more patient ride here and can definitely steal this race.

    All the same, I'm going with Park Avenue Ball (4) for my flat bet. He won the Belmont Futurity last year, and he led the field despite a bad start in the Hutcheson before Proud Accolade uncorked that decisive move. He's making his second start off the layoff, and with Dixieland Band in his sire line, and a competent sprint to route conditioner in James Ryerson, I look for him to build off that effort.

    The larger play is going to be the 1,4 and 5 over the 1,2,3,4,5 and 7 on a $2 exacta ticket ($30). (Note, if Kansas City Boy is scratched to run in the La. Derby, I will not be playing his entrymate on any tickets; replace him with High Fly and add Bandini on the two hole list.)
     
  16. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Santa Catalina (G2) 1 1/16 miles, Santa Anita 5th 3/5/05

    http://www.drf.com/row/pps/05santacatalina.pdf

    The long awaited return of Ron Ellis' Eclipse Award winner, Declan's Moon (6). Just in case you forgot why this one mattered. Ellis hits with 47% of his runners off 61-180 days off. The AP Indy blood and the Hollywood Futurity say the distance is no problem. He's beaten Wilko, Proud Accolade and Roman Ruler already. That said, he's never run at Santa Anita, but he's been working long and brilliant all month. Oh, and he can rate, too.

    With Victor Espinoza staying on Declan's Moon, Rafael Bejarano flies out to take over the reins for D. Wayne Lukas on Going Wild (5). This one needs the lead, and if he can get it from Declan's Moon and the next horse, anything can happen. He's also run in good company and has 3 straight wins, 2 of which were 100+ Beyers.

    The third featured colt here is Patrick Biancone-trained Spanish Chestnut (4), who won the San Rafael last time. Like Going Wild, he needs the lead. Gary Stevens gets the call.

    My concern here is you don't ever like to see two horses next to each other that have the same running style and three horses in a row that all go to the lead is worse.

    I'm going to take Declan's Moon in the flat bet because he's the most versatile. For the larger bet, I'm going to take the 4,5,6 over the 1,2,3 over the 4,5,6 on a $1 tri ($18) and the 6 over the 1,2,3 in a $2 exacta (6).
     
  17. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Other Notes...

    Afleet Alex is a surprise starter Saturday at Oaklawn in the Mountain View Stakes. Tim Ritchey said he'd always planned to get a 3rd prep in before the Derby....

    Rockport Harbor may need a new jock-- Stewart Elliott may be deported back to Canada after immigration officials detained him this week in conjunction with a 4 year old felony assault conviction. Elliott is back riding after being released (although he probably shouldn't have ridden a horse called Still Guilty in the 3rd at the Big A on Thursday) but he is not out of hot water yet...

    Bushwacker switches to turf at Santa Anita on Saturday... Sort It Out is going to be rested and will miss the Louisiana Derby... Ultimate heads the field for the Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park this weekend.
     
  18. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    Chalk, chalk, chalk. You know it's one of those days when you hit the $2 Pick 3 on races 9-11 at Gulfstream and your profit is $1.60. :eek:

    ***

    Lost in the Fog broke well in the Swale, but rated behind More Smoke before ovehauling him in mid-stretch and winning by 5. Around the Cape passed More Smoke late to blow my exacta. Lost in the Fog paid $3 to win, and after the race, Greg Gilchrist did confirm that the colt will be nominated to the Triple Crown, but did not divulge where the next start, which will have to be a route, will take place.

    ***

    Declan's Moon also pressed the pace in the Santa Catalina and outdueled Going Wild (place) and Spanish Chestnut (show) and won going away. Snack broke down on the backstretch. Ron Ellis said afterward that he was not expected to be sharp off the layoff, but that he was very pleased with the colt's effort. Declan's Moon paid $3.80 to win.

    ***

    Pace pressing was the angle of the day today as High Fly broke well but Jerry Bailey sat him behind B.B Best throughout while Bandini was pushed wide in the first turn. High Fly broke clear at the top of the stretch, but Bandini closed well, finishing a length and a half short of the tiring winner, who paid $4.20, with the $2 exacta paying $12.60. Nick Zito said afterwards that he would like to point High Fly to the Florida Derby next.

    ***

    At Oaklawn, Afleet Alex trailed the field, but made a monster move on the turn and put away all but one before entering the stretch, and despite the leader, Razor (place) , drifting out into Afleet Alex's path, Jeremy Rose steered him past and the horse galloped out a furlong past the wire as Tim Ritchey's trainee used the Mountain Valley as a $50,000 purse workout. Afleet Alex paid $2.80 to win. The Rebel Stakes will be next, where Greater Good and Rockport Harbor await.

    ***

    Magna Graduate was the execption to the chalk rule today, as Dean Sarvis set him behind the pace setting favorite, Ultimate, and then confronted the leader in the stretch before drawing off to win by 3 3/4. Pavo got up late for second. The Lane's End is next for the Patrick Byrne trainee, who paid $8.00 to win.

    ***

    In other 3yo notes, High Standards won the Baldwin (turf) at Santa Anita, and Maddalena finished off the board in the Stonerside Forward Gal for fillies, which was won by Letgomyecho.
     
  19. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    So Pool 2 Wagering begins today. In Pool 1, I covered Proud Accolade, High Fly, Closing Argument and Giacomo.

    I've got a couple of ideas as to how I'm going to play this round. I'll wait till after the Louisiana Derby on Saturday to make my plays, but I know where my attention is going for the most part. My philosophy is still based on getting value, so don't expect to see Declan's Moon or Afleet Alex here.

    I'm definitely covering Don't Get Mad and Bandini, and I'm going to double down on High Fly. I'm likely to cover Lost in the Fog and Noble Causeway if I can get 25-1 or better. For Sun King, I need to see 15-1 minimum, and if either of the major contenders (Declan's Moon, Afleet Alex) go above that mark, I'll play them as well. In addition, I want to see how Scipion looks in the La Derby before playing him-- I liked the move he made against the track bias in the Risen Star, but I'm bothered by the fact his Beyer's aren't competitive.

    I will not play Rockport Harbor or Roman Ruler under any circumstances-- too many injuries this season. In addition, I'm insisting on a high price for Lost In The Fog because I suspect the horse is going to skip the Derby and run in the Preakness as well.
     
  20. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    http://www.drf.com/news/article/63316.html

    Huge news-- Declan's Moon is off the trail. A knee chip will sideline him to summer. Ron Ellis had said after the Santa Catalina that last year's Eclipse Award (juvenile male) winner had felt a little hot in the knee, and apparently they've found the cause. The horse never looked fully extended in the Santa Catalina, and many of us speculated that the horse just wanted to do the bare minimum to win. It's apparent that pain was more of a factor than we suspected.
     
  21. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    Was hospitalized part of this weekend. Will recap the three important races (Louisiana Derby, El Camino Real Derby and Santa Anita Oaks) tomorrow evening.

    ***

    2005 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2 Final Odds
    Program Horse Name Odds Win Pool Total Final $ Odds $2 Payoff
    1 Afleet Alex 8-1 $44,375 8.60 $19.20
    2 Bandini 14-1 $28,027 14.30 $30.60
    3 Consolidator 44-1 $9,498 44.20 $90.20
    4 Declan's Moon SCR $5,564
    5 Don't Get Mad* 21-1 $19,350 21.20 $44.40
    6 Fusaichi Rock Star* 60-1 $6,969 60.60 $123.20
    7 Galloping Grocer 44-1 9,418 44.60 $91.20
    8 Giacomo 26-1 $15,814 26.10 $54.20
    9 Going Wild 27-1 $15,137 27.30 $56.60
    10 Golden Shine* 28-1 $14,410 28.80 $59.60
    11 Greater Good 28-1 $14,429 28.70 $59.40
    12 High Fly 21-1 $21,217 19.20 $40.40
    13 High Limit 9-1 $29,243 9.90 $21.80
    14 Lost In The Fog# 13-1 $30,634 13.00 $28.00
    15 Noble Causeway* 18-1 $21,581 18.90 $39.80
    16 Proud Accolade 55-1 $7,609 55.40 $112.80
    17 Rockport Harbor 14-1 $28,496 14.00 $30.00
    18 Roman Ruler 18-1 $22,331 18.20 $38.40
    19 Scipion 35-1 $11,664 35.80 $73.60
    20 Spanish Chestnut 77-1 $5,480 77.40 $156.80
    21 Sun King 10-1 $37,679 10.40 $22.80
    22 Sweet Catomine (f) 16-1 $24,512 16.50 $35.00
    23 Wilko 21-1 $19,485 21.00 $44.00
    24 All Other 3YO's 6-1 $58,733 6.30 $14.60

    I covered Bandini (14.30-1), Don't Get Mad (21.20-1), High Fly (19.20-1, also have him at 25-1 in Pool 1) and Noble Causeway (18.90-1) in Pool 2, and I've also got Proud Accolade, Giacomo and Closing Argument from Pool 1.

    I stayed off of Sun King due to the odds situation, and I'm still unconvinced that Lost In the Fog is going to Louisville. Unfortunately, wagering closed before the Santa Anita Oaks, and I might have been tempted to take a longer look at Sweet Catomine based on that.

    Two horses stick out as seriously overbet: Lost In The Fog is still uncommited to the Derby trail, and right now, since he was sent home from Florida, we're really not sure where he starts yet. Harry Aleo was on TVG yesterday and wouldn't commit to the Santa Anita Derby or the Wood Memorial, and was ruling out the Florida Derby.

    High Limit also struck me as overbet. He beat a relatively weak field this weekend (not a single 100+ Beyer in the bunch) in a merry-go-round race where no one changed positions.

    I'm also a little perplexed by the heavy action the field took. I can understand playing the field in the first pool, but honestly, how many real contenders are there out there who aren't covered? I'm not thinking an overseas horse like Shamardal is driving this, and I doubt that anyone was so impressed by Uncle Denny this weekend that they hammered this number so low over the last day, pushing Afleet Alex over the 8-1 he opened at.
     
  22. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    Video for the Louisiana Derby and the Santa Anita Oaks available here:

    http://espn.go.com/horse/index.html

    With two Derby Preps and the G1 Santa Anita Oaks this weekend, I was looking for someone to make a statement.

    Boy, did it ever happen. All day I've been raving about Sweet Catomine's performance in the Oaks, and I haven't been on this bandwagon, really. With Julio Canani being one of the trainers whose horses were detained up until a few days ago, I've been betting against his stable. Add the Beyer in the 80's that his star Storm Cat filly posted in her 2005 debut, and I was primed to bet against her yesterday.

    Luckily, the Race Palace closed before I could get to the windows.

    Sweet Catomine broke well but was rated back by Corey Nakatani, and she clearly didn't like it. When they hit the half mile pole, she was second last when she decided to drag Nakatani kicking and screaming to the wire. With Corey standing and pulling her back for all he was worth, she inhaled the entire field and spit them back out on the turn, at which point Corey pretty much wrapped up and took her home.

    Lost in all of this was a mammoth race from place horse Memorette, who blew the remainder of the field away down the stretch but couldn't put a dent in the 5 length lead that the Eclipse Award winner had staked out.

    With Sweet Catomine undoubtedly headed to face the boys in the next race, and a definite possibility of her being Derby bound, Memorette bears further watching for the final Oaks future pool. My only worry is that running that huge a race and having nothing to show for it may discourage her much like Sham fell apart after his gutsy Preakness in '73 behind Secretariat.

    ***

    As soon as I read the PP's to the Louisiana Derby, I knew it was a foregone conclusion. Fair Grounds Race Course has been playing to early speed as of late, and only two horses had shown any early speed, High Limit and Kansas City Boy. Ken McPeek was taking the blinkers off his horse and specifically was saying he wanted Kansas City Boy to rate.

    The result was a merry-go-round. High Limit went to the lead, Vicarage slotted in 2 lengths behind and only the positions behind them changed over the 1 1/8 miles to follow. We learned nothing really about any of the horses in the group.

    Bobby Frankel said after the race that his colt would either be pointed to the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct or the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

    ***

    In the El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows, 59-1 choice Vasilias led the pack through blistering fractions before fading on the turn, allowing Russell Baze and Uncle Denny to inherit the lead and draw off in hand. Wannawinemall made a frantic late charge but could not get up in time. Buzzards Bay completed the trifecta a neck behind, and Stellar Magic never fired and finished last.

    Afterwards, trainer Rafael Becerra said that Uncle Denny will either be pointed to the Santa Anita Derby or the Wood. Russell Baze was non-commital about his choice of mounts, as he is also the regular rider for the highly touted Lost In The Fog.
     
  23. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    3/19 Oaklawn Park: Rebel Stakes (G3)

    http://www.drf.com/row/pps/05rebel.pdf

    One of the two key races this week on the Derby Trail, the Rebel features Derby favorite Afleet Alex, as well as the 2005 debut of undefeated Remsen winner Rockport Harbor. Greater Good is the third major entry in this field, winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club and the Southwest Stakes.

    After his runaway win in the Mountain Valley 2 weeks ago, Afleet Alex is the clear class of the race, and a deserved favorite here and for the Kentucky Derby. He's the $2 flat bet play, and we'll back him up with a $20 win bet in the larger pool. I'll also play him on top in $5 exactas with Greater Good and Rockport Harbor.

    I should mention here that I am vey down on Rockport Harbor. It's been nothing but setbacks and injuries for John Servis' colt, and it's been touch and go all week whether or not he even starts. His works have been generally unimpressive, as well.

    Greater Good has a great closing kick, but simply has never flashed the speed necessary to compete at this level.
     
  24. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    3/19 Santa Anita Park- San Felipe (G2)

    http://www.drf.com/row/pps/05sanfelipe.pdf

    I've waited as long as possible to write this one up for one reason: weather. Santa Anita was wetfast yesterday and is still listed that way as of 5.30 AM local time on race day.

    This is significant because I'm immediatedly going to toss one horse from the equation-- I'm expecting Roman Ruler (5) to be scratched again and for him to start elsewhere next weekend. The horse has battled quarter crack problems, and as a result, Bob Baffert has been trying to shield the horse from having to run in wet conditions. He scratched Roman Ruler under similar conditions in the San Vicente.

    Some of the handicapping I've read has been pointing to Lucky J.H. (2) as the horse that will go to the lead with ease here. I think he'll make the lead, but I expect Golden Shine (7) and In Excelsis (3, blinkers on) to be right there with him. In the wet, I'm less concerned about the latter, who ran a measly 65 Beyer on a wetfast track in his first US start and has worked poorly. Golden Shine, however, is clearly a contender. Rene Douglas gets the reins again, and this colt is improving steadily. I expect the horse to be on the lead as the hit the stretch run, with Giacomo right on behind.

    Giacomo (4) has been running well, beaten by a length in the Hollywood Futurity by Declan's Moon, and by 1 1/4 in the Sham by Going Wild, who finished a game second to Declan's Moon in his next start out, which certainly doesn't detract from the John Shirreffs trainee in any way.

    Consolidator (8) faded badly on a wetfast track in the San Vicente, in which he also broke a step slow. While his breeding suggests he'd like the slop, his two wet track starts and his outside post will encourage us to look elsewhere.

    The big wild card is Wilko (6). I still don't know what to make of this horse. I don't think his Breeders Cup was a fluke, but I think he benefited from the troubled trips that Afleet Alex and Sun King had. That said, he was plenty game in the Hollywood Futurity despite a bad hoof injury he suffered on the first turn. I suspect this son of Awesome Again will be in the mix late.

    Don't Get Mad (1) is a monster. Don't be fooled by the low Beyer in the San Vicente, where he was much the best. Tyler Baze was told not to ask the horse, yet the horse went and closed like a freight train on his own. If Tyler can keep him relatively close to the pace by the stretch run, this horse will win. I'm picking him for the $2 flat bet and boxing him with the 6, 7, and 4 in a $1 trifecta ($24).
     
  25. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: 2005 Kentucky Derby Trail

    I've had a few days to digest the events of the weekend, and I've got more questions than answers, to be honest.

    Let's start with the obvious...

    Best performance of the weekend: Consolidator, winning the San Felipe in a wire to wire job over the best field of the weekend. He found an extra gear and ran away from the field by 6 1/2 down the stretch, earning a 104 Beyer. Downside is that that it was a speed favoring track, but he did answer my concerns about not running up to his wet track breeding (Track was wf). He set a stakes record time unde Rafael Bejarano, and vaulted into everyone's top ten.

    Worst performance of the weekend: Afleet Alex. It doesn't matter if he had a lung infection or not. 3-5 favorites shouldn't stop that badly and come in last in that big a race. It's time to ask if this horse can really run around two turns.

    Best ride of the week: Alan Garcia aboard Pavo in the Gotham. Going into the turn, Garcia was knocked out of his irons by Galloping Grocer. He's sitting bolt upright on the horse through the turn, hanging on with his knees. The saddle is slipping badly, and in the stretch, his stirrups are up by his right knee, yet Garcia gets the horse to the lead. Pavo was passed in deep stretch by Survivalist and was eventually DQ's to 4th when Garcia inadvertently hit Naughty New Yorker with his whip at the wire. I expect the DQ to be overturned on appeal. A fantastic piece of race riding from a jock who's brought in a lot of big balloons all winter in NY.

    Biggest surprise: Greater Good going to the lead early in the Rebel. Horses that show new early speed often have a big race next out, and I'm expecting more improvement from Greater Good in the Arkansas Derby. He posted a career best 95 Beyer, but he's still got to prove to me that he has enough speed to win in front of the Twin Spires.

    Also... Rockport Harbor ran a great race despite stumbling at the start, getting up to the lead at the first call and only being nipped at the wire in a massive race. I did not expect such a fine race out of a horse that's been having setback after setback this winter... Sun King's Tampa Bay Derby was awful, despite winning by 3 1/2 lengths. The 1-20 favorite was not a convincing winner against a nothing crew, and regressed 13 points off his last race Beyer to 91... Roman Ruler and Wilko both suffered quarter cracks on the hard Santa Anita surface. Roman Ruler will be taken off the trail, as will Lost In The Fog, whose connections never wanted him to go on in the first place, and will not supplement him to any of the Triple Crown races... Declan's Moon had successful surgery to remove the bone chip in the knee that ended his Derby hopes.
     

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