2009 Kentucky Derby Analysis...

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Ian Lozada, May 1, 2009.

  1. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A very contentious field for this one, much stronger than last year's running. Since I tend to be best at identifying horses who have a chance to win than predicting an order, I split the group into 4 groups with an eye towards writing a Pick 4 ticket: A horses, B horses, C horses and X horses.

    A horses are all legitimate win contenders, and I would not be surprised by any of them winning You expect your A horses to win at least 2/3 of the time. B horses are good horses who on their best day also have a possibility of winning, maybe another 25% of the time. C horses are hard to like, but if everything goes their way (like Giacomo in the 2005 Derby) can hit the front at the wire. X horses are ones you couldn't see winning on a motorcycle with a head start.

    ***

    My A horses, in order of preference:

    1. Regal Ransom. This son of Distorted Humor is training terrific and has put on weight since arriving from Dubai. He's likely to be on the lead, if not at the outset, at least at the quarter pole when they turn for home. Some have questioned his distance pedigree, but he has one of the best Tomlinson distance ratings in the field and is a gutsy performer. In his UAE Derby win, he wouldn't let stablemate Desert Party pass even on the gallop out. His Thorograph number for that race matched his best two year old number, a sign of a potential explosive improvement in his next race. (Neither he or Desert Party have official Beyers for this years races, but ESPN analyst Randy Moss did them by hand for the UAE Derby and figured them as 105 for RR, 104 for DP, which would be competitive with this group.) In addition, he gets Lasix back. I think he gets the first crack at the lead and gets the distance at a huge price.

    2. I Want Revenge: Since switching from California synthetic tracks to dirt in New York, this Stephen Got Even colt has really woken up. Some think this makes Pioneerof the Nile, who beat him in California, more attractive, but what replays show is that I Want Revenge's stride has noticeably lengthened on real dirt courses, and his leg action is not as choppy. More importantly, he is the only member of this field to record a Beyer speed figure (113 in the Gotham) over the 109 par for the Derby. I can't fault anyone who likes this guy and I'll be backing him as well.

    3. Desert Party. The other, more heralded of the Dubai contingent, Desert Party has also looked phenomenal in the mornings, until he had an awkward gallop earlier this morning (Thursday) where he switched leads at the wrong time and looked distracted. He's a very professional son of Street Cry, however, and I think he'll get a more aggressive ride from Ramon Dominguez than Frankie Dettori gave in his last. But for this morning, he'd be my number 2 horse. Also regains the use of Lasix.

    4. Friesan Fire. This A.P. Indy colt is coming off a 7 week layoff and has never been past a mile and a 16th, but retiring trainer Larry Jones has hit the exacta the last two years with his unusual training methods, and I'm not going to question him. This horse moves up on a wet track.

    5. Dunkirk. The most expensive colt in the field at $3.7 million, he's royally bred, but at the same time, Unbridled Song colts are better at the middle distances. Has only 3 starts, all as a three year old, but his middle move in the Florida Derby in the teeth of speed and inside biases show there's tons of talent here. Reportedly came to Churchill Downs looking a little worn out and on the small side, but can't side against.

    6. Hold Me Back. This one's a late addition to my A grouping. This Giant's Causeway colt wants to run all day. He's had his success on synthetics, but his Remsen effort on dirt looks better on Thorograph numbers, where he apparently ran as good a number as his best polytrack try that year.


    B horses:

    1. Pioneerof the Nile. Has been training like he likes Churchill, and loves to win, but I have concerns over this two time Grade 1 winner. First off, he was rank early in the Santa Anita Derby, and how's he going to deal with this mayhem if he can't be professional at SA? Second, his preferred style is coming off the pace, and he's going to be experiencing kickback, possibly mud even, for the first time Saturday. He may like Churchill's sandy track in the morning, but that doesn't mean he'll like it under racing conditions. Finally, his Beyers are far too low for this group. Too much to like him on top, but not enough to toss.

    2. Chocolate Candy. Everything about kickback applies to this guy as well, but he's more professional, so it evens out. Also training very well at CD, also very light on the Beyers. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has a positive ROI at Churchill. I would use him underneath in vertical wagers.

    3. General Quarters. Toughest horse in the field to figure out. Some days he looks great, others he looks like a bounce candidate. Has won on both synthetic and dirt, and his dirt win was one of the better Beyers in the field. Did not have a good work at CD last week, but came out of it like an improving horse the last few days, regressed again this morning. I'm gonna say "bounce" this time.

    4. Papa Clem. Another who's being trained unconventionally, looked miserable in a 7 panel drill last time, looked better in a blowout this morning. Arkansas Derby winner showed a new dimension coming off the pace, but that's believed to be his true running style and only sets the pace when he has to. This Smart Strike colt has stamina, not sure if he regresses off an all out drive to beat a horse who suffered a career ending injury in last.


    C Horses:

    1. Mr. Hot Stuff. Gains John Velazquez and is training well, but still green, will like better in Saratoga in August. Could get a slice of the verticals.

    2. West Side Bernie. Has not trained well at CD, got inhaled by Desert Party on their gallop out on Saturday. His Beyers suggest a bounce this time, and even pairing them wouldn't help his cause in this group.

    3. Musket Man. Sprint pedigree, not training well, think he's not going to improve significantly enough here.

    4. Summer Bird. Will be coming late, but with his entire body of work coming in the last 8 weeks or so, I suspect it's too much in too little time for this guy. Still might use at the tail end of a super ticket.

    X horses.

    1. Advice. Might have had a good workout this week, but still don't see this guy improving 15 points on the Beyer scale, which is going to be what it will take for him to win this one. Too slow and here so that WinStar can sell more horses.

    2. Atomic Rain. With less traffic, this one might have beaten entrymate West Side Bernie in the Wood, but still nowhere compared to I Want Revenge. More likely to regress than hit the board.

    3. Flying Private. His first win was his last one, and it occurred during the Bush administration. Let's just say Post 20 doesn't win 2 years in a row.

    4. Nowhere to Hide. ... from the fact that this guy doesn't belong. The last horse into the field, and you have to wonder what Zito could possibly do in 72 hours to get this one ready for a classic.

    5. Join In The Dance. This one's actually a useful horse in another spot, but I suspect his job under Chris DeCarlo will be to set a hot pace, keep Regal Ransom honest, and let Dunkirk do his thing. When he inevitably fades, he may end up being the 20th horse to cross the line.

    6. Mine That Bird. The canary in the coalmine, his job is basically to be dead in this field. The lowest best Beyer of the North American based horses in this field, he hasn't even attempted a graded stakes this year, so why not throw him in the deep end of the toughest dirt race in the world? Mark my words... this horse will never win another race after this one's over.
     
  2. riverplate

    riverplate Member+

    Jan 1, 2003
    Corona, Queens
    Club:
    CA River Plate
    I Want Revenge Scratched from Kentucky Derby - Associated Press

     
  3. CrewDust

    CrewDust Member

    May 6, 1999
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The $2 Exacta paid $2074, I know because my room mate hit it. :eek:
     
  4. taosjohn

    taosjohn Member+

    Dec 23, 2004
    taos,nm
    Okay, I marked your words-- now what? :p

    Watching it happen, I couldn't help but think of Daman Runyon and wonder if authors get to write one last story from heaven, only writing direct to reality instead of on paper...
     
  5. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It gets better.

    I was 12 deep going into the last leg of the Pick 4, the Kentucky Derby. With an hour between the Woodford Reserve, and a decent amount of self awareness, I know that the lead up to the Derby would be agony for me in my seat at Churchill Downs. I have a very active imagination, and I can envision every possible scenario where doom falls on me.

    There's only one thing left to do at this point, since I've read Daily Racing Form publisher Steven Crist's excellent book on wagering theory, Exotic Betting.

    [​IMG]

    I bought $20 win tickets, better known as Insanity Insurance, on the 7 horses I didn't have in the Pick 4.

    When I saw that pink saddlecloth emerge from the scrum, I knew that I wouldn't be getting the hoped for $15,000 payout I was hoping for, but that I'd still had a profitable day after all.

    The ticket paid a nice $1032.00, I skipped out on having to report winnings to the IRS, and I move on. Actually, I was disappointed in one thing... I considered fair value for MTB to be between 75/1 and 90/1.

    All in all, I had a great weekend. A modest profit on Oaks day, fueled almost entirely by a $2 trifecta and $1 superfecta on Rachel Alexandra and the closers in the remaining field, and I was really lights out today. 4 Trifectas in the first 7 races, a $20 win ticket on Glenwood Canyon, who sported a classic Explosive Horse pattern. I'm equally proud of the fact that I identified a 3 year old Spring improvement pattern on Thorograph that allowed me to put Four Gifts alone on top of the trifecta in the Eight Belles stakes, and especially for getting my A ticket 3 legs deep in the All-Stakes Pick 4, allowing me the luxury of having all 12 of my wanted horses available in the Derby. If I do that 100 times, I'll cash some big balloons 95% of the time.

    ***

    In her great book on Charismatic, Three Strides Before The Wire, Elizabeth Mitchell recounts an incident after Charismatic blew up the Derby field at 31/1 odds. Like today's crowd, the mood quickly turned angry. As a groom led the colt back to the barn, a heckler yelled, "That horse will never win another race!"

    Charismatic's groom shot back, "He doesn't have to."
     
  6. CrewDust

    CrewDust Member

    May 6, 1999
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    His total take was $4200, when he was filling out the paperwork a lady in front of him hit the trifecta.
     
  7. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nice. Another $800 and he'd have run into withholding from the IRS. He's still going to have to pay taxes on it, however. My advice: save as many losing tickets as you can-- they come in handy in case of an audit when it comes to claiming gambling losses to offset your winnings.
     
  8. CrewDust

    CrewDust Member

    May 6, 1999
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There will likely be a Vegas trip coming up. I am not sure how you could track your table or slot losses but you can track your sport's book losses.
     
  9. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Generally, casino gambling isn't going to rack up W2-G forms-- you're not going to be hitting anything at odds of 299-1, which, along with the $600 minimum payout, is what triggers IRS reporting.

    Still, I assume it could be used for deductions against winnings, and in that case, find out if the casino you play at has a player's club card and if you can get a report of your play.
     
  10. Ian Lozada

    Ian Lozada New Member

    May 29, 2001
    The Pick Four Pool
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    2009 Preakness Analysis...

    My latest public handicapping effort...

    With another wedding this weekend at Fasig-Tipton, my wagers are already in. I'm currently live to Big Drama ($2), Mine That Bird ($1), Friesan Fire ($2), General Quarters ($2) and Take The Points ($2) in the double.

    I'm primarily a Pick 4 player, so once again, I view life through the lens of A, B, C and X categories. Unlike two weeks ago, there will be no insanity insurance-- I'm not going to be able to duck out of work to place emergency wagers.

    ***

    A horses (in order of preference):

    1. Big Drama. I was surprised to see that he would get a free crack at the lead... if he wants it. He's shown rating ability and the blinkers come off, plus he gets a rider upgrade from Coa to Johnny V. With plenty of rest, he's unlikely to bounce. The Montbrook/Notebook cross has led to one Super Derby winner at 10f, so stamina may not be the issue you would expect. In short he is the rare horse in this field whose form is expected to go the right way.

    2. General Quarters. Unlike many here, he was not hard used in the Derby, where he was forced to take up multiple times. He's a good race bad race horse in every fig I have, and this is the good race end of his cycle. His best might be enough to win here.

    3. Friesan Fire. His May 12 drill shows that he came out of the Derby well, despite grabbing a quarter. Saez basically edged him out of the race to give him this shot. If he has the chance to run his race this time, he'll be in the mix. For those of you who love to bet the dirty shirt, of the DRF selectors, he was the only one selected by only one handicapper, David Grening.

    4. Mine That Bird. Jerry Brown's Thorograph analysis of this race states that 3yo colts "don't often bounce of tops in the spring, and Woolley's best category is short rest." That said, I hate hate hate this jockey change. How do you go from Calvin Bo-rail to Mike Smith, who's more likely to ride the outside rail than the inside? Since Gomez, Alan Garcia and Borel weren't available to you, the obvious choice would have been Ramon Dominguez, who knows this track like the back of his hand and knows the inside path as well. That said, if BD doesn't win this race outright, I think it falls apart, and this guy is an obvious deep closer.


    B horses:

    1. Take The Points. Was very close to making him an A horse. Goes back to his preferred surface, where he ran a 99 before heading west. Adds the shades, and has a great sheets pattern, with paired tops followed by a slight dropoff in last, which often leads to an breakthrough performance in this race-- see Hansel and Pine Bluff. If it rains, be aware that his sire's progeny run out a ridiculous 35% winners on off tracks.

    2. Rachel Alexandra. Yes, she's the best figure horse on the card. But she hasn't beaten anybody of Grade 1 quality, fillies take longer to recover from big efforts than colts, and she ran off the screen last time-- even though Borel didn't ask her, she did that on her own, and you still have to assume it takes something out of her. The TG analysis reads "there's virtually no chance she'll run as well this time and she might bounce to the sky, but what often happens is that the horse throws an effort a couple of points off its top on its way out the door." She could bounce and win. But considering that she was pointed to the last race by her trainer for max effort, and considering that she was taken out of his barn 9 days before this race and is having to acclimate herself to new people, new routines, and suddenly is back in training for a big effort, she's a bet against at a short price. The final straw for me was this: before the Fantasy, she fired a bullet, and in each subsequent drill, she did the same. Each time, she ran sub-12 second furlongs and did it easily. This drill was 48 and 2 for a half. The form is going, I think, and I worry about injury to a tired horse. Win or lose, I suspect this will be Rachel's last race.

    3. Papa Clem. The old Papa Clem is back. I mean, the mean, surly SOB who'll just as soon bite you as look at you. Speaking of which, he bit a groom and kicked a photog today. He was reportedly this surly before the Arky, so if you're backing him, that's good. Paired tops to start the season, then paired new tops the last two. Still not sure what to make of his form. Before the Derby, had a disappointing workout, then a short blowout to sharpen him. Repeated that this week, with the blowout this AM. If he runs his race, he might be in the mix at the wire, but the paired tops after a forward move may indicate that we've gotten what we can out of this guy and that this is his level.

    4. Musket Man. Like Papa Clem, he's also coming off paired tops. Because of his running style, I expect him to be a player in the vertical exotics, however. His May 12 bullet shows that he's still got something in the tank. On his very best day, he might be fast enough to win. As noted ad nauseum, he's already outrun his pedigree.

    5. Pioneerof the Nile. You all know I haven't been a fan of this guy. Exceeded his 2yo top in his first and third starts this year, and then broke through in the Derby, jumping down to a 0.75, which was a pretty big move. However, big moves going synth to dirt almost always regress the next couple of times, and his big problem is that he emptied the tank and then some in the Derby, which caused him to bear out, a sure sign of a horse dead on his hooves. Needs a rest.


    C horses:

    1. Terrain. Just hasn't shown development this year. His best Beyer is only a point ahead of his 2yo top, and he's only managed a .25 development over his 2yo top on Thorograph. Normally, this signifies a horse who should improve this time. However, it's unlikely he'll do like Mine That Bird, who jumped from that same 5.5 to a negative 0.75. In case he does, he's on my C ticket. Last win was at 6 panels in August.

    2. Flying Private. Really, why did I even bother writing a C ticket? Ran a 2.25 back in March in the Lane's End, and gets a boost with Alan Garcia taking the call. Drill on Saturday was useful enough. Still eligible for a N1X allowance.


    X horses.

    1. Luv Gov. Well, at least he's coming in off a win. However this guy is merely in an expensive prep for the Belmont. Considering it took him 10 tries to break his maiden on Derby day, has no additional rest, and has far worse figs in there than MTB ever threw, has about as much chance of winning as former Governor Spitzer has of being forgiven by his wife. Also bore out in last.

    2. Tone it Down. The other Medaglia D'Oro in the field, this one also is coming off a Derby Day effort, and draws Kent D, who apparently had nothing better to do on a Saturday. Despite the fact he loves the rail, his sheet figs just don't reflect graded stakes talent yet. Considering what the last horse I put in the final spot did, you can now go out and bet him with both hands, although I'm sure Joseph Amaral [EDIT: A member of the TRNY Facebook Group, where this originally appeared] will burn his Racing Forms and expect the Rapture should that happen. On a more serious note, this guy and TTP, just to his inside, should make it more difficult for Rachel, who's parked one hole to their right. As a speed horse, he could potentially make it very hard for Rachel to easily cross over, and we may find out what happens if Rachel is asked not just to rate, but to be taken far back. Even if he doesn't have a prayer of stealing the race on the front end, he may have a very big say in it's final outcome.
     

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