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Thread: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

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    old school fiopadp7791's Avatar
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    Default Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    5/5/18 ~ Kentucky Derby (1 1/4M) Churchill Downs

    1. Firenze Fire (Mr. Amore Stable) Jason Servis/Paco Lopez (50-1)
    2. Free Drop Billy (Albaugh Family) Dale Romans/Robby Albarado (30-1)
    3. Promises Fulfilled (Robert Baron) Dale Romans/Corey Lanarie (30-1)
    4. Flameaway-$ (John Oxley) Mark Casse/Jose Lezcano (30-1)
    5. Audible (China Horse, Head/Plains, Starlight, WinStar) Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano (8-1)
    6. Good Magic (e Five, Stonestreet) Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz (12-1)
    7. Justify (China Horse, Head/Plains, Starlight, WinStar) Bob Baffert/Mike Smith (3-1)
    8. Lone Sailor (G M B Racing) Tom Amoss/James Graham (50-1)
    9. Hofburg (Juddmonte) Bill Mott/Irad Ortiz Jr. (20-1)
    10. My Boy Jack (Don’t Tell My Wife, Monomoy) Keith Desormeaux/Kent Desormeaux (30-1)
    11. Bolt d’Oro (Ruis Racing) Mick Ruis/Victor Espinoza (8-1)
    12. Enticed (Godolphin) Kiaran McLaughlin/Junior Alvarado (30-1)
    13. Bravazo (Calumet Farm) D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Contreras (50-1)
    14. Mendelssohn (Coolmore) Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore (5-1)
    15. Instilled Regard (Oxo Equine/Larry Best) Jerry Hollendorfer/Drayden Van Dyke (50-1)
    16. Magnum Moon (Lawana & Robert Low) Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez (6-1)
    17. Solomini (Zayat Stables, Coolmore) Bob Baffert/Flavien Prat (30-1)
    18. Vino Rosso (Repole, St. Elias) Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez (12-1)
    19. Noble Indy (WinStar, Repole) Todd Pletcher/Florent Geroux (12-1)
    20. Combatant (Winchell, Willis Horton) Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana (30-1)
    AE (Alternate)-21. Blended Citizen-$ (Greg Hall, SAYJAY Racing/Steve Young) Doug O’Neill/Kyle Frey (50-1)

    Hey cool kids, beginners and Kentucky Derby novices/casual fans that wanna dress up and drink mint juleps on the first Saturday in May- I do a Kentucky Derby beginner guide every year to get you the low-down on each of the 20 or so contenders running in the race every year.

    I'd like to think I actually know what I'm talking about in terms of horse racing in general. But as far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned, I'm terrible at picking winners and more importantly cashing winning tickets on it. I'm pretty much cursed. The last thing you'd wanna do is use my crummy picks lol. So the following breakdown is intended to be a fairly UNBIASED, simplified description for each horse, so you can make up your own mind on who you'd like to bet on/cheer for the Derby. I'll give you a bunch of reasons why each horse can win the race, and why each horse could fail.

    If you're a beginner, I'm not trying to throw too much jargon/weird terminology at you. I'm trying to make the descriptions so you can easily understand what the heck I'm talking about. You'll also get Youtube clips of the major preps they've raced in, so you can see how they've run in a given race to give you a general idea of things. If you have any questions about anything I've posted, feel free to post a question/comment or message me. Same for if you've never bet on a horse race before. I can help guide you through your options for that as well.

    THE BASICS
    • The Derby is on Saturday 5/5 (always the first Saturday in May).
    • It's for 3 year-olds only. Every horse collectively turns 3 years old on January 1st (for racing purposes), so none of the horses that ran last year can come back and compete again this year.
    • There will be 20 horses in the race, which can make it a complete crap-shoot/traffic jam. No horse in this year's field has run against more than 13 in a race.
    • The race distance is a mile and a quarter, and none of the entrants have run that far in their young careers. So not only are you dealing with a 20-horse traffic jam, but you're also unsure if they can handle running that far. A lot can't.
    • It's at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY
    • It's the first race in the Triple Crown. The Preakness and the Belmont are the other 2 races, run in the next 5 weeks after the Derby.


    The 20-horse field is determined by designated Derby Prep races held in the months before the Derby. But most horses qualify for the race in March and early April. The other big "unknown" going into these races- A lot of these horses haven't run against each other. The Derby prep races happen everywhere from Florida to New York to Louisiana to California to Dubai.... yes... Dubai.

    If you know how to read a past-performance guide, here's a very preliminary one from Brisnet which lists all 20 of the Derby Contenders + Alternates
    http://www.brisnet.com/wp-content/up...by18Points.pdf
    If you're a beginner that doesn't know how to read these, no sweat. That's what the following posts are here for. To give you basic, yet more in-depth analysis of each horse. So as I said, you can make up your own mind.

    The following posts will give analysis of each horse grouped by the prep race they ran in as opposed to going 1-20. So it's easier to list the horses that have run in each major prep, and give the breakdown from there. You'll see what I mean in the following posts. But I'll also have a link for each horse if you're looking for a description of one specifically.

    Their post position (starting gate number) will be posted next to their name with their morning line (predicted) odds as well. Post positions are determined by a random draw done the Wednesday before the race.

    Alright, time for me to shut up and get to the analysis. Hope I haven't lost y'all yet.

    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 11:37 AM.
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Old Gay Guy gaypalmsprings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    FFS!
    Quote Originally Posted by SepaGroove View Post
    You shouldn't feel uncool for not going to EDC, you should feel uncool because you are uncool.

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    old school fiopadp7791's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    These posts will be updated periodically over the next week. Just made the intro post to get the thread started.
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    old school fiopadp7791's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    Quote Originally Posted by gaypalmsprings View Post
    FFS!
    best 1st reply ever!!!
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    old school fiopadp7791's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Santa Anita Derby
    Date: April 7, 2018
    Location: Santa Anita Park- Arcadia, CA
    Distance: 1 1/8 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #7 Justify Winner 3-1 ML
    #11 Bolt D'Oro 2nd Place 8-1 ML
    #15 Instilled Regard 4th Place 50-1 ML(Covered in the Lecomte Stakes post)

    Justify
    Justify is the likely Kentucky Derby favorite. He shares a strong statistic with the past 6 Derby winners, which really favors his chances. But he also has 135 years of history working squarely against him. So which will win out- recent trends or many examples in the past 130+ years that says he can't win this race?

    POSITIVES
    • 3 career races: 3 Wins. He's undefeated in his brief career.
    • The perfect record plays into the recent trend of the past 6 Kentucky Derby winners: All were undefeated in their 3 year old seasons. As mentioned in the introductory post, all horses turn 3 on January 1st (regardless of their actual birthdays).
    • If he does end up being the Kentucky Derby betting favorite as expected, the past 5 betting favorites have won the Kentucky Derby
    • Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. Baffert has won 4 Kentucky Derbies, most recently in 2015 when American Pharoah swept the Triple Crown Races. He's also the trainer of Kentucky Derby Contender Solomini.
    • Ridden by "Big Money" Mike Smith, who is one of Baffert's go-to riders. Smith rode Giacomo to the 2005 Kentucky Derby win.
    • The horse has shown impressive versatility in his wins. As shown in the youtube clip, he went straight to the lead and never looked back winning wire to wire. In his race prior to the Santa Anita Derby, he sat a couple of (horse) lengths off the front-runners and blew past them for an easy, dominant win when they tired out. There's the potential for plenty of horses in the Derby field that will want the lead. If it gets a little hot up front, his versatility to sit off the lead early will greatly help his chances. A lot of horses "need the lead" and they'll go as fast as possible early to get it (but will also expend too much energy too early doing so). Justify doesn't need the lead.
    • His versatile running style should lead to minimal traffic issues. Although it's a field of 20 horses, he shouldn't encounter the traffic problems that a lot of the horses that sit back early and run hard late will. If he's ahead of (most of) them early on, all the traffic should be behind him.
    • Is extremely well-bred and was bought for $500k at auction. Has major stamina bloodlines both from his dad and mom. His dad is Scat Daddy, who is was one of the top sires in the game before unexpectedly passing away back in 2015. Scat Daddy ran in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He's also the dad of Kentucky Derby contenders Mendelssohn, Flameaway and Combatant. Justify's mama is a Ghostzapper mare. Ghostzapper might be the best dirt horse I've seen run in the past 20 years. He never ran in the Triple Crown Races, but won 9 of 11 career races, and dominated his competition. He won the Breeder's Cup Classic at the same Kentucky Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles in 1:59. Whoever ends up winning the Kentucky Derby, if they do it in 2:01 it'll be considered a fast time. That's how fast Ghostzapper was.


    NEGATIVES
    • The dreaded "Curse of Apollo". Not since Apollo in 1882 has a horse that was un-raced at age 2 won the Derby. I mentioned above that Justify has raced 3 times. But all 3 races were in 2018. All horses turn 3 on January 1st (for racing purposes). Since he didn't run last year, it means by horse racing standards he didn't run at age 2. He's done little wrong thus far in his young career, but 135 years of history is working against him (but streaks and records are made to be broken... eventually, right?)
    • There have been many talented, but lightly-raced horses going into the Kentucky Derby in recent years. Only 1 has won going into the Derby with 3 or less career starts: Big Brown in 2008. It's tough to get thrown into the deep end after only a few starts and win a race as big as this.
    • He's only run in California. How will he handle shipping across the country and running out of his home environment for the first time? There have been a lot of dominant California horses over the years that never seem to show up with their best effort once they ship east.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.
    • The most opponents Justify has ever had to run against in a race: 6. He now has to run against 19 others. How will he handle traffic, extra pressure for the first time?
    • Speaking of "extra pressure"... He didn't experience that at all in the Santa Anita Derby. "Pace makes the race" will be a statement that I will repeat over and over again in this beginner guide. He frankly got a dream trip in the Santa Anita Derby. Went to the lead and was able to set a pretty slow pace with no pressure on him early in the race. Horses that run on the front end need to slow it down as much as possible to conserve their energy throughout the race. Mission accomplished in the Santa Anita Derby. It won't be that way in the Kentucky Derby. Multiple horses will be vying for the early lead, which means the heat will get cranked up. They'll be going faster in the earlier stages and expending more energy early on. Can Justify handle the heat? His raw talent hasn't required him to answer this question yet. He'll be tested like never before in the Derby.


    He's shown an incredible amount of raw talent in his brief career. Combo that with a hall of fame trainer/jockey combo, and he's a big threat to win the Derby. But we haven't seen him be challenged, nor has he traveled outside of California to show if he can do this outside of his familiar surroundings... oh... and that 135 years of history going against him thing...



    Bolt d'Oro
    Bolt d'Oro has fought every fight and danced every dance. He has a legit shot to be a strong factor in the Derby. Did Bolt have an off-day vs. Justify, or is Justify the better horse? I'll give you plenty of reasons to support either argument.

    POSITIVES
    • 6 career starts: 4 wins. Has never finished worse than 3rd in a race.
    • After winning his career debut last August, he's only run in top stakes races. This horse takes on all comers and for the most part has come out on top.
    • Victor Espinoza will ride Bolt in the Derby. Espinoza won the Derby 2 years in a row: 2014 on California Chrome and 2015 on American Pharoah.
    • Bolt d'Oro has a stalking running style. He has natural speed which keeps him in touch with the front-runners in a race, while being able to sit back, conserve energy and pounce on them when they tire out.
    • Bolt was probably a victim of the slow easy pace set by Justify in the Santa Anita Derby. When the heat gets cranked up early in the Kentucky Derby, that's where Bolt should thrive. Justify didn't tire out in the Santa Anita Derby, but the front-runners most likely will in the Kentucky Derby. They have to run 1/8 mile further under more pressure. This should have Bolt primed to pounce late.
    • He's owned/trained by the upstart Ruis Racing operation. Mick Ruis was a jockey at various tracks up and down the west coast in the 90s/early 2000s. He quit riding to open a construction business with his father. It ended up thriving and they sold it at a huge profit a few years ago. Since then they've reinvested heavily into the horse racing game. Mick Ruis trains all the horses in the family operation, and has been successful doing so.
    • So how much has Ruis Racing invested in horse racing? Look no further than Bolt d'Oro, who they bought for a whopping $600k at auction. The horse is very well bred. His daddy is Medaglia d'Oro, who is one of the top sires in the game annually (it costs $250k to make babies with him). He finished 4th in the Kentucky Derby 2002. His mama is a mare by A.P. Indy. A.P. Indy won the Belmont Stakes (the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown), was a top sire, and is considered a "sire of sires" since he's the daddy to so many successful breeding stallions.
    • Unlike Justify, Bolt has actually run against some bigger fields in his career. The first 4 races of his career, he ran against 10, 9, 9, and 12 horses in those races.
    • Beat Kentucky Derby contender Solomini in a stakes race last September.


    NEGATIVES
    • Yeah Justify got a dream trip in the Santa Anita Derby, but he beat Bolt d'Oro fair and square. It wasn't like Bolt had all that much traffic to deal with in the Santa Anita Derby, and (on that day) he wasn't good enough to beat Justify. Is he good enough to turn the tables on Justify and 19 other horses regardless of race conditions?
    • Technically, Bolt d'oro hasn't crossed the finish line in first place since last September. He won his prior race before the Santa Anita Derby via very controversial DQ. Bolt and another Bob Baffert-trained horse named McKinzie were neck and neck running down the final stretch of the race. There was a lot of bumping going between the 2. McKinzie beat Bolt, but was later DQ'd when the stewards determined Bolt couldn't pass him due to the bumping. Was a very debatable call.
    • Is Bolt good enough against top competition? His only losses came in the 2 most prestigious races he ran in. The Santa Anita Derby loss to Justify and lost to Kentucky Derby contenders Good Magic and Solomini in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile last November.
    • Hall of Famer Javier Castellano had ridden Bolt in his 2 last races, but has chosen to ride Audible in the Kentucky Derby. As good of a replacement as Victor Espinoza is, it's a little concerning that at least in Castellano's opinion, he thinks Audible gives him a better chance to win the Derby.
    • He's only run in California. How will he handle shipping across the country and running out of his home environment for the first time? There have been a lot of dominant California horses over the years that never seem to show up with their best effort once they ship east.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    Bolt has been right there in some very tough races, but is he good enough for a breakthrough against the top dogs? Like Justify he's never shipped out of California before. A lot of positives, but a lot of reasons to make you wonder if he's peaked and if there's another gear.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-01-2018 at 08:26 PM.
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    old school GolfWang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    hell yeah. love betting on the derby even though i know absolutely nothing about horse racing and end up losing money every year.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    Quote Originally Posted by GolfWang View Post
    hell yeah. love betting on the derby even though i know absolutely nothing about horse racing and end up losing money every year.
    Well these posts are definitely written with you in mind. It'll hopefully give you a better idea on who you'd like to lose your money on lol
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 UAE Derby
    Date: 3/31/2018
    Location: Meydan Racecourse (Dubai, UAE)
    Distance: 1 3/16 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #14 Mendelssohn Winner 5-1 ML

    MENDELSSOHN
    So... as the video shows above- that was an absolute freak performance in the UAE Derby. He won the race by an absurd 18 (horse) lengths!!! A repeat of that effort and he'll be tough to beat in Kentucky. If Justify isn't the Kentucky Derby betting favorite, Mendelssohn most likely will be. For different reasons than Justify, there's a whole bunch of history working against him. I'll give you reasons why he can repeat the monster race in Dubai, but a bunch of reasons why he'll just be another (bad) Dubai statistic in Kentucky.
    POSITIVES
    • 7 Career starts: 4 wins and a 2nd place finish. He's won 3 races in a row.
    • It wasn't just how dominant Mendelssohn was that was impressive about his romp in Dubai, it was how he did it. He's mostly been a horse that has sat a little bit off the front runners and pounced on them late. In this race he went straight to the lead, had 2 other horses putting immediate pace pressure on them, and buried them both. He showed that he can go straight to the lead or sit off the lead and be comfortable doing either. But being able to shrug off pace pressure is also impressive.
    • At 1 3/16 miles, the UAE Derby is the longest Kentucky Derby prep race. Not only did he win at that distance, but no other horse in the Kentucky Derby field has run further than 1 1/8 miles.
    • Although he's primarily raced in Europe and qualified for the Derby in Dubai, he won his only U.S. start. He won the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf (grass) race at a distance of 1 mile at Del Mar outside of San Diego. So he's shown he can ship to different countries and win on different surfaces against top competition.
    • He beat Derby entrants Flameaway and My Boy Jack in his lone U.S. win.
    • His owners are called the Coolmore group. When you look at the guide, it'll say the horse is owned by Magnier, Smith, & Tabor. But they're called the Coolmores. And they might be the most tightly, most efficiently run ownership/breeding group in the world. And they don't mess around. They don't just enter horses in big races just to have one entered. They enter them to win. To show how much they thought of this horse, they bought him for $3mil. at auction. As absurd as some of the prices these horses were bought for, $3million is ridiculous even by those standards.
    • The Coolmore's contract trainer is Aiden O'Brien. He's arguably the best trainer in the world. He set a world record in 2017 by winning 28 Group/Grade 1 (the most prestigious) races around the world. More than any trainer has ever won in a year. When Aiden ships his horses to the U.S., we all know to take them seriously.
    • Aiden O'Brien's go-to jockey is also arguably the best in the world: Ryan Moore. If there's a big race happening around the world, there's a good chance Moore is riding in it. All 4 of Mendelssohn's wins happened when Moore rode him. The betting public always gives Moore a ton of respect. Even if they don't like or know much about a horse in a given race, we know the horse is in good hands if Moore is riding.
    • His dad is Scat Daddy, who is was one of the top sires in the game before unexpectedly passing away back in 2015. Scat Daddy ran in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He's also the dad of likely Kentucky Derby betting favorite Justify, and also contenders Flameaway and Combatant. The real bloodlines and the ridiculous $3mil auction price are mainly due to his mama. Mendelssohn is a half brother (same mother) to one of the best race mares I've ever seen- Beholder. She won over $6mil in her career and beat the boys going 1 1/4 miles (Derby distance) in the prestigious Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Another half brother to Mendelssohn is one of the hottest sires in the game today: Into Mischief. Into Mischief babies are winning early/often, and is the sire of Derby contender Audible. To be related to Beholder and Into Mischief means you have some very regal, yet also proven bloodlines.


    NEGATIVES
    • Not sure if "curse" is the right word to use, but Dubai horses have never fared well in the Kentucky Derby. No horse has ever won the Derby shipping from Dubai. In fact, no horse has ever finished in the top 4... Yikes.
    • The lack of success on Derby day for (for Dubai qualifiers) might have to do with the rigors of shipping/traveling. Historically, when US horses ship to Dubai to race, they usually get a long break after. The travel saps them, and they need time to recover. The horses that shipped from the US to run in Dubai on the same day that Mendelssohn won the UAE Derby, most likely won't run again until July at the earliest. Yet Mendelssohn is expected to run a peak effort on a little over 1 month's rest? That's asking a lot. Will he be at 100% physically after all that travel?
    • For all the success that Coolmore and Aiden O'Brien have had, the Kentucky Derby in general has been their kryptonite. Their best finish in the Derby is 5th place.
    • For O'Brien specifically, his overall record in U.S. dirt races is poor. 50 starts: 1 win, 2 2nds and 2 3rds. Yuck.
    • Various race tracks around the world sometimes develop a bias. A bias is when most of the wins at a given track seem to happen the same way. Some examples are all races won by front-runners or all races won by horses running on the outer part of the track. Etc etc. Meydan Racecourse in Dubai seemed to have a bias that Mendelssohn exploited. Meydan runs only once or twice per week from mid-February through the end of March when Mendelssohn won the UAE Derby. They ran a total of 6 race cards between February 15th and March 31st. 18 races were run on the dirt surface where Mendelssohn won the UAE Derby in that 6 week period. 17 of the 18 races were won wire to wire by a early front-running inside speed horse. What did Mendelssohn do in the UAE Derby? He was rushed to the lead and ran close to the inner rail the whole race: the way all (except 1) dirt race was won over a 6 week period at Meydan. So is he THAT dominant or did he just exploit a severe track bias to have that much of a dominant performance? Churchill Downs will play more fairly to all running styles.


    On his own merits, he looks like a legit contender for the Kentucky Derby. But there have been plenty of eye-popping performances from Dubai qualifiers over the years who ran clunkers on Derby day. Is it that the horses that have come from there are inferior (and their competition also inferior)? Or is it that the rigors of travel from Dubai don't allow the Dubai qualifiers to give their best effort on Derby day? Is Mendelssohn good enough to buck those trends?
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:21 AM.
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Florida Derby
    Date: March 31, 2018
    Location: Gulfstream Park (Miami, FL)
    Distance: 1 1/8 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #5 Audible Winner 8-1 ML
    #9 Hofburg 2nd 20-1 ML
    #3 Promises Fulfilled 9th 3-1 ML (Covered in Fountain of Youth post)

    AUDIBLE
    Audible has done very little wrong thus far. This will give him plenty of attention from bettors on Derby day. But there are concerns about his questionable pedigree and how the pace setup in the Florida Derby might've aided his easy win.
    POSITIVES
    • 5 starts: after finishing 3rd in his career debut, he's won 4 in a row. What's impressive is how comfortably he's won his last 3 races: by 9, 5 and 3 (horse) lengths respectively. He's not just winning races, he's crushing his competition.
    • Trained by future Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher. If all 4 of Pletcher's Kentucky Derby qualifiers make it to the race, he'll pass trainer D. Wayne Lukas' all-time record for most horses entered in the Derby (currently Lukas has 48, Pletcher 48). He won the Kentucky Derby last year with Always Dreaming and in 2010 with Super Saver. Pletcher also trains Derby qualifiers Magnum Moon, Noble Indy and Vino Rosso.
    • He's ridden by hall-of-fame jockey Javier Castellano. Castellano is widely regarded as one of the best jockeys in the world. He is one of Todd Pletcher's go-to riders, but Castellano picked riding Audible over main contender Bolt d'Oro (who he rode in his last 2 starts). It at least hints that Castellano thinks he has a better chance to win the Derby with Audible than with Bolt.
    • He's beaten Derby contenders Hofburg, Promises Fulfilled, and Free Drop Billy in prior races.
    • Has a dangerous closing kick which usually has him sitting mid-pack early in races, and swoops around tiring front-runners at the end of races. The video above displays this perfectly. By the middle of the race he makes a big move (he's the #8 horse with the pink saddle towel) and by the final turn he's pretty much in the lead and doesn't look back. This powerful kick will allow him to pass a bunch of horses in a brief amount of time, and he should be looming dangerously at the top of the stretch.
    • In prior races he's sat closer to the lead and still been able to display the strong closing kick he showed in the Florida Derby. The versatility to sit close to the lead or sit back and let the the early leaders tire in front of him is a big advantage.
    • Has won races in both New York in Florida. Shows that he can ship to different tracks in different states and bring his "A" game.


    NEGATIVES
    • Audible got the best pace set-up you could ever hope for if you're a late-running closer. The pace was insanely hot in the Florida Derby. In a perfect world, the pace-setter in a race that long would want to set fractions of 24 seconds for a quarter mile, 48 for a half mile, and 1:12 for 3/4 of a mile. In the Florida Derby the fractions were under 22, 46, and 1:11. It's why you see all the early leaders in the race drop out of contention by the final turn. They were all gassed. Will Audible get it this good in the Kentucky Derby? Pace makes the race, and Audible got it about as easy as possible for his running style.
    • To expand on the last point, what if the front-runners are able to slow the pace down enough that they've conserved enough energy to keep running strong throughout the race? "Pace makes the race" applies equally to closers too (horses coming from behind). If they don't have a hot, fast pace to run into, it makes it so much more difficult for them to pass the front-runners.
    • He'll also have to pass a lot more horses than he did in the Florida Derby. Will he be able to make a strong closing run trying to weave in and out of the potential traffic in front and around him? Traffic issues affect the horses coming from behind much more than the early front runners.
    • Speaking of Pletcher: Even with all of those Derby contenders over the years- before last year he only had 1 win to show for it. Did the win last year with Always Dreaming end the futility, or was it a blip on the radar? Winning 2 Kentucky Derbies is an amazing accomplishment, but for all the horses he's had in the race, it's a pretty dismal record.
    • Javier Castellano's allegiance to Todd Pletcher horses in the Derby has meant that he's never won a Kentucky Derby before. It's the one blemish on an otherwise amazing career for him.
    • Audible's daddy Into Mischief is one of the highest priced sires in the game today (meaning it costs more to make babies with him than most others). But the reason for Into Mischief's high price tag is due to his progeny's ability to win early and at shorter distances. Once the race distances get over a mile, Into Mischief's success/win rate as a sire goes down. What I'm saying is Audible is out-running his bloodlines right now. Now he's required to run the longest distance he's ever run. Does he have the stamina to go another 1/8th of a mile against the toughest competition he's ever faced?
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    HOFBURG
    Hofburg really teases a world of potential from his Florida Derby effort. But is he ready to take that giant "next step" forward to compete with the big dogs? It's definitely possible, but there are some major concerns that he's not quite ready to get thrown in the deep end yet.
    POSITIVES
    • 3 Career Starts: 1 win, 1 2nd place finish. Has seemed to improve as the race distances have lengthened. With only 3 lifetime starts, he has the potential to mature/improve.
    • His daddy is one of the hottest sire/stallions in the game right now (with highest stud fee to boot... meaning it costs more to make babies with him than any other stallion right now). His name is Tapit. Tapit babies seem to be able to win regardless of the surface, distance, environment, etc. and they do so often. His mama is a Touch Gold mare. Touch Gold won the Belmont Stakes (the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown) in 1997. Hofburg should be able to run fast allllll day with that pedigree.
    • Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott. Mott set the record for the most wins at a single Churchill Downs race meet, with 54 wins. So he's very familiar with what it takes to win there. Mott isn't known for throwing a raw, still developing 3 year old into the Derby fire. Does he really think he has a special horse to make this move?
    • Has a dangerous closing kick which usually has him sitting towards the back of the pack early in races, and progressively moves his way up towards the front as the race unfolds. He made his move right after Audible did in the Florida Derby, and followed him all the way around the track. It didn't appear that Audible ever really pulled away from him. With added distance and a slightly earlier move, he's capable of turning the tables on Audible in the Derby.
    • Finished ahead of Derby contender Promises Fulfilled in the Florida Derby


    NEGATIVES
    • It doesn't really matter that Audible couldn't pull away from Hofburg in the closing stages of the Florida Derby. Audible beat Hofburg fair and square. Hofburg needs to find another gear to be able have as fast of a closing kick as some of the other top contenders in the race.
    • There have been many talented, but lightly-raced horses going into the Kentucky Derby in recent years. Only 1 has won going into the Derby with 3 or less career starts: Big Brown in 2008. It's tough to get thrown into the deep end after only a few starts and win a race as big as this.
    • Hofburg got the best pace set-up you could ever hope for if you're a late-running closer. The pace was insanely hot in the Florida Derby. In a perfect world, the pace-setter in a race that long would want to set fractions of 24 seconds for a quarter mile, 48 for a half mile, and 1:12 for 3/4 of a mile. In the Florida Derby the fractions were under 22, 46, and 1:11. It's why you see all the early leaders in the race drop out of contention by the final turn. They were all gassed. Will Hofburg get it this good in the Kentucky Derby? Pace makes the race, and Hofburg got it about as easy as possible for his running style.
    • To expand on the last point, what if the front-runners are able to slow the pace down enough that they've conserved enough energy to keep running strong throughout the race? "Pace makes the race" applies equally to closers too (horses coming from behind). If they don't have a hot, fast pace to run into, it makes it so much more difficult for them to pass the front-runners.
    • He'll also have to pass a lot more horses than he did in the Florida Derby. Will he be able to make a strong closing run trying to weave in and out of the potential traffic in front and around him? Traffic issues affect the horses coming from behind much more than the early front runners.
    • I've always joked that if you want a horse to be successful in the spring, you go get Todd Pletcher to train it. If you want a horse to be successful in the fall, you get Bill Mott to train it. Even with the impressive resume that Bill Mott has, Derby runners aren't his M.O. His horses usually peak late summer and into the fall getting ready for the prestigious Breeders Cup series races. Fast-tracking a young, raw 3 year old to the Derby really goes against what Mott is known for. The horse is owned/bred by Juddmonte Farms, which is one of the best ownership operations in the world. They split their U.S. horses between Mott, Chad Brown and Bob Baffert. If Baffert trained this horse, I'd be a lot more confident in the horses chances based on the track record of the trainer regarding the Derby. Is Juddmonte pushing for this more than Mott?
    • He'll be ridden by talented young rider Irad Ortiz Jr. in the Derby. Irad, and his younger brother Jose have emerged in the past few years 2 of the top riders on the New York and Florida racing circuits. So what's the problem? Jose has ridden Hofburg in his last 2 starts, and has chosen to ride Derby contender Good Magic instead. It tells you that at least in Jose Ortiz's opinion, Good Magic gives him a better chance to win the Derby than Hofburg does.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    The raw talent and the breeding are there to put Hofburg in the mix at very good odds to do a lot of damage in the Derby. He's capable of the improvement necessary to be a big factor in the Derby, but he'll need to do just that: improve in a big way. History is against him making that big of a leap that fast.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    You gonna watch at Canterbury? We should get together if you are

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.



    2018 Louisiana Derby
    Date: March 24, 2018
    Location: Fair Grounds (New Orleans, LA)
    Distance: 1 1/8 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #19 Noble Indy Winner 12-1 ML
    #8 Lone Sailor 2nd 50-1 ML
    #10 My Boy Jack 3rd 30-1 ML
    #13 Bravazo 8th 50-1 ML (Covered in the Risen Star post)

    NOBLE INDY
    Beyond a minor hiccup in the Risen Star stakes, Noble Indy has been perfect and has a running style that should keep him out of trouble on Derby Day. But there have been plenty of really good looking horses that have come out of Fairgrounds/Louisiana Derby over the years to stumble in the Kentucky Derby. Can Noble Indy buck this bad trend, or will history repeat itself with him on the first Saturday in May?
    POSITIVES
    • 4 career starts, 3 wins and 1 3rd place finish. Should still be eligible to improve with such few starts under his belt.
    • He showed some serious guts in winning the Louisiana Derby. It looked like during certain points of the stretch run that both Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack were gonna blow right past him and beat him easily. But he battled back after briefly being passed, and won. What impressed me the most is in the final 150-200 yards he seemed to find another gear and put the other 2 horses away.
    • Pace makes the race!!! He sat right off a pretty fast pace. For front-running horses, your goal is to slow the pace down as much as possible to conserve your energy for the tail end of the race. The pace in the Louisiana Derby was faster than what would be ideal for Noble Indy to normally thrive. He still found enough energy to hold off Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack at the end.
    • Trained by future Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher. If all 4 of Pletcher's Kentucky Derby qualifiers make it to the race, he'll pass trainer D. Wayne Lukas' all-time record for most horses entered in the Derby (currently Lukas has 48, Pletcher 48). He won the Kentucky Derby last year with Always Dreaming and in 2010 with Super Saver. Pletcher also trains Derby qualifiers Magnum Moon, Audible and Vino Rosso.
    • Noble Indy will be ridden by Florent Geroux, who is based at Churchill Downs and is always at the top of the jockey standings for their race meets.
    • He seems to have a pace-pressing running style which puts him right behind the front runners early in the race. He's never been more than 2 (horse) lengths off the lead in any of his career races. The advantage to this running style is you're not doing the dirty work of setting a pace in a race, but also sits you close to the lead which minimizes traffic issues in a race.
    • Has beaten derby contenders Lone Sailor, Bravazo and My Boy Jack
    • Noble Indy has won races both in Florida and Louisiana, suggesting he can ship anywhere and run well


    NEGATIVES
    • There have been so many hyped horses to come out of Fairgrounds/Louisiana Derby over the years, AND THEY'VE PRETTY MUCH ALL FAILED IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY. Grindstone in 1996 was the last horse to win the Louisiana Derby, and then win in Kentucky. Before him, you have to go back decades to find another horse that won both races. That's a lot of history for Noble Indy, Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack to buck.
    • Speaking of Pletcher: Even with all of those Derby contenders over the years- before last year he only had 1 win to show for it. Did the win last year with Always Dreaming end the futility, or was it a blip on the radar? Winning 2 Kentucky Derbies is an amazing accomplishment, but for all the horses he's had in the race, it's a pretty dismal record.
    • Hall of Fame Jockey John Velasquez has ridden Noble Indy in his last 3 starts, and has chosen to ride one of Pletcher's Derby contender's- Vino Rosso. Does Velasquez think Vino Rosso has a better chance than both Noble Indy and Audible (who he rode to the Florida Derby win)?
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.
    • Noble Indy had a very easy trip in the Louisiana Derby. As soon as the pace-setter tired, Noble Indy moved to the rail and had the inside track (the shortest distance around the track) all the way to the finish. You can see how far outside My Boy Jack was around the turn compared to Noble Indy, and he barely put him away while having a much easier trip. It's doubtful that Noble Indy will have it that easy on Derby day in terms of having the inside track and having such an easy unpressured lead the 2nd half of the race. When the heat cranks up and the pace is a lot faster, can Noble Indy stay in the kitchen?
    • Noble Indy's pedigree gives mixed signals about being able to handle the 1 1/4 mile distance. His daddy Take Charge Indy is an up and coming sire with plenty of distance pedigree in his bloodlines. But his mama was a stone-cold sprinter who never won going a distance longer than 6.5 furlongs (a little over 3/4 of a mile). So is Noble Indy capable of holding off 19 other horses at 1 1/4 miles after barely being able to do so at 1 1/8 miles?


    Noble Indy has the potential to improve going forward and has done very little wrong thus far, but the history of Kentucky Derby winners coming out of the Louisiana Derby and John Velasquez preferring to ride a different Pletcher horse in the Derby are serious red flags.

    LONE SAILOR
    Is Lone Sailor ever going to take that next step? Does he have that break through race that can make him a major Derby contender? He came agonizingly close to that break through in the Louisiana Derby, and looks like he's improved the past couple races. But between the bad track record of Louisiana Derby qualifiers in Kentucky and all the "near misses" already, it makes me wonder if "he is who he is"? You'll get very generous odds if you think he's capable of taking that next step.
    POSITIVES
    • 8 career starts: 5 top-3 finishes (1 win). Has 2 consecutive 2nd-place finishes (including the close finish in the Louisiana Derby).
    • Trained by Tom Amoss, who is one of the leading trainers at Churchill Downs annually. Amoss has won 2 Churchill Downs training titles (most wins at a race meet), so he has intimate knowledge on what it takes to win at that track. The horse will be training in his own backyard.
    • The horse has run in Kentucky, New York and Louisiana effectively. He should have no problem carrying over his Louisiana success to Churchill Downs. In 2 starts at Churchill Downs he has a 2nd place finish.
    • Unlike so many of his Kentucky Derby competitors, not only has he run on a wet/muddy surface, he won doing so.
    • Has beaten Kentucky Derby competitors Bravazo (twice) and My Boy Jack.
    • One of the things a lot of experts like to look at in evaluating a horse's chances in doing well in the Derby, is how much "foundation" he has. When they say "foundation", they mean has he raced enough times to build up his stamina, maturity, race sense, etc. Lone Sailor definitely has the foundation. He raced 5 times at age 2, and 3 times this year (everyone turns 3 on January 1st).
    • His rider is James Graham, who is a leading rider at Churchill Downs annually. His specialty is getting horses to settle in behind the leaders early and timing their closing moves well. His familiarity with the Churchill surface definitely helps.
    • The horse has a good mid-pack/closing running style that can have him sitting as close as 3-4 lengths off the lead in the early stages of the race, or a little further back. This running style gives him a tactical advantage over some of the other late-running back-of-the-pack closers. He'll most likely be ahead of them but can still come with the same type of strong finishing run needed to pass front-runners and win the Derby.
    • When talking about the traffic issues that the Kentucky Derby causes- At least Lone Sailor has run against some fairly large fields to experience what the Kentucky Derby traffic jam might be like (compared to others in the Derby): There's only been 1 race where he ran against fewer than 8 opponents. In 5 of his last 6 races, the field sizes were 10, 13, 14, 10 and 11 horses.


    NEGATIVES
    • He only has 1 career win, and it came over a sloppy surface. So he has no wins over a fast/dry track. He hasn't won since September last year. The only race he won was under a mile in distance.
    • He had every chance to put away Noble Indy in the Louisiana Derby and couldn't do it. Did he tire out? Is he just not good enough? He's gonna have to find away to get an extra closing punch in the Derby.
    • What was also concerning about his stretch run- he found a seam on the inside part of the track (right outside of Noble Indy). So he didn't lose much ground on the turn and he still couldn't find enough punch to win. When he makes his closing run in the Kentucky Derby, he'll likely be much wider due to traffic. So he'll likely lost more ground on the turn while having to run further than ever before. Can he find the extra kick to overcome those factors?
    • Plenty of Derby contenders have beaten him. Enticed, Free Drop Billy, Promises Fulfilled and Bravazo beat him in races last year. In addition to Noble Indy beating him in the Louisiana Derby, Instilled Regard smoked Lone Sailor in the Lecomte Stakes back in January at Fairgrounds. Lone Sailer looks to be improving lately, but he needs to improve a lot.
    • There have been so many hyped horses to come out of Fairgrounds/Louisiana Derby over the years, AND THEY'VE PRETTY MUCH ALL FAILED IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY. Grindstone in 1996 was the last horse to win the Louisiana Derby, and then win in Kentucky. Before him, you have to go back decades to find another horse that won both races. That's a lot of history for Noble Indy, Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack to buck.
    • What if the front-runners are able to slow the pace down enough that they've conserved enough energy to keep running strong throughout the race? "Pace makes the race" applies equally to closers too (horses coming from behind). If they don't have a hot, fast pace to run into, it makes it so much more difficult for them to pass the front-runners.


    It seems like Lone Sailor is pretty good at teasing big success. But so far it's just a tease. But the Louisiana Derby shows how close he is. The odds will be mighty juicy on him if you think he's finally gonna take that big next step.

    MY BOY JACK
    Does he win the Louisiana Derby if he doesn't go so wide around the final turn? Probably. That's an encouraging sign if he can clean that up and maybe make his move a little sooner. The problem is he might have to go that wide again in the Kentucky Derby if he has to pass 19 other horses. Will have have enough punch and enough time to be a factor in Kentucky?

    POSITIVES
    • 10 career starts: 8 top-3 finishes (3 wins). In his last 3 starts: 2 wins and a 3rd. He seems to be entering the Kentucky Derby in top form.
    • Won his lone wet track start, winning the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn back in February.
    • My Boy Jack is trained by Keith Desormeaux. He's a top trainer on the southern California racing circuit and trained Exaggerator to a 2nd place finish in the Kentucky Derby in 2016 (and went onto win the Preakness).
    • My Boy Jack's jockey is Keith's brother, hall of famer Kent Desormeaux. Kent has won 3 Kentucky Derbies: 1998, 2000 and 2008. He's ridden My Boy Jack in his last 6 starts.
    • He may have the strongest closing kick in the entire Kentucky Derby field. He's made a habit of sitting at or towards the back of the pack and making big sweeping closing moves where he's able to blow by horses late in races. As shown in the Louisiana Derby video, he's so far behind that he doesn't even enter the screen until the final turn. Once he does, he's able to get past them with ease.
    • He beat Derby contenders Bravazo and Combatant in previous races.
    • The horse has sneaky breeding. His daddy is Creative Cause who finished 5th in the Kentucky Derby and 3rd in the Preakness in 2012. His mama is a Mineshaft baby. Mineshaft was the 2003 Horse of the Year. In 9 Races that year he won 7 of them, all at distances of 1 1/8 miles or longer. So My Boy Jack has the pedigree to run for days.
    • In 7 of his last 8 races, he's had a taste of what traffic and bigger field sizes are like. 10-10-10-14-10-14-10 were the field sizes.


    NEGATIVES
    • My Boy Jack flies around the turn in the Louisiana Derby, and looks like he's gonna blow by the competition to an easy win. Except he didn't. He couldn't pass either Lone Sailor or Noble Indy. I think the main reason for this was how wide he went around the turn. He lost so much ground to his competition that it ate up too much energy. He's probably gonna have a similar very wide trip in the Derby. The Louisiana Derby doesn't give me confidence that he'll be able to pass a much more talented field going a longer distance in Kentucky.
    • For My Boy Jack, he might literally have to pass 19 other horses to win the race. Sometimes I do a little bit of generalizing when I say a horse is a "back-of-the-pack closer" or something similar to that. With My Boy Jack, it's not an exaggeration. In his last 3 races he's been at or near the back of the pack early on. That's a lot of traffic to weave in and out of, and to probably swing extra wide of coming for home in the Kentucky Derby.
    • What if the front-runners are able to slow the pace down enough that they've conserved enough energy to keep running strong throughout the race? "Pace makes the race" applies equally to closers too (horses coming from behind). If they don't have a hot, fast pace to run into, it makes it so much more difficult for them to pass the front-runners.
    • Not only did Noble Indy and Lone Sailor beat him in the Louisiana Derby, but he lost to Mendelssohn in a race last year.
    • Keith Desormeaux is based in Southern California. Until January, My Boy Jack had only run at Southern California tracks. Why ship him elsewhere to run? Santa Anita has a few Derby preps. Was Desormeaux trying to avoid the big dogs at home?
    • There have been so many hyped horses to come out of Fairgrounds/Louisiana Derby over the years, AND THEY'VE PRETTY MUCH ALL FAILED IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY. Grindstone in 1996 was the last horse to win the Louisiana Derby, and then win in Kentucky. Before him, you have to go back decades to find another horse that won both races. That's a lot of history for Noble Indy, Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack to buck.


    In the past few years there's been a hard-charging horse that comes from the clouds to finish in the top 2 in the Kentucky Derby. My Boy Jack fits the profile in so many ways and will be at really good odds. But he can't flatten out and run out of gas like he did in the Louisiana Derby if he's the horse to do so.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:19 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Unhappy Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Arkansas Derby
    Date: April 14, 2018
    Location: Oaklawn (Hot Springs, Arkansas)
    Distance: 1 1/8 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #16 Magnum Moon Winner 6-1 ML
    #17 Solomini 3rd Place 30-1 ML
    #20 Combatant 4th Place 30-1 ML

    MAGNUM MOON
    Magnum Moon has a lot of positive similarities to likely Kentucky Derby favorite Justify. They both share a strong statistic with the past 6 Derby winners, which really favors their chances. But they also have 135 years of history working squarely against them. Which will win out- recent trends, or many examples in the past 130+ years that says they can't win this race?
    POSITIVES
    • Magnum Moon is undefeated in 4 career starts.
    • The perfect record plays into the recent trend of the past 6 Kentucky Derby winners: All were undefeated in their 3 year old seasons. As mentioned in the introductory post, all horses turn 3 on January 1st (regardless of their actual birthdays).
    • Trained by future Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher. If all 4 of Pletcher's Kentucky Derby qualifiers make it to the race, he'll pass trainer D. Wayne Lukas' all-time record for most horses entered in the Derby (currently Lukas has 48, Pletcher 48). He won the Kentucky Derby last year with Always Dreaming and in 2010 with Super Saver. Pletcher also trains Derby qualifiers Noble Indy, Audible and Vino Rosso.
    • The horse has shown impressive versatility in his wins. As shown in the youtube clip, he went straight to the lead and never looked back winning wire to wire. What impressed me about this win is he was pressured by other horses vying for the lead the whole race, and in the final turn he burst in front of them and crushed from there. In his race prior to the Arkansas Derby, he sat a couple of (horse) lengths off the front-runners and blew past them for an easy, dominant win when they tired out. There's the potential for plenty of horses in the Derby field that will want the lead. If it gets a little hot up front, his versatility to sit off the lead early will greatly help his chances. A lot of horses "need the lead" and they'll go as fast as possible early to get it (but will also expend too much energy too early doing so). Magnum Moon doesn't need the lead.
    • He has won races both in Florida and Arkansas, which means he can probably ship anywhere and run well.
    • His daddy is Malibu Moon, who is also the father of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. His mama is an Unbridled's Song mare. Unbridled's Song had produced many champions over the years before he passed away in 2013. Top-class pedigree for both distance and speed.
    • Pletcher's 2 main jockeys John Velasquez and Javier Castellano have been playing musical saddles with the various Pletcher Derby horses over the past few months. It's easy to see why with glut of talented horses Pletcher provides for their rides. But of the many talented horses Pletcher has in the Kentucky Derby this year, jockey Luis Saez has been Magnum Moon's rider from the start. Saez is a very talented rider who had his best year in 2017 by money earned. Pletcher is not messing with what's worked so well thus far and keeping Saez aboard.
    • Easily beaten Derby contenders Solomini and Combatant 2 races in a row.


    NEGATIVES
    • The dreaded "Curse of Apollo". Not since Apollo in 1882 has a horse that was un-raced at age 2 won the Derby. I mentioned above that Magnum Moon has raced 4 times. But all 4 races were in 2018. All horses turn age 3 on January 1st (for racing purposes). Since he didn't run last year, it means by horse racing standards he didn't run at age 2. He's done little wrong thus far in his young career, but 135 years of history is working against him (but streaks and records are made to be broken... eventually, right?)
    • Speaking of Pletcher: Even with all of those Derby contenders over the years- before last year he only had 1 win to show for it. Did the win last year with Always Dreaming end the futility, or was it a blip on the radar? Winning 2 Kentucky Derbies is an amazing accomplishment, but for all the horses he's had in the race, it's a pretty dismal record.
    • "Pace makes the race" will be a statement that I will repeat over and over again in this beginner guide. Even though he was pressured on the lead in the early stages of the Arkansas Derby, he was able to set a very slow pace. Horses that run on the front end need to slow it down as much as possible to conserve their energy throughout the race. Mission accomplished in the Arkansas Derby. The slow pace contributed to Solomini and Combatant never able to make up much ground on Magnum Moon. It won't be that way in the Kentucky Derby. Multiple horses will be vying for the early lead, which means the heat will get cranked up. They'll be going faster in the earlier stages and expending more energy early on. Can Magnum Moon handle the heat while running further than he's ever had to before?
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    Magnum Moon has a perfect record and is versatile enough to take whatever the Kentucky Derby field throws at him and still be effective. But that's 135 years of history that he has to buck against the most talented field of horses he's ever run against.

    SOLOMINI
    Solomini had the excuse of a slow pace in the Arkansas Derby. It gives you hope that he has the chance to greatly improve when the pace is much faster on Derby day. But there's no way around it- He's been dusted by Magnum Moon 2 races in a row.
    POSITIVES
    • 6 Career Starts: 6 top-3 finishes (1 win).
    • Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. Baffert has won 4 Kentucky Derbies, most recently in 2015 when American Pharoah swept the Triple Crown Races. He also trains likely Kentucky Derby favorite Justify.
    • His daddy is Curlin. Curlin finished 3rd in the Kentucky Derby, won the Preakness, and ended up becoming North America's all-time leading money-winner (until 2 horses recently broke his record in the past year). He won over $10million in his racing career. Breeding/pedigree give him a good chance to handle the Kentucky Derby distance. Curlin is also the daddy of Derby contenders Good Magic and Vino Rosso. His mama is a Storm Cat mare. Storm Cat had a modest racing career, but from the late 90s-mid 2000's his offspring were so successful that he was the most expensive sire during that time. For multiple years it cost $500,000 to make babies with him. His babies could win at any distance on any surface.
    • His rider is talented young Southern California-based jockey Flavien Prat. He's only rode regularly in the U.S. since 2015, and in that time he's taken the Southern California racing scene by storm. In the past year he's rode in major stakes race and race meets out east, so he's becoming more and more relied upon to pilot quality horses regardless of where they run. In his first ever Kentucky Derby ride, he finished 3rd on Battle of Midway last year.
    • Solomini has a stalking running style, which usually sits him a couple of (horse) lengths off the front runners early in the race. This running style gives him 1st run at the early leaders in a race while avoiding a lot of the traffic that a lot of the other closers will have. In the Arkansas Derby his running style was a little bit neutralized by the slow pace and that he raced extremely wide throughout. He'll probably have a faster pace to target in the Kentucky Derby, which should help him.
    • He's run races both in California and Arkansas. As I've mentioned with Justify and Bolt d'Oro, until they run outside of California, you don't know if they're capable of doing so effectively. Since Solomini has 2 very solid finishes in Arkansas, it indicates that he can ship anywhere and run to his top potential.
    • Has beat Derby contenders Bolt d'oro and Combatant (twice) in previous races.


    NEGATIVES
    • Slow pace or not, Magnum Moon has beaten Solomini easily in their last 2 races. Solomini has also been beaten Derby contenders by Good Magic, Bolt d'Oro and Instilled Regard in previous races.
    • Does Solomini want to run any further than he already has? He only has 1 win, and it came at a race distance of 6.5 furlongs (a little more than 3/4 of a mile). He's been positioned beautifully to win races, but has lacked that closing punch to put his competitors away.
    • He hasn't won a race since September 2017.
    • The race trip he got in the Arkansas Derby is likely to be similar in Kentucky. He may have a faster pace to target, but with 19 other horses in the race he'll likely be racing wide around turns again. Can he find extra energy to overcome racing wide around turns and running 1/8 mile further than ever before? He'll have to show more than he did in Arkansas if so.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    Solomini has been positioned beautifully going into the final stretch of races to do some serious damage. With all the potential traffic a 20-horse field can provide, this is a huge advantage. But he hasn't seemed to follow through with that final big kick to put him over the top of his competition. If you think he has the potential to show an extra gear late in the Derby, you'll get great odds to take a chance on him.

    COMBATANT
    As much of a disadvantage as it was for Solomini to overcome how the Arkansas Derby played out, it was even more tough on Combatant. Trying to make up ground on the early leaders when the pace is that slow is almost impossible for a closer like Combatant. He somehow managed to make a strong run from behind in the Arkansas Derby, and this should help him when he has a faster pace to deal with in Kentucky. Just like Solomini, Magnum Moon has easily beaten Combatant twice. Can Combatant close from the clouds and turn the tables?
    POSITIVES
    • 7 Starts: 5 Top-3 finishes (1 win). All of his races have been at 1 mile or longer.
    • Trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. He has trained many Kentucky Derby contenders and has won 2 Preaknesses and a Belmont Stakes. He's a top trainer at Churchill Downs every year.
    • His jockey will be top Churchill rider Ricardo Santana Jr. He's been the jockey for Combatant's flast 6 races and his only win.
    • His lone win was in a race at Churchill Downs.
    • His dad is Scat Daddy, who is was one of the top sires in the game before unexpectedly passing away back in 2015. Scat Daddy ran in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He's also the dad of Kentucky Derby contenders Mendelssohn and Justify. His mama is a Boundary Mare. Boundary is the dad of 2008 Derby winner Big Brown. He has a very good stamina pedigree.
    • He'll be near the back of the pack early in races, and come with a big run late. The video above shows what he's capable of. Pace makes the race, and for closers they need a fast pace to get past the early leaders that expend their energy too soon. He was running behind a very slow pace and still managed to have a strong closing move. The pace in the Derby should be a lot faster and favorable for his running style.
    • He obviously doesn't mind having a little mud kicked in his face. His lone start on a wet track he had a solid 2nd place finish in the Southwest Stakes.
    • In 6 of his 7 races, he's had a taste of what traffic and bigger field sizes are like. 9-10-10-12-12-12 were the field sizes.


    NEGATIVES
    • As the competition has gotten stronger and the distances have increased, he's had his 3 worst defeats in his last 3 starts. Magnum Moon has easily beat him twice in their last 2 races. He couldn't find a way to pass Solomini in his last 2 races. Derby Contender My Boy Jack, another hard charging closer easily beat him 3 races ago. Combatant has had some solid results as of late, but he hasn't come close to touching the winner in any of them. He needs to be better.
    • He hasn't won a race since October.
    • Steve Asmussen has done about everything he could possibly accomplish in his impressive hall-of-fame training career... except win a Kentucky Derby. It's a win that continues to elude him.
    • The horses that end up at the back of the back early in races are the one that encounter the most traffic issues. There's a good chance he'll be behind most of his 19 competitors early in the Derby. That's a lot of traffic to weave in and out of, and to probably swing extra wide of coming for home in the Kentucky Derby.
    • What if the front-runners are able to slow the pace down enough that they've conserved enough energy to keep running strong throughout the race? "Pace makes the race" applies equally to closers too (horses coming from behind). If they don't have a hot, fast pace to run into, it makes it so much more difficult for them to pass the front-runners.
    • Not being able to at least pass Solomini in their last 2 races cost him an entry into the Kentucky Derby. He's only in the race due a few others that qualified ahead of him dropping out last minute.


    Like My Boy Jack, Combatant seems like a hard charging closer that could really make a lot of noise if he gets a pace melt-down in front of him. But does he want the added distance, while being able to navigate through a bunch of traffic to make his big move? His recent efforts make that very questionable.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:17 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Wood Memorial
    Date: April 7, 2018
    Location: Aqueduct (Ozone Park, NY)
    Distance: 1 1/8 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #18 Vino Rosso Winner 12-1 ML
    #12 Enticed 2nd Place 30-1 ML
    #1 Firenze Fire 4th Place 50-1 ML(Covered in the Jerome post)

    VINO ROSSO
    That was a pretty impressive win for Vino Rosso in the Wood. A repeat of that performance and he's dangerous in the Derby. The concern was what happened in his 2 races in Florida prior to the Wood. Those efforts won't be good enough in Kentucky.
    POSITIVES
    • 5 Career Starts: 3 wins and a 3rd.
    • Trained by future Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher. If all 4 of Pletcher's Kentucky Derby qualifiers make it to the race, he'll pass trainer D. Wayne Lukas' all-time record for most horses entered in the Derby (currently Lukas has 48, Pletcher 48). He won the Kentucky Derby last year with Always Dreaming and in 2010 with Super Saver. Pletcher also trains Derby qualifiers Noble Indy, Audible and Magnum Moon.
    • Hall of Famer John Velasquez has been playing musical saddles with most of the Pletcher Derby qualifiers all spring. But the 1 constant has been Vino Rosso. He's ridden Vino Rosso in every start. For him to stick with Vino over the other Pletcher options is a big positive. It shows that at least in Velasquez's opinion, Vino gives him the best chance to win the Derby. Velasquez rode Always Dreaming to last year's Kentucky Derby win, and rode 2011 winner Animal Kingdom as well.
    • Vino Rosso has won races in both Florida and New York. It's a good indication that he can ship to Kentucky and run well.
    • The way Vino Rosso won the Wood Memorial he showed that he could adapt to being much further back than normal and still run a top race. In past races he's been much closer to the lead. A stalking/press the lead type horse. In this race he was way back early on, but steadily moved up on the back stretch before taking over on the final turn. In a race with 19 other horses, the chances are pretty good that he might be mid-pack or towards the back of the field early on. The Wood Memorial shows that this shouldn't be an issue for him.
    • His daddy is Curlin. Curlin finished 3rd in the Kentucky Derby in 2007, won the Preakness, and ended up becoming North America's all-time leading money-winner (until 2 horses recently broke his record in the past couple years). He won over $10million in his racing career. His mama is a Street Cry mare. Street Cry is the daddy of Street Sense, who won the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Breeding/pedigree give him a good chance to handle the Kentucky Derby distance.
    • Has beaten Derby contenders Enticed and Firenze Fire in prior races


    NEGATIVES
    • His 2 worst races came in Derby prep races in Florida. He finished 3rd in the Sam F. Davis Stakes and then 4th in the Tampa Bay Derby.
    • There hasn't been a Wood Memorial runner go onto win the Kentucky Derby since 2003 (Funny Cide). A lot of this may be due to the horses that run in New York in the winter/spring are usually slightly lower caliber. A lot of the prominent/top horsemen in New York ship their best horses to Florida to race in the winter/spring. Did Pletcher ship him to New York after the disappointing results in Tampa because he didn't think Vino could hang with the big dogs down there?
    • Lost to Kentucky Derby contender Flameaway twice in those Tampa races.
    • Speaking of Pletcher: Even with all of those Derby contenders over the years- before last year he only had 1 win to show for it. Did the win last year with Always Dreaming end the futility, or was it a blip on the radar? Winning 2 Kentucky Derbies is an amazing accomplishment, but for all the horses he's had in the race, it's a pretty dismal record.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.
    • The way he sat back and came running late in the Wood might also be his downfall in Kentucky. Does he really wanna weave in/out/around 19 other competitors in the Derby if he's sitting close to the back of the pack early in the race? That's a lot of traffic to overcome.


    His Wood performance looked great. Was it his breakout performance and a sign of things to come, or did he beat up on inferior competition? The Florida races are cause for concern, but if you think the Wood is just the tip of the iceberg for him, you'll get pretty good betting value to back him on Derby Day.

    ENTICED
    Enticed has been a mixed bag in his 3 starts this year after being a monster as a 2 year old. Decent in the Wood, great in the race before, not good enough in Florida. Kinda sounds like... Vino Rosso? So which Enticed shows up in Kentucky? There are plenty of signs that he can improve on the Wood effort, but he'll definitely have to to have a chance in the Derby.
    POSITIVES
    • 6 Career Starts: 3 wins, 5 out of 6 starts were in the top 3.
    • The horse is very well bred. His daddy is Medaglia d'Oro, who is one of the top sires in the game annually (it costs $250k to make babies with him). He finished 4th in the Kentucky Derby 2002. His mama was the monster race mare It's Tricky. She won multiple stakes races at a distance 1 1/8 miles and earned $1.4mil in her career. It's Tricky is a Mineshaft baby. Mineshaft was the 2003 Horse of the Year. In 9 Races that year he won 7 of them, all at distances of 1 1/8 miles or longer. Long and the short of it- Enticed should be able to run all day.
    • His trainer is top New York conditioner Kiaran McLaughlin. He trained 2006 Belmont Stakes (the 3rd race in the Triple Crown) winner Jazil. He's the main U.S.-based trainer for Sheik Mohhamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's (the ruler of Dubai) Godolphin stable. Godolphin is one of the top racing stables/ownership groups in the world. They spare no expense in buying the best horses at auction, and breeding the best horses as well. Godolphin has leading racing stables in the U.S., Europe, Dubai and Australia. Their horses have won major races everywhere from Japan to Canada to Hong Kong and everywhere in between. They've had multiple Kentucky Derby contenders in the past.
    • Enticed has a stalking running style, which usually sits him a couple of (horse) lengths off the front runners early in the race. This running style gives him 1st run at the early leaders in a race while avoiding a lot of the traffic that a lot of the other closers will have. That's exactly what happened in the Wood, and it was pretty effective. Being well-placed close to the lead should minimize traffic issues for him.
    • In his very first career race, he won a muddy surface. So if it rains or the track is sloppy, there is a past race that shows he can get a little mud kicked in his face and still run well.
    • Last November he won the prestigious Kentucky Jockey Club stakes race as a 2 year old. That race took place at Churchill Downs. So he has a win over the Churchill Downs racing surface.
    • In the Kentucky Jockey Club stakes, he beat Derby contenders Promises Fulfilled, Lone Sailor and Bravazo. He's also beaten Derby contenders Free Drop Billy and Firenze Fire (twice) in past races.
    • In his last race before the Wood, he won the Gotham Stakes also at Aqueduct (where he beat Free Drop Billy and Firenze Fire). The race is considered a prep race to the Wood, meaning if you do good enough in the Gotham, try again in the Wood. The Gotham win was a strong, convincing victory, which also gave him enough points to qualify for the Derby regardless of result in the Wood. Was his Wood effort at 100%? Winning the Wood is nice, but Godolphin/McLaughlin's main goal is the Derby and having him in peak shape for that race.


    NEGATIVES
    • Regardless of Godolphin's intentions for Enticed in the Wood, Vino Rosso beat him easily. Enticed will have to be better than he was in the Wood to have a chance in Kentucky.
    • Enticed has the same knock against him as Vino Rosso does as far as having a poor showing in a race in Florida. Gulfstream Park has 3 derby preps: The Holy Bull, the Fountain of Youth, and the Florida Derby (which run about a month apart from each other so Gulfstream-based horses can run in all 3). He raced in the Holy Bull (the first of the 3). It was his first race back off a 2-month layoff (break from racing). He finished 4th in that race and was beaten by 14 (horse) lengths. In that race Derby contenders Audible and Free Drop Billy beat him easily.
    • There hasn't been a Wood Memorial runner go onto win the Kentucky Derby since 2003 (Funny Cide). A lot of this may be due to the horses that run in New York in the winter/spring are usually slightly lower caliber. A lot of the prominent/top horsemen in New York ship their best horses to Florida to race in the winter/spring. Did McLaughlin/Godolphin ship him to New York immediately after the Holy Bull dud because they thought he couldn't hang with the big dogs in Florida?
    • In addition to losses to Audible and Free Drop Billy in the Holy Bull, he lost to Vino Rosso in the Wood, and to Firenze Fire and Good Magic in previous races.
    • Godolphin has had loads of Kentucky Derby futility, mainly due to the previous Derby qualified horses stabled/qualifying in Dubai. Their best Kentucky Derby finisher was 4th place with U.S.-based horse Frosted in 2015. McLaughlin trained Frosted and that is his best finish in a Kentucky Derby as well. Derby success is about the only thing that has eluded Godolphin and McLaughlin.
    • Enticed was well positioned to win the Wood, and didn't have that knockout punch to get the job done. He was clear in 2nd early in the race, running along the inner rail (so he had the inside track). Vino Rosso who ran much wider around the track still was much stronger while giving up ground to Enticed. That does not bode well for Enticed especially since they have to run 1/8 mile further in the Derby.


    If you're of the belief that Enticed wasn't fully cranked up to win the Wood, and he'll be at 100% effort in the Derby, the way he positions himself in races makes him dangerous. But he'll have to be all that much better to turn the tables on Vino Rosso and have any kind of chance in the Derby. Mixed signals, but the odds will be right to take a chance on him.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:16 AM.
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    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    got a meeting at Santa Anita with Ed Martinez on Tues. It'll be nice to see that beautiful mountain view again. FIlmed Seabiscuit there.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    Everyone hypes up Del Mar, which is a very nice track. But IMO Santa Anita is nicer. Not just the amazing mountain view, but the layout is pretty awesome. Love the open-air feel with it.

    Who is Ed Martinez?
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Bluegrass Stakes
    Date: April 7, 2018
    Location: Keeneland (Lexington, KY)
    Distance: 1 1/8 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #6 Good Magic Winner 12-1 ML
    #4 Flameaway 2nd 30-1 ML
    #2 Free Drop Billy 3rd 30-1 ML

    GOOD MAGIC
    Good Magic has been a pretty consistent performer, and the Bluegrass win is definitely an encouraging sign that he could run big at Churchill. The main concern with him is the same as Derby contenders Vino Rosso and Enticed- why did they try giving up on qualifying in Florida so soon? There's also 25+ years of history that Good Magic is fighting in his attempt to win the Derby.
    POSITIVES
    • 5 Career Starts: He's never finished worse than 3rd (2 wins).
    • Trained by Chad Brown, who is arguably the best trainer in the game right now. He dominates the New York and Florida racing circuits. Wherever he ships his horses to run, they're always to a major threat to win.
    • Due to Chad Brown's recent dominance, he has owners that are willing to spend top dollar at auctions. Good Magic is no exception, as he was bought for $1mil! The reason for this absurdly high-priced purchase is due to his regal bloodlines. His daddy is Curlin. Curlin finished 3rd in the Kentucky Derby in 2007, won the Preakness, and ended up becoming North America's all-time leading money-winner (until 2 horses recently broke his record in the past couple years). He won over $10million in his racing career. Curlin is also the sire of Derby contenders Vino Rosso and Solomini. Good Magic's mama is a Hard Spun mare. Hard Spun finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby, and 3rd in the Preakness in 2007. Hard Spun was famous for carrying a ridiculous amount of speed over very long distances. So not only does Good magic have great stamina bloodlines, there's plenty of speed in that pedigree as well.
    • Talented up-and-coming rider Jose Ortiz has ridden Good Magic in every race. He's been borderline dominant on the New York and Florida racing circuits the past few years.
    • Good Magic has thrived sitting 2 or 3 lengths off the early leaders and blowing past them going into the final stretch. The Bluegrass was no exception. He positions himself well to have first run at the early leaders and not encounter too much traffic doing so.
    • He won the most prestigious 2 year old race: the Breeder's Cup Juvenile last November at Del Mar in California. This is important because it's means he won races in California and Kentucky, while also having solid efforts in New York and Florida. Shows he can ship anywhere and run big.
    • In that Breeder's Cup win, he beat Derby contenders Solomini, Bolt d'Oro, Firenze Fire and Free Drop Billy. He beat Free Drop Billy again in the Bluegrass and Flameaway. He also beat Derby contender Enticed in a stakes race last year. This horse has run against top competition all along and definitely held his own.
    • The Bluegrass Stakes may have offered Good Magic some experience in what Derby traffic might be like. There were 14 horses in the Bluegrass. That's as many as any of the other Kentucky Derby contenders have faced in their respective races. On top of that, Good Magic was horse #11 in the race, meaning there were 10 horses positioned inside of him at the beginning of the race. He got off to a quick start so he was able to put himself in good position early. This will be key to his chances in the Kentucky Derby.


    NEGATIVES
    • The Bluegrass Stakes is a very prestigious Kentucky Derby prep race that owners/trainers all try to win. Yet somehow the winner/participants of the Bluegrass Stakes haven't gone onto win the Kentucky Derby since Strike the Gold did it in 1991! That's quite the drought.
    • Did he really put Flameaway to bed in the Bluegrass? He passed Flameaway on the final turn, but Flameaway was stubborn and wouldn't let Good Magic pull away from him. He needs to show a stronger closing kick, because even if he gets his head in front in the final stretch of the Kentucky Derby, there will plenty of hard-charging closers running at him late in the race. I'm not sure if that stretch run holds them off.
    • Whether it's fair or not, Chad Brown is starting to get pegged as a Turf (grass racing) specialist. Frankly he's the top trainer in the game when it comes to grass horses. His win percentages on dirt are very good, but the one glaring hole in his resume is he's never had a big-time dirt runner. He finally got his first Triple Crown race winner last year when Cloud Computing won the Preakness. It's tough to tell if that win was a fluke or a sign that he's finally figuring out how to win on all surfaces.
    • In Good Magic's first race of 2018, he was coming off a 4 month layoff (rest, break from racing) in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream. He was a well-beaten 3rd (beaten by 4 lengths) in that race to Derby contender Promises Fulfilled. It was the worst racing result of his career.
    • Good Magic might've needed that race to shake off the rust from the layoff. Horses sometimes need more than 1 race coming back from a layoff to get back to peak conditioning to run their best race. Why did Chad Brown give up on Gulfstream and running back in the Florida Derby? Brown/Good Magic were based there all winter/spring, yet he decides to ship Good Magic to Keeneland in Kentucky instead? Did he not want to race against Promises Fulfilled again? Audible as well? The move to Kentucky smells like he was trying to duck top competition.
    • In addition to losing to Promises Fulfilled, he lost to Derby contender Firenze Fire in a prior stakes race.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    Good Magic has been so consistent and beaten a lot of the top Kentucky Derby contenders in previous races. Bluegrass qualifiers have had a bad record in the Kentucky Derby in the past 25 years, with Chad Brown's record in Triple Crown races being just about as bad. Good Magic is capable of bucking these bad trends, but it's a tough task.

    FLAMEAWAY
    That was a gutsy effort from Flameaway in the Bluegrass. To do all the dirty work on the front-end in the Bluegrass and hang on for 2nd place was big. If he plans on vying for the early lead in the Kentucky Derby, he should be able to avoid most of the traffic issues that others will deal with. Can he find the stamina/endurance to stretch that speed out an extra 1/8 mile against the toughest competition he's ever faced? If you think he's got that in him, you'll be rewarded if you're right. He'll be one of the longer shots on the board in the Kentucky Derby.
    POSITIVES
    • 9 Career Starts: 5 wins, 2 2nd-place finishes. The horse seems to have a nose for the winners circle. 4 starts in 2018: 2 wins, 2 2nds
    • He's trained by Mark Casse, who has successful racing operations everywhere from Canada to Florida, including at Churchill Downs. This means Casse should be able to train this horse at Churchill in the weeks leading up to the race.
    • The horse has won everywhere from Canada to New York to Kentucky to Florida. You can ship him anywhere and he'll bring his "A" game.
    • In watching the video, you can see that he was in a pace battle throughout the race. He buried his early competitor and still showed the guts to give Good Magic everything he had while holding off the late-running closers. For front-runners it's not just a matter of being able to set a slow pace (to conserve energy) to be successful. It's also about how easy you're able to get the lead. If other horses are vying for the lead with you, that extra pace pressure usually wears horses down. Flameaway seemed to overcome that and still run strong.
    • Does he need the lead? In previous races he's sat a couple lengths off the early leaders and won/finished 2nd. Having that kind of versatility could greatly help his chances in Kentucky.
    • If it rains on Derby day, he has 2 wins on wet/sloppy/muddy tracks. What's also interesting about these wins is he wasn't the early leader in either of those wins. Not only can he win if the track is muddy, but he can also handle getting mud kicked in his face and still running well.
    • His dad is Scat Daddy, who is was one of the top sires in the game before unexpectedly passing away back in 2015. Scat Daddy ran in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He's also the dad of Kentucky Derby contenders Mendelssohn, Justify and Combatant. His mama is a Fusaichi Pegasus mare. Fusaichi Pegasus won the 2000 Kentucky Derby. Major stamina bloodlines to go along with the speed that Flameaway possesses.
    • In addition to beating Free Drop Billy in the Bluegrass, he's beaten Vino Rosso twice in Florida.
    • He's run against 13 other horses in 3 previous races, winning 1 and finishing 2nd in another. Those fields were as big as what any other Kentucky Derby competitor has faced. It indicates that he should be able to avoid potential traffic issues that a lot of the rest of the Derby field will have to deal with.


    NEGATIVES
    • In addition to Good Magic beating him in the Bluegrass, Mendelssohn easily beat him in a race last year.
    • His front-running style makes him vulnerable to a pace duel. Whether he's setting the pace or sits right off the leaders, if they're going too fast early he'll expend too much energy that he needs for the final part of the race. There's a general saying in horse racing- "pace makes the race." For front-running horses, it's their job to get the lead, but to go as slow as possible while on the lead, so they can conserve their energy throughout the race. If too many horses go for the lead early, they usually speed up the pace trying to wrestle the lead from each other. When they do that, they've expended too much energy early on and horses come from behind have a better chance to pass them late in the race. So can he sit close to the lead without expending too much energy, running at the longest distance he's ever run before against by far the best competition he's ever faced?
    • Speaking of "pace makes the race", it was pretty ideal for a front-running horse in the Bluegrass. Getting anything close to 24 seconds for the opening quarter, 48 for the half, 1:12 for 3/4 is about as good as it gets for conserving energy and holding onto win. He looked to be getting pretty tired in the stretch and was passed. I don't see him being able to set such easy fractions in the Derby. The heat will definitely be cranked up. Can he endure it while running 1/8 mile further?
    • Did he really hold off Free Drop Billy in the Bluegrass, or did that crazy horse behind him that was swerving all over the track have more to do with it? As you can see in the Youtube clip, a horse named Sporting Chance gets alongside Flameaway in deep stretch then inexplicably swerves out to the middle of the track and blocks Free Drop Billy's run. It looks like both Sporting Chance and Free Drop Billy both had a chance to pass Flameaway.
    • The Bluegrass Stakes is a very prestigious Kentucky Derby prep race that owners/trainers all try to win. Yet somehow the winner/participants of the Bluegrass Stakes haven't gone onto win the Kentucky Derby since Strike the Gold did it in 1991! That's quite the drought.


    His versatility to go to the lead or sit right off of it and pounce are strong attributes. The question is how far he can carry that speed against top competition? The heat is about turn way up for him on the front-end, but the Bluegrass effort shows he has the guts to handle it. You'll get big odds on him if you think he can run and gun strong from start to finish.

    FREE DROP BILLY
    The Bluegrass performance for Free Drop Billy seems like a positive step compared to his last few races. Based on his 2018 races, he needs to take a big step forward to be a factor in the Derby outcome. I'll give you reasons why improvement is possible with him, but also balance that with his recent mediocre (at best) performances. He might be the longest shot on the board in Kentucky Derby.
    POSITIVES
    • 8 Career Starts: 7 Top-3 Finishes (2 Wins).
    • Trained by Dale Romans, who is at the top of Churchill Downs training standings every year. This horse was based at Churchill Downs last fall, so he's getting back to his familiar surroundings. Romans has trained plenty of Kentucky Derby contenders in the past. He's come really close to winning it: with a couple of 3rd place finishes in previous years. He trained 2011 Preakness (2nd leg of the Triple Crown) winner Shackleford. Romans also trains Derby contender Promises Fulfilled.
    • Romans is trying to re-conjure up the 2017 success of Free Drop Billy by going back to the Jockey that rode him in his first 4 starts last year: Robby Albarado. Albarado is the third-leading rider of all time at Churchill Downs, ranking behind only Hall of Famers Pat Day and Calvin Borel. He earned his 1,000th win at Churchill Downs on November 13, 2014. In 2008, he won the spring meet riding title with 73 wins. He has finished second in the standings seven times and in the top five 23 times. He rode massive longshot Golden Soul to a 2nd place finish in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
    • In Free Drop Billy's first 4 starts (in 2017, with Albarado aboard), he had 2 wins and 2 2nd-place finishes. He won his career debut at Churchill Downs.
    • He's beaten derby contenders Bravazo, Lone Sailor, Enticed and Firenze Fire in previous races.
    • His daddy is Union Rags, who won the 2012 Belmont Stakes (3rd race in the Triple Crown). His mama is a Giant's Causeway mare. Giant's Causeway finished 2nd in the 2000 Breeder's Cup Classic at 1 1/4 Miles. That race was run at Churchill Downs. So he has major stamina pedigree from both dad and mom.
    • Free Drop Billy had been sitting closer to the early lead in previous races, but in the Bluegrass he sat further back and looked to have a good closing kick. It's fair to speculate that maybe he passes Flameaway if he wasn't blocked/interfered with late in the Bluegrass. There will be plenty of tired out early leaders in the Derby that Free Drop Billy will have a chance to blow by late in the race.


    NEGATIVES
    • Here's the margins Free Drop Billy has been beaten by in his last 4 races: 9th place, beaten 29 (horse) lengths. 2nd Place, beaten 5 lengths. 3rd place, beaten 6 lengths. 3rd place beaten 4 lengths. With the exception of the horrid 9th place finish, it's usually not bad to finish 2nd or 3rd in a race. The problem is the gaps in which he's been beaten by. He's not barely losing races lately, he's not coming close. The Youtube clip of the Bluegrass shows as much.
    • Due to these mediocre efforts, a good chunk of the Kentucky Derby field has beaten him. Good Magic has easily beaten him twice, Flameaway, Enticed, Audible, Solomini, Bolt d'Oro, and Firenze Fire have beaten him in prior races.
    • Free Drop Billy actually finished 4th in the Bluegrass Stakes, and was moved up to 3rd after Sporting chance's crazy stretch run that ended up blocking him. It's debatable if Free Drop Billy ever would have passed Sporting Chance or Flameaway. He was running late but was slowly gaining at best on the top 3. If the new plan is for him to sit back and make a big run late, he hasn't proven that he has that "big run" in him.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions. There was a stakes race he placed 2nd in last year where the track was listed "good" instead of fast, but in watching the replay of that race the track looks fast/normal/dried out.
    • Jockey Irad Ortiz rode Free Drop Billy in the Bluegrass Stakes. He's chosen to ride Derby contender Hofburg in the Kentucky Derby... even though he's never rode Hofburg in a race before. In Ortiz's opinion, he thinks Hofburg gives him a better chance to win the Derby than Free Drop Billy does.
    • The Bluegrass Stakes is a very prestigious Kentucky Derby prep race that owners/trainers all try to win. Yet somehow the winner/participants of the Bluegrass Stakes haven't gone onto win the Kentucky Derby since Strike the Gold did it in 1991! That's quite the drought.


    There's no way around it- Free Drop Billy has to be better. The Bluegrass was his best effort in awhile, he gets Robby Albarado back on board who has ridden him to his best finishes, and Dale Romans has a way of getting the best out of his runners at Churchill. All things that point to a good performance in the Derby. But is he really capable of THAT MUCH improvement to be a factor in the Derby?
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:15 AM.
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    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    5/5/18 ~ Kentucky Derby (1 1/4M) Churchill Downs

    1. Firenze Fire (Mr. Amore Stable) Jason Servis/Paco Lopez (50-1)
    2. Free Drop Billy (Albaugh Family) Dale Romans/Robby Albarado (30-1)
    3. Promises Fulfilled (Robert Baron) Dale Romans/Corey Lanarie (30-1)
    4. Flameaway-$ (John Oxley) Mark Casse/Jose Lezcano (30-1)
    5. Audible (China Horse, Head/Plains, Starlight, WinStar) Todd Pletcher/Javier Castellano (8-1)
    6. Good Magic (e Five, Stonestreet) Chad Brown/Jose Ortiz (12-1)
    7. Justify (China Horse, Head/Plains, Starlight, WinStar) Bob Baffert/Mike Smith (3-1)
    8. Lone Sailor (G M B Racing) Tom Amoss/James Graham (50-1)
    9. Hofburg (Juddmonte) Bill Mott/Irad Ortiz Jr. (20-1)
    10. My Boy Jack (Don’t Tell My Wife, Monomoy) Keith Desormeaux/Kent Desormeaux (30-1)
    11. Bolt d’Oro (Ruis Racing) Mick Ruis/Victor Espinoza (8-1)
    12. Enticed (Godolphin) Kiaran McLaughlin/Junior Alvarado (30-1)
    13. Bravazo (Calumet Farm) D. Wayne Lukas/Luis Contreras (50-1)
    14. Mendelssohn (Coolmore) Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore (5-1)
    15. Instilled Regard (Oxo Equine/Larry Best) Jerry Hollendorfer/Drayden Van Dyke (50-1)
    16. Magnum Moon (Lawana & Robert Low) Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez (6-1)
    17. Solomini (Zayat Stables, Coolmore) Bob Baffert/Flavien Prat (30-1)
    18. Vino Rosso (Repole, St. Elias) Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez (12-1)
    19. Noble Indy (WinStar, Repole) Todd Pletcher/Florent Geroux (12-1)
    20. Combatant (Winchell, Willis Horton) Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana (30-1)
    AE (Alternate)-21. Blended Citizen-$ (Greg Hall, SAYJAY Racing/Steve Young) Doug O’Neill/Kyle Frey (50-1)
    Post Positions and Morning Line (predicted) odds are out!!! Will update every post done thus far accordingly and have just 4 horses left to profile. Hope to have it wrapped up by tonight/ very early tomorrow.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-01-2018 at 07:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Lecomte Stakes
    Date: January 13, 2018
    Location: Fairgrounds (New Orleans, LA)
    Distance: 1 Mile and 70 Yards

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #15 Instilled Regard Winner 50-1 ML
    #8 Lone Sailor 9th Place 50-1 ML (Covered in the Louisiana Derby post)

    INSTILLED REGARD
    I don't like going all the way back to January to show what a horse is capable of, but writing about Instilled Regard in the Santa Anita Derby post sells his potential short. His Santa Anita Derby effort gives him no chance to be a factor in Kentucky. His chances for major improvement in the Derby are based on a pretty basic horse racing principle known as "2nd off the layoff". He has a chance to make noise at massive odds in the Derby for that reason, but he'll definitely have to as his last 2 races aren't good enough to compete with the rest of the Derby field.

    POSITIVES
    • 7 Lifetime Starts: 5 Top-3 finishes (2 wins). He's never finished worse than 4th place in a race.
    • Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer. He's one of the best trainers in the game. He has over 7,000 wins in his career. Only 2 other trainers have accomplished that in U.S. Racing history. He was the trainer of 3rd-place finisher Battle of Midway in last year's Derby.
    • As the Youtube clip shows, this was a pretty impressive stakes win. He started mid-pack, but progressively moved up to the front as the race carried on. By the final turn he imposed his will on the rest of the field, and won comfortably.
    • He beat Derby Contender Lone Sailor in the Lecomte.
    • Instilled Regard normally has a stalking running style, which usually sits him a couple of (horse) lengths off the front runners early in the race. This running style gives him 1st run at the early leaders in a race while avoiding a lot of the traffic that a lot of the other closers will have. The Lecomte win was a good example of how he's thrived stalking the early pace-setters. I think his major downfall in the Santa Anita Derby is he found himself much further back early in the race than he wanted to. I think the goal will be to have him much closer to the lead in Kentucky.
    • He has something going for him that only Derby contender Audible can also claim: The Kentucky Derby will be his 2nd race coming off a layoff (break from racing). It's very common for horses to not be fully fit in their first race back from a layoff. The Santa Anita Derby was his first race in almost 2 months. Did he just need to shake off some rust? Horses usually significantly improve in their 2nd start off a layoff. Hollendorfer has very good stats with horses 2nd off the layoff, so definitely sells some hope that Instilled Regard could wake up and run big.
    • Before winning the Lecomte, he had only run races in California. Shipping to New Orleans and winning indicates that he should be able to handle shipping/running well in Kentucky.
    • He's very well bred. He was bought for over $1mil at auction. His daddy was Arch who never ran in the Derby, but won 5 of 7 races in his very brief career. His babies can run for days on both dirt and turf. He's the daddy of Breeder's Cup Classic winner Blame. It's run at the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles and up to last year was North America's richest horse race. Blame won the race at Churchill Downs.


    NEGATIVES
    • The Santa Anita Derby was a disaster. He needed a top-2 finish to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, and was trounced by likely Derby favorite Justify and Derby contender Bolt d'Oro. It took a couple of horses that qualified ahead of him (Including Gronk's horse lol) to withdraw from the Derby for him to get into the Derby field.
    • So we saw how he thrived in the Lecomte Stakes, right? Fairgrounds in New Orleans has a series of 3 Derby Prep (Qualifying) Races: The Lecomte in January, the Risen Star in February, and the Louisiana Derby in March. They're spaced by about 5 weeks to allow Fairgrounds-based horses to run in all 3 races. He ran the exact same way in the Risen Star as in the Lecomte. Except this time he didn't pass the horses in front of him: Derby Contenders Noble Indy and Bravazo.
    • Derby Contender Solomini also beat him in a previous race.
    • Hollendorfer is based in California. Before the Lecomte, Instilled Regard had only run races in California. Why ship him elsewhere to run? Santa Anita has a few Derby preps. Was Hollendorfer trying to avoid the big dogs at home? The poor performance in the Santa Anita Derby doesn't seem to erase those doubts.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    Long and the Short of it: If he runs like he did in the Lecomte he has a chance to run big in Kentucky. Anything similar to that dud he ran in the Santa Anita Derby dooms him. But due to that bad performance, you'll get huge odds if you're willing to risk betting on him.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:13 AM.
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Risen Star Stakes
    Date: February 17, 2018
    Location: Fairgrounds (New Orleans, LA)
    Distance: 1 1/16 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #13 Bravazo Winner 50-1 ML
    #19 Noble Indy 3rd Place 30-1 ML (Covered in the Louisiana Derby post)
    #15 Instilled Regard 4th Place 50-1 ML (Covered in the Lecomte post)

    BRAVAZO
    There are only 2 kinds of races Bravazo has run thus far in his career: Really good, and UGGGGGGLLLLLLLLYYYY. The Risen Star highlights the "really good" he's capable of. He ran in the Louisiana Derby after this and that was about as ugly as it gets. The good news: He's never run 2 "ugly", bad, terrible, etc. races in a row. The Risen Star version of Bravazo could do some serious damage in the Derby at monster odds.
    POSITIVES
    • 8 Career Starts: 5 Top-3 finishes (3 wins).
    • Bravazo has won and finished 3rd in 2 of the 3 times he's raced at Churchill Downs. So he has proven success over the Churchill surface.
    • THE COACH!!! His trainer is hall of famer D. Wayne Lukas. He's won 4 Kentucky Derbies, and holds the record for the most Triple Crown race wins with fourteen. He's 82 years young and still going strong as one of the top trainers at Churchill Downs annually.
    • Bravazo has shown enough versatility from race to race that he can adapt to wherever his 19 Derby competitors end up around him and still run well. In the Risen Star he pretty much went straight to the front and gutted out a nice win (it's how he qualified for the Kentucky Derby). In previous races he sat mid-pack and had enough closing kick to wear down opponents and win. He's also been known to stalk the early race leaders and take first run at them when they tire out.
    • In addition to beating Derby contenders Noble Indy and Instilled Regard in the Risen Star Stakes, he's beaten Lone Sailor in a previous race.
    • His daddy is the monster Awesome Again. Awesome Again won 9 races in 12 starts, including winning his final 6 races. His last race before retiring to make really fast babies like Bravazo (and the best dirt horse I've ever seen Ghostzapper)? He won the 1997 Breeder's Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. Up to last year it was North America's richest race and it is run at the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles. Major class/stamina pedigree for Bravazo.


    NEGATIVES
    • Let's talk about the UUUUUUGGGGGLLLLLYYYYY. After such an encouraging win in the Risen Star Stakes, he laid a complete egg in the Louisiana Derby (his most recent race). He finished in 8th place and was beaten by 21 (horse) lengths. Derby Contenders Noble Indy, Lone Sailor and My Boy Jack smoked him. That's not the way you want to go into the Kentucky Derby.
    • The horrid Louisiana Derby performance wasn't the only time he's been THAT bad. In his final race of 2017, he was smoked in a stakes race where finished in 10th place and was beaten by 14 (horse) lengths. Derby contender Enticed won that race and beat him easily. Other horses in that race that beat him that day: Derby contenders Promises Fulfilled and Lone Sailor.
    • Derby contender Free Drop Billy also beat him in a prior race.
    • Normally getting top Woodbine (Toronto) jockey Luis Contreras to ride your horse is a great move. Unfortunately, D. Wayne Lukas selecting him to ride Bravazo in the Derby seems questionable at best. Future Hall of Famer Gary Stevens rode him in that Louisiana Derby dud, but had also piloted Bravazo to a previous win. Stevens has won the Derby 3 times. If not Stevens, what about top Churchill-based jockey Miguel Mena who rode Bravazo to the Risen Star win? Or another top Churchill jockey- Jon Court, who has ridden Bravazo in 4 races? Contreras is seriously great, but doesn't have the intimate familiarity with Bravazo or Churchill Downs like the 3 jockeys I mentioned.
    • Pace makes the race, and Bravazo got it about as good as possible in the Risen Star win. Getting anything close to 24 seconds for the opening quarter, 48 for the half, 1:12 for 3/4 is about as good as it gets for conserving energy and holding onto win. He won't get it that easy in the Kentucky Derby if he tries to sit close to the early leaders. Can he handle the heat? He sat close to the lead again the Louisiana Derby but the timed splits were a full second faster at every point in the race. That's the difference between holding on to win 1 race, and tiring out badly and fading to a distant 8th place finish in the next.
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    Bravazo hasn't ever run 2 bad races in a row. In fact- after his 2 other really poor races, he won his next race after. Pulling that off against the big dogs in the Derby is a massive ask. But the betting odds will be huge if you think he can rebound again.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:13 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes
    Date: March 3, 2018
    Location: Gulfstream Park (Miami, FL)
    Distance: 1 1/16 Miles

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #3 Promises Fulfilled Winner 30-1 ML
    #6 Good Magic 3rd Place 12-1 ML (Covered in the Bluegrass post)

    PROMISES FULFILLED
    Repeat after me: "PROMISES FULFILLED WILL BE THE EARLY LEADER IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY". He will be the early pace-setter in the race. How much he can slow down the early pace and how many horses decide to challenge him early in the race will determine his chances. The Fountain of Youth shows how he can thrive with an unopposed lead, but the Florida Derby shows how it can go so wrong so fast when the heat gets turned up.

    POSITIVES
    • 5 career starts: 3 wins. The Florida Derby was his only non top-3 finish.
    • 2 previous races at Churchill Downs: a win and a 3rd-place finish. He has proven success over the Churchill Downs surface.
    • Every race he's gone straight to the lead and set the pace. His Fountain of Youth win shows how "Pace Makes the Race" works so well for him. Being able to get an unopposed lead and set a pace close to 24 seconds for the opening quarter, 48 for the half, 1:12 for 3/4 is about as good as it gets for conserving energy and winning easily. It's an early front-runner's dream scenario. If he can get away with this in the Derby, he'll still be going strong in the late stages of the race.
    • Derby contenders Justify, Bravazo, Flameaway, Mendelssohn, and Magnum Moon have all won races where they've gone straight to the lead. The difference between all of them and Promises Fulfilled- They did it when there wasn't a clear front-runner in the race. None of those horses necessarily WANT the lead. In a race where none of them have run that far before, the jockeys of these horses could be more likely to sit off the lead to conserve energy. This may buy Promises Fulfilled an easy early unopposed lead.
    • Even if a few horses decide to challenge him for the lead early in the Derby, he will at least have the inside track. He drew the #3 post position. Which means he's the 3rd closest horse to the inside rail. The 2 horses to the inside of him aren't front-running types, so this will be huge for his chance to save ground and conserve energy.
    • Taking the early lead in the derby means he won't encounter any of the traffic issues that the horses behind him will have to deal with.
    • Trained by Dale Romans, who is at the top of Churchill Downs training standings every year. This horse was based at Churchill Downs last fall, so he's getting back to his familiar surroundings. Romans has trained plenty of Kentucky Derby contenders in the past. He's come really close to winning it: with a couple of 3rd place finishes in previous years. He trained 2011 Preakness (2nd leg of the Triple Crown) winner Shackleford. Romans also trains Derby contender Free Drop Billy.
    • Top Churchill Jockey Corey Lanerie picks up the mount for the Kentucky Derby. He rode Lookin at Lee to a 2nd place finish in the race last year.
    • His daddy is Shackleford, who finished 4th in the Kentucky Derby and won the Preakness (2nd race in the Triple Crown) in 2011.


    NEGATIVES
    • The bad side to "Pace Makes the Race" is what happened to him in the Florida Derby. He set fractions that were almost 2 seconds faster for both the opening quarter and half mile splits of the Florida Derby than he did for the Fountain of Youth. He went so fast early that he was pretty much out of gas at the top of the stretch and faded to last place. The heat got turned up and he could only briefly handle it. It raises serious doubts that he can stretch his speed an extra 1/8 mile in the Kentucky Derby.
    • Throughout this year's beginner guide, I've complimented many Derby participants on their versatility. Meaning they can win a race on/near the lead or win coming from behind. This isn't the case with Promises Fulfilled. He's a horse that "Needs the Lead" to succeed. The Florida Derby showed that no matter how fast he had to go early on to get the lead, HE WAS GONNA GET THE LEAD. So he pretty much ran himself into the ground trying to get to the front. If a horse like Flameaway or Justify pesters him early in the Derby, is he just gonna go faster and faster? He'll run out of gas really quick in the Derby if so. Romans/Lanerie have to find a way to get him to settle early in races when faced with a challenge. So far he's proven that he can't.
    • Derby contenders Audible and Hofburg smoked him in the Florida Derby. Enticed beat him in a stakes race at Churchill Downs last year,
    • He's only run on fast/dry tracks. There's always a chance that it will rain on Derby Day. If so, how will he handle a sloppy/muddy surface and getting mud kicked in his face for the first time? A lot of horses hate it and won't give their best effort when running in those conditions.


    The Florida Derby was Promises Fulfilled's only bad race. But it was EPIC FAIL bad. The #3 post position really helps his chances, but carrying his speed further than he ever has before will be very difficult. The good news is you know he'll be in the lead. It's debatable if/who will challenge him for it. If no one does, he could be dangerous.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.


    2018 Jerome Stakes
    Date: January 13, 2018
    Location: Aqueduct (Ozone Park, NY)
    Distance: 1 Mile

    Derby Entrants in this Prep Race
    #1 Firenze Fire Winner 50-1 ML

    It's not usually a good sign when I have to go all the way back to January to show how good a horse can be. Unfortunately, Firenze Fire's last 2 races haven't been good. He'll get smoked in the Derby if he can't turn around his recent bad form. But the way he ran last last year/earlier this year, and an interesting rider switch shows some optimism that he can make some noise against the best of the Derby bunch if he brings his "A" game.

    POSITIVES
    • 9 Career Starts: 5 Top-3 finishes (4 wins). Has only finished worse than 4th place once in his racing career.
    • The Jerome Stakes win shows that he can handle running on a muddy/wet surface if it rains on Derby day.
    • I like the way he won the Jerome. He came with a steady late run and grinded down the opponent in front of him. Since the Derby is the longest race any of these horses have run in, this grinding style could be very effective if he's close enough to the early leaders at the top of the stretch.
    • Most of his prior success has come when he stalks/presses the front-runners. In his last 2 races, he's sat mid-pack and further off the pace than he's normally used to. This hasn't worked well for him, so I expect him to be sitting closer to the lead in the Derby and try to grind down the early front-runners.
    • Switching to jockey Paco Lopez for the Derby should help with that. Lopez is widely regarded as one of the best at getting horses to break from the gate as sharply as possible. He should be able to pilot Firenze Fire close to the lead in the early part of the race.
    • Has beaten Derby contenders Free Drop Billy, Enticed and Good Magic in previous races.


    NEGATIVES
    • His last race was the Wood Memorial, he finished a non-competitive 4th beaten by 11 (horse) lengths. Derby contenders Vino Rosso and Enticed were miles ahead of him in that race.
    • 2 starts ago he raced in the Gotham Stakes. He was trounced by Enticed again and also by Free Drop Billy. As the distances/competition have increased, he hasn't been good enough.
    • The only time he's ever shipped out of New York/New Jersey, Good Magic, Solomini, Bolt d'Oro easily beat him in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile in California. In the one chance he had to prove he could ship away from his familiar surroundings (like he'll have to do to run in the Derby) and run against the big dogs- he failed.
    • His recent failures may be due to his breeding. His daddy is Poseidon's Warrior. He was a great sprinter. But "sprinter" is keyword. He rarely ran in races that were a mile or longer and he certainly never won any of them. Firenze Fire's pedigree doesn't indicate he wants to run anything close to the Kentucky Derby distance effectively.


    He had a ton of success last year, but unfortunately it hasn't carried over to 2018. If he can run back to the Jerome effort, he's got a chance to do some Derby damage. But it's going to take a really big turnaround to old form to make that happen.
    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 10:11 AM.
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    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    This thread is delightful. Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Do you guys think they're gonna let Sufjan into the festival with those GUNS?

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    Last edited by fiopadp7791; 05-02-2018 at 11:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    When I view this on my smartphone, the links are invisible lol. But click under each bolded horse name and it'll link you to the post/horse you're trying to view.
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    Just got caught up, Pete.

    Thanks again. for recapping this

    This will be the year of the Dubai horse!
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    2. Migos- The new Beatles.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    thanks. Good luck on Saturday
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
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    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    IT'S DERBY DAY!!!
    Which also means it's time for
    "Diamond" Pete's "Cinch to finish 7th-9th and 12th place" LOCKS.

    The past 5 Derby betting favorites have won the race, BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT in 3 of those 5 years there has been a huge longshot finish 2nd.

    This year Justify will be the favorite, but there are 3 others in the race that share the same important stat as him: the last 6 Derby winners were all undefeated in their 3 year-old seasons (meaning they're undefeated since Jan 1 of this year). I'll be using 2 of those 4 horses in my plays.

    Ok I'll shut up and get to my picks:
    (luke-warm) Winner:
    MAGNUM MOON. Of the favorites, I reluctantly like him the best. All the favorites look good, but all look vulnerable. His last 2 races were really impressive. The main issue is he's a "Curse of Apollo" horse.

    2. Bolt d'Oro. He's probably the most battle-tested of all the horses in the field, and comes with a solid effort every time.

    3. Bravazo. He's my longshot bomb play. He's either gonna run huge and finish in the top 4 or finish 18th of 20.

    4. Justify. He beat Bolt in their last race, and he's the other curse of Apollo horse. If you use one you use both IMO.

    For wagering purposes I'm doing a 6 horse exacta box ($30)- Justify, Magnum Moon, Bolt d'Oro, Bravazo, Lone Sailor, Enticed.

    Win bet on Magnum Moon, Win-Place-Show on Bravazo.
    If y'all fresh to death, then I'm deceased... -Kanye West
    Jamiroquai 2018 please. (HOLY SHIT THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!!)

    Quote Originally Posted by miscorrections View Post
    How is any of that ironic? On this board I absolutely expect terrible people to call other people terrible.

  28. #28
    old school GolfWang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    So thanks to this thread and gut inklings I decided on a 6 horse exacta with Justify, Magnum Moon, Bolt d'Oro, Bravazo, Good Magic and Hofburg. Donít even know if that makes much sense in terms of value but fuck it. This is why I never bet on horses. Good luck everyone!

  29. #29
    Coachella Junkie Ardentbiscuit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    My co worker is so lucky, she got to go to this with Tracy Morgan last year. Not sure who she went with this year, I'll find out next week.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Kentucky Derby Beginner Guide 2018: New Year, New Advice, Same 0% Win Pct.

    Anyone ever get an update on J-Dollar? He was in to the horse racing if I recall. Got in an accident of some sort, but never caught an update.

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