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Bet Approach and Final Derby Ratings for 2012

By Warren Eves

Here is my “affordable” betting approach for the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

We put a lot of time and effort into this search for the winner.  We’ll apply the theory of betting a little in quest of making a lot.

Here’s our best calculated betting approach.  We’re taking a stand against the probable “luke warm” post time favorite Bodemeister.

Union Rags wound up as my top rated three-year-old Derby colt but the “value” is Dullahan(7) who was opened at odds of 8-1.  We suggest a $5 win play on Dullahan(5) and keying him in $1 exacta boxes with 4-Union Rags, 7-Rousing Sermon, 8- Creative Cause, 13-Went The Day Well, 14-Hansen and 15-Gemologist.  5 with 4-7-8-13-14-15.  Total cost of both bets: $18.

We suggest keying two colts in the 10-cent superfecta–Dullahan(5) and Union Rags(4) on top and using a 50-1 bomb named Rousing Sermon(7) in positions two three and four.  If any one of my suggested superfecta tickets below connect we’re talking about a significant payoff.   One final wager will be a $2 across the board play on Rousing Sermon(7).  Total cost $6.

  • First 10 cent super ticket: Key Dullahan(5) on top with Rousing Sermon(7) second, 4-8-13-14-15 in 3rd, and 4-8-13-14-15 in fourth.  Cost $8.
  • Second 10 cent super ticket: Key Dullahan(5) on top, with 4-8-13-14-15 second, with Rousing Sermon(7) in 3rd, and 4-8-13-14-15 in fourth.  Cost $8.
  • Third 10 cent super ticket: Key Dullahan(5) on top, with 4-8-13-14-15 second, with 4-8-13-14-15 in 3rd and Rousing Sermon(7) in fourth.  Cost $8.
  • Fourth 10 cent super ticket: Key Union Rags(4) on top, with Rousing Sermon(7) second, with 5-8-13-14-15 in 3rd, and 5-8-13-14-15 in fourth.  Cost $8.
  • Fifth 10 cent super ticket: Key Union Rags(4) on top with 5-8-13-14-15 second, with Rousing Sermon(7) in 3rd, and 5-8-13-14-15 in fourth.  Cost $8.
  • Sixth 10 cent super ticket: Key Union Rages(4) on top with 5-8-13-14-15 in second and 5-8-13-14-15 in 3rd, and Rousing Sermon(7) in fourth.  Cost $8.
  • Total cost of all above bets $62.

1-Union Rags(*)–Not wild about the post position draw due to the poor production of the inside four positions in the past 30 years.  For that reason we are suggested the value in this year’s Derby is with second rated Dullahan.  It’s not to say this classy guy cannot win, it’s just that his post 4 is going to make it more difficult.  What we can tell you is his Florida Derby did not hurt him and he’s got one of the hottest riders in the business in Julien Leparoux.  Moved up to top spot when Hansen set pace and tired late for second in Blue Grass.  Got bottled up and never had a real chance while third in “slow paced” Florida Derby.  Even though he failed at odds on it was not a race they had to have.  The colt needed the activity in order to be at his best for the big dance.  Looked like a man among boys in the paddock and on the track before a Fountain of Youth romp with new rider Julien Leparoux.  When Javier Castellano opted to ride Algorithms Leparoux was deputized.  Sitting fourth early on and in the clear he made a sweeping three-wide move to the top.  After reeling in pacemaker Discreet Dancer he responded to Leparoux’s reign shaking and drew out.  He was being eased up at the wire and still covered the final fraction in 6.40-and he won by four.  It was the colt’s first start as a three-year-old and avenged his second place finish in the BC Juvenile to Hansen.  The Dixie Union colt earned respect in this corner off his big Champagne win despite a rough trip.  He was then beaten in the Breeders Cup Juvenile by Hansen at Churchill Downs. In the Champagne this leggy colt went in behind horses after he came out of the gate.  He got jostled from the left while 7th and was fifth back roughly 5 lengths midway on the turn.  Waiting for running room to the top before finding a seam to win drawing out October 8.  He won his debut on July 12 at Delaware Park with a five-furlong clocking of 58.25.  They brought him back on August 15 and he took the Grade 2 Saratoga Special beating Stat and Indian Blessing in Saratoga Special.  His third trip to the post was at Belmont in the Champagne.

2-Dullahan–Believe this colt offers the best value in the run for the roses and he’s the colt I will be keying on despite his final second position ranking.  His trainer is becoming one of the very best in the land and when he leads them over in big races the results are usually positive.  Awesome run from well back to win the Blue Grass was not a surprise to this corner.  Got away cleanly and was 11th off the first turn.  He was 10th on the rail and waiting on the far turn.  Making a run from the inside into the lane Kent Desormeaux moved him out a few lanes.  He urged him left-handed and then right-handed.  His surge through the stretch to the wire was breath taking.  Everyone was wondering why Desormeaux pulled him up so quickly.  The question most handicappers will be posing is whether this colt to race over a synthetic surface. His three starts at Churchill Downs were not very good. He made a solid first start as a sophomore in 1-1/8th mile Palm Beach on the lawn when rallying to finish 3/4 back of odds-on choice Howe Great.  Trakus reported this colt traveled 44 feet more than the winner Howe Great.  That’s roughly five lengths. The final fraction was 11.75.  That’s what made this colt’s comeback race more impressive. We had him rated above the colt that beat him(Howe Great) because his running style may be better suited for the classic confrontation.  Desormeaux allowed him to settle in fifth early and he appeared relaxed.  He began his bid midway on the second turn to be at least four-wide to the top and slingshot into second.  It was a solid effort from off the bench for the colt who had not been seen since November 5th at Churchill Downs.  Trainer Dale Romans has mapped out plans for Donegal Racing’s Even The Score colt,  who ran fourth in the Breeders Cup.  He’s taking a path similar to the one he used with Paddy O’Prado.  Romans’ plan was to start this colt twice before the Kentucky Derby.  He ran third the first time he faced the starter at Churchill Downs to the Ex Factor.  He returned to finish fifth to Big Blue Nation at six furlongs on July 3.  Kent Desormeaux rode him to a second at Saratoga when trying a route of ground for the first time on August 13.  After a third in the With Anticipation at Saratoga he won for the first time in Breeders’ Futurity over the tricky poly surface at Keeneland.  He beat Majestic City and Optimizer that day so the question is this.  Is he a synthetic track colt only?

3-Rousing Sermon–Nobody that I saw even mentions this colt who is definitely going to like the classic distance.  For once Jerry Hollandorfer is not under the spotlight.  Maybe that is a good thing.  Hollandorfer has experienced some terrible luck in the past when it comes to the Kentucky Derby.  I like the rider Hollandorfer goes to in Jose Lezcano.  If this colt, who figures to be all of his opening morning line hits the board, I will make money.  This Lucky Pulpit colt left huge impression with a better than looked third place surge in the Louisiana Derby.  In the day and age where breeders concentrate of speed not stamina–few colts really want to run the mile and a quarter distance of the Kentucky Derby.  This colt is crying for more ground.  He earned $100,000 and was laying claim to a starting slot in the May 5 Kentucky Derby.  Maybe lady luck is in Hall Of Fame trainer Jerry Hollandorfer’s corner this time around.  He took Joe Talamo off and went with veteran Mike Smith.  Smith gave the colt the kind of trip that left trip that suggests this colt can and will run all day long. He had three foes beat early in the Louisiana Derby.  Smith had him inching closer while always well away from the rail moving down the backstretch.  Moving far wide to the top he kept grinding and was beaten only 2 lengths.  Hollandorfer says the farther the better for this colt. Trailed early and wound up splitting field while never in the fight in March 10-San Felipe.  Broke in from post six to bump Sky Kingdom and was jostled early when fourth in February 4 Robert B. Lewis Stakes.  Due to the disqualification of Groovin’ Solo he picked up third money.   Colt is among the most active of his class.  The Louisiana Derby was his ninth career start.  He’s Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams.  He was hung wide and just missed in the Cash Call Futurity December 17 at Hollywood Park.  He won his debut at Hollywood Park on June 5.  After finishing third in the Graduation Stakes to Ruler of Dubai he came back and was also third in the I’m Smokin to the same colt.  Rafael Bejarano rode him to win stretching out to 1-1/16 miles in the California Cup. He was second to Liaison in the Real Quiet and the rich Cash Call Futurity at Hollywood. Then came his eventful trip in the Robert B. Lewis.

4-Hansen–Got the best of the post position draw so now we’ll see if he bounces back to the lofty ranking we had him at early on.  Set all the pace and was clear by two lengths midway through the lane but was no match for Dullahan as the favorite in the Blue Grass.  Ramon Dominguez got him away cleanly and he led while in hand entering turn one.  He led by a length and a tail to the far turn.  Holding a clear lead of two lengths midway through the stretch he was urged left-handed then right-handed but was no match for Dullahan who cruised on by.  Tapit colt silenced doubters when dominating a not so stellar field in the March 3 Gotham.  Dominguez went for it early from a horrible post 12.  At least three-wide down the backstraight he put away the leader and won clear with several taps of the crop.  He was moving from 17th on our list all the way up to the top with the effort over a track left dull.  Going into the Gotham he already had earned a spot in gate for the May 5 Kentucky Derby as far as graded earnings.  In the Gotham, despite the strength of the race, it looked like a man among boys.  Michael Maker’s colt ran second January 29 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, a one-turn mile won by Algorithms.  ”He has a lot of speed and might have been a little fresh today is why we went a little faster than we were looking for,” said jockey Dominguez.  ”I’m not happy he did not win but I’m not totally disappointed.  When he got passed he really dug in and he galloped out really well.”  The Tapit colt is owned by Sky Chai Stable(Kendall Hansen).  He won his first ever race at Turfway Park at 5-1/2 furlongs.  They brought him back September 24 in Kentucky Cup Juvenile.  He won again stretching out to a a mile and a sixteenth.  That’s when they hired Dominguez and he won Breeders Cup Juvenile.  He beat Union Rags and Creative Cause that day in 1:44.44.

5-Went The Day Well–Opened at 20-1 when the morning line was released after the draw for the post positions for the Kentucky Derby.  Interestingly trainer Graham Motion fits the colt with blinkers for the first time.  We suggested using this colt underneath in our superfecta tickets.  Proud Citizen colt jumped right into the mix with a bang when kicking in and winning the Spiral with a strong showing under John Velasquez. He went in the Spiral not by design but do to the fact they needed graded money.  Motion felt it was a race they would win and that’s what the colt did.  He’s only been to the post five times so it’s possible even his connections don’t really know how good he might become.  Since Louisiana Derby winner Hero Of Order will not be allowed to supplement it found this colt at 19.  He was seventh between horses off the first turn and third between foes to the top,  When asked for run he kicked in to left-hand urging to draw out late and win by 3-1/2.  Proud Citizen colt graduated MSW ranks nicely March 3 when given an educational journey by Jamie Castellano on March 3.  The Team Valor colt was making his second U.S. start for Graham Motion and fourth overall.  Away well from post one he was well positioned early on and allowed to settle out fourth.  Waiting midway on the second turn he was angled outside into the lane and then ran down Tiz Yankee was was second over.  The colt posted a final fraction of 12.39 as he got a mile and a sixteenth clocking of 1:44.78.  Colt was second twice in Great Brittain for trainer Ed McMahon.

6-Gemologist–His rider Jamie Castellano winds up here after a whirlwind of a year finding him jumping from one live colt to another.  We wound up using this colt underneath in our superfecta for the Kentucky Derby.  Made significant jump up(from 13th) our list with his gritty better-than-looked win in the Wood Memorial.  Javier Castellano had to check him while four-wide entering the first turn when Cornelio Velasquez crossed over too sharply with The Lumber Guy.  He was kept well away from the rail losing ground down the backstraight and made his run three-wide entering the stretch to gain the lead.  Castellano urged him right handed, then left and he was game. He posted a final fraction of 23.22. Alpha made a gallant rally through the stretch but fell a neck short.  It was noted after the wire Alpha never got past this colt. Tiznow colt remained undefeated when making his sophomore debut with a wire-to-wire allowance win at at Gulfstream Park on March 16.  He led by a length into the turn and by 2 early in the stretch and was drawing out to win by 7 lengths. With Javier Castellano up he covered the final fraction in 12.58 and the rider never cocked his stick.  We liked the gallop out after the wire.  Winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs on November 26 beating Ever So Lucky and Timely Tally in 1:44.46.  One thing is for certain he’s got an affinity for the Churchill Downs surface. Win Star Farm’s Tiznow colt was three for three as a juvenile.  He debuted in a maiden special weight sprint and won at Turfway Park on September 24.  Making his second start at Churchill Downs he won a mile at a mile and a 1/16th beating Timely Tally and Space Race on October 30th.

7-Creative Cause–There is no doubt in our mind his trainer and his rider have been teaching this colt to relax a bit more from off the pace.  That is what we concluded after his Santa Anita Derby second place finish when the blinkers were removed.  This might be the best colt Mike Harrington may have developed.  The only thing that clouds his ability is the Santa Anita racing strip that was impossible to read on most days.  If this colt takes to Churchill Downs, and he was third to Hansen in the Juvenile, then who knows how good he could be on Derby day?  Two factors prompted me to move this colt ahead of the colt who beat him in the Santa Anita Derby.  We cannot ignore his strong gallop out after winning the San Felipe.  We believe there was a game plan going into the Santa Anita Derby when this colt raced without blinkers.  We believe trainer Mike Harrington and jockey Joel Rosario purposely took this colt well off the pace in a Santa Anita Derby they did not have to win.  Rosario said after the race he felt he would have won if he’d been outside instead of between horses in the drive to the wire. Harrington will not put the blinkers back on for the Kentucky Derby.  He may not win the roses but with Rosario aboard he may be coming on late.  He’s a must use in your exotics. Loved the way he finished up and took note of the strong gallop out after the wire in winning the $300,000 San Felipe with Joel Rosario. He was making amends for his third as the odds-on choice in the San Vicente which was an obvious tune-up.  He was fifth early on before making a sweping move wide on the second turn.  Rallying far wide into the lane he overtook Bodemeister in the final 60 yards and was drawing out to win by 3/4.  He could not have galloped out any stronger. Harris, who clocks for Winners’ Card in Southern California, tweeted on February 28th from Hollywood Park.  This colt was “fastest in the middle stages” while working in 1:11.80 in a “fitness based drill” which he termed as “productive.”  Harris also liked what he saw in this colt on March 6th.  Clocker Harris is worth paying attention to. Colt already had enough graded money to be in the gate May 5 in the Derby with $506.000 as of February 22. Finished third in San Felipe February 19 in an obvious prep for the May 5 Kentucky Derby. Even though he was not asked for much run the final 1/8th he did gallop out ahead of Drill who wants no part of two-turns. The four-horse 2012 renewal of the San Felipe was not worthy of any graded status! Graded numbers, as they are currently being handed out, have become something you can ignore while handicapping and evaluating.  Trainer Mike Harrington had been drilling his colt for endurance prior to his sophomore debut in the San Felipe. It was a prep, nothing more for this colt. Liked the way he raced relaxed and won the Norfolk Stakes.  Loved the way he cruised to the lead on the turn and came home with notable FF(6.27). He won his first two starts including the Best Pal at Del Mar.  Giant’s Causeway colt was beaten for the first time in the Del Mar Futurity.  He was awarded second money via a disqualification.

8-Bodemeister--Made huge jump up to from 16th up after his scintilating wire to wire win in the Arkansas Derby.  He’s a candidate to bounce and we decided to take a stand against him in a year when the sophomore class is one of the most competitive in many years. Mike Smith is going to have two colts with speed leave the gate from his right and that will be something he will have to deal with.  If he rates it will be to his advantage.  He was awarded a revised and lofty 108 Beyer for the visually impressive effort and he’s sure to impact the outcome of the Kentucky Derby in one way or the other.  With Mike Smith aboard the colt sped from post 11 to get the lead into turn one.  He set all the pace before blowing the field away with an 11.97 final eighth mile clocking. Bob Baffert’s colt was in a “must win” situation and certainly delivered.  Empire Maker colt will attempt to become the first colt to win the Derby without having run at age two since 1982.  He set the pace in lane three down the backstretch.  Clear by 2 to the far turn, jockey Snith flicked his stick at him at well spaced intervals four times in the run to the wire.  It was an awesome performance and he’s certain to be a luke-warm morning line favorite for the Kentucky Derby.  Was second over, gained the lead and then was no match for Creative Cause in the March 10 San Felipe.  He washed out in the parade to the post and balked at loading.  What we did not like about the race was he was drifting out under Rafael Bejarno’s brisk handling in the late going.  We questioned whether he wants to go further prior to the Arkansas Derby. Baffert says distance is not an issue.  Empire Maker colt won off impressively over a ridiculously glib surface at Santa Anita February 11 to win a MSW race for fun.  Away alertly from the outside he was wide the opening 60 yards to lead.  He was taken hold of after 23.09 opening fraction but still led going handily past the half mile marker in 46.95.  Clear on the turn for home in 1:10.72 he skirted home in an absolute romp.  He galloped out nicely after stopping the clock in 1:34.45.  The colt is owned by Ahmed Zayat an Egyptian born entrepreneur.   Colt ran second making his debut at six panels.  On April 25 Zayat announced he had sold 40% of this colt.

9-I’ll Have Another–Proved his win in the Robert B. Lewis was not a fluke at 43-to-1 by staging a game rally for a photo finish win in the Santa Anita Derby.  Jockey Mario Gutierrez gave colt another perfect trip.  We said before the Santa Anita Derby there were many who might be making a mistake by not giving this colt the respect he deserved.  I was left questioning whether any of the top three finishers in the Santa Anita Derby want to go further.  There was also the thought process that maybe the Creative Cause factions did not put any emphasis on winning when taking their colt further off the pace sans the blinkers.  Paynter, an impressive sprint winner, finished a non threatening fourth in the Santa Anita Derby.  It was noted after the wire that he galloped out alongside this colt.  Are we reading too much into that?  Flower Alley colt scored a shocking($88.60) upset in the Robert P. Lewis Stakes.  He was trying two turns for first time after a sixth in the slop in Hopeful at Saratoga.  Mario Gutierrez was scoring his richest win ever for trainer Doug O’Neill and Reddam Racing.  The owner told the trainer to use the Hastings jockey if he ever got in a bind.  He did and Gutierrez rode him perfectly.  Colt was timed in 1:40 4/5 and it should be noted he posted a final fraction of 6 1/5.  The colt’s only other win came when breaking his maiden at 5-1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Park on July 3.  Flower Alley stands at Three Chimneys and was a winner of $2,533,910.  They say he’s the best son at stud of Distorted Humor and has sired 79 stakes winners.

10–Daddy Long Legs–If this colt were to run large in the Kentucky Derby I don’t think we should be shocked.  It’s just that they picked a year when there are so many talented sophomores.  That’s why he barely made my final top 10 list.  Trainer Aidan O’Brien says we should not be overly critical of this colt’s poor run in the Breeders Cup.  He blames it on a bad start. It became official on Sunday, April 15, this colt will be flown to Kentucky to run in the Kentucky Derby,  Scat Daddy colt got the monkey off O’Brien’s back with a smart win in the rich U.A. E. Derby at Meydan on March 31.  And nobody saw it coming, especially after they watched this colt break out badly in the saddling enclosure.  This colt finished 12th in the Breeders Cup Juvenile.  Jockey Colm O’Donoghue was aboard in Dubai.  In the U.A. E. Derby he tracked the pacemaker and when push came to shove he had the grit.  The winning margin was 1-1/4.  O’Brien will not be in Louisville to saddle this colt because he’s running Camelot in the 2,000 Guineas on Derby Day.  Colt goes into the Kentucky Derby having won three of five lifetime starts.

11-Daddy Knows Best–Switch from six straight turf races to Golden Gate’s tapeta resulted in an all-out nose win in the El Camino Real Derby.  Julien Leparoux was the difference.  He had this colt in the slot and full of run around the far turn.  When he finally found a seam there was a furious battle to the finish.  Lucky Chappy came in and they bumped and at the wire it took a photo to separate them. Was never in it when fifth as the favorite in the Eddie Logan at Santa Anita Park on Dec., 31.  Between horses to the far turn he lugged out some to the top and was soundly beaten fifth.  In his previous start he won an allowance at Chuchill Downs for his second win.  Most likely Leparoux will be elsewhere if he makes the gate May 5 so Steve Asmussen will have to seek another rider.

12-Alpha–We might not be giving this colt enough respect.  He was awarded a 100 Bris speed number for his mile and a sixteenth Withers win February 4.  He’s not rated higher because we think it was a weak renewal of that well known stakes. Ramon Dominguez was aboard for the win.  He had not beaten much through his Withers start.  The $120,000 first place money allows trainer Kiaran McGlothin to take his time.  He started all over with this colt after he acted up in the gate and wound up beating only one in the Breeders Cup Juvenile.  Adding lasix and switching riders to Dominguez brought about a change in tactics.  The Bernardino colt sat third, stayed three-wide on the second turn, and gutted it out late to win the one-mile and 70-yard Count Fleet at Aqueduct January 7.  Off the way this colt rated, and due to his grinding running style, he was in the early on Derby discussions.  Broke his maiden by 6 at Saratoga and finished second in the Champagne at Belmont.  They have spent a lot of time standing this colt in the gate since the Juvenile.

(*)–Has exhibited exceptional promise in a race.

Following Colts Were Considered For Our Ratings

A Boy Named Em–Point Given colt has only a maiden special weight win November 20 at Churchill Downs to his credit.  In three straight starts as a sophomore he’s failed to finish in the money.  Made his first start as a sophomore at Gulfstream Park at a mile and finished fifth to Discreet Dancer.  Brought back on January 29 at Gulfstream he was fifth behind the likes of El Padrino and Take Charge Indy.  Eddie Kenneally’s colt then ran seventh at Aqueduct in 1-mile 70 yard allowance.

Adirondack King–Had two beat early and made a sweeping wide run to the top but failed to continue the run while seventh in a weak renewal of the Rebel March 17.  Lawyer Ron colt finished third in second division of Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park.  Eighth early he never was a serious factor.  Colt finished third in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay.  Trainer John Servis of Smarty Jones fame is the trainer.

All Squared Away–You go figure.  Peter Miller sent this colt all the way back to Kentucky to Wesley Ward when he simply wasn’t getting the best of results.  As the longest price in a field of 11 Julio Garcia gave him a perfect stalking trip and he won the $200,000 Lexington by 1-1/2 lengths.  He paid $143.20 to win and the $120,000 winner’s share still doesn’t get him into the Kentucky Derby.  ”Peter called me up and told me he was sending him back,” said Ward after the win.  ”He’s just blossomed ever since he got here, putting on weight and doing super.”  We said the Bellamy Road colt was not Kentucky Derby material going in.  His win in the Lexington didn’t change that opinion.  .  He split the field of 12 in the March 24 Spiral for trainer Peter Miller.  He was coming off a second in an allowance race at Santa Anita.

Al’s Uncle–Saved ground all the way in second GP turf race and disappointed bigtime and was dropped from our also-eligible list on February 23.  Colt was not among TP nominees.  Trainer Roger Attfield had to be elated with the way this More Than Ready colt finished up experiencing two-turns and the turf.  It was only his second career start.  Film Shot was the wire to wire winner of the one mile test, notably covering the FF(final fraction) in 12.0.  This colt was pinned to the railing inside a six-horse spread entering turn one and jostled Mega Boom.  Securing good early position this colt moved closer off the turn for home and had to post an even faster FF as he was making up ground on the winner.  The $130,000 Keeneland purchase was second to Oro Vero making his lone 2011 start at Woodbine as a luke-warm 2-1 favorite.  Only owner Robert Harvey and trainer Attfield know if they have any Derby aspirations with this colt.  After his second place effort at Gulfstream Park on Feb., 1 who knows?

Antique Wedding–Not among Triple Crown nominees.  Chapel Royal colt ran second at maiden $30,000 level making debut at Turfway on October 1.  Colt returned to rally from seventh to break his maiden over the Keeneland poly surface on October 19.  Trainer Kellyn Gorder brought him back at a mile and at Mountaineer and he splashed home second.  He moved forward over a muddy Mountaineer surface on Dec., 23 and won off by more than 3 as the odds on favorite.

Apprehender–Not among Triple Crown nominations.  Posse colt made winning look easy at first asking over a muddy Oaklawn Park surface on January 26 and his connections plan to bring him back in the $250,000 Southwest Stakes Feb., 20.   The gelding  got away straight from post three, set all the pace(47.27), kicked clear early in the lane and won by 7-1/2.  Ingrid Mason, a name familiar in Northern California circles for years, saddled the bargain $21,000 Keeneland purchase who posted an eye opening FF of 6.23.  Owners John and Chris Robson are new to the business.  They are from Cedar Rapids, Iowa where they raised the colt on their farm.  The gelding is out of the mare Missy’s Mirage whose owner had all but given up on her.  Mason says this sophomore worked 47 1/5 the very first time she breezed him out of the gate and he his rider was not asking him for a bit of run.

Atigun–Gave him little chance of a big run in the Blue Grass and the lumbering colt finished fifth.  Boy did this colt disappoint in the Rebel when beating only one.  He was sixth early on and faded when the real running began.  Istan colt won allowance at Oaklawn on January for trainer Ken McPeek and Shortleaf Stables.  It took the colt four starts to break his maiden when he won at a mile with Kent Desormeaux aboard.  They brought him back in the Kentucky Jockey Club and he finished fifth behind the likes of Gemologist and Ever So Lucky.

Bahamian Squall(*)–Dropped from 9th clear out of the ratings on March 10 when he failed to offer a threat while sixth in the Swale at Aqueduct.  This is the sort of thing that happens this time of year as the search for viable Kentucky Derby talent is analyzed.  Liked his debut run on February 5 at Gulfstream Park but he’s going to drop down the list if he doesn’t get a major placement in a Kentucky Derby stakes prep.  The Gone West colt made an impressive 7th to 1st run earning a healthy 95 Bris speed number.  Don Dizney’s Florida-bred, who was prepared over the sandier Calder Race Course, settled in sixth midway on the turn.  Luis Saez wheeled him outside and wide off the top when at least 7 lengths back of the leader.  Spanked right handed and then left handed he surged late and had to post a better than 12.42 final fraction according to the splits.  He’s got a lot of work to do to get any consideration for the Triple Crown but he’s a colt of considerable talent.

Barefoot Mailman–Made his second career start a winning one as he won a MSW sprint at Oaklawn Park on Match 8.  From post one he was bumping a foe after the start but sped up the rail to lead.  Past the quarter in 22.48 over a slopping track he responded when set down entering the stretch by Channing Hill.

Battle Hardened–Awarded a 91 Bris speed number winning the Sam F. Davis as a maiden when Julien Leparoux rode him.  Giant’s Causeway colt had an improvement pattern going in.  Colt had the lead and just failed to last in 1-1/8th mile turf test at Gulfstream Park on Dec., 31, the race prior to his graduation run.  He was fourth in his debut October 30 at Churchill Downs and second to Indian Ambush in start number two when stretched out to the distance of 1-1/16 miles.  Colt is owned by Michael Tabor and Mrs. John Magnier and trained by Eddie Kenneally.

Bellamy Brew(*)–Yet another talented colt who was not nominated to the Triple Crown.  Mott colt is worthy of a play when he runs this MSW(maiden special weight) runs long!  Left post 6 on October 7 and raced out from the rail moving down the backstraight.  Third entering the turn he rallied to get the lead and he exhibited a stride that hints his best races will come when sent a route of ground.

Beggarthyneighbor--Not nominated to Triple Crown.  Half Ours colt responded to a brisk Malcolm Franklin ride to win the Dancing Count at Laurel on January 28.  The $150,000 Keeneland Sales purchase was close up early and second into the turn and was hard ridden to win the six furlong sprint to tally his second straight win.  The Chad Brown grey is out of a Pulpit mare so we’ll continue to monitor this colt who has not been worse than third with his two wins and two third place efforts.

Blingo--Failed to show the run we thought he might after training brilliantly at Hollywood Park for the San Felipe.  He was a no threat sixth.  He was beaten roughly 8 lengths and never got into the fray while making his first start as a three-year-old so we’ll wait on this guy to do his thing at the Inglewood oval this summer.  Artie Schiller gelding was impressive winner making debut on the turf.  Colt finished sixth in the Cash Call Futurity in his second pari-mutuel start.  He’s trained by the cagey John Shireffs and owned by the same factions that raced Zenyatta–Jerry and Ann Moss.  Reportedly this colt has been training forwardly.

Blueskiniesnrainbows–Set the pace and kept digging late in a great effort at 42-1 in the Santa Anita Derby.  Joe Talamo got him away alertly and he had the most lick to get over and clear by 2-1/2 lengths on the first turn.  In the lane he responded to Talamo and was beaten only a 1/2 length.  Looked like colt of different color when stretching out around two turns for the first time at Santa Anita on January 20.  Went to the lead while a bit rank early on and jockey Martin Garcia had to grab and take back early on the backstretch.  English Channel colt was second and full of run to the half.  After taking the lead to the 1/8th pole he went strongly to the finish wire to clock the mile in 1:36.91.  Broke his maiden in third careert start at Hollywood Park at six furlongs.

Bourbon Courage–Not among Triple Crown nominees.  Keep your eye Kellyn Gorder the trainer of this colt.  Barry Irwin and others say he’s sharp as they come.  He saddled this Lion Heart colt beat what looked like a competitive MSW field of 10 making sprint debut at the Fairgrounds on February 3.  Away fourth the colt exhibited good early zip to be second inside the leader(21.85) while securing the rail.  The $15,000 colt took charge on the turn and led by 3/4 to the top.  When the rider shook the reins at him in the lane he opened up more than two lengths and posted a 12.19(FF) for a speedy 1:09.28 clocking.  Irwin, who runs Team Valor, says Gorder is someone he would trust with any horse.  Knowing Barry like we do, that’s a huge compliment because Irwin can be most critical when it comes to trainers.

Brother Francis–Lion Heart colt is a case of close but no cigar in four lifetime starts.  Third in the rich Cash Call Futurity back on December 17 he came back to finish third in a maiden special weight at a mile on March 10 when making his first start as a sophomore.  He’s good enough to have crack agent Tony Matos name Garrett Gomez to replace the injured Victor Espinoza for the Santa Anita Derby.  Owned by Norman Cheng of San Gabriel, California the colt is trained by Jim Cassidy.  He’s been training exceptionally well.  On November 5 he made his debut at Santa Anita Park and finished second to Hodge.  They brought him back in the seven furlong Hollywood Prevue where he finished second to So Brilliant.

Cajun Charlie–Afternoon Deelites gelding had won three of five lifetime starts going into the Tampa Bay Derby for Heartlines Horse Ranch and trainer Brian House.  He won a Louisiana state bred overnight stakes race at Delta Downs.  He led all the way in the slop to win by 6-1/4.  His last start of 2011 was also a wire-wire-win at a mile.

Castaway–Got slammed from the left at the break in the Lexington and never had a chance to chance while 9th.  Failed to run anything close to expectations in the rich Sunland Park Derby and was dropped out of the top 20.  Rafael Bejarano vied for the lead from the start and the colt finished before the real running began.  He beat only Justanoldsong who was eased.  Won first division of the Southwest February 20 by nearly four lengths.  It may have been the slowest of divisions but we liked his effort the best.  The Street Sense colt, coming off a MSW race at Santa Anita, seemed to enjoy Oaklawn Park’s dirt track.  Rafael Bejarano had him second over, he took the lead off the top and we liked his trying and reaching style and the gallop out.  The 1:38.09 mile clocking was the slowest of two divisions but we liked this colt’s effort the best of Bob Baffert’s training double in the Southwest.

Casual Trick(P)–Only Angel Cordero knows why he opted to ride this ridgling instead of Pletcher’s El Padrino on January 29.  Third over in the 1-1/16th mile race over a “sealed good” surface this colt was no factor when the real running began.  Color him a pretender unless he turns in a huge next out run.  Nick Zito’s colt was beaten a half length in the Gulfstream Park Derby.  The bay ridgling scored his maiden win at Churchill Downs.

Chief Energy–Ghostzapper colt broke his maiden first time they sent him long last year at Monmouth Park on July 25.  He returned with an off the board finish at a mile on the lawn and went to the sidelines.  James Toner took over the training of this colt from Eddie Plesa, Jr. after that poor turf race at Monmouth.  He’s owned by Ninety North Racing Stable.

Chips All In–Broke from post eight and was hung wide into the first turn in the February 4 Robert B. Lewis and fell out to wind up trounced in a dull showing.  Went into the race with a win in the Eddie Logan.  North Light colt won the Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park in his only previous start on dirt.

Chalybeate Springs(P)–Something seemed amiss with this Dynaformer colt in the fastest division of the Southwest won by Secret Circle.  He was well out of it early and was a non factor 7th.  Color him a pretender.  Caught wide early on in the January 21 LeComte this colt chucked it and his last place finish among 13 eliminated him as a Derby prospect.  Scored pedestrian MSW race win at Oaklawn Park January 14th but the slow FF 7.32 told you a lot.  Outrun early on and a bit wide he dropped to the rail.  Liked the way he angled away from the rail to be in stalking position to the half mile but he’ll have to move forward a ton to earn respect for D. Wayne Lukas.

Cigar Street–Fourth place finish in the Louisiana Derby is not what was needed but this colt still may have an up side.  He broke out and bumped Shared Property at the break and still pulled rider into second early.  Appeared to be a bit unsure of himself negotiating the first turn and was third to the half.  He got abreast of the eventual winner and pacemaker at the eighth pole and got weary late.  Since it was only his third start and second at a route he may develop.  Street Sense colt won off and hid by 13-3/4 lengths March 10 when stretching out around two turns in second career start at the Fairgrounds.  Jake Ballis’ leggy colt got away in so-so fashion from post eight but his early lick enabled him to drop over with the lead into first turn.  He led by a length and a tail passing the half in a measured 48 seconds and got separation early in the stretch. Through the stretch he only got tapped twice as he posted a notable final fraction of 6.24. Shaun Bridgmohan was aboard.  Steve Margolis’ colt finished fifth in a six furlong sprint when making his racing debut at the New Orleans oval on February 3.

Class President–Super impressive late surge to graduate in 2nd start on Fairgrounds lawn.  Until we here otherwise he’s a colt to monitor even though his pedigree screams turf!  Rosie Napranik rode this Steve Asmussen colt who was purchased for $350,000 at 2010 Keeneland Sales.  His late surge at the MSW race level says a mile and a quarter should not be an issue.

Coach Royal–Lemon Drop Kid failed to show up and finished 12th in the Spiral on March 24.  He was coming off a second place effort at a mile and an eigthth on February 19 at Gulfstream Park.  He’s yet to break his maiden and his connections are going to have to regroup with this guy.

Coto Brus–We like this colt even though he’s not a Triple Crown nominee. Leggy Indian Charlie colt sure turned things around in his second start in a turf route at the Fairgrounds February 4 before a storm blew through and drenched the area.  The colt was 10th in his only previous start over the same course for cagey Neil Howard.  Loading last he was straight early on and grabbed the bit to get the lead.  He rated kindly while kept away from the rail moving down the backstraight.  He got away with a half of 51.75 and led by only a neck to the top.  That’s where Corey Lanerie urged him some left-handed.  His trying and reaching style to the wire did catch the eye.  So who knows what may be in store for this lightly raced colt.

Cozzetti–Fourth to the top in the Arkansas Derby he lacked a late kick when bested by Sabercat for third.  Cozzene colt finished third in the Tampa Bay Derby to Prospective and Golden Ticket.  He was coming off a fourth place effort in the Kitten’s Joy to Howe Great.  His trainer Dale Romans is one of the best in the land at bringing stock along.  We take a long look at just about every horse Romans leads over.  Colt broke his maiden in his third start when winning at the distance of a mile and a sixteenth at Churchill Downs.

Currency Swap–We actually liked this colt’s fade to 11th in the Illinois Derby.  He got away cleanly and was sixth between horses entering first turn on a live pace.  A bit rank and between horses moving down the backstretch he moved to be fourth to the head of the lane.  The colt hit a wall while trying two turns for the first time and will be live the next time he surfaces.  High Cotton colt was no threat second behind Gemologist at a mile making his sophomore debut at Gulfstream Park on March 16.  Won the Hopeful Stakes when all out over a very sloppy track on September 5 at Saratoga.  Fourth early on back of a sizzling pace of 21.91 and 45.14, Rajiv Maragh moved him into second into the turn.  The colt had to be hammered right-handed late to overtake the longshot and pacemaker Trinniberg 2nd to win.  Time of the race was 1:26.16. Terri Pompay trains the Florida-bred is owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence.

Cyber Secret–Was forwardly placed early in March 17 Rebel and failed to go on with it while no threat fifth.  Trainer Lynn Whiting said he was pulling Robby Albarado from start to finish.  Look for Whiting to take the blinkers off.  We dropped this colt from from the also-eligible list after he finishing a soundly beaten fifth in the fastest division of the Southwest.  He broke a bit tardy to be away 8th but skirted up wide on the first turn into fifth.  Channing Hill kept this colt well out from the rail down the backside to be four-deep to the half.  Third off the top he was obviously done.  Charles Cella’s scored wire to wire win at Oaklawn Park on February 4 and got a 100 Bris.  He may reappear in the Arkansas Derby.  Colt was purchased from Gary and Mary West last year after two starts for Chad Brown.  The Broken Vow colt broke slow, raced wide, and wound up ninth at the famed track opening week.

Dan And Sheila(*)–More Than Ready ridgling fell from grace when failing to show much run in the March 3 Gotham.  They skipped the Risen Star to run at Aqueduct and colt simply failed to be competitive over a “good” track.  We thought he was worthy of a futures investment early on but no longer after his Gotham flop.  He posted one of the more impressive runs in the January 21 LeComte at the Fairgrounds?  His fourth most likely won’t draw much attention.  John Velasquez didn’t ride this son of More Than Ready the first time but you’d have to think he’ll tell agent Angel Cordero he’d ride him again.  He was not quick early on and wound up three-wide and jostling rivals into turn one.  Last of 13 turning into the lane this colt could see them all.  Velasquez had found a clear path and he had run.  He lost ground to the leaders when working his way to the outside midstretch.  He finished up like more ground will not be an issue.  He’s a leggy sort who impressed losing ground every step going long for Pletcher taking his debut December 14 at Gulfstream.  Got away sharply from post 12 to lead, angled over 4th wide, 5th to 1/2  and wide, he was 4-wide midway on turn two.  Liked the run to the top and the way he opened up to the eighth pole.  Javier Castellano was the rider that day.

Desert Storm–Was dropped from our ranking of 17th on April 9th off the list.   Leggy colt caught the eye making good late progress and debuting for good trainer William Mott.  The head-on showed him being outrun early on.  He fell well out to be 10th back at least 9 lengths.  This colt was far back to the top but we liked the way he finished up and also the gallop out.  Appears to be lots of up side here.

Discreet Dancer(*)–Dropped off the list from ninth due to lack of graded money and no recent activity.  Set the pace and finished third beaten 6-1/4 in the Fountain Of Youth.  In all fairness this colt reportedly ran a temperature in the weeks running up to the ‘Youth.  Turned a lot of heads with this impressive run stretching out to a mile on January 7 at Gulfstream Prk.  Looks to be real deal but let’s see if he’s the same colt going two turns  Grand looking April foal wanted lead early on, took charge midway on the turn, then widened to clock the mile in 1:36.32.  It was, for early season, an awesome move forward off his maiden special weight win sprinting.  He’s was bred and owned by C. Paul Robsham Stable.  We also liked the manner which he galloped out into and around the clubhouse turn.

Done Talking(P)–Leggy Broken Vow colt came on strongly to take the Illinois Derby and grab a starting slot in the gate for the Kentucky Derby.  It’s not an oversight.  I simply do not believe this colt is good enough to be a factor in this year’s Kentucky Derby.  He was not quick early and rallied between horses in the late stages to overtake Rosie Napravnik aboard Morgan’s Guerrilla in the final stages.  He ran fourth in Remsen.  He’s won three of seven starts but if he were to hit the board it would be a huge surprise.

Downtown Ghost–Not nominated to Triple Crown.  Ghostzapper colt won a MSW race at first asking when sent around two turns at Oaklawn Park on February 3 and was rightfully disqualified.  Jockey Gabriel Saez whipped the William Fires-trained colt repeatedly left-handed and came out to foul Gameday News.  What caught the eye was the strong way this $85,000 Keeneland purchase finished up and galloped out.  Patricia Blass owns the colt who is out of a Seattle Song mare by the name of Downtown Blues.

Drill(P)–Could not believe they made this colt 3/to-5 in the $100,000 Northern Spur at Oaklawn Park on closing day under card.  He raced second over, loomed a factor to the top and had no finish.  We had this colt tabbed as a “pretender” way back and we hope Bob Baffert does what’s right and keeps him in the West.  Accounted for another one of those phony four-horse affairs they call a race in California on February 19.  He finished ahead of American Act and odds-on choice Creative Cause who appeared to be prepping.  Going into that race we felt maybe Bob Baffert had scrapped any thoughts of the classics with this colt.  And the way he talked after this so-called race, this colt is not Derby material.  Colt failed to bounce back from his disappointing Delta Jackpot race when disappointed yet again on January 22.  He’s failed to run to expectations in his last three starts.  It’s been downhill for this colt since he won the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity when beating the talented Creative Cause on September 7.  Wheeled back on October 1 at Santa Anita he finished second to Creative Cause.  Brought back on December 17 this colt was well beaten while ninth.  Baffert then made a decision to ship him out of town and he was a disappointing 9th in the rich Jackpot.

Dynamical–Finished a non threatening third in the weak renewal of the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park on March 3rd.  It was the colt’s third start and trainer Mark Casse has plenty of time to get this Hard Spun colt to do better.  His debut was notable in that he split the field in the race that was won by the super talented grass colt runner Exothermic.  He came out of that race to run second, validating our opinion of Exothermic.

El Padrino–Was on the bubble as of April 16 as far as graded money.  With the announcement Wrote was not coming and the “iffy” status of Trinniberg he should make the gate.  And should Bob Baffert do the right thing his Drill should not be thrown to the wolves in Louisivlle because he can’t get classic distance.  Here we go again with another Todd Pletcher three-year-old failing to move forward.  Sixth rated going into the March 31 Florida Derby he never was a serious factor while fifth.  He did not move forward and if his connections are realistic they will not take up a spot in the May 5 Kentucky Derby.  Got major graded money score he needed in an all-out quick renewal of the Risen Star February 25 at the Faigrounds.  In the Risen Star he moved up from his 17th ranked position.  Colt banked $180,000 after a foul claim by Rosie Napravnik aboard Mark Valeski was not allowed.  He was in great tactical position every step of the way.  Castellano had him racing out from the rail down backstraight.  Advancing wide off the top he engaged Mark Valeski from outside early in the lane. Just why Castellano stuck to right-handed urging we don’t know but he had to post a fast final fraction of 6.08 to get the win under overcast skies. He was also answering the question of whether his previous races had been enhanced by his off-track prowess.  If the track comes up wet on May 5 in Louisville the chances of this colt would be enhanced.  Missed January 21 LeComte when cording up after a work. On January 29 he ran down Take Charge Indy over a track called “good” track.  Javier Castellano got the call in that Gulfstream Park race as Velasquez for some reason opted to ride Casual Trick. Castellano placed this colt fourth early on.  He made his run off the turn for home. Despite the wet going he posted a final fraction of 6.40.  Keep in mind the track came up wet when a rainstorm hit the area and some of the colts may not have liked the sealed surface.  Let’s Go Stables’ colt finished third in the Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct on November 26.  Colt broke maiden by nearly 13 in the Belmont slop October 29.  He’s yet another colt in Pletcher’s barn and one has to wonder how he can possibly do justice to so many live sophomores?  We have to wonder if there was a reason why John Velasquez stuck with Casual Trick instead of this colt?  His sixth and final start as a two-year-old found him finishing fourth in the Breeders Cup Juvenile to Hansen.

Empire Way–Beat only one in the San Felipe March 10 and trainer Mike Harrington said he would not run again at Santa Anita Park.Empire Maker was a soundly beaten second in the Robert B. Lewis to I’ll Have Another.  Mike Harrinton-trained horses usually improve after a comeback run.  Colt broke his maiden in first career start at Hollywood Park when beating Holy Candy.  He was sixth in the Hollywood Prevue on Nov., 24, then fifth in the rich Cash Call Futurity that was won by Liason.

Ender Knievel–Vied for the lead for three-quarters of a mile and finished fifth in the rich Sunland Park Derby.  Count him a pretender.  Broke ldDistorted Humor colt broke his maiden in his fourth career start at one mile on February 5 at Gulfstream Park.  He was away alertly, set the pace, led by a length into the turn and widened once he got in the lane.  He clocked the mile in 1:37.46.  Colt’s first two starts found him finishing fifth.  He debuted at Keeneland on October 22 and returned at Churchill Downs on November 26.  On December 24 the George Arnold trained colt improved when he ran second to Thunder Mocassin.

Escabroni–Not nominated to TC.  St. George Stable’s Smoke Glacken colt broke his maiden at seven panels in his second lifetime start.  Being in Todd Pletcher’s barn could hamper his development because the famed trainer is spread so thin.

Ex Factor–Made good on track appearance prior to January 21st LeComte but spit the bit bigtime on the second turn of the 1-70 yard test.  He got away from the barrier in so-so fashion and was jostling between foes on entering turn one.  Securing the rail in 8th to start the run down the backstretch he drifted off the fence on the far turn and gave up.  We noted he failed to show fight through the lane in a disappointing run.  Liked gameness this colt exhibited in one late to win Sugar Bowl; jostled open, slot dbs, 3rd waiting to 1/2(-1), waited locked in far, got out top, rallied to left-handed whip.

Exothermic(*)–This is one of the most talented colts we monitored this year and something must be amiss here even though his cagey trainer has not indicated same.  He was rated high up in our rankings most of the year despite he’d done his racing on the lawn.  This is a good colt so monitor him when he returns.  We waited until March 24 to drop this colt out of the top five rated colts in the land.  Reportedly he had some physical issues and that’s the reason we did not see him surface in any of the Ky Derby preps.  He was always ranked among a hand full of the best sophomores this year.  He’s a very talented colt.  When he surfaces pay attention.  He’s a runner for sure and most likely they are going to keep him on the lawn.  At last check he was at Palm Meadows and there are reports he may resurface in the $150,000 Palm Beach March 11–on grass and not on dirt.  If he does return there and win he’d still be in need of more graded earnings.  Reviewed the run this leggy colt made winning first level grass allowance at Gulfstream on February 5. The 79 number awarded this race is flawed!  There’s no doubt about that. This Empire Maker colt looks the part.  He broke clean in a wide path from post 9 and we noted how willing and full of run he was early on.  Manuel Cruz had him fifth on the fence to begin the run down the backstretch while back 7.  The colt moved well inside one to be fourth on the second turn and wanting to go on.  Cruz had to wait to the top before wheeling him outside.  He took the lead won an 1-1/8th mile test on turf in 1:48.56.  It’s true the half mile clocking was only 49.27.  What if this colt gets a fast tempo? We really liked his fifth to 1st run to win at first asking on the same course on Dec., 29 at 58-to-1.  He’s owned by Green Lantern Stables.  He covered the final fraction in 11.35.  That got our attention.   This colt’s dam was a South African champion.  She beat Quija Board in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in Hong Kong.

Ever So Lucky–Showed no interest in the stretch when finishing 10th in the Blue Grass.  Did nothing to enhance his Derby aspirations with a non threatening third place finish in the Swale on March 10.  The race was won wire to wire by Trinniberg.  Indian Charlie colt started only twice in 2011.  His second start came on November 26 when trainer Jonathan Sheppard stretched him out in the Kentucky Jockey Club.  He led early and finished second in that 1-1/16 mile test at Churchill Downs to Gemologist.  The colt that was bred by Jerry Jamgotchian won the first start of his career on November 11 when he won by more than three at 6-1/2 furlongs.

Fastestwhogetspaid–Canadian-bred rallied nicely to win for third time in six race skein at Oaklawn Park March 3.  He was slow to begin but moved up the rail to be sixth outside one into the turn.  Channing Hill had him drafting behind the first four and when urged he rallied to be up in the shadow of the wire.  Brian Williamson trains the Henny Hughes colt for Oak Knoll Farms LLC and Team Wilcox.

Film Shot–Not among TC nominees.  Courtlandt Farm’s colt was well beaten in debut vs. Consortium but moved forward bigtime when trying two turns and going long the first time on February 1 at Gulfstream Park.   The Distorted colt broke smartly from post four and vied for and got the early lead.  Setting all the pace he posted a final fraction of 12.00 flat as he clocked a mile on turf in 1:35.01.  The MSW race had the appearance of what should be a productive heat.  Capable Bill Mott is this colt’s trainer.

Finnegan’s Wake–Broke cleanly, was slow early and failed to get in real fight while 10th in the April 1 Louisiana Derby.  Rallied from far back to get up for non threatening third in the March 3 Gotham under Kent Desormeaux.  Dale Romans trains this Powerscourt colt who broke his maiden on turf at Gulfstream Park on January 1.  Donegal Racing owns this colt.

Flashy Dresser–Dropped him from 16th on list April 9 due to lack of graded money and activity.  Was among 20 late nominees to the Triple Crown on March 27.  Proved best over a smaller framed Gung Ho in the Rushaway March 24.  He was third and wide entering the first turn at Turfway Park.  Wide down the backstretch he had to work to get by Gung Ho through the stretch in the Rushaway.  Flashy Bull colt is a leggy sort who won at first asking around two turns in the March 24 Rushaway at Turfway Park.  He was wide early on and took on Gung Ho for a stretch run.  Under Luis Contreras he out finished his smaller rival in the late stages while having the look of a colt who would like more ground.  He won his maiden start at Gulfstream Park and was not among Triple Crown nominees.  Fred Seitz is the owner and trainer.

Fort Loudon(P)–Failed to finish competitively in the one-turn Holy Bull on January 29 after a clean break.  Even though he’s won four of nine starts he is an early on “pretender” for the Derby.  Won the $300,000 In Reality Stakes on October 15 pver the sandy Calder Race Course.  He stalkled the leader full of run and after a half in 50 3/5 he gained the lead into the stretch.  The long striding colt inched away under left-hand urging and finished runnning hard late to win clear in 1:48 1/5.  The Florida-bred son of Awesome of Course won by 2-1/2 for trainer Stanley Gold.  This colt had won the Affirmed and Dr. Fager Stakes going in.  He’s owned by Fred and Jane Brei.  Those who followed the Triple Crown trail last year will remember the long striding Jackson Bend.  Those connections are the same who are racing this colt.

Gentlemen’s Bet–Half Ours colt left four expensive colts in rear view mirror winning sprint debut January 5 at Gulfstream Park first week in January.  Trained by Wayne Catalano this colt raced into a short lead from post one after an out of the gate brushing.  He set a quick pace of 22.59 inside one before kicking away once into the straight and widened to return longshot backers to the tune of $69.40.  Colt is owned by Harry Rosenblum and was readied for the races at Churchill Downs.

Godard–Not a TC nominee.  Graduated maiden special waight ranks January 21 over Gulfstream Park turf for trainer Tom Proctor.  The gelded son of Purim won the 1-1/8th mile test on the lawn over the late suring Punctual Jeff.  Julien Leparoux had to go to the left-hand whip to hold for the desperate photo finish decision.  From the looks of things it looks as if the connections of this colt are going to keep him on turf.   He was a $75,000 Florda Sales Purchase in 2010.

Gold Megillah–Purim colt actually ran a much better than looked fourth in the Lexington over the Keeneland poly surface.  He was slow as a snail early on and lagged far back.  The head-on shot of the field making their way down the backstretch showed him moving at least six wide to the half.  Under John Velasquez he finished steadily late so this colt wants to run on.  He was coming off a third place finish in the Rushaway.  He broke his maiden in the slop at Churchill Downs.  Graham Motion is his trainer.

Golden Ticket–Veered out and slammed into Castaway at the start of the Lexington and was a no threat fifth.  Reportedly foot abcess kept factions from going ahead with him in the Blue Grass.  One of 20 colts supplemented to the Triple Crown on March 26.  Speightstown colt finished second in March 10 Tampa Bay Derby.  Ken McPeek’s charge may go next in the Blue Grass.  Broke his maiden in fourth career start at Gulfstream Park on February 11 at the distance of a mile and a 1/16th.  On October 22 he made first trip to the post at Keeneland and finished fourth.  Ever So Lucky beat him in his second trip to the post at 6-1/2 furlongs at Churchill Downs.  They stretched him out in his sophomore debut on January 1 at Gulfstream Park and he ran second to Finnegans Wake.  He’s owned by Magic City Thoroughbred Partners.

Groovin’ Solo(P)–Was well placed early but stopped and was a badly beaten last in the March 10 San Felipe.  Had as bad a trip as a colt could experience in the Robert B. Lewis on February 4 at Santa Anita when adding blinkers.  Leaving post three with Victor Espinoza he brushed with Liaison a few yards away from the gate. He then got jostled and squeezed.  Espinoza had to check and drop in on the rail.  The Bob and John colt rode the rail to the far turn.  When set down in the lane he did come in a bit and Liaison clipped heels to lose his rider.  The stewards disqualified him from third and placed him seventh.  Where will owner-trainer Kwon Cho Myung bring him back?

Gung Ho–Kitten’s Joy colt was given a perfect ground saving trip by Edgar Prado and the end result was a third in the Blue Grass.  He was coming off a second in the Rushaway on March 24 to Flashy Dresser.  He’s trained by Michael Maker.

Hakama–Trailed early and finished third beaten 3-1/4 lengths in the Illinois Derby.  Colt is trained by Michael Trombetta and has finished in the money in six of seven lifetime starts.  Ramon Dominguez took him wire to wire to break his maiden when blinkers were added in his third start at a mile at Aqueduct December 10.

Hammers Terror(P)–Outran his odds to finish third in the Lexington.  He was third over and wide early on and kept on plugging to finish a neck back of Summer Front who was beaten 1-1/2 lengths.  Not nominated to TC.  Finished OK sixth in LeComte.  The colt secured fourth on first turn.  Fifth and three-wide to 1/2-mile marker he was forced to continue wide between foes moving to the top.  Despite brisk handling he was outfinished in the January 21st 1-70 yard test at the Fairgrounds won by Mr. Bowling.

Handsome Mike–When you consider the post and the ground lost I guess one should not be too critical of this colt’s fourth in the March 24th Spiral at Turfway Park.  He trailed early on.  Jockey Joel Rosario kept him well out from the rail early and was wide through the lane.  He was making no impact in the final furlong.  Added blinkers for the El Camino Real Derby on February 18 and wound up a non threatening third.  Colt dueled from the inside for the lead early on and lacked punch.  Scat Daddy colt third early on in the Sham and he never was in it thereafter.  He was coming out of a seventh place finish in the rich Cash Call Futurity at Hollywood Park on December 17.  Colt made his racing debut back on August 13 when fourth to Drill in a 6-1/2 furlong MSW.  Mike Smith hopped aboard for his second start at Santa Anita and he won the state-bred 6-1/2 furlong race.  On November 27 he finished second in the Generous to Stoney Fleece.  Doug O’Neill trains this colt for Paul Reddam.

Hard Facts–This colt displayed the kind of grit in winning at a mile at Laurel on February 20th to suggest he would be just fine at the classic distance.  In crunch time he dug in and posted an eye opening 12.19 final fraction that saw the final time1:37.95.  He got away smartly from the outside to actually hold the early lead.  Then he was settling in second all the way back to fifth outside one.  Moving five wide to the top he responded to left-handed urging and staged his impressive late kick. His mile performance was impressive to be sure!

Heavy Breathing–Cornered well from post one on first turn but had no punch in the lane and finished seventh in the Blue Grass.  Was one of 20 colts supplemented to the Triple Crown on March 26.  Giant’s Causeway colt won a first level allowance stretching out in his second career start March 3 at Gulfstream Park.  Javier Castellano got him away well from post five of six and he sat second.  When asked to pick it up he took lead outside one to top and drew out late to win by 4-1/4.  The Todd Pletcher trained colt broke his maiden at 7-1/2 furlongs on February 8 by 7-3/4.  It marked the first time the colt had suffered defeat, having won his first two starts for Todd Pletcher.

Hello Prince--Halo’s Image colt finished second to Musical Flair in the February 4 Needles dash on Gulfstream Park’s lawn.  Florida-bred had won an allowance before taking the Birdonthewire on October 1–his sixth and final start of 2011.  Daniel Pita’s colt broke his maiden first try at Calder Race Course when winning a 4-1/2 furlong dash.

Hero of Order–Only trainer Gennadi Dorochenko knows why they brought this colt back in 13 days.  From post 12 he failed to beat a horse.  Shocked the world winning the Louisiana Derby at 109 to 1 but he won’t be in the starting gate at Churchill Downs on May 5.  It costs $200,000 to supplement and since there’s a flock of nominated colts vying for 20 spots, this colt could not run even if connections wanted to.  Despite his win he did not make my list of top 20 colts.  His second over a yielding Fairgrounds turf course in the Black Gold obviously was the springboard to the most stunning win in the 99 year history of the race.  Eddie Martin, Jr., among one of the coldest riders at the Fairgrounds, picked the right time to end a bad run.  Martin got him away sharply and was wide early to be second entering the first turn.  Gaining the lead midway on the second turn he was briskly handled to hold for a fading 1/2 length score.  If trainer Gennadi Dorochenko and ownere Raut LLC supplement this colt it will cost them a lot.

Holiday Promise–Trainer Todd Pletcher has announced they will not supplement this colt to the Triple Crown and will exercise other options.  Harlan’s Holiday colt looked the part in the post parade and outran his 25-1 odds while second to Went the Day Well in the Spiral at Turfway Park.

AE-Holy Candy–This colt is a talent in the making and we liked what we saw when they took a shot in the Blue Grass.  Finished fourth in the Blue Grass but jockey Joel Rosario and trainer John Sadler may have had a game plan.  The head-on shot showed that Rosario did not punish this colt late while rallying wide through the lane.  Have a hunch Sadler told Rosario if he couldn’t win it not to hurt the colt’s chances to develop.  He balked at loading prior to the Blue Grass.  After getting crowded at the break he did not appear to be comfortable with the footing early on in last.  Rosario eased him well away from rail to make his way down the backstretch.  He had one beat to the half and was far wide to the top.  Posted impressive finish when leaving maiden special weight ranks on March 23 at Santa Anita.  He was fourth and kept well away from the rail moving down the backstretch.  Joel Rosario had him third with a gap of about six lengths moving into the turn.  The head-on shot shows Rosario hit him once left-handed on entering the stretch.  Liked the way he finished covering the final fraction in 12.25.  The colt is owned by Donkey Island Racing LLC which is managed by Alex Solis, Jr.  The group ownership includes New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees.

Holy Highway–Florida-bred Holy Bull colt has won twice since switching from Joseph Hennessy to Derek Ryan at Tampa Bay Downs.  Overcame trouble to win turf route on January 20.  Liam Benson’s colt won the first time Ryan tightened the girth with a four-wide run in a maiden $30,000 claimer on the lawn.

How Do I Win–Repole Stable’s ridgling is a grey son of Corinthian who finished fourth in the Count Fleet Stakes to Alpha.  His connections admit the May foal has a lot of maturing to do.

Howe Great–Colt was going in the right direction until he ran fifth in the Blue Grass.  He broke in a bit but was still well placed into the first turn.  Javier Castellano moved him between horses to the half and he was third to the top.  Urged some left-handed he was on the wrong lead and backed up while not showing a fondness for the poly surface.  We had him rated 11th just below the colt he beatin the Palm Beach, and that read was right on as Dullahan came back to win the Blue Grass as we thought he might.  We also questioned whether this colt wants to go the classic distance.  It looks like they will return him to the grass.  Raced second over in the 1-1/8th mile Palm Beach on the lawn and took the lead when ready to win by 3/4.  It marked fourth straight win for the colt who impressed with his on track demeanor before the race.  Clocked the distance in 1:46.56.  Team Valor’s Hat Trick colt took them wire to wire on grass in the Kitten’s Joy with Edgar Prado up.  He posted a rapid fast fraction as he was clocked the distance of 1-1/16 miles in 1:40.42.  The colt began his career with a second and a maiden win at Parx.  He then won on December 15.  Hat Trick did his best at a flat mile.  The mare Ginger Sea is a Maryland-bred who ran second to Langfuhr in the Met Mile in 1997.

Ill Conceived–Beat only two in the March 24th Spiral.  He was coming off a second place effort in the John Battaglia which we felt was not a strong renewal.  This colt is not Kentucky Derby material.  Pennsylvania-bred was own worst enemy when losing by a zop to State of Play in John Battaglia Memorial March 3 at Turfway Park.  Colt gave up the rail around the second turn when stretching out and it cost his connections the race.  John Servis’ colt is a competitive sort who has been in the mix in all eight of his starts but would not belong in the Derby even if he had the graded money.

Inflation Target– Tapit colt is a full brother to Rattlesnake Bridge who broke his maiden on February 4 at Aqueduct at six furlongs.  He was awarded a 97 Bris speed number for the effort.  Dave Cohen was up as he raced third over and went about his task at hand to win in 1:10 4/5.

Irish Sea(?)–Not nominated to TC.  Don’t know whether connections of this English Channel have Derby aspirations or not.  His debut was deceptively huge on lawn where winner wired ‘em posting fast FF(11.70).  At Gulfstream Park on January 13 he was not quick early and had one foe beat to begin the run down backstretch.  He made a good run of the top on the inside and continued to gain to save the place.  Monitor for sure!

Isn’t He Clever(P)–We were hoping this colt would not finish in the money in the Arkansas Derby and he didn[t.  After being bumped solidly twice in the opening yards he was finished when real running began and ran 8th.  We did not think he was Triple crown material going in and his graded money is just short of making the gate.  They supplemented him to the Triple Crown on March 26 for $6,000 as expected but we do not like his chances at the classic distance.  He was run down and wound up second to pick up $176,000 graded money in the Sunland Park Derby.  He’s in the Derby gate now due to this ridiculous rule we have in place but he does not belong at Churchill Downs on May 5.  This colt caused a lot of issues in the opening eighth of a mile in the Robert B. Lewis on February 4 at Santa Anita Park.  He came out to bump and crowd Liaison into Groovin’ Soto severely when Corey Nakatani sent him for the lead.  Colt caved in when the real running began.  Trainer Henry Dominguez gelding won the Riley Allison Futurity.  In his only defeat he was narrowly beaten in the Clevor Trevor at Remington Park.

Jake Mo–Another colt that needed to record a major upset in the Arkansas Derby and that did not happen.  He was slow early and sixth into the first turtn.  He lost ground racing out from the rail on the far turn and wound up tenth.  Was supplemented to the Triple Crown on March 26.  Saved ground every step of the way, got through to the top of the lane was was home a steady no threat fourth in a weak renewal of the Rebel on March 17.  Finished up nicely to save second when chasing Castaway to wire in the first division of the Southwest.  Colt broke in a bit but got away third.  Fourth early on he settled out eighth while racing outside one.  Skimming the rail to the top he found a seam late and was up for second. He broke his maiden at Prairie Meadows on June 25 and returned to win the Prairie Gold Juvenile on July 16.

Kid Sidney–Lemon Drop Kid gelding won his debut routing at Oaklawn Park for Jinks Fires at Oaklawn Park on February 25.  Colt is owned by the PHWL partnership which is headed by Jim Pickering a Little Rock CPA.  The rest of the group is comprised of Pickering’s son in law Mark Lamberth who is a member of the Arkansas Racing Commission, Howard Howe and Bill Walmsley.  The latter is head of the Arkansas HBPA.  They had to geld this colt early on because he kept hurting himself by doing stupid things.

King Kid–Failed to move forward when fifth in what we felt was a weak renewal of the Withers.  Lemon Drop Kid colt made sophomore debut January 1 when third in the Gulfstream Park Derby to Reveron and Casual Trick.  Made impressive debut in MSW race which was actually under the lights at Churchill Downs November 26 at difficult distance of 7 panels.  He broke okay from post two.  Sixth entering the turn he was full of run.  We liked the way he cut between foes on the turn to move into fourth.  Angling to the middle of the surface and spanked right-handed he rallied.  Cut left-handed late he drew clear to graduate at seven panels.  Owned by McKee Stable, Inc he’s trained by Dale Romans.

Know Sense(*)–Street Sense colt certainly caught the eye making his debut in MSW route at Hawthorne on March 16.  You’ll see very few horses make the kind of late run over this surface.  That’s the reason we awarded colt an (*) asterisk.  This colt might blossom into something special.  He began his run midway on the second turn and made an awesome late gain to almost get abreast of the eventual winner who was graduating making career start eight.  Trained by Kellen Gorder and owned by Joel Zawitz the colt was bred by John Oxley.

Lake Victor–Langfuhr colt did not enhance his Derby aspirations with this narrow defeat at Oaklawn Park March 3.  He raced wide early and around the turn and gained the lead to have the look of a winner only to be outkicked from left on wire.  His sprint win suggests this colt may have up side.  From outside box in field of four he got away clean, vied outside one in hand, rubbed foe before turn, once in lane took charge when scrubbed on, tapped once left-handed 50 yards out, who knows?

Last Gunfighter–First Samurai colt ran well trying two turns in only his second lifetime start at the Fairgrounds on February 16.  Off slowly and going out from his outside post 12 he made his run off the turn for home.  He saved ground on the fence once in the stretch and was home second best to Sir Bond.  Colt was well beaten but caught and galloped out ahead of the winner.  John Gunther owns and bred this colt who was finishing third in his debut in a sprint to Lake Victor who returned to win at the next level.

Liason(P)–This is one time Bob Baffert is reaching.  He’s fitting this colt with blinkers and I think he’s got no chance.  Wound up fourth in the San Felipe on March 10 but does not appear to be Derby material.  He’s in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby but we do not have him ranked anywhere!  If this expensive $290,000 purchase didn’t get cut up in the Robert B. Lewis on February 4 we’ll be surprised.  First off this colt was pushed out and jostled in the opening eighth of a mile.  Once into the stretch he clipped heels and lost jockey Rafael Bejarano.  If I were trainer Bob Baffert I’d be upset with the way Corey Nakatani rode Isn’t He Clever away from the gate the opening eighth.  The stewards disqualified Groovin Solo from third and placed him seventh but they did not dq Isn’t He Clever from a fifth place check.  Ya gotta love this long fused colt on appearance.  Won the Cash Call Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec., 17 in game fashion for Bob Baffert can take his sweet time with him.  With Rafael Bejarno up he was away in a wide path from post nine.  Indian Charlie colt had good early interest and was able to drop in on the rail in neat fashion before the 1st left.  Full of run in fourth to begin the run down the backstretch they waited to ease outside into the lane.  Once in the lead he was ridden hard to hold off Rousing Sermon.

Liberty Bound–Regressed bigtime in second start February 26.  After a clean break he set the pace to the stretch.  We did not like his action once he was headed in the stretch and he faded big.  Dogwood Stables $110K Keeneland purchase won at first asking sprinting for Todd Pletcher.  He’s a colt by Mr. Greeley so until further notice we’d have to conclude he may not be suited for a classic distance of ground.  In January 21st debut at Gulfstream Park he sat third losing some ground early one.  Moving three-wide around the turn he had the reins thrown at him to clear to post a six panel clocking of 1:10.95.

Longview Drive(P)–Was in a three-horse dead-heat for sixth in the first division of the Southwest.  Rammy entering the first turn he was eighth early and never got in the real fight. Colt ran second in his Golden Gate debut.  He broke his maiden at the sprint distance of five furlongs at Pleasanton in northern California with Russell Baze.  He returned to win the Covonnier Juvenile at the Sonoma County Fair and made it three straight wins when first in the 1-1/16th mile Charlie Palmer Futurity at the Fresno Fair.  Third in the Delta Downs Jackpot on November 19 he was third to Out of Bounds in the one-mile Sham January 7 at Santa Anita Park.

Lucky Chappy–Finally got the answer we had been asking for some time.  The reason Barry Irwin and Team Valor have stuck with jockey Alan Garcia is as follows:  ”He has always done well for us, and more importantly, he knows the horse and has confidence in him.  This colt breaks so bad anybody riding him for the first time might lose interest after the start.”  That is why Garcia will ride this colt in Dubai.  So the hunch we had a rider change would take place was wrong.  Trainer Graham Motion will stick with Garcia.   This colt got beat a zap in the El Camino Real Derby February 18 at Golden Gate and the effort was far better than appears because he lost a ton of ground.  Garcia made a prolonged run wide on the far turn and actually had the lead in the stretch.  If I had a good horse I would not be riding Garcia.  He simply has over the last year failed to move forward as a rider.  Garcia stuck to his right-handed sticking and came in to bump eventual winner Daddy Nose Best.  Garcia was the fourth different rider to ride this colt and we doubt he will get another chance.  Team Valor’s colt has never finished worse than fourth in six lifetime starts.  He’s coming off a second place effort to Howe Great in the January 21 Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream Park.  Colt’s first start in the states was a third in the Bourbon at Keeneland at the distance of a mile and a 1/16th.  He was brought back and ran fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf to Wrote.

Maan(P)–Was used early in the Gotham over a “good” track and tired badly to finish last in the field of 13.  Malibu Moon colt made good run wide out of fourth to the top, gained lead to the 1/8th, and held under brisk left-handed urging on July 3.  It marked the maiden win for the colt but more important it was the 500th riding win for Julien Leparoux at Churchill Downs.  Did not rate the surface that day in Louisville but we did note the final fraction of 13.09 would not turn any heads as the six furlong clocking was 1:10.99.

Mabroom–Not nominated to TC.  Disappointed exiting a live heat on February 26 at Gulfstream Park.  He raced three-wide early on and faded to sixth.  We thought going in he was a major player in that race because he colt beat a pretty good colt named Unremitting who returned and won on the grass February 25.  And finishing behind Unremitting was a colt we suggest will win his very next start called Sachem Spirit.  Lemon Drop Kid colt is what we call an “x factor” in our early on search for Derby quality colts.  On January 8th we were greatly impressed with the Shadwell Farm’s colt.  He won at the distance of 1-1/16ths with true grit.  Richard Eramia rode him and he’s trained by Daniel Peitz.

Majestic Number–Had this colt rated eighth up until March 26 when I dropped him out of the standings due to inactivity.  Yet another colt where graded money earnings was big issue as of February 26.  Liked manner which he grabbed bit when challenged from right flank off the turn on February 11 over a good track at Gulfstream.  Broke like shot from extreme outside post position to lead early with John Velasquez aboard.  Allowed to settle in second the colt lost a bit of ground on the turn.  He got competitive when Fort Boonesborough made a run to his right.  Leading by only a half a side into the stretch he was drawing off in the late going.  Todd Pletcher’s colt didn’t beat much but he certainly had to benefit from his graduation experience.

Majestic Stride–Set the pace and faded to fifth in first division of the Southwest on February 20 at Oaklawn.  Colt by Trippi broke his maiden making his second lifetime start in the fog with Carlos Marquez on January 22 at Oaklawn Park.  The Trippi colt made his debut when finishing second in a MSW at Golden Gate on January 2.

Maritimer–Not a TC nominee.  There has been talk that the UAE Derby on March 31 may be where this colt surfaces.  Ramzan Kadyrov owns and Seth Benzel trains this Stormy Atlantic colt who has won his last two starts going long last year at Woodbine.  He broke his maiden first out at six furlongs on July 10.  After two seconds and a fourth in the one mile Summer at Woodbine he won the Coronation Futurity at 1-1/8 mile.  Menlo Castle was second that day.  He won the 1-1/16th Display in his last start(November 27)  beating Menlo Castle again in 1:43.58.   This colt had three wins and two seconds in six starts at two racing exclusively at Woodbine.

Midnight Transfer–Was a non threatening third in the San Felipe when trying two turns but was not a threat to the first two.  Carla Gaines-trained colt won 6-1/2 furlong San Pedro January 212 making fourth start of his career.  Once jockey Joel Rosario got him off the rail he was up to win a furious finish.   The field he beat is suspect and the jury is still out because his next chore will be to try two-turning.  Finished second in his debut to Norm’s Passion in a 5-1/2 furlong MSW at Del Mar on November 4.  After finishing sixth at 6-1/2 panels October 8 at Santa Anita he returned and broke his maiden on opening day of the winter race meeting as he sped six panels in 1:08.02 over a blazing fast surface.

Mongol Max–Not among TC nominees.  Lawyer Ron colt won’t be a maiden for long.  Liked his second career race under the arcs at Delta Downs on January 28.  After bumping a foe at the start he was fourth entering turn one of the 6-1/2 furlong test.  Fourth down backstretch he was sent up inside the three leaders.  Engaged to the top he battled on to the 60 yard mark and was clearly second best to a leggy Tom Amoss colt who appears to have ability.

Morgan’s Guerrilla–Don’t know what went wrong in the Lexington but something certainly was.  We bet on him from post one and thought he’d beat a not so strong field.  He was outrun early and kept falling out.  Julien Leparoux had him all but eased up off the top of the lane and he finished last when shedding the blinkers he wore in the Illinois Derby.  We did not think he wanted the classic Ky Derby distance but we felt he was worth backing in the Lexington and that did not go so well.  Ghostzapper colt ran huge in defeat when second in the Illinois Derby with Rosie Napravnik up.  He was placed in behind a six-horse first tier early on and lost a ton of ground moving down the backstretch.  Napravnik got him abreast of Our Entourage to the top and he gained lead.  Under brisk handling and on the wrong lead he drifted out badly in the late going and was caught late from left flank in a slow renewal of the mile and an eighth event.  Michael Maker trains the colt who was making only his third lifetime start at Hawthorne Race Course.  He broke his maiden in the second start of his career with Ramon Dominguez in the mud at Aqueduct on March 3rd.

Mr. Bowling(*)–Larry Jones is a great horseman but he most likely would tell you he should not have brought this colt back in the Louisiana Derby.  After a bump at the break cost him several lengths he wound up beating only Comisky’s Humor who was eased.  It’s time to give this colt some time off and start over.  Was jostled about in the opening eighth and never seemed comfortable when faltering and winding up last the field to the wire in the Risen Star February 25.  He was third ranked going in.  Where trainer Larry Jones had to be elated with the way his colt moved through traffic and dug in when challenged in winning the $175,000 LeComte, it was just the opposite in the Risen Star.  From post three he was bumped by Optimizer away from the gate and bumped again entering the first turn.  Robby Albarado had him fifth inside one early but he seemed unsure.  In the stretch Albarado tapped him lightly because it was obvious all had been lost.  In the LeComte he was sixth on the fence early he was on the move between foes going for the far turn.  Inside two rivals moving to the top he was cut left-handed by jockey Robby Albarado.  When Z Dagger and Shared Property made runs at the colt he went gamely to the wire to win by a head.  “The colt was just starting to get good and early on, and the further the better,” said trainer Larry Jones after the January 21 win at the Fair Grounds.  Trainer knows how to handle a good horse and it appears he’s got the real deal with this improving colt.  Finished third in Iroquois on Dec., 30th to Motor City in the Iroquois.  Jones’ colt got a trip and won clear beating only 3 in Dover at Delaware Park on October 8.  He had so-so-early speed, was rammy tossing head up on first turn, raced in slot before making his 3-wide winning move off the top in the Dover.

Mr. Prankster(P)–Just why Michael Maker threw this colt to the wolves in the March 24 Spiral we do not know.  He managed to beat one.  Case closed.  Not nominated to TC and it’s a good thing.  He was no factor in a weak renewal of the John Battaglia Memorial on March 3 at Turfway Park.  He broke slowly from his outside box in the field of five and raced wide beating but one in a dismal showing.  He was colored a (P) pretender after his romp in the WEBN and it panned out to be true in the Battaglia.  Made a nice come from behind score in the two-turn one mile WEBN at Turfway Park under the arcs on February 4th.  Breaking from the extreme outside box in a field of nine John McKee dropped him over to the rail in the opening stages.  McKee found clear sailing down the backside to be fourth on turn two.  Once outside in the lane the It’s No Joke colt took charge and was ridden hard late to win clear.  Bounced back with a positive come from behind performance to win the Turfway Park Prevue on January 7 beating Magical Season and Frankie Is Rock.  The Preview was at 6-1/2 furlongs and colt is going to have to prove he’s can handle a route of ground.  They thought enough of this It’s No Joke colt to run him in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs on November 26 when he ran last.

My Adonis(P)–On the also eligible list for the Kentucky Derby.  Colt really is not that good.  We were correct when we called this It’s No Joke colt a pretender in the weak renewal of the Gotham.  Was given every chance with a great inside trip and had to settle for a non-threatening second in the March 3 Gotham.  Hansen was the winner by three.  Was a well beaten third in the Holy Bull on January 29.  He did break in and bump Consortium but fell well out of it early in the one-turn mile over a track called “sealed good.”  George Hall’s Pleasantly Perfect colt finished a disappointing ninth in the rich Delta Down Jackpot on November 19.  Colt won Jean Laffitt at a mile at Delta Downs to earn most of his bankroll.  He made his racing debut running second in a sprint at Hoosier.  He returned in less than a month to tally a maiden win at the same 5-1/2 furlong distance.

Najjaar–Has not moved forward.  Never was a factor when finishing seventh in the Arkansas Derby.  He was slow early and exhibiting a choppy way of going.  Jazil colt was coming off two straight wins over Oaklawn Park oval but could only manage a non threatening sixth in a field of 12 in the Rebel.  He’s super slow early and we simply do not see Daniel Peitz’ colt as a viable Kentucky Derby possibility.  He’s owned by the Shadwell Stable.

News Pending–Something has obviously gone amiss with this colt.  They went back to Kent Desormeaux in the Lexington and he was never in the fray–just as was the case in his puzzling Florida Derby 7th.  When Rajiv Maragh failed to break this colt alertly and he was no factor we thought he might be injured.  Fifth at the start of the day on March 31 he was dropped out of our ratings after his very poor effort in the Florida Derby.  He had to have an in-the-money finish to have any chance of going on May 5.Was surprised to see they took Desormeaux off and will have Rajiv Maragh up in his next race.  Why?  Validated our strong opinion of the February 5 grass race won by Exothermic which got a faulty 79 Beyer number.  We respect Andy’s numbers team but they had that one wrong. This colt’s second place effort was not a surprise at 25-1 in the Fountain of Youth. Colt picked up $80,000 graded money and that could bode well for this colt who got an aggressive under the radar ride from Kent Desormeaux.  Those who read our ratings had to cash in on the healthy $62.90 exacta in the Fountain of Youth.  We said: “this colt might be one of the more talented NW-2 in the land” and he still went off at 25-to-1.  Now do you suppose the factions that handle second rated Exothermic might get off the dime and run their colt in a graded event on dirt?  Rajiv Maragh had this colt surging late to the talented Exothermic on Feb., 5 at Gulfstream Park.  Slow early and eighth midway his finish is hard to ignore.  After the finish wire he galloped right on by Exothermic.  Ran 12th in six-furlong debut this summer at Saratoga August 20.  Brought back at a route he finished fifth to Entourage at Belmont.  Javier Castellano got the call in his third start when he ran second to Saint Honore.  After a fourth place effort at a mile and an eighth he broke his maiden at the same distance December 22 at Gulfstream.  That set the stage for this colt’s most impressive effort to Exothermic.

Nonios–Not nominated to Triple Crown.  Pleasantly Perfect FTS falls into the “X factor” category after an impressive debut at Golden Gate February 11 for Jerry Hollandorfer.  The Green Smith-owned colt got away straight and raced in behind two leaders early on.  Fourth and in the slot on the turn he worked his way into a clear running lane in the stretch.  Colt finished in fluid trying and reaching fashion to win by 2-1/4 in 1:10.43 while covering the FF in 12.43.

Northern Yankee–Not a TC nominee.  Canadian-bred son of Yankee Gentleman made impressive run run around far turn and once outside on the Tampa Bay turf course he came home to win easily January 22.  At the start he went in a bit and got roughed to be away in sluggish fashion.  He had one beat early but his run on the inside on turn two was impressive to say the least.  Colt broke his maiden at Nellis Park on August 19.  He returned to split the field in the Alberta Futurity.

On Fire Baby–Smoke Glaken filly ran third in the Smarty Jones to Junebugred on January 16.  With $286,729 in graded earnings as of March 12 she ranked 7th among the colts with Ky Derby aspirations.  It was her first start since her win in the Golden Rod on November 26.  Owned by Anita Cauley this filly began her career by winning a 5-1/2 furlong sprint at Ellis Park on August 19.  She was brought back on October 7 and finished fifth in the Alcibiades at Keeneland.  Trainer Gary Hartlage’s filly won the Pocahantas on October 30th in her third career start.

Optimizer–Failed to move forward in the Arkansas Derby when finishing ninth.  In all fairness the track was kinder to front speed that day so maybe one should not be overly critical.  The facts are he’s only got a maiden win so it not one of D. Wayne Lukas’ better shots–and he’s had many of them at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.  Early in the race he came in bumping Isn’t He Clever hard twice.  Seventh out from the rail down the backstraight he failed to put in a run.  English Channel colt rallied from eighth to finish fastest inside the flank of Rebel winner Secret Circle.  A lot is going to be made out of the effort but we concluded it was a weak renewal of the mile and a sixteenth fixture.  D. Wayne Lukas, craving for more camera exposure, is surely to take this one to Churchill even though we doubt he belongs.  But that’s the way this Derby lures the big names.

Our Entourage–Ran well but backed up readily in crunch time to finish fifth in the Illinois Derby.  He broke in a bit of a scramble but raced up five-wide between foes entering first turn on a live early battle.  Eddie Castro had him in a perfect stalking position down the backstretch.  He gained the lead and had the look of a winner entering the stretch inside Morgan’s Guerrilla.  Despite brisk handling in the late stages he faded badly.  Street Cry colt bounced back from his fifth in the Remsen on November 26 with an allowance win at Gulfstream Park on Febuary 25.  His last start in 2011 was a fifth in the Remsen to O’Prado Again, Souper Speedy and El Padrino.  In the Remsen he was away alertly and forced the issue outside Souper Speedy in soft splits(49.97 and 1:15.05).  He gained the lead entering the lane but faltered late despite the soft tempo which has to be of concern.  He broke his maiden in second career start at Belmont on September 17 when trying a distance of ground for the first time.  He returned to finish fifth in the Breeders Cup Futurity to Dullahan when ridden by crack rider Joel Rosario on October 8.  Began his career with a second in a MSW sprint at Saratoga on August 27 to Fire On Ice.  Mike Repole owns the colt who is out of the Dynaformer mare Sand Springs.

Overdriven–Mike Repole’s colt won the Sanford.  The Tale of the Cat $350,000 yearling purchase has had physical issues to we will monitor this Todd Pletcher-trained colt.

Paynter–Returned to finish a no threat fourth in the Santa Anita Derby.  We noted that after the wire he galloped out alongside the eventual winner so he could move forward off the first two turns experience.  Awesome Again colt won MSW debut February 18 looking to do more.  With Martin Garcia aboard it was nothing more than a walk in the park as he rallied wide into the lane.  Colt came home without being asked for run posting a FF(6.45) so only trainer Bob Baffert what they’ll focus on next.

Phantom Fury–Finished second to Mr. Prankster in the WEBN on February 4.  Michael Lauer’s gelded son of Devil His Due scored back to back romping wins at Turfway Park after running fifth in his debut on December 2.  Colt drew off to win maiden special weight at 6-1/2 furlongs by 8 with a bug rider up.  They brought him back at a mile and he led wire to wire to win by nearly 11 beating five.

Politicallycorrect–Finished 12th in the Blue Grass.  He got away from the gate in a clear path and was second off the first turn and down the backstretch.  Moving to the half-mile marker in fifth he appeared to be trouble handling the surface.  He backed up from that point on.  Must admit we didn’t have this Wesley Ward-trained colt in our file until March 20 when he posted a drill.  We used Twitter to get the information when he did not come up in our Google search.  On February 26 he scored a four-over seven furlong win aided by some fast early fractions.  He was making a wide run to the top and ran down Liberty Bowl to post a 1:22.76 clocking.  The early fractions were 22.14 and 44.63.  It’s notable this colt posted a FF(final fraction) of 12.40.

Pretension–Ran 9th in the Illinois Derby.  He was not quick early and was brushed from the left flank.  Inside two in the second tier entering the first turn he got bit rank and checked.  Bluegrass Cat colt ran fifth in the Gotham and it was the worst finish in six career starts for the New York bred.  Christopher Grove is his trainer and it appears his best chance will be to race against New York breds.

Princess Arabella(*)–Trainer Bob Baffert stole $120,000 when this filly won Sunland Park Oaks eased up by 8 lengths March 24 .  Martin Garcia popped her out of the gate first and it was over.  It was nothing more than a glorified workout for Peachtree Stable’s filly.  She set a measured pace of 47.24 and 1:11.57.  Only a neck in front to the second turn she got separation to the top, opened up, and was totally geared down the final 60 yards.  It was her first two-turn experience and she does not need the lead. Since nobody has even hinted they might run her against the boys we dropped her from fifth down to the also eligible list.  Filly may be the most talented runner in the Bob Baffert barn–and he’d loaded. Graded money earnings are a major issue as of February 26.  Filly returned to win at seven furlongs in an absolute jiggy-jog.  She was away much better on February 11 and raced outside the two leaders.  Martin Garcia cruised three-wide with her on the turn and she engaged the leader.  Once into the lane she kicked away and was totally geared down in 1:22.22.  The leggy filly figures to be in Kentucky on the first weekend in May if all goes well.  If it’s not in the Oaks it might be the Derby.  We awarded her a rare double asterisk(**) when making her impressive debut on December 31 at Santa Anita.  She’s awesome!  Away cleanly from post three, she lugged out crossing the gap while racing green.  Third into the turn she breezed  up wide(44.23) to gain a short lead.  Once Garcia got her to switch leads she drew away while never asked for run.  Loved the the gallop out.

Prospective–Finished sixth in the Blue Grass there are owners hoping the dull showing will find them not going in the Kentucky Derby.  He steadied back a bit between horses to begin the run down the backstretch.  Set down midway on the far turn he had no finish.  Won the Tampa Bay Derby when fitted with blinkers for the first time.  Ridden by Luis Contreras he was sixth early.  He made an early run to get the lead on the far turn and went gamely to the wire to get a clocking of 1:43.11.  That clocking marked the second fastest renewal of the Tampa Bay Derby.  The blinker change was made because he ran with his head docked going down the backstretch in the February 4th S F. Davis.  Malibu Moon colt rallied from 8th in a field of 11 to finish second in the Davis behind Battle Hardened.  Bounced back to win the seven furlong Pasco on January 14 after having finished last in the Breeders Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.  Mark Casse trains the colt who had won three of six prior to the Tampa Bay Derby.  trained the Malibu Moon colt who broke his maiden in his second career start at Woodbine at seven panels.  He returned to win the 1-1-1/16 mile Grey Stakes at Woodbine which prompted owner John Oxley to try him in the BC Juvenile.  He’s the first foal of Spirited Away who won half her eight starts including the Truly Bound over a sloppy track.  Casse says the colt thrives on racing so they definitely plan on running him again before the Derby.  He’s already earned enough graded money.

Puntual Jeff–Sure liked his great late run for second to the promising colt Scat Happy at 1-1/8 miles on Gulfstream Park turf February 23.  He was near the rear early.  Jamie Castellano wheeled him out far wide on the far turn and he was caught six wide into the lane.  He got abreast of Scat Happy inside the 60-yard mark but could not get past the winner who posted a sizzling FF(11.49).  Six race maiden is not among TC nominees and had no graded earnings as of February 23.  Here’s a five time maiden whose connections just might decide to take a shot at the Derby on dirt.  Chad Brown’s More Than Ready colt could see them all turning for home in a 1-1/8 mile turf test on January 21.  At least six wide entering the stretch he passed eight of nine and missed by a bob to Godard.  The thing that impressed us was his rider was not asking him for run with his stick in the final yards.

Quick Wit(?)–Win Star’s Sharp Humor colt validated top Derby prospect Spring Hill Farm awesome win last start here.  Dale Romans trains this colt and he improved eons as he was asked to race in behind the first flight and once in the lane he drew out late.  This colt should move forward off this maiden special weights win and a lot will bank on how he does against winners.

Reckless Jerry–Was never a factor in the Rebel and after he beat only two in a weaker than normal edition we dropped him out of our rankings.  We thought we might have him rated too low on our list.  We were wrong!  Owned by country western star Toby Keith this colt is surely to get tons of press coverage.  Have to respect his better than looked second place effort in the Smarty Jones January 16 at Oaklawn Park.  To say this colt lost ground is an understatement.  He broke alert from post 12 but was fourth and extremely wide early on.  Unable to get over he was sixth and still hung out midway on turn one.  At least five wide down the backstraight this colt was sixth and still wide midway on turn two.  Reponding to urging he rallied late outside four and still nearly got up.  It was an effort of note but the jury is out on whether there was any substance in the field.  Keith races under the name of Dream Walkin’ Farms. His Cactus Ridge colt is trained by Kenny Smith.  He was also second to Ted’s Folly in the Springboard at Remington Park in December.  Keith is not a casual investor in the business.  In Oklahoma he owns a 330-acre farm where he has over a hundred mares.  Keith is involved in pin hooking and he’s bred a number of mares to Cactus Ridge.

Roman Threat–Roman Ruler colt sped to extremely fast MSW win at first asking over Santa Anita’s glib surface in 1:08.02 and got lofty speed number.  Owned by Patti and Hal Earnhardt III the colt was away straight.  He was kept well out moving down the backstretch to get into the race before the half.  Stalking the leader to the top he took the lead under Rafael Bejarano’s hand scrub and was straight to the wire.  The half-mile clocking on March 11 at Santa Anita in this exceptional speed burning track was 43.77.  The Arcadia oval has been so fast it makes things extremely difficult to make solid evaluations.  Bob Baffert, who gets everything his own way at Santa Anita in the racing office, is this colt’s trainer.

Russian Greek–Was lugging in and had no run at all through the lane while finishing 11th in the Blue Grass.  Guess we must conclude this colt is not as good as we thought he might be.  Was no threat 8th in the Spiral at Turfway Park March 24–his second straight dull showing.  The only difference was he raced with blinkers and it made little difference.  Was never a factor in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate on February 18.  Aaron Gryder had him next to last early on and he never got in the fight despite coming off back to back wins.  Bloodline experts point to this colt’s pedigree being by Giant’s Causeway out of the Grindstone mare Sand Dollar.  Jerry Hollandorfer’s colt won California Derby January 14 score his third win in four tries.  His last to first run from the far turn was okay.  We question whether he beat anything but visually it was a nice win..  The Giant’s Causeway colt was coming off a win in the one-mile Gold Rush.  In the Cal Derby he lagged early, angled out moving inside one to the top and responded to Aaron Gryder’s left-handed pops.  Gryder said after the race that was the plan–to let him settle in early and made a good run.  He’s a half-brother to stakes-placed Ocean Current and one of four winners from five starters from Sand Dollar.  He won the $75,260 Gold Rush Stakes at Golden Gate on December 10.  Hollandorfer debuted the colt owned by Olympia Star Inc at Santa Rosa.  He rallied from third to win by 3/4.  He was a Keeneland purchase in 2009 for $100,000.

Sabercat–Tenth to the half this colt made a good run off the top but was only able to best Cozzetti for a non threatening third in the Arkansas Derby.  Corey Nakatani wasted his time flying across country to ride this colt who ran eighth in the March 17 Rebel.  He was a non factor and can’t be considered among aspiring Derby colts.  Among the more active members of this year’s 2012 sophomore class Steve Asmussen can take his time with this colt.  His graded money as of February 7 was a hefty $600,000.  Bluegrass Cat colt won rich $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot to give Larry Melancon his richest riding win ever.  Bumped hard at the start of the 1-mile and a sixteenth race he made his winning move on the far turn and won by four.  “His last three races have been a move forward,” said Asmussen.  Ron Winchell is the co-owner with his mother Joan.  Winchell’s dad was in the horse for 50 years until his death in 2002.  His business was donuts.  This colt had only a third in his first three starts.  On September 5 he won a MSW race at a mile with Channing Hill at Monmouth Park.  He beat My Adonis that day.  They brought him back on October 2nd and he won the 1-70-yard Garden State at Monmouth Park beating Angel’s Tune.  Then came his rich score at Delta.

Sachem Spirit(*)–Mr. Greeley colt broke maiden on Fairgrounds lawn closing day April 1 in awesome fashion.  Wearing four wraps the leggy colt lost a ton of ground the opening quarter after breaking from post 12.  It did not matter.  Setting the pace with ears pricked he led by a length midway on the far turn and kicked away midway through the stretch to graduate the maiden special weight ranks with a sizzling FF(6.07).  Yes, the early fractions were slow, but this colt caught our attention holding a playback of our well at bay in the run to the wire.  Neil Howard is his trainer and it will be interesting to see what or where the veteran horseman places him next.

Saturday Launch–Don’t be overly critical of  his better than looked fourth place effort in the Illinois Derby.  He had two beat entering the first turn and saved ground moving down the backstretch.  Chris Emigh wheeled him to the far outside into the lane and despite getting bumped from the left in the final 1/8th he was up for fourth.  Any Given Saturday colt rallied from well off the pace to take an allowance win on the Gulfstream Park lawn March 11.  It marked the eighth start for the colt who was exiting that live Exothermic race on the grass February 5.  Stephen Baker’s colt was beaten off making his debut July 3 at Churchill Downs.  He took a MSW race at a mile at Ellis Park in his second career start.  They wheeled him back in the Arlington-Washington Futurity and he was seventh behind winner Shared Property.  At Keeneland on October 20 he finished second to Daddy Knows Best at the distance of a mile and 70 yards.  Ken McPeek is his trainer.

Scat Happy–When Yankee Boss graduated the maiden ranks March 21 exiting this colt’s last race(Feb 23) we moved him back into our ratings.  Yankee Boss made a fourth to first run to win a grass route at Gulfstream Park.  The graduation run gave this colt more respect because he beat Yankee Boss by 3 when they faced one another.  Scat Daddy colt added four wraps and posted a blazing FF(11.49) to break his maiden at 1-1/8 miles on Gulfstream Park turf February 23.  Julien Leparoux wheeled him off the rail out of sixth on the second turn.  He made a good run four-wide to the top and Punctual Jeff got to his side he dug in to win going strong.  We liked the manner he galloped out after wire.  Leggy colt could be any kind if his surging third place debut on lawn at Gulfstream Park proves to be as productive as we think it might. Julien Leparoux’s agent must have had an idea this Jonathan Sheppard-trained first time starter had ability going into the Feb., 1 debut on grass going long.  Colt was not quick early and Leparoux waited for things to sort themselves out as there was plenty of trouble early on first turn.   Tenth early on and ninth to the 1/2 the Scat Daddy colt made an impressive run from early stretch to the wire.  The winner Film Shot wired the field of 12 posting a final fraction of 12.00.  Scat Happy had to come home faster if you consider how far back he was in the stretch.  This colt is worthy of monitoring no matter whether he’s Derby material or not.  Colt was bought for $250,000 at Keeneland.

Scatman–Ran ninth in the Blue Grass.  He loaded last into post 13 and after a clean start he was 9th and between horses into the first turn.  Seventh and wide on the far turn he was fourth to the topon the outside flank of Howe Great.  He stopped while on the wrong lead in the final eighth.  We dropped this colt from 13th off our Derby list when fading to third in the March 17 Rebel.  Yes, that’s a severe penalty for a good effort.  We bet a bob or two on him and he was clear by 2 early in the stretch.  He gave up the lead too easily to eventual winner Secret Circle and left no doubt that getting a classic distance is probably a reach.  Did everything but win the second division of the Southwest at Oaklawn Park on November 20.  Colt needs graded money to make Derby lineup.  He set the pace and held the lead until 60 yards from the finish.  He was beaten a half length by the odds-on favorite Secret Circle.  Scat Daddy colt moved forward making his first start as a sophomore racing wide and winning a six furlong allowance at Oaklawn Park on January 29.  Making his first start for new trainer Michael Lauer he was away alertly and vied outside two early on.  Three-wide down the backstretch he continued to lose ground three-deep on the turn.  He took charge early in the lane and drew clear late and was clocked in 1:11.20.  This colt finished second making his debut at Ellis Park on August 14.  He returned to finish fifth over Arlington’s synthetic surface.  On October 13 he broke from post 12 at Keeneland.  Away alertly he sat second under a pull outside one in an opening quarter of 22.31.  Corey Lanerie set him down inside the eighth pole.  He won clear in 1:09.19 posting a FF of 12.14 over the difficult poly surface.  Lauer has been in the business for 35 years.  He’s bred and owned by JEOG Racing LLC, Jim and Ellen O’Grady.

Shared Property–They tried blinkers in the Louisiana Derby and aside from a bump between horses at the start his fifth place finish did not impress.  Failed to move forward like we thought he might in the Risen Star.  Colt finished a non threatening fifth behind Mr. Bowling and Mark Valeski and was dropped from seventh rated out of our ratings.  He got away cleanly and was wide in fifth entering the first turn.  Sixth outside one down the backstretch he failed to move forward off a promising LeComte effort.  We cautioned not to be overly critical of this gelding’s third in the $175,000 LeComte.  He needed a major graded earnings check in the Risen Star and that did not happen.  Without question it was much better-than-looked LeComte effort!  Leaving post 13 he was hung four-wide into the first turn.  Sixth outside one to begin the run down the back side he was shuffled back 8th.  He moved between foes on turn two, waited to get outside and from the middle of the track he was spanked left-handed.  This colt had reason to hang on the money and should get a lot out of the effort.  Scat Daddy gelding won the Arlington Washington Futurity posting the slowest clocking for the event since 2004 for trainer Tom Amoss.  He got away cleanly with Leandro Goncalves and raced eighth inside the flank of Take Charge Indy down the backstraight.  Moving inside Take Charge Indy midway on the turn he had to be checked before the top.  Goncalves wheeled him out of 7th to the top and he spanked him left-handed.  He rallied to overtake Take Charge Indy who had drifted to the rail.  Tom Amoss is his trainer.

Shortbread–Not nominated to TC.  This leggy Tom Amoss colt’s maiden win at Delta Downs under the lights on January 28 was anything but ordinary.  Coming off a second to Good New Shoes at the Fairgrounds this colt was slow to begin the 6-1/2 furlong two-turn test.  Caught four-wide entering first turn he stayed wide down the backstretch to be hung three-deep to half.  The Donerail Court colt continued hung out at least three wide on turn two and gradually wore down Mongol Max.  Amoss had to like manner which this colt was striding out to and after the wire and he did it under the arcs.  This colt is going to be a money earner for sure.  Andrena Van Doren bred this colt who is out of Starlight Surprize.

Side Road–Not among TC nominations.  Street Cry colt certainly exhibited ability to finish when blowing past an odds-on choice and breaking his maiden at Aqueduct on January 28th.  From post two he went in at the start and saved ground in 4th negotiating the first turn.  Settling in fifth he was between foes to the far turn and third entering the top of the stretch.  When spanked left handed he reeled in the leader and drew out with a trying and reaching style that is suitable for a classic distance.  It will be interesting to see where they try this colt vs. winners.  Some punters are claiming this could be one of the best sons of Street Cry Kiaran McLaughlin has trained.

Souper Speedy–Indian Charlie colt ran second to O’Prado Again in the November 26th Remsen at Aqueduct for Tom Albertrani.  Colt broke his maiden in his initial start at Belmont when taking a MSW race at 7 panels in 1:23.87.  His Remsen showing was flattered by the fact El Padrino came out of the race to win an allowance race.

Stat–Needed to win the Arkansas Derby to notch a starting spot in Kentucky Derby and that did not happen.  Was away first and second over but began lugging in once to the top and faded to sixth. Just one more example of why owners continue to make the mistake of sending their colts to Todd Pletcher.  He has proved, over the past five years, micro managing three-year-old colts is not something he does well.  Returned to win with a second over trip in one-turn mile on March 17 but we were not impressed with the effort.  Bumped from the right after the start he sat second and appeared to be going in handy fashion.  He took the lead when ready into the lane but drifted out badly in the run to the wire while winning by 6-1/4 lengths.  Unbridled’s Song colt graduated in one-turn mile making fourth career start but his top to the wire drifting out on wrong lead did not impress.  John Velasquez was aboard again for Todd Pletcher who had finished second in the Saratoga Special last summer.  He was bumped lightly after the break and rated kindly in a stalking position all the way.  When asked to go he took the lead early in the stretch.  That’s when he drifted out badly on the wrong lead while winning by 6-1/4 in 1:35.90.  Not exactly what you are looking for when you are trying to perform like a Ky Derby prospect.

State Of Play--When you talk about impeccable management of horses the name Barry Irwin must be mentioned.  Team Valor couldn’t have placed this colt any better when Graham Motion entered him in the two-turn John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park on Saturday, March 3rd.  The colt was won, but it took a photo and Ill Conceived’s getting out to get the money.  There were no Derby colts in the small field of five and this colt does not run like he wants any part of a classic distance.  Team Valor’s War Front colt had faded badly to 12th in the Breeders Cup Juvenile after two straight wins.  Colt won With Anticipation wire to wire on the lawn routing for the first time on September 1 at Saratoga.  He beat Optimizer and Dullahan that day.  His maiden win also came on Saratoga turf  when he won a 5-1/2 furlong dash.

Stealcase–Added blinkers and managed only a fifth place finish in the March 24 Spiral at Turfway Park.  Took a giant step backwards when finishing sixth in the Gotham on March 3 from a good post.  We felt going into the Gotham that Mark Casse’s colt might be a comer.  So it’s back to the drawing board with this $320K son of Lawyer Ron.  Really liked the manner which this colt ran down Windsurfer to break his maiden at Gulfstream Park on January 19.  After a pair of fourth place efforts this colt obviously liked his first two turn experience.  He raced in the slot full of run.  Once he was wheeled outside entering the lane he ran down and pulled clear of Windsurfer.  It would seem John Oxley has a colt that may have an up side.

Stirred Up(P)--Finished a no threat third in the rich Sunland Park Derby to pick up $96,000 graded money.  It appears it would be a reach if Bob Baffert were to try and make the Derby with this colt. Broke his maiden in third career start at Santa Anita on March 3rd. Looked as if they gave this Baffert colt a race making his racing debut at 6 furlongs on January 29.  Slow early, green down backstretch to trail into the turn, Martin Garcia wheeled him to middle of track in lane.  Lemon Drop Kid made huge late gain but what caught the eye was the way he galloped right on by the easy winner Zackn’mat.  Colt was a $420,0oo 2010 Keeneland purchase and is owned by Stonestreet Stables.

Summer Front–War Front colt had his string of three-straight wins snapped when rallying for second in the Lexington at 1-1/16th miles.  He was eighth in the early going and finished steadily and it marked his first race over the poly surface at Keeneland.  He’s trained by Christophe Clement and it’s a good guess they may look to run him back on the grass where he was three straight.

Swag Daddy(P)–Failed to move forward when second in N.Y. Sweet Envoy Stakes.  Javier Santiago broke him on top from the rail and had him 5th early on and covered up.  The colt was still fifth mid-stretch but with brisk urging he did get up for non-threatening second to Pretension.  Colt had accounted for his last two starts over the inner track at Aqueduct going into the Sweet Envoy.  Richard Dutrow’s colt won both the Restrainor Stakes and Runyon Stakes for state-breds.

Take Charge Indy(P)–We called him a pretender prior to scratching out of the Tampa Bay Derby on March 10.  He went wire to wire in a “slow tempo” Florida Derby when Union Rags was bottled up and did not get clear sailing until too late.  Colt was prominent early and gained the lead but could not hold El Padrino at 1-16th at Churchill Downs January 29 over a sealed track called “good”.  Trainer Pat Byrne did not want to cut back to the one mile distance of the Holy Bull and that’s why he opted for the optional claimer.  Byrne had to like the second place effort of this A.P. Indy colt in the Arlington Washington Futurity on September 29.  Bumped after the break he was ninth early on and three-wide.  He began his run three-wide between foes on the turn and made a nice run wide to the top.  Once in the lead he drifted in badly to the fence but he kept trying and reaching while clearly second best. After the Arlington-Washington Futurity he was fourth to Dullahan and Majestic City in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on October 8.  He finished out the 2011 campaign when fifth to Hansen, Union Rags and Creative Cause.

Ted’s Folly(P)–Factions tested the waters in the LeComte and colt simply did not belong racing in a bar shoe on his right front.  He broke cleanly and was void of early speed dropping out last.  He wound up beating four rivals to the wire in the field of 13.  Won the Springboard at Remington Park facing open company as the only Oklahoma-bred in the field for his sixth straight win.  It was the colt’s sixth straight win but his last to first run to be st of 12 was accomplished with a meager FF of 13 flat.  Void of early speed from post 9 in the field of 12 he was back at least 9 lengths to the half in 47 2/5.  Moving four wide on the turn he rallied widest late to win going away.

Tell All You Know–Van Nistelrooy colt turned it around winning his first two starts at Tampa Bay Downs in 2012.  On January 15 he wired a field oif nine by 9-3/4 lengths to take a MSW race at five furlongs.  Trainer Chad Steward brought him back on February 10 and he was third over to win a first level allowance race at six panels.  He’s owned by World Thoroughbreds Racing Inc.

Thunder Moccasin–A.P. Warrior won 7-furlong Hutcheson impressively by 6-3/4 but Todd Pletcher intends to keep him racing around one turn.  The Starlight Racing Stable colt broke well, was well placed second over, then took the lead with a quarter of a mile to go.  He was clocked in 1:24.16 for the distance over a “good” track.

Tiger Walk–Tale of the Cat colt rallied from last in a field of 13 in the Gotham to salvage fourth on March 3rd.  He began slowly from the worst post which was number 13.

Tizanexpense–Tiznow colt raced wide to the half and faded to ninth in the March 24 Spiral at Turfway Park.  The Michael Maker-trained colt is simply not Kentucky Derby material

Trinniberg–Teuflesberg colt has never raced as farther than seven furlongs but figures to have an impact early on in the Kentucky Derby.  We’re among those who don’t give this colt a chance in the Kentucky Derby but he’ll be in the gate and figures to be out winging early on.  He’s owned by 47-year-old Shivananda Parbhoo and trained by his 72-year-old father Bisnath Parboo.   The owner grew up in Trinidad.  He got into the sport of horse racing because his father worked for another trainer when he was young.  When the family moved to Florida in 2010 Bisnath began winning races.  They went to the Ocala yearling sales and Parbhoo went there as nothing more than a spectator.  He didn’t even have a sales catalog.  This colt caught his eye.  ”I started bidding on him and got him for $21,000,” says Parbhoo.  Colt won at first asking on July 8 a five furlong race at Calder.  They brought him back in the Saratoga Special and he ran fifth to Union Rags.  He followed that up with a second in the Hoipeful to Currency Swap.  His fourth career start was a second in the Nashua.  He then finished seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Spring.  Colt is a perfect two for two as a three-year-old as he took a field of eight wire to wire in the seven furlong Bay Shore.  In case you wondering, we did not spell the trainer’s name wrong.  Immigration screwed that up and the official Kentucky Derby program will have his name spelled Parboo.

Unbridled’s Note(P)–Raced to the front from post one and vied for the lead early on in the Rebel March 17 but ran last.  He was finished before the real running began.  Had not run since winning his first and only start in a MSW race October 30 and he didn’t run a lick in the first division of the Southwest at Oaklawn Park.  Slow early on he manged to beat only two with Julien Leparoux aboard on February 20.  Color him a pretender for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Vibrato Jazz–Political Force colt was given an educational trip in his fourth start on Santa Anita lawn and he graduated MSW ranks in nice fashion.  Away with run he was grabbed and taken back to sit fifth.  Joe Rosario had to check him in tight before they were off the turn and he checked again when blocked early stretch.  He found a running lane and surged late to win handily posting a FF(12.23) and galloping out well.  Colt is on the improve for trainer John Sadler.

Windsurfer–Was given every chance in the April 1 Louisiana Derby and lacked finish in crunch time while fourth.  Yet another Todd Pletcher trained colt who did not move forward.  Speightstown colt showed grit losing lots of ground graduating MSW ranks at Gulfstream Park February 18.  Win Star Farm’s $190,000 Keeneland purchase was graduating in his third trip to the starting gate.  Away sharply from an outside box he lugged out wide with his head cocked entering turn one.  John Velasquez had him extremely wide down the backstretch and they moved into fourth to the half.  Three-wide on turn two the colt dug in to put away Pushingonastring and draw clear late.  After stopping the timer in 1:44.16 he galloped out nicely after the wire and into the turn.

13-Wrote–Ran well enough in the rich UAE Derby March 31 to suggest he may wind up in the starting gate on Derby Day.  He finished third and his connections could elect to send him to Churchill Downs off the effort.  Aidan O’Brien’s High Chaparall colt dusted full field in the Juvenile Turf to give the Ireland-based trainer his first Breeders Cup win in 18 tries.  His troubled third in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stales in England probably prompted connections to go after the mega-dollar BC pot with Ryan Moore.

Wrote–Ran well enough in the rich UAE Derby March 31 to suggest he may wind up in the starting gate on Derby Day.  Word came down April 15 that he is not coming and his stablemate Daddy Long Legs is.  He finished third and his connections could elect to send him to Churchill Downs off the effort.  His graded money ranks fifth among this year’s three-year-old class at $756,630.  Aidan O’Brien’s High Chaparall colt dusted full field in the Juvenile Turf to give the Ireland-based trainer his first Breeders Cup win in 18 tries.  His troubled third in the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stales in England probably prompted connections to go after the mega-dollar BC pot with Ryan Moore.

Z Dager–We won’t have to listen to any more bragging from Sir Charles “Vagabond” Fay about this colt.  He saved a lot of ground in the Louisiana Derby and wound up eighth.  It was move in the wront direction for sure.  Raced close up and was a non threating third behind El Padrino and Mark Valeski in the Risen Star February 25 at the Fairgrounds.  Ranked 17th in our ratings going in this colt did not impress warming up for the Risen Star and it was not a move foreward.  Steve Asmussen must have thought this colt was going to get the money inside the final pole in January 21st LeComte at the Fairgrounds.  Shane Sellers gave him the perfect in the slot trip early on.  They waited to get outside mid stretch and responded nicely.  Even though he fell a head short eventual winner Mr. Bowling it was a performance to build upon.  Asmussen said he had concerns about this colt handling classic distances.  Look for Asmussen to keep this colt on turf.

*Earned early consideration as a valid player for the Kentucky Derby.

P-Pretenders.

Out of Derby

Mark Valeski–Became the 13th colt to defect from the Ky Derby on the first day in May the day before the draw.  He was coming off another solid race when second in the Louisiana Derby on closing day at the Fairgrounds.  He was kept wide down the backstretch and made a bid three-wide to the top in the Louisiana Derby.  Under a brisk whip ride late his bid fell a half length short.  Reporedly he lost a shoe and walked off the track lame.  His trainer was wishy-washy about whether he would be entered or not so the late defection was not really a shock.  Unfortunately his jockey Rosie Napravnik will not get another shot.  She’s the best woman rider to come down the pike since Julie Krone. Rosie was aboard when the colt was trying two turns for the first time in Louisiana.  Brereton Jones owns and bred the colt who had won his last two starts at six furlongs going into the Louisiana Derby.

12-Reveron(April 21)–Became the 12th defection on Saturday, April 21 after working at Calder Race Course.  Reportedly he suffered a hairline fracture.  Took the blinkers off and he finished second in the Florida Derby to Take Charge Indy.  He had only $20,000 graded money going into the Florida Derby and the $200,000 second money still leaves him on the “bubble” as of April 16.  Wound up third in the February 4 Sam F. Davis to Battle Hardened and Prospective.  One of the more active members of  2012 sophomore class has started six times.  Won the Gulfstream Park Derby beating Casual Trick for his third straight win on the first day in January.  Agustin Bezara is his trainer.  Stipa Racing Stable’s bargain $20,000 Keeneland Sales purchase has already put investors in the black.  Songandaprayer colt began his career running second at Calder Race Course.  He finished third in his second start on October 16 before reeling off three straight wins.  His third trip to the post produced an easy maiden win by six lengths at Calder.  He began his career back on September 10th at Calder Race Course when beaten by Seattle Ex.  Ran third in his second career start to Two Is To Man at Calder before breaking his maiden November 5 at seven panels with Fernando Jara.  He was wheeled back 21 days later to win at the allowance level beating Two Is To Many and Ravelo’s Boy at the same seven furlong distance.  Then came his win in the GP Derby.

11-Secret Circle(April 19)–Declared out of the Kentucky Derby race April 19 due to a sesamoid injury.  Ran second in the Arkansas Derby as my 10th ranked colt, a race won by stablemate Bodemeister.  Rafael Bejarano had him third over and fourth and wide to the half.  He made his run three-wide off the top to take up the chase into the lane but could not stay with Bodemeister.  Sure took to Oaklawn Park’s dirt surface with an impressive second over win in fastest division of the Southwest February 20.  His $470,000 graded money as of April 10 had him 12th among Kentucky Derby eligibles.  Eddington colt ran down the dead-game pacesetter Scatman in the final 60 to win by a half at odds on.  Rafael Bejarano was up to complete a Bob Baffert sweep of the one-mile event timed in 1:37.08.  Colt ran second in the Sham and is another colt part-owned by Micahel Pegram.  Bejarano claimed this colt did not see eventual winner Out of Bounds in the Sham.  Bejarano has ridden this colt in all his starts.  He won his first outing at Del Mar July 23.  He came back to win at Santa Anita Park October 10, posting a six panel clocking of 1:08.27.  Baffert brought him back in the November 4th Breeders Cup Spring at Churchill Downs where he beat Shumoos.

10-Motor City(March 17)–This was non-injury declaration of this colt.  After finishing 8th in the Swale connections announced he was not going to pursue a spot in the Kentucky Derby on March 17.  ”He’s too far behind,” said trainer Ian Wilkes.  Wilkes learned this Street Sense gelding wanted dirt and not synthetic when he bounced back to win the one mile Iroquois.  Calvin Borel rode the colt in his first five starts.  Lantern Hill Farm’s gelding overcame trouble to finish third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity in race won by Shared Property on September 10.  Leaving from post two he went in at the start, was outrun early on to be at the rear, saved ground to be ninth to the top.  Colt was steadied once into the stretch but really was not coming on while home a well beaten third.  Colt finished eighth over the poly surface at Keeneland on October 8.

9-Spring Hill Farm(*)-(March 13–Two days removed from dropping this colt from 11th out of the top 20 the announcement came.  He had a knee fracture and thus became Todd Pletcher’s 2nd colt to leave the Derby trail in 2012.  His no-show fourth place finish in a not so tough renewal of the Tampa Bay Derby was the tip off.   This is yet another example of how fast these colts can call out of favor when they fail to perform.  Could be one of the more talented prospects.  When declared he was still in need of major graded money score to make gate May 5.  It’s most difficult to access races on “off” tracks.   That is what we had when this colt stretched out to a mile over a good track at Gulfstream Park on February 11.  John Velasquez got the colt away on top and he led every step of the way.  Leading by 3/4 into the turn over Two Is Too Many, Velasquez set him down entering the stretch.  He spanked the colt six times at intervals in the run to the wire to win by a length in 1:39.47.  It gave Pletcher his 3,000th winner.  We were impressed with the MSW win on January 14 when this Smart Strike colt finished huge to win debut at seven panels.  The bargain $60,000 November Keeneland Sales colt posted final fraction of 12.09.  He was straight as a string to wire in 1:24.51.  Velasquez tapped him at intervals three times with the right hand.  That was it.  Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton own this colt who is out of a Pleasant Colony mare.  His defection may be a blessing in disguise.

8-Fed Biz(March 12)–No sooner had we dropped this colt out of the top 25 on March 8 when he did not go in the San Felipe than the announcement came down.  A problem in the hind quarters had taken him out of any Ky Derby consideration.  Original reports had him cording up after a workout.  It was much more than that.  He needed major graded money score to get into the Derby picture.  Won off and hid February 9 at Santa Anita in a ‘non competitive’ race.  The racing surface was “insanely” fast and this colt took forever switch leads.  Even though there was a lot of hoopla over the effort of  Baffert’s colt we were not so enamored.  We felt he needed a lot more seasoning.  Giant’s Causeway colt is owned by Kaleem Shah.  He’s a half brother to stakes winner Spun Silk.  The pedigree brought a bid of $950,000 at the 2010 Keeneland Sales.  Finished fourth when making his debut at Hollywood Park on November 2.

7-Sky Kingdom(Date Unknown)–Learned this colt had been sent to the farm on Jay Privman’s radio show in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 10.  Beat only two in the February 4 Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita but he may have been compromised early on.  He was bumping with Rousing Sermon after the start and then bumped from the left .  Beat field of three at Santa Anita Jan., 12th.  Sat third early as odds on choice.  He made an early run wide to the half outside Spirit Rules.  Martin Garcia made a sweepng run with him on the turn.  He took charge in hand and won off while eased up the final 60 yards.  Empire Maker colt was off the board in 5-1/2 furlong maiden race at Del Mar August 20 and September 4.  He broke his maiden at Hollywood Park on November 24, taking a one-mile race with a third over trip.

Fly Lexis Fly(March 6)–Reports have it this colt will be pointed for the Belmont Stakes.  Stud Dona Licha’s Badge of Silver colt won the Classco Derby Nacional.  Peruvian owner Oscar Pena has turned the colt over to Neil Drysdale.  It was the year 2000 when Drysdale won the Kentucky Derby in his first try with Fusaichi Pegasus.  This colt was a winner of three of five in Peru.  He won off by 10–3/4 lengths in the Clasico Derby Nacional as a two-year-old.

5-Out of Bounds(March 5)–Suffered non displaced condylar fracture of left front ankle when working five furlongs in 59 1/5.  We pondered long over this Discreet Cat colt after he won over Santa Anita’s speed favoring surface.  Was he for real, or not?  That’s what we kept asking ourselves.  Was this big run too early in the year to find this colt a major player later on?  Last but not least, when Eoin Harty started out he did little with royally-bred inexperienced horses.  He got a three-star ride from Garrett Gomez when finishing nicely to win one-mile Sham January 7.  He was timed in 1:34.56.  The 1-to-2 favorite Secret Circle was second.  This was colt Gomez hoped would make the big dance in May.

Junebugred(February 29)–Declared out of the Derby race shortly after Consortium’s announcement.  Ankle chip was the reason.  Finished in triple dead-heat sixth in the first division of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park.  He seemed unsure of himself entering first turn.  Corinthian colt is trained by Steve Hobby.  He is owned by Jo Ann and Alex Lieblong of Conway, Arkansas.

3-Consortium(February 28)–Kentucky-bred was declared out of the Derby chase by Kiaran McGlothin with chipped right front ankle.  Bumped out of the gate and well back early he failed to get in the fight while sixth in the one turn Holy Bull Jan., 29.  The Godolphin runner ran second December 16 in 6-1/2 furlong allowance at Gulfstream.  The Bernardini colt looked promising winning at first asking on November 12 at Aqueduct.  Dam is Marietta who is by Machiavellian.

2-Algorithms(*)(February 28)–Scratched prior to Fountain of Youth he was declared out of Kentucky Derby race two days later.  Trainer Todd Pletcher revealed colt had suffered a fracture.  The split bone took him out of the Youth.  We had him ranked fourth in our rankings at the time.  Bernardini colt made it three for three in winning one-turn Holy Bull on January 29.  He broke alertly from outside box to have the early lead.  Castellano allowed him to settle in third and he was three lengths off the leader.  Midway on the turn he was still third outside one moving into second before the top.  He took the lead and won clear.  He was awarded a 105 Beyer.  Bloodlines experts believe colt will do better stretching out.  He’s out of a Cryptoclearance mare.  Castellano rode the colt’s father Bernardini who won the Preakness.  His maiden win came at Belmont Prk on June 3.

Stephanobetatee(Jnuary 24)–Coount Fleet runner-up is trained by Graham Motion.  He was the first declaration from Kentucky Derby 2010.  Shackleford’s half-brother suffered a chipped pastern on his right foreleg.  He underwent surgery on January 25.  Motion admitted he was excited about this colt.  They’re hoping to make the summer meet at Saratoga.

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About The Author

Warren Eves
Warren Eves is the senior turf writer from the state of California who now calls Prairie River, Louisiana his home. The one time editor of the Pasadena Independent Star News moved on to handle publicity for racetracks coast to coast. Eves gained his first exposure to the racetrack through a school buddy Art Lerille, Jr., who eventually became a trainer in California. Warren worked as farm manager for crack two-year-old trainer Ray Priddy, before holding on track jobs at the racetrack. He worked for Hall of Fame trainer M.E. "Buster" Millerick, Allen Drumheller, Jr., and Dick Moon. Eves has a well rounded background in all breeds. He developed Quarter Horse Report in 1979 with Ed Burgart, track announcer, at Los Alamitos Race Course. It was an innovative publication which revolutionized the industry with actual descriptions of the workouts. While handling publicity at Saratoga Raceway in upstate New York Eves was named employee of the year in 1970. He also handled publicity for Sunland Park, Centennial Park, Ascot Park, Thistledown, and two harness meetings in California. Eves then went into the 900-line business with his best plays and has compiled his own Kentucky Derby ratings for many years. In 1997 he began going back and forth to Las Vegas teaming up with Ralph Siraco to create the long runining radio show Raceday Las Vegas. Eves has produced and directed many horse racing shows on both radio and television. In 2010 he got a call from Mark Geiger. That's when he began writing for the newest horse racing site on the internet www.pricehorsecentral.com. Eves, with a reputation of a trip handicapper, spends countless hours doing video tape review. His unique "playback list" includes consistenly conservative lengths lost notatations. Veteran clocker John Wilson encouraged Eves to put the minus(-1) notations into his commentary for those who do numbers. He's been doing this unique process for many years. While writing for Ridder Publication at the Pasadena Star News his investigative reporting was highly regarded by his peers. Often on the cutting edge, Eves has been given the green light to write about what issues he sees fit to cover. Have a question. If Warren doesn't know the answer he'll tell you up front. Eves won't drop it there, however, he'll find someone who knows the answer and get back to you. Until Santa Anita goes back to dirt tracks Warren will be conentrating on races at venues that do. It doesn't mean he's not reviewing the races at Santa Anita, it merely means his betting dollars will be playing other venues. He feels there's simply too many question marks when it comes to "fake" dirt tracks.

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