RSS Feed for this Blog
RSS Feed for all TBA Posts

Sunday, March 27, 2011


This weekend's Derby prep races were rather uninspiring to say the least. I haven't been one to criticize 3-year old crops in the past, but jeez this group just doesn't seem to step up when the spotlight's on. Maybe it's because they are pretenders and those that already have the necessary graded earnings are only pointing towards a peak effort on May 7th.

Mucho Macho Man, who is basically already in, finished third versus a rather ordinary bunch, which included a couple hopefuls in Machen and Wilkinson, in the Louisiana Derby. Pants on Fire, with Rosie Napravnik aboard, netted the win and at first glance all this horse will be is a public interest story come Derby Day. His only win came on a sloppy track in seven efforts before hitting the Fair Grounds. After poking around his pedigree however, his grandsire is A.P. Indy and his damsire Cape Town won both the Florida Derby and Bluegrass Stakes. So the jury is out on this one.

The Spiral Viral or whatever it's called was run at ice cold Turfway Park and it could have been a Disney Theme Park for all it mattered since a horse named Animal Kingdom took it down. He did make a nice move at the top of the stretch, but no horse has come out of this race (other than Hard Spun) since it's been run on synthetics that's even sniffed the winner's circle in Louisville. Interestingly (and for what it's worth), his sire is Leroidesanimaux (BRZ), who also sired the longshot claimer who finished second in the Tampa Bay Derby, Crimson Knight. To think that ESPN used to actually cover this race as a Derby prep makes one chuckle.

The Sunland Derby was won by a 25-1 shot Twice The Appeal. Well, at least he beat Beer Meister this time. Has a nice wet rating, but can't see him finish any better than 10th. Some will say Astrology (finished a tiring second) has a shot, but I just don't see it. An easy toss.

The race that probably produced the best contender of all, but probably won't show up, was a filly. The UAE Derby winner, Khawlah, was very impressive at Meydan Race course in Dubai, for Godolphin, who had a particularly good day during the World Cup Carnival. She would spice things up if she came across the pond to race the U.S.' best.

If ever there was a year where a Triple Crown was there for the taking, this has to be it. Maybe I should be following the Oaks...that may just turn out to be one helluva race.


Valerie Grash said...

Hey, Geno. Contrary to the moron commenters over at the Paulick Report, I totally agree with you. This weekend's, nay, this entire season's Derby prep races have been lacking in quality. Then again, if we continue to race horses just enough to get blacktype and not breed for stamina, the Triple Crown will became a complete relic of the past. Turn to the dark side! Embrace the Kentucky Oaks, the "new" Kentucky Derby :-)

Brian Appleton said...

I agree, I thought Mission Impazible's win was better than any of the Kentucky Derby preps. Pants On Fire did pretty well to hang on but he's not going to have it that easy in the Derby.

Yes! Follow the Kentucky oaks, I'm crazy about that race, especially this year! (I'm covering it over on Horse Racing Nation) How about Summer Soiree and Plum Pretty, that was awesome!!

EquiSpace said...

Thanks Val. Was only commenting on this weekend's preps, but hey, now that they bring it up...

Thanks Brian for reading and looking forward very much to Oaks Day.

Amateurcapper said...


I felt essentially the same about the weekend Derby preps.

If you toss Astrology from winning, is it possible he moves forward in the Arky Derby enough to run 2nd? 3rd?

Now that it's known that Mucho Macho Man lost a shoe and tore off part of his hoof in the process, I'm giving him extra credit for being 3rd. Now, is there enough time to heal the wounds? Was he good enough to be a win contender even if he'd won? Or, is he just good enough for a placing?

What do you make of the headwind on the backside? Is it possible rallyers getting into striking position (MACHEN, ELITE ALEX) were spent from the increased energy expenditure?

As for PANTS ON FIRE, he and Rosie timed this race perfectly. 2w, stalking a slow pace set by a 100-1 LS, took over, held on. He gets fried in Ky.

ANIMAL KINGDOM won vs. a fast/collapsing pace. 1:52.32?!?!?! That's way too slow finishing considering the early pace. When Street Sense lost to Dominican in the '07 Blue Grass, the time (1:51.33) was a function of a dawdling early pace (:26.12, :51.46). In hindsight, it enhanced Street Sense's Derby kick. Animal Kingdom will finish in the back of the Derby field with a final 3f in :39.35.

The Sunland Derby produced some interesting fractions with ground loss a major factor for RULER ON ICE and BEER MEISTER who were the only pair to run under :13 for the final 1/8. I've got reason to think both could round out the next Derby prep exotics at prices.

You are spot on...the longer the prep season, the less attractive the tier behind UNCLE MO and maybe THE FACTOR appears.

I'm also in agreement w/ Val, not enough preps to determine realistic chances of any Derby horse including UNCLE MO.

Thought-provoking, as usual. Enjoy the Florida Derby!

EquiSpace said...


Great commentary and thanks for agreeing, apparently you, Brian and Val are in the minority.

A couple of additional items - when I wrote the post Sunday evening I didn't know that Master of Hounds may come over...he also ran his heart out in Dubai, but the synthetics question remains.

I keep reading about Elite Alex' horrible trips in each if he gets a bad trip with 9 horses in a race, what happens when there's 20?

Agree with your Mucho Macho Man comment...he gets points for his gutsy finish.

I think the next three weekends we see the Derby winner...we definitely didn't see him last weekend.

Thanks for reading.


blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online