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  1. #141

    Crushing It

    Leaving little doubt..

    Tiz The Law crushed the field in the Travers, leaving little doubt who the favorite for the Kentucky Derby is going to be. The son of Constitution stalked Uncle Chuck through till the last turn and then just turned on the after-burners. With no competition, he shut down in the last 1/16th of a mile and still ran the 5th fastest Travers ever. Beating Caracaro by 5 lengths. The horse was only shown (visually) the whip one time in the stretch. Note that this was at the Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles. Few KY Derbies are run at about 2:00 and this race was at 2:00 4/5, with Tiz The Law being 3 wide the whole race. Word has it that Uncle Chuck did not change leads in the stretch, which accounted for his poor performance. For those of you not familiar with changing leads, horses lead with one leg or the other as the run, but the lead with their left leg around left turns; if they don't switch to leading with their right leg in the stretch, they can get very tired. It is like when you were a kid and you were out skipping; you would hop on one leg and then another as one leg got tired. Max Player finished third.

    Expect Caracaro to try the Derby, but Uncle Chuck, if his connections want to try the Derby, will need some help, as he only has 20 points. Someone ahead of him will have to not want to start. I imagine Tiz The Law might cause a few defections.

    Gamine again wowwed the field in the Test Stakes. She won the 7 furlong affair by 7, and another 6 ahead of the 3rd place horse. This was a 7 furlong race. Just missing the track record. Next stop, the Kentucky Oaks.

    Today is the Ellis Park Derby. Look for Art Collector to punch his ticket.

    In other horse racing news, Ramona Hill, a filly, beat the boys in the Hambletonian. She set a stakes record and is the second filly to win that event in the last 2 years.


  2. #142
    Art Collector, carrying high weight of (only) 122, won an easy victory in the Ellis Park Derby yesterday. He led all the way, but was pressured, and ran a decent 1:48 for the 1 1/8 mile race. Attachment Rate was 2nd and Necker Island 3rd.

    This sets up the Kentucky Derby with a quartet of horses. At the forefront are Tiz The Law (372), Authentic (200), Art Collector (150), Honor A.P. (140) - KYD points in parenthesis.
    Preferred post positions will be for Authentic and Art Collector toward the inside so they don't have to work to use their speed, and Tiz The Law/Honor A.P. to be in the Middle of the pack toward the outside so they can avoid traffic problems. The top tier of horses has been fairly strong and unless there is a threat of rain, I don't see why an owner would put significantly lesser horses into this race, just to throw money away. There are other Stakes races being run in the fall with better chances for their horses. But Tiz The Law is unlikely to be odds-on the favorite; there will be real competition, at least on paper. Arguments can be made for other horses.

    The last of the KYD points prep races will be run this Saturday at Monmouth Park, in the Pegasus Stakes. Originally, this race was run in the fall at the Meadowlands Thoroughbred meet. This race should not be confused with the more lucrative Pegasus World Cup that is run for millions of dollars at Gulfstream Park early in the year (and is a newcomer on the racing calendar - run for older horses). No word on what (exciting) dark horses will be entered. I don't know of any unknown Baffert $1M maiden 2-headed monsters that will appear in this one that they will be talking about, but you never know. Since it is worth only 20 points to the winner, you're not getting in the derby unless you already have points, and get some help. There are already 26 horses that have at least 20 points! #20 on the points list is Sole Volente, with 30 points. Anneau d'Or is #19 on the list, with 32 points, but he just finished 9th to Art Collector yesterday by 18 lengths, and hasn't won a race this year. Is he going to enter? Probably. Hopespringseternal.


  3. #143

    Pegasus - Last But Not Least

    The Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth is the last of the Kentucky Derby Points races for this season. It will be run this Saturday, August 15th; 3 weeks before the KY Derby.
    And there will be some intrigue in this one:

    There are 2 horses, each with a chance to get into the top 20 horse point totals necessary to guarantee being in the Kentucky Derby.
    #20 in the points race is Sole Volente with 30 KYDPoints.
    In this race is the possible post time favorite, Pneumatic, who already has 25 KYDPoints. So he only needs a 1st (20 points) or 2nd (8 points) place finish to get above Sole Volente. But a 3rd place finish (4 points) will not do it (without a top 20 horse not taking a spot, which is expected by the way); so let's say Pneumatic needs a top 3 finish.

    Jesus' Team has 10 KYDPoints. He will need to win the race to tie Sole Volente, and then hope that a horse with greater points opts out, and Pneumatic doesn't finish 2nd, which will also put him above Jesus' Team in the points battle.

    Both horses have excellent pilots, and good last races. Both are dropping large amounts of weight. I would give the nod to Pneumatic.
    I would point out that there is a chance of some rain on Saturday, and neither horse shows any off-track lines.
    Super John might move up on an off track (being a son of Super Saver).
    Arkaan is undefeated and could prove to be very good, as a son of Into Mischief.

    So this will be an excellent betting race.

    In the "what if" department, a local writer, Steve Edelson, for the Asbury Park Press wrote an article yesterday that I found interesting.
    He wonders if Tiz The Law were to win the Kentucky Derby, and the great filly Gamine were to win the Kentucky Oaks, if they might have a showdown in the Preakness.
    Wow, a triple crown at stake and having a race like that. Worth a read.
    Oddly, it does not appear that they will be running the Black Eyed Susan (filly counterpart to the Preakness) this year.


  4. #144

    Shirl's Speight

    Are horses starting to come out of the woodwork, with designs on starting in the KY Derby?

    Well, at least they are getting some publicity.
    How many horses have been undefeated in 1 or 2 starts, entered into one of these derby preps, only to fall on their (long) faces?

    In his 2nd start, Shirl's Speight won a minor stakes race as the odds on favorite:
    He ran a decent time under 117 lbs.
    This is not Secretariat doing a 34 second 3 furlong warm-up.

    Somehow I doubt there will be fewer than 20 horses in the gate at Churchill on the first Saturday in September.


  5. #145
    Quote Originally Posted by DevilHorse View Post

    Max Player finished third.

    Max Player was moved from Linda Rice's barn to Steve Assmussen's. Asmussen is more of a power trainer (see Curlin, the latter part of Rachel Alexandra's career, and Gun Runner). Linda is a very good trainer, but Asmussen is an A+ in the view of the general public.

    Max Player has 5 starts under his belt; he is still developing. What most people/owners don't see with these A+ trainers is that they have the best horses to work with, the most expensive horses and/or the top jockeys to ride their horses. Lots of advantages. Not that they aren't good at what they do. What might be a bit invisible is that there are MANY horses in their barn that do not make it as yearlings that are very expensive as yearlings and do not make their purchase price back; they're just not good enough or break down. But, you have a much better shot if you start with the expensive stock, or your owners go out and buy REEAALLY good horses that have already proven themselves.

    For example, remember, Rachel Alexandra had already proven herself on the track winning the Kentucky Oaks by 20 lengths. The owner wanted to stay in his lane and run her against the fillies again. That old owner was given an offer they couldn't refuse for her; the new owner then entered her in the Preakness and won with her (with the new trainer Asmussen) beating the Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird. She also won the Haskell that year. Asmussen didn't make Rachel Alexandra a great race filly, but he didn't get in her way.

    A lot of the lesser horses for these big trainers show up in claiming races, at drastically lower prices, or get sold in private sales (my brother picked up a nice horse this way). This is an excellent betting angle to watch out for in the racing form. Especially in the summer and fall of the 3YO year, after the Classics. That is when the owners/trainers need new capital to buy the yearlings in the fall sales. They need to sell these non-producers. Most are decent horses, just not (yet) Super Stakes caliber.


  6. #146
    The Pegasus results were as suggested; Pneumatic stalked the pace set by the undefeated Arkaan, and then put him away on the far turn (with ease). Jesus' Team was a couple of lengths behind Pneumatic the whole trip, and never threatened (finished 2nd). He too passed Arkaan in the stretch. Arkaan finished a credible 3rd in his 3rd start, just 2 lengths behind JT. Pneumatic has his conditioning, some cash, and is #11 on the KYDPoints list. Not a bad afternoon's work. Jesus' Team is #21 on the KYDPoints list with 18 points. But there are predicted defections, so he will get in if he wants to.

    One suggested/predicted defection from the KY Derby is the filly Swiss Skydiver (#13 with 40 points) who demolished a field of other fillies in the Alabama yesterday. It is probable that she will be headed to the Kentucky Oaks. The only question there is whether she will be in a virtual match race with Gamine or not. I don't think either of these fillies are up to the level of Rachel Alexandra, Winning Colors, or Genuine Risk just yet (fillies who beat the boys in Classic races). Those were physically imposing fillies who could handle the 10 furlongs. Especially with a horse like Authentic in the derby field, Swiss Skydiver and Gamine's front running style would get matched and set up for the many talented stalkers and closers just hoping for quick pace. I suggest that these 2 great fillies not be a garnish on some other horse's plate.

    On to the Derby!


  7. #147
    This Saturday, 8/22/2020, is the running of the Pacific Classic at Del Mar where Maximum Security will race again under the Bob Baffert barn banner.

    Toughest challengers will be Midcourt and Higher Power, but none has had the success at 1 1/4 that Maximum Security has.
    Still, there are the questions if this is the same horse that Servis had. Abel Cedillo will again be on Maximum Security.

    In Derby news, the connections of Winning Expression (#20 KYDPoints $54K won) say that they are going to the Derby. They say “Winning Impression will point for [the Kentucky Derby],” a tweet from West Point Thoroughbreds reads. “Know he’ll be a huge longshot, but [trainer Dallas Stewart] longshots have come runnin’ in the past.” (I still think there will be a full field of 20, unless there is a late scratch).

    Here is an article that tells status of other Derby hopefuls:

    Could a change be coming for Authentic?

    Last edited by DevilHorse; 08-19-2020 at 06:44 AM.

  8. #148

    Red face

    Some times, TV channels, and discussion for this weekends races:

    Of note is that the Pacific Class is weight for age (not a handicap) which could give Maximum Security a bit of an advantage.

    Also, if you like PPs, here is the entire race program for today (8/22/2020) at Saratoga (courtesy of Equibase):

    Equibase is kind enough to provide the programs at Saratoga each day for the meet at:
    although I like reading the Brisnet PPs a bit better; perhaps just used to them.

    In non-horse Derby news, it has been announced that there will be no spectators at the Derby.
    I guess if you are going, you'll have to participate


  9. #149
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Thomasville, NC
    I am sticking with Authentic, Larry. Honor AP and Tiz The Law I know of, what's the deal on Art Collector?

  10. #150
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    I am sticking with Authentic, Larry. Honor AP and Tiz The Law I know of, what's the deal on Art Collector?
    Art Collector is a late developing colt. He is a front runner/stalker type, but not necessarily a speed horse. He is a contender. His times are credible. Art Collector has run against less quality stock than the rest of the top 3, but the Beyer Figures/times are up there. He would not have made the Derby, but would likely have appeared in the Travers/Haskell to get on the map if the Derby was run in May and these NEW (summer) paths to the Derby did not become necessary. I put him in there with the big 3 for the September Derby.

    If Sole Volente is fresh, he could close on the top 4, so could King Guillermo (but this one has not run many races, so I question his fitness). Authentic and Art Collector are the obvious horses to lead the race out of the first turn. Honor AP and Tiz The Law are the obvious stalkers (who will last). Sole Volente and King Guillermo are the closers that have the ability to threaten if the pace is really fast, and they can avoid traffic problems. If there's a sloppy track, things could change. Thousand Words is interesting in that he supposedly is improving, but he seems to be of cheaper quality than the ones mentioned earlier and I don't see him as 1 1/4 material. I know you like Authentic, but I have to take Baffert's word that his limitations at 1 1/4 are mental and not physical. No horse on the lead is going to lull them asleep in the Derby on the front; it will be a constant change of lead horses unless it is a hot pace. I hope Authentic is up to it. I haven't seen any change in training regimen to suggest tactics changing.


  11. #151

    Maximum Security, the Beast, May Head East

    Maximum Security had a convincing win in the Pacific Classic, by 3 lengths over Sharp Samurai and Midcourt. Maximum Security won willingly, although it wasn't a hand ride. There were no horses to look him in the eye once he pulled away on the last turn. The time was a good 2:01.1 for a Classic 1 1/4 mile; the Breeder's Cup Classic distance.

    Baffert says that he will attempt to keep Maximum Security away from Improbable and McKinzie (I think this horse is past his prime) away from each other. Amazing statement since they are all of his horses. He has the ability to do this. Just send them to different races. Likely to send Maximum Security to the East Coast to the Jockey Club Gold Cup, while keeping other horses on West Coast. All horses will meet in November in the Breeder's Cup Classic, health permitting.


  12. #152
    One person's opinion on how the strata of the KY Derby field plays out. Missing from the analysis is a view of how the race will play out, or a couple of (upcoming) weeks of work outs.


  13. #153
    Anyone care for a little Authentic review?


  14. #154

    KY Derby - Speed Figures

    Here is an interesting article, compiling the speed figures for the top contending horses.

    So how does one assimilate all of this information?
    Should it be taken literally or linearly?
    Not really.

    What are Speed Figures, and how are they used?
    Simply put, they are a rating of how fast a horse ran in a previous race relative to a standard.
    Initial work was put in by Andy Beyer (remember the taller reporter from the Secretariat movie), where he standardized the daily ambient speed rating of a track, based on how the pedestrian claimers were running (they are the most consistent runners from week to week). This allowed him to create a structure of relative ratings of performance based on time, wind, distance, route/trip, weight, etc.. to encapsulate a horse's performance into one singular Beyer figure.
    The level of standard is that the track record at any particular distance would be a 100 on an average day. So you can see from the article that with good conditions, great trip, good weights, that a horse getting over a 100 is giving above a track record level performance relative to the original ratings.
    Interpret this to mean that if the horse earned a 100 Beyer Figure for a race, that would have earned a track record if the conditions, weight, trip, etc.. were right.
    [Whether Andy shifted the scale each year for new track records, or just left the original scale (explains why so many good horses show over 100 ratings), I don't know].
    Of course, this is all open to individual interpretation on how to weight the different factors that go into the numerology of creating a Speed Figure.
    TimeformUS obviously has some "grade inflation" going on, and the Beyer Number in the Daily Racing Form does not.
    Most of the PPs that I make available in this forum are in between. These values are not linear functions of each other, but you can see that the obvious horses are faster than others.
    I detect perhaps TimeformUS might have a west coast bias relative to east coast races.

    Of course, how one uses a Speed Figure is also different. If you have a 1 mile race, how do you compare a horse that has won a 5F race vs. a 1 1/4 F race with the same speed figure? What if one horse won the race while the other was behind by 10 lengths. Still other figures were introduced to help along handicappers, such as Track Variant, which would explain to Handicappers 'OK, there is the Speed Figure for the horse, but remember it was obtained during a Hurricane'.

    Still, there are other folks who view Speed Figures with a jaundiced eye and think horses only perform well every other race; they bounce off of good performance and do poorly. See discussions of the Thoroughgraph Figures which will no doubt be available for free for the KY Derby.

    There are plenty of figures around to help you FIGURE out what you can bet on.

    Last edited by DevilHorse; 08-25-2020 at 10:30 AM.

  15. #155
    Authentic had his final strong work before the KY Derby:

    It matched the same type of training regimen that was used by Baffert to prepare Maximum Security for his Pacific Classic victory (also at 1 1/4). Authentic will be shipping east to Churchill soon, although there might be a slight delay to let Hurricane Laura pass.


  16. #156

    An Authentic Choice

    OK, so you like Authentic? You have some scratch? You want to bet on him?

    Then you see this:

    For $206 you can buy a 0.001% share of Authentic?
    Are you ready for the ownership experience?
    Instead of betting, you can buy a piece!

    I don't know how they are going to get 10,000 people and their families into any win photos, but I'm sure the photographer can make it work.


  17. #157

    One Week To Go!

    Well, it is one week till the Kentucky Derby and it looks like different dynamics are taking place than you would normally see in May.

    In May, you'd normally see people fighting to get into the race.
    In September, with a prohibitive favorite, you have defections.

    Of note, Caracaro was recently injured while training, so he is out.
    Todd Pletcher mentioned that Dr. Post is pointing toward the (shorter) Jim Dandy at Saratoga.
    Instead, he is looking at running Money Moves in the Kentucky Derby.

    The implications of that last sentence are astounding. Money Moves has 0 KY Derby points. He has raced in no Stakes races.
    A synopsis of his record can be found here:

    With $67.4K in earnings, the owners will spend almost as much transporting the horse to Churchill Downs and Stakes Payments than the horse has won.
    Will there be room in the starting gate? I don't know, but there should at least be some minimum standard here to reduce ridiculous traffic.
    This would not stand if the race was in May. But Tiz The Law is established as the leader of the division, with other colts giving top performances; so if owners want their names on the program for a small shot at immortality, they get it.

    My trainer used to say, "you never know when the rest of them will all fall down."


  18. #158

    Get Ready

    On Tuesday, the good folks at Churchill Downs will pull the pills for post positions for the Kentucky Derby. We will then know who is entered. I've heard estimates of as many as 18 horses will be entered. That is a dog whistle for any owner who wants their plug to "come on down" to get their name immortalized (or perhaps the equine version of posterized) on the Kentucky Derby Program for the sum of $25K.

    Here is an early version of the Past Performances if you want a 2 day head start on handicapping without post positions, jockeys, or weather reports:

    All of the jockeys, by previous agreement, are expected to check into Churchill Downs today, to comply with the COVID-19 protocol, so they can be assured of being tested and pseudo-quarantined before the big day. Previously, this was going to be a 2 week quarantine, but it raised such an uproar (sucking all of the good jockeys out of the rest of the stakes races in the rest of the country) that Churchill was forced to modify their stance.

    Likewise, Gamine is going to be the morning line favorite in the Kentucky Oaks.
    Here are early Past Performances, devoid of post positions, and the lesser entrants, etc..

    There is likely to be a really good undercard too.


  19. #159

    KY Derby Contest Proposal

    OK Silent Majority!!

    In an effort to flush out some activity in this thread, I propose to have a little Kentucky Derby Contest, but only if we have 5 or more participants (to be declared ahead of time).

    Rules are fungible, but I'm thinking something like this:

    1) $100 stake for each participant (have to bet at least $50; I don't want the winner to be the one who didn't bet anything).

    2) Bet on the KY Derby (Could also allow a Parlay bet with the KY Oaks from the previous day, but that might short change the suspense). All exotics are on the table. Units of $2 for WPS, Exactas. $0.50 for Triples. No Superfectas.s

    3) Decision of the Judges (Me, Devilhorse) is final. Prizes.. Boasting rights.

    Thoughts? Are you in?


  20. #160

    The Kentucky Oaks

    The Kentucky Oaks draw occurred on Monday. A field of 9 will go postward. Here are the PPs:

    Swiss Skydiver takes the dreaded rail position. She has plenty of natural speed, but she hasn't seen the likes of Gamine since she caught fire early this year. Of course, she did take on the boys in the Blue Grass. Finishing second to Art Collector we know is no disgrace for a filly. But at 1 1/8 could Gamine be vulnerable? Swiss Skydiver has run twice as many races as Gamine and will be (perhaps) more fit. With other fillies challenging Gamine, Swiss Skydiver has a shot; otherwise, look for Gamine to trounce the opposition. Hopeful Growth looks like the best of the rest.

    Today, at 11am, the Kentucky Derby draw will occur. The schedule says FS2 will broadcast it live.d

    No takers on my Contest challenge (yet).


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