Tag Archive | "139th Kentucky Derby"

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Orb Wins Derby, Eyeballs Preakness; GQ Nails Top 3 Finishers; Selection Sunday at Pimlico

Posted on 04 May 2013 by Gary Quill

From the moment the betting windows opened on Friday to take action on the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, Revolutionary took the lion’s share of the WIN wagers, maintaining favoritism at 5-1 until about 30 minutes to Post Time. The West Coast – Rick Pitino hope, Goldencents backers bettor their favorite colt down to 5-1 as well, while FL Derby winner Orb and undefeated Verrazano, were getting very little respect at 7-1 and 11-1, respectively.

That is, until 30 minutes to Post Time when the late money came in on Orb, to make him the official Post Time 5-1 favorite, and he did not disappoint his backers. Orb was away awkwardly at the start, angled in and reserved energy early while four wide on the first turn, angled out after six furlongs, made a bold six wide move commencing near the three furlong marker, reeled in the leader in mid-stretch, drew clear then stayed clear under steady handling to win by 2½ lengths over Golden Soul (34-1), who was one length ahead of Revolutionary (6-1).

Orb chillin’ just days before becoming a Derby Champ

Even though the betting favorite won, the $2 Exacta and Trifecta payoffs were huge due to Golden Soul’s runner-up finish at 34-1. Factor in a 19 horse field and an Exacta Pool of over $23 million resulted in a $981.70 Exacta pay-off on a $2 bet. The $6,925.60 Trifecta pay-off on a $2 bet was quite the gift when the second betting choice completed the Trifecta.

So what you say, “yeah nice pay-offs but nobody could have picked that #4 (Golden Soul).” That’s where you’d be incorrect. Because yours truly DID pick Golden Soul to finish third, behind Revolutionary and Orb, as documented in my Derby Analysis & Selections blog.

Sorry if I’m nearly breaking my arm padding myself on the back, but if I don’t do it, who will?!

Drawing compliments of Mel

There’s actually some bad news that Orb won the Derby. Last week while in Lou’vull (aka Louisville), I had the opportunity to ask Orb’s trainer, Shug McGuaghey what his travel plans would be for Orb IF he were to win the Derby and move onto run in the Preakness on May 18th. “We’ll go back to New York, then probably ship down on Tuesday (of Preakness week)” McGaughey stated. That’s unfortunate after the folks at the Maryland Jockey Club last year enjoyed early hype of the Preakness when trainer Doug O’Neill brought the Derby winner (I’ll Have Another) to Old Hilltop the Monday after the Derby.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #125…  “Gate Card

Recapping Pimlico Day 19 selections from Saturday 11-race card posted had 6 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.40 (1st race), $9.00 (6th), $8.00 (7th), $12.20 (8th), $5.20 (10th) and $8.00 (11th).

The BEST BET (18 8-2-2) Ruttzy Tuttzy (#2 7-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) lacked speed , raced outside horses on the turn, swung to the five path turning for home and rallied to be a clear third to return $5.00 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (18 4-1-2) Skeleton Crew (R3 #4 5-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) lacked speed, raced inside horses in upper stretch, swung very wide in mid-stretch and rallied to earn a minor share of the purse, finishing third to return $4.60 to SHOW.

Selections for the Day 20 Pimlico Sunday, May 5th card will be on Page 2.

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Winstar silks

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Kentucky Derby Analysis and Selections; Plus Pimlico Picks for Saturday

Posted on 03 May 2013 by Gary Quill

Christmas has finally arrived for thoroughbred horse players everywhere. Churchill Downs is to horse racing as Augusta National is to golf, as Daytona Speedway is to NASCAR, and as the Rose Bowl is to College Football. Rain or shine, nothing will dampen our enthusiasm come 6:24pm EDT on Saturday as we watch the most exciting 2 minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby.

Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

The forecast for the Louisville area is for showers from Friday evening through Post Time on Saturday, high in the low 60’s degrees. That really throws a wrench into an already tough task of handicapping this race due to the fact the track will most likely be sealed and sloppy come the Derby, which is the 11th race on the 13 race card.

On Friday the field was reduced by one when #1Black Onyx was scratched due to the discovery he had a chip in his ankle.  The balance in this 19 horse field is uncanny as far as their running styles. The way I see it there are…

6 – Early Speed
4 – Tactical Speed (Stalker)
5 – Mid-Pack
4 – Closers

There are many schools of thought when it comes to handicapping the Kentucky Derby. The sheer size of the field itself can be overwhelming. Every runner has his positives and negatives. The key is to somehow pull it all together then imagine how the race will be run.

With that being said, and my past performances marked up as if a pre-school class were turned loose on them, here’s HOW I SEE IT (the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands) playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Odds shown are the current betting odds after Friday’s advanced wagering.

Keep in mind I’m picking horses nearly 48 hours BEFORE they walk out on the track. If at all possible, you should not make your wager until you’ve seen the horses in the Post Parade (12 minutes before the start). When horses reach the track, their physical appearance and body language can tip you off on which one(s) to include in your Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta or simply WIN, PLACE and/or SHOW bet. Good Luck!

1st – Winstar silks #3 – Revolutionary
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Todd Pletcher / Calvin Borel (10 3-0-1)
Running Style: Closer
Why he COULD win the Derby: He’s a bulldog, a fighter, nothing bothers him. He’s like the super hero who pushes the villains’ henchmen aside, one by one into order to get to Mr. Big, who in this case is the Finish Line. His races are never pretty and often look in doubt, but just like in the movies, the good guy always prevails.If the track is sloppy it will only enhance his chances and they’ll have to alter the above Churchill Downs painting to have Calvin holding up four fingers.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: Traffic. His running style from well back of the pack means Borel will have to make all the right moves (aka split second decisions) to pass at least a dozen rivals. Add to that difficult task mud and slop hitting your face. Borel will probably go through 10 pairs of goggles during this 1¼ mile trip.
Early Betting Odds : 5-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 10-1

2nd – Janney silks #16 – Orb
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Shug McGaughey / Joel Rosario (3 0-0-0) Best Finish: 4th
Running Style: Mid-Pack
Why he COULD win the Derby: Other than the obvious that he’s improved in every career start, winning his last four, he has turned heads since arriving at Churchill Downs. His only workout over the track was ultra-impressive, and seeing him gallop just days before the Derby hasn’t shown cause to be a detractor.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: It’s in his nature to get lathered up (sweat with nervous energy) in the Post Parade. So if he is on edge prior to a normal race day, will he have a total meltdown in front of 160,000 fans?
Early Betting Odds: 6-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 7-2

3rd – Fipke silks #4 – Golden Soul
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Dallas Stewart / Robby Albarado (12 0-0-2)
Running Style: Closer
Why he COULD win the Derby: He ran 2nd by a head in his career debut (1 mile) race at Churchill Downs. The Derby has been the plan from day one. Even when his Derby points seemed to have fallen short, he was shipped to Churchill Downs to train up to the Derby. He is crying out for more distance and ran his Derby preps over an oval at Fairgrounds (NOLA) that was kind to front-runners for most of the meet. Yet he still displayed a fine closing kick (and speed figure) in his last two races, finishing not far behind other shorter priced Derby runners… Palace Malice (by a nose in the Risen Star), to Revolutionary and Mylute (4+ lengths each in LA Derby) and just 1½ behind Departing who destroyed the IL Derby field and is heading to the Preakness.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: He only has one win to his credit in 5 lifetime races. His jockey has over 4,500 career wins, but is 0 for 12 in the Derby and this will be the first time riding Golden Soul.
Early Betting Odds : 31-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 50-1

4th – Calumet silks #2 – Oxbow
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): D. Wayne Lukas / Gary Stevens (18 3-2-1)
Running Style: Speed
Why he COULD win the Derby: On Wednesday A.M. I witness most of the Derby horses gallop the track and this one looked the fittest (i.e. on the muscle). Add the fact his Arkansas Derby is a toss (finished 5th). Jockey Gary Stevens thought he’d “experiment” (in a G1?) and take him back behind the leaders instead of risk being hung out 6-wide into the first turn. Both jock and horse learned a lesson that day and will not make the same mistake again. Especially if the track is sealed sloppy, it could favor the early speed. This Hall of Fame trainer/jock combo teamed up to win the Derby 18 years ago with Thunder Gulch.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: last Derby winner to have finished worse than 4th in his prior to the Derby came in 1957 (Iron Liege). If he doesn’t break out of the gate quickly and get to the lead, he’ll be toast.
Early Betting Odds : 25-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1

5th – Fox Hill silks  #5Normandy Invasion
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Chad Brown / Javier Castellano (6 0-0-0)
Running Style: Closer
Why he COULD win the Derby: came closest in last outing to handing Verrazano his first defeat, mounting a furious late run; this will be his 3rd race off a layoff; one of top riders in the country took off Revolutionary to ride him in this race.
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: He’s this years’ “Wise Guy” horse… the one who gets all of the press based on how he looks, trains or ran his last race. I cannot not recall one of these ever winning the Derby.
Early Betting Odds : 8-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 12-1

6th – WC Racing silks #8Goldencents
Trainer / Jockey (Derby Mounts W-P-S): Doug O’Neill / Kevin Krigger (1st Derby)
Running Style: Speed
Why he COULD win the Derby: Won the Santa Anita Derby; is the lone West Coast Derby starter; 3rd race off layoff angle; followed same road and training schedule as last year’s Derby winner (I’ll Have Another).
Why he SHOULD NOT be able to win the Derby: bloodlines indicate he’s short on stamina to get the 1¼ miles; history- a jockey “of color” has not won the Derby since 1902.
Early Betting Odds: 5-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 5-1

Kentucky Derby analysis continued on Page 2

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WNST’s Nestor Aparicio The Race Caller?! Hear it for yourself on Friday at Pimlico

Posted on 02 May 2013 by Gary Quill

Members of the Baltimore press corps, including WNST’s own “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio will find out how difficult it is to call a race on Friday, May 3 in the first annual Celebrity Announcer Day at Pimlico Race Course. Track announcer Dave Rodman will take a backseat for much of the afternoon while nine media celebrities get the opportunity of a lifetime. Here is the lineup:

Race 1 – Bryan Nehman, WBAL Radio

Race 2 – Jamie Costello, WMAR-TV

Race 3 – Gerry Sandusky, WBAL-TV

Race 4 – Mark Viviano, WJZ-TV

Race 5 – Bruce Cunningham, WBFF-TV

Race 6 – Nestor Aparicio, WNST Radio

Race 7 – Steve Kolbe, CBS Radio

Race 8 – Jim Hunter, Baltimore Orioles

Race 9 – Phil Chenier, Comcast Sports Net

“They are all extremely talented at what they do,” said Pimlico president Tom Chuckas. “Many even have play-by-play experience but track announcers are a different breed and to be able to do what they do, day in and day out is amazing. It should be interesting to see who will stand out. I am sure all will have greater respect for Dave Rodman after completing the call.”

For the record, I offered some words of encouragement to Nestor saying, “Boy you got lucky getting the 6th race. It only has 6 horses and it’s a sprint. So the race will be over in about one minute and 13 seconds.” He did disclose to me a few ziggers that he may use during his race call. Nestor might even resurrect one of the many classic catch phrases to honor two of Maryland’s most colorful media personalities who loved Maryland horse racing… Clem Florio and Charlie Eckman. Good Luck Nestor… you will need it!

In Derby News: Knock on wood, over 24 hours since the Post Positions were drawn for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, all 20 runners remain healthy. But if something unfortunate happens to one of the 20 runners prior to scratch time on Friday morning, Churchill Downs has a backup plan. For the first time in Derby history there is a horse on the Also-Eligible List, Fear the Kitten. So in case a runner scratches out of the Derby on Friday morning, Fear the Kitten can draw in to keep the field at 20.

The biggest story out of Louisville (pronounced Lou’vull) is the weather. All this week it’s been gorgeous, sunny in the low 80’s, but the storm front that dumped snow in the Midwest is headed to central Kentucky.  It’s due to arrive Friday evening in the form of rain showers and stick around for the Derby.

So you’ve been warned. Alter your handicapping to find the “Mudders”, like Kramer did in a classic Seinfeld episode…

Recapping Pimlico’s Thursday 9-race card posted had just 5 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $10.80 (2nd race), $7.80 (3rd), $13.00 (7th), $8.20 (8th) and $4.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (15 7-2-1) Berry Berry Bueno (R5 #1 5-2 PT; 5-2 M/L) saved ground disputing the pace, opened a clear lead leaving the far turn, lost the lead in upper stretch then weakened to finish 4th.

The LONGSHOT PICK (15 4-0-1) Bold Joe (R4 #5 44-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was flat, offered no energy from start to finish and earned the dubious chart comment, “Failed to menace”.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Sheppard’s Pie (R6 #1 2-1 PT; 9-5 M/L) bad racing luck put the SHOW Parlay out of its misery. He was rated nicely early on, then was put to a ride after 6 furliongs, advanced between foes but was steadied when lacking room inside the sixteenth pole, costing him not only a chance to win, but an in-the-money finish, missing SHOW  money by a head.

Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #123… “Gallop Out

Selections for the Day 18 Pimlico Friday, May 3rd card are on Page 2.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About It! (Derby news); Fan Friday Picks at Pimlico (Day 14)

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Gary Quill

There’s less than 6 days until the Post Positions are draw for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, first leg of horse racings’ Triple Crown. It is likely that twenty (20) 3-year-olds will be entered to run in this race on Saturday, May 4th at approximately 6:20pm EDT, because at least 22 are still in line to run.

Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

In addition to those, there could be another one that muscles into the #20 spot. This Saturday’s Derby Trial is officially the final Derby Point system race, offering 20 points to the winner. Of the nine (9) entered here, only one (Titletown Five) would be entered in the Kentucky Derby, according to his trainer D. Wayne Lukas, “We’ve been trying all winter to give this colt a shot at making the Derby,” he said. “This is his one chance. We’d love to see him make the most of it.”

Here’s the latest line-up…

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #116… “Fresh (Freshened)”

Recapping Pimlico’s Thursday 9-race card posted had 6 winners (3 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.40 (2nd race), $7.00 (3rd), $5.20 (4th), $83.00 (7th), $6.60 (8th) and $9.40 (9th). Also worth mentioning at my “Editor’s” request, was having the LATE PICK-3 (race 7-9) which paid $682.40 for a .50 ticket!

The BEST BET of the Day (12 7-0-1) Marataya’s Tune (R3 #8 5-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) led gate-to-wire, at times by 12 lengths then coasted to victory returning $7.00 to WIN, $3.60 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (12 4-0-1) Gottalovethedrake (R5 #6 3-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) raced 4 wide throughout most of the contest and then was unable to rally in the stretch, only able to get a minor share of the purse, finishing 4th.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Marataya’s Tune (R3 #8 5-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) was also the BEST BET, so no additional commentary is needed. As hoped for, she did indeed return 50% on the SHOW wager, paying $3.00 to SHOW. Add $10 to the $20 initial SHOW wager amount for the parlay on Friday (Day 14).

Selections for the Day 14 Pimlico Friday, April 26th card are on Page 2.

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Opinions on Illinois Derby, Lexington Stakes and 11 Exciting Chase Scenes on Saturday at Pimlico (Day 11)

Posted on 19 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Two weeks from Saturday is the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. A full field of 20 starters is expected, and with the exception of one or two runners, horseplayers can perform some advanced handicapping on the race.

Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

This Saturday, Hawthorne Race Course celebrates their single biggest day of horse racing as they host the $750,000 G3 Illinois Derby. A race snubbed by the folks at Churchill Downs (CDI) who designed the new Derby Point system. A system which designated specific races where 3-year-old colts, geldings and/or ridglings could earn points for a chance to run in the Kentucky Derby.

No valid explanation was provided as to why a $750,000 Grade 3 centerpiece race was excluded while  another Grade 3 race run on the same day, with only a $200,000 purse run on a synthetic surface is part of the Derby Point system. No explanation was needed, the evidence was clear. The latter race is the Coolmore Lexington Stakes, run at historic Keeneland in the Blue Grass state of Kentucky.

Welcome to the wonderful world of politics within the horse racing industry. It’s no different than any other industry. In this scenario, Coolmore Farm is the marquee sponsor of the Lexington Stakes. No doubt that they have representation on the Derby Points System committee. If the Lexington Stakes was excluded, Coolmore most likely pulls their sponsorship.

We all know the saying, “Money Talks, and Bull Sh-t Walks”. Thankfully, Hawthorne still offered a fat purse and drew a full field of fourteen (14) 3-year-olds whereas the Lexington Stakes attracted ten (10), including a filly who is the Morning Line favorite.

Illinois Derby: #12 (Siete de Oros; 5-1) – #4 (For Greater Glory; 15-1) – #3 (Street Spice; 20-1)

Coolmore Lexington: #8 (Cerro; 5-1) – #11 (Pure Fun; 7-2) – #7 (Examen; 5-1)

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #110…  “Flip

Recapping Pimlico’s Friday 10-race card posted just 4 winners but all 4 were Top Selections (BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $9.20 (3rd race), $15.20 (7th), $7.20 (8th) and $3.80 (10th).

The BEST BET of the Day (9 5-0-1) Wire Funds (R3 #7 7-2 PT; 7-2 M/L) broke well from the gate, challenged for the early lead but the jock decided to back off and stalk. That turned out to be a winning move as all but one of the early speed weakened in the stretch. Wire Funds battled that one through the final furlong, being able to get a neck advantage at the wire to pay $9.20 to WIN, $4.80 to PLACE and $3.80 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (9 4-0-1) Cooperstown (R1 #6 11-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) certainly did not put in a Hall of Fame effort here. He chased the pace, was three deep when lightly steadied entering the far turn, then gave way and drifted out in upper stretch to finish 5th.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $55 on More Than a Cruise (R9 #1; 1-1 PT, 7-5 M/L) certainly made it interesting just to get third in a six horse race as the prohibitive favorite, for a very shaky 10% ROI, paying $2.20 to SHOW. It adds $5.50 to the current $55.00 SHOW parlay amount for Day 11.

Selections for the Day 11 Pimlico Saturday, April 20th card are on Page 2.

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Kentucky Derby Certain To Have 20 Starters; Selections for Fan Friday at Pimlico (Day 10)

Posted on 18 April 2013 by Gary Quill

With just two (2) weeks until the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, it appears that a full field of 20 will be entered. In the initial year of the Derby Point system determining the pecking order (instead of graded stakes earnings) as to who gets in and who’s left out. There are a few who have enough points to start in the Derby, but their connections do not live in a fantasy world and believe their horse is not cut out to compete at the 1¼ mile distance.

Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

At this writing, fifteen (15) 3-year-olds have already arrived at Churchill Downs for the Run For The Roses, the first leg of horse racings Triple Crown .  A few others who qualify are on the fence which keeps the connections of those who sit just beyond #20, between a rock and a hard place, not knowing whether to ship to Louisville or not.

On Saturday, the G3 Coolmore Lexington Stakes offers up 20 Derby points to the winner, 10 points to the runner-up and 5 to the 3rd place finisher. There are eleven (11) entered, ten colts and one filly. The filly (Pure Fun) is already penciled in for the Kentucky Oaks. Therefore unless she wins, the winner of this race could conceivably get into the Derby field.

Here is the current Derby point standings…

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #109… “Flatten Out”

Recapping Pimlico’s Thursday 9-race card posted had only 4 winners (2 Top Selection in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $6.20 (1st race), $14.80 (2nd), $5.80 (4th) and $15.60 (8th).

The BEST BET of the Day (8 4-0-1) Storm Catlilly (R9 #8 2-1 PT; 9-2 M/L) got pinched at the start and was unable to use his speed to be among the early leaders. Moved up on the far turn but extremely wide and ran evenly through the stretch to a disappointing 6th as the betting favorite.

The LONGSHOT PICK (8 4-0-1) Fiji Boy (R1 #6 6-1 PT; 20-1 M/L) went off as the 4th choice in a 5 horse race (after 3 scratches), allowed the 7-5 and 9-5 chalk duel on the lead, then pounced on both entering the stretch. Found resistance from the 9-5 runner throughout the lane, but was able to shake him off in the final strides to pay $14.80 to WIN, $6.00 to PLACE and $3.20 to SHOW.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $50 on Snap It (R2 #5; 9-5 PT, 9-2 M/L) did his job by finishing in the money (2nd), but the SHOW pay-off suffered (only $2.20) as 3 of the 8 entered in this contest were scratched. It adds $5.00 to the $50.30 SHOW parlay amount for Day 10.

Selections for the Day 10 Pimlico Friday, April 19th card are on Page 2.

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Kentucky Derby Field is taking shape; Selections for Thursday (Day 5) at Pimlico

Posted on 10 April 2013 by Gary Quill

With just three (3) weeks until the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby, it appears that a full field of 20 will be entered. In the initial year of the Derby Point system determining the pecking order (instead of graded stakes earnings) as to who gets in and who’s left out, about 15 3-year-olds have secured their spot.

The Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby, both run on Saturday, are the final two Derby preps that could catapult four (4) 3-year-olds into the Kentucky Derby. Each race awards 100 points to the winner and 40 points to the runner-up. There are plenty colts who fit that bill. Carve, War Academy, Divine Ambition, Heaven’s Runway, Texas Bling, and Frac Daddy all race in the Arkansas Derby. The Blue Grass Stakes is filled with turf and synthetic surface runners hoping to crash the Derby Party. Those in need of no less than a top 2 finish are My Name Is Michael, Undrafted, Palace Malice, Channel Isle, Charming Kitten, Tesseron, Footbridge, Balance The Books, Rydilluc, and Fear the Kitten.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #101…  “Feature Race

Recapping Pimlico’s Sunday 9-race card posted had only 4 winners (1 Top Selection in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.20 (4th race), $4.20 (5th), $12.40 (4th), $7.40 (7th) and $5.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (4 2-0-1) Ellipse (R7 #5 5-2 PT; 3-1 M/L) took the lead right out of the gateand maintained it while jock Sheldon Russell slowed the 2nd quarter to 23.48 after a 22.36 opening quarter. When rivals got in gear he had enough left to pull away to the victory, returning $7.40 to WIN, $4.80 PLACE and $2.40 SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (4 1-0-1) Termsofengagement (R1 #5 4-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) lead from the gate to the top of the stretch, got collared by the favorite, but ran on gamely to salvage 3rd, returning $2.80 to SHOW.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Proud Daddy (R3 #6; 9-5 PT, 5-2 M/L) was outrun early as the betting favorite, never was a threat to win, but did manage to rally in the stretch for an uneventful 3rd to pay $2.40 for the SHOW. Add $4 to the $20 wager and try to build on it in Day 5.

Selections for the Day 5 Pimlico Thursday, April 11th card are Page 2.

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Opening Day in Baltimore for the thoroughbred home team: Pimlico

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Baltimore’s favorite baseball team kicks off their season at home on Friday April 5th against the Minnesota Twins, but there’s another Opening Day to celebrate in Baltimore this Thursday, April 4th. Live Maryland thoroughbred horse racing has come “home” to historic Pimlico Race Course, albeit for only 36 glorious racing days. Local horse racing enthusiasts view Opening Day at Pimlico as a barometer that Spring has officially arrived.

Drawing by Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

Over the next ten weeks, Pimlico will conduct live racing Thursday through Sunday (but no racing on the Sunday after Preakness, May 19th), headlined by the 138th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (Grade 1), the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, on May 18th. The 36-day stand will conclude on Belmont  Day, June 8th. First post for 33 days of the meet will be 1:10pm with adjustments on Kentucky Derby Day (May 4th; 12:45pm), Black-Eyed Susan Day (May 17th; 12:15pm) and on Preakness Day (10:45am).

To entice fans to visit Old Hilltop on Opening Day and throughout the spring meet, the Maryland Jockey Club is offering plenty of promotions. Here are the ones over the next couple weeks …

Thursday, April 4 — Opening Day
Celebrate the return of live racing with free admission and  free live program.

Every Friday (April 5-June 7, excluding Black-Eyed Susan day) — Fan Fridays
Free admission, free parking and free live program.

Saturday, April 6 — Opening Saturday
Free Pimlico cap to the first 4,000 paid fans and over $200,000 in prize drawings.

Sunday, April 7 — Chasin’ for Children
Kids compete on ponies in five events between races.

Saturday, April 13 — Racing 101
An all-day fan education experience. Advance ticket purchase required.

Speaking of fan educational experiences, former jockey Frankie Lovato, Jr. is doing his part. Lovato is the founder / creator of JockeyWorld.org who with his staff of Kayla Jarvinen and Brittlan Wall work tirelessly to help increase the fan base of thoroughbred horse racing. This year’s project is to provide 365 Days of Racing Terminology via videos on YouTube.

Using an alphabetic format, Frankie and his staff started on January 1, 2013 posting a video describing the term “Ace Deuce”. Their mission is to continue throughout 2013, posting a term each day.

Whether you are a grizzled vet like GQ or a horse racing novice, make these informative 2-3 minute videos part of your daily routine. You will be amazed at the amount of new cocktail party conversation ammo added to your arsenal.

For each day of this 36 day meet, I will post a blog offering my opinions and the Soup Of The Day with the cooperation of the Food Services Dept. at Pimlico, as I have done below. As an added item, a SHOW Parlay Play of the Day will be featured. I’ll start with a mythical $100 bankroll, using $20 of it to start the parlay. I figure the odds of sustaining a single SHOW parlay play for 36 consecutive racing days is slim. Therefore, we’ll have a reserve to tap into if/when a play loses.

A note for novices, when you bet to SHOW, it means your horse must finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Your payoff is the price posted under the SHOW (3rd) column. A parlay means whatever the return is on your wager; you bet that entire amount on the next bet (i.e. “let it ride”).

Recapping Laurel Park’s Closing Day 10-race card posted had 5 chalky winners (1 Top Selection in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $6.40 (1st race), $4.00 (2nd), $2.60 (4th), $3.80 (5th) and $4.80 (9th). The BEST BET of the Day went off 5-2 but could only manage 2nd behind the 1-5 (that’s correct, 1-5) betting favorite, but did return $3.20 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW while the LONGSHOT PICK also played bridesmaid returning $4.40 to PLACE and $2.60 to SHOW.

Selections for the Day 1 Pimlico Thursday, April 4th card are Page 2.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2: Mar. 1st – 3rd

Posted on 27 February 2013 by Gary Quill

Derby logoKentucky Derby Future Wager – Pool 2 betting starts noon Friday through 6:00 p.m. EST Sunday, March 3rd

Todd Pletcher and Bob Baffert have 11 of the 23 individual interests in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

It took less than 3 weeks to determine six (6) from Pool 1 were not worthy to be included in Pool 2. They are Capo Bastone, Frac Daddy, Mylute, He’s Had Enough, Violence and Will Take Charge…  replaced by Ive Struck a Nerve, Orb, Palace Malice, Shakin It Up, Titletown Five and Treasury Bill.

Program# – horse – (trainer) —- last race ——— odds — [*GQ DDDR]

1.  Code West (Baffert) 2nd G2 Risen Star by nose  20-1  [N/R]

2.  Delhomme (Pletcher) 3rd G2 Remsen by ¾ length  50-1 [N/R]

3.  Den’s Legacy (Baffert) 2nd G2 Bob Lewis by 6¼   50-1 [N/R]

4.  Dynamic Sky (Casse) 2nd G3 Sam Davis by neck  50-1 [9]

5.  Falling Sky (Terranova) 1st G3 Sam Davis by neck  50-1 [N/R]

6.  Flashback (Baffert) 1st G2 Bob Lewis by 6¼  12-1 [8]

7.  Goldencents (O’Neill) 1st G3 Sham by 1½  20-1 [N/R]

8.  Itsmyluckyday (Plesa) 1st G3 Holy Bull by 2  12-1 [14]

9.  Ive Struck a Nerve (Desormeaux) 1st G2 Risen Star by nose 30-1 [N/R]

10.  Normandy Invasion (Brown) 5th G2 Risen Star by 1½  15-1 [10]

11. Orb (McGaughey) 1st G2 Fountain of Youth by ½  12-1 [N/R]

12. Overanalyze (Pletcher) 1st G2 Remsen by nose  20-1 [N/R]

13.  Oxbow (Lukas) 4th G2 Risen Star by ½  30-1 [N/R]

14.  Palace Malice (Pletcher) 3rd G2 Risen Star by ½  30-1 [N/R]

15.  Revolutionary (Pletcher) 1st G3 Withers by neck 12-1 [2]

16.  Shakin It Up (Baffert) 1st G2 San Vicente by length 15-1 [3]

17.  Shanghai Bobby (Pletcher) 2nd G3 Holy Bull by 2  15-1 [N/R]

18.  Super Ninety Nine (Baffert) 1st G3 Southwest by 11¼  10-1 [N/R]

19.  Titletown Five (Lukas) 1st Oct. 28 CD maiden by 9  30-1 [N/R]

20.  Treasury Bill (Ellis) 2nd G2 San Vicente by length  30-1 [4]

21.  Uncaptured (Casse) 1st G2 Ky Jockey Club by neck  30-1 [N/R]

22.  Verrazano (Pletcher) 1st GP allowance by 16¼  10-1 [N/R]

23.  Vyjack (Rodriguez) 1st G2 Jerome by head  30-1 [N/R]

24.  All other 3-year-olds  3-1

BOLD Type = new wagering interest in Pool 2

*GQ DDDR = GQ’s Derby Double Dozen Ranking from Feb. 9th blog


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6th Annual GQ’s Derby Double Dozen

Posted on 09 February 2013 by Gary Quill

In 2010, there were approximately 26,000 live foals reported. Today, all are now considered 3 year olds, the year in which only one could potentially break the 33 year Triple Crown drought, by winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. As in 2012, all three Triple Crown races will be televised live by NBC Sports.

Approximately 30% of horses foaled make it to the race track. That’s roughly 7,800 horses. Midnight on January 26th was the early deadline to nominate (for $600) a 3 year old to compete in the trio of Triple Crown Classics (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) in 2013. There also will be a late period for nominations at $6,000 each that will close on Saturday, March 23rd. The list of 368 early nominations released on February 2nd reflects a decrease from the 397 in 2012, but on par with the 364 in 2011 and 366 in 2010.

Over the next few months the best 20 will surface, earning their way into the starting gate on May 4th to run in the 139th Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands. Next weekend Churchill Downs is offering the first of three Future Wager Pools for the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

The dates for the Derby Future Wager are:
–Pool 1: Feb. 8-10
–Pool 2: March 1-3
–Pool 3: March 22-24

This is the 15th year for the Derby Future Wager. Betting for each pool opens at noon (EST) daily; the Derby pools will close at 6 p.m. on the final day of each pool. The pool consists of 24 wagering interests – 23 individual horses and a mutuel field of all others as the 24th wagering option. The Derby mutuel field includes all other 3-year-olds. Each bet is WIN only and is a $2 minimum. There are no refunds on the future wagers.

In keeping with my annual tradition, the time has come to reveal the 2013 GQ Derby Double Dozen, less than 90 days prior to the Run For The Roses. It’s my Top 24 colts and geldings (sorry ladies, no fillies) that I humbly believe have the best shot of getting to Louisville on the first Saturday in May and not only break from the starting gate at approximately 6:20pm (EDT), but has the pedigree to win at the classic distance (1¼ miles).

Here’s how the previous four GQ Derby Double Dozen lists have fared in picking the Kentucky Derby winner…

2008: Big Brown was ranked #2.
2009: Mine That Bird was not on the list (nor was on anyone’s list); Derby runner-up Pioneerof The Nile was ranked #1.
2010: Super Saver was ranked #10.
2011: Animal Kingdom was not on the list; my #1 was Santiva who finished 6th at 34-1 just 5½ lengths behind the winner.
2012: I’ll Have Another was ranked #10.

Through the first 5 years, a trend seems to be developing. In even numbered years, the Derby winner has been in the Top 10 of the GQ Derby Double Dozen whereas in odd numbered years, he was nowhere to be found. We you review this list, the majority of you will surely say, “Well, that trend will continue”, because most of the current leading Derby contenders such as Shanghai Bobby, Goldencents, Oxbow and Verrazano and are nowhere to be found.

Again, the point of this list is to mention 3-year-olds who, in my humble opinion, are built (i.e. pedigree) to be successful when asked to run 10 furlongs and carry 126 lbs. for the first time in their racing career. Period!

Below is the 2013 list which shows my ranking, horse name, trainer, current jockey and facts/comments which include the Dosage Index (if you don’t know what this is… Google it). Call me a dinosaur, but I still believe in Dosage. Lastly, the number in brackets [0] is the Derby points earned as of Feb. 9th , which is a system being used for the first time in if/when more than 20 entries are received to run in the 139th Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.

#1 – Tiz the Truth (B. Baffert / G. Stevens) KY-bred son of Tiznow made quite the impression in breaking his maiden by 7½ length recently going 1 mile @ SA. Strange how Gary Stevens picked up the mount shortly after he came out of retirement to, “…help develop some young horses”. Uh yeah, right. If you believed that, then I have some land east of Atlantic City to sell you. Don’t be surprised to see him take a big step up into graded stakes to get on the fast track to the Derby. Dosage: 2.00 [0]

#2 – Revolutionary (T. Pletcher /J. Castellano) KY-bred son of War Pass overcame traffic issues to win the Withers @ Aqu in his 3-year-old debut. He showed a lot grit and determination “plowing” thru rivals in deep stretch. This is the type of colt won’t be intimidated running against 19 others. Hopefully he’ll stay in NY for the Gotham and/or Wood on the way to Louisville. Dosage: 3.00 [10]

#3 – Shakin It Up (B. Baffert / M. Garcia) KY-bred son of Midnight Lute awaits his 3-year-old debut. His 3rd place effort in the Hollywood Prevue was better than it looks on paper. Stuck behind rivals from the quarter pole to mid-stretch, finally got out and finished full of run. With his off the pace running style and fact he’s been a part of small fields in all 3 career outings, if/when he gets some pace to run at… lookout! Dosage: 1.67 [0]

#4 – Treasury Bill (R. Ellis / J. Talamo) KY-bred son of Lemon Drop Kid should be able to run all day, but is he fast enough? That question won’t be answered until he goes at least 8 furlongs. In his 2 career (sprint) races, much like a freight train it takes him awhile (4 furlongs) to get into gear, but when he does, it’s Zenyatta-like. Like his daddy, the longer the race the better he (should) be. Dosage: 1.48 [0]

#5 – Always in a Tiz (D. Schettino / P. Lopez) KY-bred son of Tiznow was 3rd in the one mile Smarty Jones @ OP on Jan. 21st as 9-5 favorite but showed his pedigree for wanting more distance as he galloped out well beyond the winner (Will Take Charge) and runner-up (Texas Bling). His best races are yet to come as the Derby preps continue to get longer. Could show up in the Rebel, Fountain of Youth or Gotham Stakes next. Dosage: 2.20 [2]

#6 – Proud Strike (S. Asmussen / B. Hernandez) VA-bred son of Smart Strike has progressed with each start and has raced well in 2 efforts over the CD dirt. He’s poised to stay in NOLA and take a big step up in the Risen Star and/or Louisiana Derby to punch his ticket to Louisville. Dosage: 3.00 [0]

#7 – Belvin (B. Baffert / R. Bejarano) FL-bred son of Empire Marker is built to get the classic distance with Storm Bird on the bottom. Owner Donald Dizney is an owner who loves the TC races and appears to be counting on this one to get him to Louisville on the first Saturday in May. Been steadily training for his 3-year-old debut since breaking maiden Dec. 26th @ SA for potential start in San Felipe Stakes @ SA. Fact that Bejarano (0 for Derby in his career) is in the irons tempers my enthusiasm a bit. Dosage: 3.00 [0]

#8 – Hear the Ghost (J. Hollendorfer / J. Hernandez) KY-bred son of Ghostzapper is screaming for more than the sprint distances his only 2 races, as he routinely works at 6f. He’s got an uphill battle to get to CD on the first Saturday of May, and even if he does and manages to win, he’ll become only the 3rd gelding to win the Derby since 1929. The ultimate longshot. Dosage: 3.00 [0]

#9 – Dynamic Sky (M. Casse / L. Contreras) ONT(Canadian) -bred son of Sky Mesa kicked off 3-year-old campaign w/ win in Pasco then ran out of real estate in Sam F. Davis beaten a neck, when trying to close against a snails early pace. His only OTB finish (6th by 5¼) came in BC Juvenile where he had a fistful of excuses.Will likely spend remainder of the winter in Tampa and run in its Derby. Dosage: 2.50 [8]

#10 – Normandy Invasion (C. Brown / J. Lezcano) KY-bred son of Tapit took a month off after beaten a nose in the Remsen @ Aqu in November. He resumed training in mid-January at Palm Meadows and will certainly surface in a Derby Point System, why else would the Derby Future Wager braintrust include him in Pool #1? Dosage: 3.80 [4]

#11 – Sky Captain (M. Casse / P. Husbands) KY-bred son of Sky Mesa stretched out from 6½f to 9f (1 1/8) to start his sophomore campaign, with a decent runner-up effort behind much-hyped Derby contender Cerro (due to Michael Phelp’s investment in Team Valor). The race looked more like an afternoon workout as the jock never asked him for everything he had in the tank. Dosage: 3.00 [0]

#12 – Flashback (B. Baffert / J. Leparoux) KY-bred son of Tapit had it all his way in the “paceless” Robert B. Lewis @ SA but came home the last 4½ f in 54.26 with little encouragement and a bit green. With some maturing and ability to rate as he did in his maiden win, Baffert will need to figure out if there are enough Derby point races for all of his Derby contenders. Dosage: 2.73 [10]

#13 – Forty Tales (T. Pletcher / J. Velazquez) KY-bred son of Tale of the Cat 3-year-old debut in the 7f Hutcheson Stakes resulted in his first career loss after a 2 wins as 2-year-old sprinting. The $64k Question: Is he a sprinter with a closing kick or will he blossom when given the chance to stretch out? Work tab shows he gets faster the further he goes. Dosage: 3.40 [0]

#14 – Itsmyluckyday (E. Plesa / E. Trujillo) KY-bred son of Lawyer Ron is 2 for 2 as a 3-year-old recording triple-digit Brisnet Speed Figure in both. Those two performances catapulted him into the Top Ten of most Derby Contender lists. He’s already raced 9 times in his career and maybe he’s peaking too soon? He’ll point to the Florida Derby for his only shot to Run for the Roses on May 4th. Dosage: 3.00 [10]

#15 – Whiskey Romeo (A. Dutrow / S. Elliott) KY-bred son of Forestry is a perfect, yet quiet 3 for 3. This one has been on my radar since winning a minor stakes race @ Lrl on Dec. 1st going 7f after stumbling badly at the start. The way he recovered, still got the lead at the 1st call, and pulled away from his foes in deep stretch gave me an indication he might be special. He soundly beat Amerigo Vespucci twice, who has given a good account of himself since, running 3rd in the G2 Jerome followed by a 4th in the Withers. Dosage: 3.44 [0]

#16 – War Academy (B. Baffert / M. Garcia) KY-bred son of Giant’s Causeway has been on the shelf since a maiden breaking debut @ BHP on Nov. 9th. Love the work pattern in January, but he’s in “catch-up mode” needing those all important Derby points. If Baffert believes he’s good enough, he’ll find the right spot for him. Dosage: 1.71 [0]

#17 – Violence (T. Pletcher /J. Castellano) KY-bred son of Medaglia d’Oro is at or near the top of most Derby contender lists, except mine. WHY?! It’s not that he doesn’t have the pedigree, because he does and unless he falls flat on his face in his 3-year-old debut, he’ll break from the CD starting gate on May 4th. His speed figures are among the best for this crop, yet visually he’s not an imposing presence on the track. Laugh if you will, but since I’m a contrarian who looks for value, the 16 in front of him have a better shot at winning the 139th running of the KY Derby IMHO. Dosage: 2.08 [10]

#18 – Tesseron (J. Carroll / J. Bravo) KY-bred son of Tapit earned some nice speed figures while racing long in all 3 career races as a 2-year-old, 2 of which were in graded stakes. Is spending the winter in south Florida, putting in nice 5 and 6 furlong works. Eagerly awaiting his 3-year-old debut. Dosage: 3.00 [5]

#19 – Elnaawi (K. McLaughlin / C. Hill) KY-bred son of Street Sense has only been tested on an off track and has yet been administered Lasix. There’s a huge upside here when he finally races around two-turns. If he’s good enough, we should see him in the Gotham as he continues to trainer at Belmont Park. Dosage: 1.67 [0]

#20 – Honorable Dillon (E. Kenneally / J. Lezcano) KY-bred son of Tapit winner of the Hutcheson even though he never changed leads appears to be in search for Derby points in his next outing, based on comments from his trainer who voiced displeasure with the new system which determines who will be in or out if more than 20 are entered in the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. Dosage: 3.00 [0]

#21 – He’s Had Enough (D. O’Neill / M. Gutierrez) KY-bred son of Tapit was forced to press a slow pace in the 4-horse Robert B. Lewis. Still looking for him to run back to the BC Juvenile, when runner-up to Shanghai Bobby. These same connections slowly brought along I’ll Have Another to peak at the right time, so they know the formula. It’s whether HHE will mature over the next 3 months to fulfill his potential. Dosage: 3.00 [6]

#22 – Curly Top (B. Baffert / M. Garcia) KY-bred son of Curlin started career on synthetic (@ Bhp) with 2 runner-up efforts going long w/ blinkers, shed them and won @ SA on Juan. 18th. Was the difference blinkers off or natural dirt or just being a late bloomer like his Dad? No clue what’s next, but he might surface in the Rebel Stakesor Sunland Derby. Dosage: 3.50 [0]

#23 – Park City (T. Pletcher / J. Velazquez) KY-bred son of Harlan’s Holiday was sidelined after victory in debut @ Sar in July on an off track.Been training in earnest at Palm Meadows the past six weeks. Might be considered (Starlight Racing) the owners 2nd String or “Backup Plan” behind Shanghai Bobby. Dosage: 2.47 [0]

#24 – Tiz a Minister (P. Aguirre / G. Gomez) CA-bred son of Ministers Wild Cat is certainly the longest of longshots to get to the Derby let alone win it. His career path thus far is not one of a serious Derby threat, but he intrigues me nonetheless So why would Gomez have picked up the mount for a state-bred stakes on Jan. 26th (R7 @ SA), which he won with a very impressive closing kick. You may want to review for yourself. Dosage: 1.86 [0]

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