Tag Archive | "Kentucky Derby"

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Derby disappointment Goldencents to arrive at Pimlico Monday

Posted on 05 May 2013 by WNST Staff


BALTIMORE, 05-05-13—Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Goldencents will arrive at Pimlico Race Course tomorrow night to begin preparations for the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday, May 18. Trainer Doug O’Neill followed a similar course shipping to Baltimore two days after the Kentucky Derby last year with dual classic winner I’ll Have Another.

Assistant trainer Jack Sisterson informed the Maryland Jockey Club Sunday afternoon that the son of Into Mischief, who finished a disappointing 17th in yesterday’s Kentucky Derby (G1) as the third betting choice, and 3-year-old filly Birdlover will fly to New York Monday afternoon and then van down to Pimlico.

The Team O’Neill runners will be stabled in Barn D.


Lashé Speight, a seventh grader at Cross Country Elementary/Middle School, is the grand prize winner of the 14th annual Preakness Portraits Youth Art Contest. Speight also captured top honors last year and becomes the first repeat Jewel winner in the history of the contest.


Students from eight Baltimore City area schools, grades K through 12, were invited to create artwork showing the significance of the Preakness to Maryland history, while capturing the spirit of Thoroughbred racing. The artwork had to include Preakness related images.


As the winner of “The Jewel”, the best artwork for grades 5 through 12, Speight receives box seating for four at the Preakness, framed artwork autographed by this year’s Preakness winners, a $250 gift certificate and a presentation ceremony at the winner’s luncheon this afternoon.


“The Junior Jewel”, the best artwork for grades K through 4, went to Maiya Mone’t Hall, a fourth grader from Cross Country Elementary School.


The judging was conducted by Baltimore City Mayor’s Neighborhoods Liaison Betsy Gardner, retired Baltimore City principal Herbert Miller, Maryland Racing Commissioner David Hayden and his wife, prominent horse breeder Joanne Hayden, along with three representatives from the Maryland Jockey Club.

Participating schools:

Arlington Elementary/Middle

Cross Country Elementary/Middle

Edgecombe Circle Elementary/Middle

Fallstaff Elementary/Middle

Hampden Elementary/Middle

Mt. Washington Elementary/Middle

Pimlico Elementary/Middle

Western High

All the artwork is on display at Pimlico Race Course in the first floor grandstand through Preakness day.

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Orb Draws Post #16 as 7-2 Morning Line Favorite for Kentucky Derby 139; Thursday Picks at Pimlico

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Orb Draws Post #16 as 7-2 Morning Line Favorite for Kentucky Derby 139; Thursday Picks at Pimlico

Posted on 01 May 2013 by Gary Quill

Post Positions for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby were drawn Wednesday evening at Churchill Downs. Native Kentuckian and veteran Derby Oddmaker Mike Battaglia set the Moring Line odds and made Florida Derby winner Orb the 7-2 favorite, who will break from post #16 over the undefeated Verrazano (Post #14) the 4-1 second choice among a full field of twenty 3-year-olds.

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

Among the many hats that I’ve worn, setting the Morning Line odds at any thoroughbred horse racing track in America is not yet one of them, but on my Bucket List. Over the years, many of my friends and blog readers have come to enjoy, look forward to or simply tolerate my yearning to see how close my odds for a particular race come to the actual Morning Line. Battaglia has been working his craft for nearly 40 years whereas I do it for big races and friends and some horse owners who are eager for an opinion on a probable Morning Line or predicted Post Time odds.

1.  Black Onyx            Joe Bravo / Kelly Breen                   50-1          46-1
2.  Oxbow                   Gary Stevens / D. Wayne Lukas      30-1          21-1
3. Revolutionary       Calvin Borel / Todd Pletcher              10-1            6-1
4. Golden Soul          B.Hernandez Jr / Dallas Stewart       50-1          51-1
5. Normandy Invasion  J.Castellano / Chad Brown            12-1           11-1
6. Mylute                  Rosie Napravnik / Tom Amoss           15-1           16-1
7. Giant Finish        Jose Espinoza / Anthony Dutrow          50-1          48-1
8. Goldencents        Kevin Krigger / Doug O’Neill                 5-1             8-1
9. Overanalyze        Rafael Bejarano / Todd Pletcher          15-1          23-1
10. Palace Malice    Mike Smith / Todd Pletcher                  20-1          18-1
11. Lines of Battle   Ryan Moore / Aidan O’Brien                 30-1         31-1
12. Itsmyluckyday  Elvis Trujillo / Eddie Plesa, Jr.               15-1          21-1
13. Falling Sky         Luis Saez / John Terranova                 50-1          53-1
14. Verrazano          John Velazquez / Todd Pletcher            4-1            5-1
15. Charming Kitten Edgar Prado / Todd Pletcher              20-1          44-1
16. Orb                      Joel Rosario / Shug McGaughey        7-2             4-1
17. Will Take Charge  Jon Court / D. Wayne Lukas             20-1          27-1
18. Frac Daddy         Victor Lebron / Ken McPeek               50-1          42-1
19. Java’s War           Julien Laparoux / Ken McPeek          15-1          15-1
20. Vyjack                  Garrett Gomez / Rudy Rodriguez      15-1           19-1
AE Fear the Kitten      Alan Garcia / Michael Maker             —              —

AE – Also Eligible IF any other runner scratches prior to Friday
* – GQ’s Predicted Post Time Odds

Recapping Pimlico’s Sunday 9-race card posted had 5 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.40 (1st race), $2.60 (2nd), $11.80 (5th), $4.80 (6th) and $5.00 (8th).

The BEST BET of the Day (15 7-2-1) Classic Wildcat (R4 #5 5-2 PT; 6-1 M/L) started in good shape, but was pulled up nearing the lane then walked onto the van on his own courage.

The LONGSHOT PICK (15 4-1-1) Lil Escape Artist (R8 #5 5-1 PT; 10-1 M/L) ran the race I anticipated, but was only good enough to be second best. She allowed the speed duel to take place, but so did the winner, as both made their move entering the stretch, passing their tiring rivals, but the winner was much the best, but the runner-up returned $5.00 to PLACE and $3.20 to SHOW.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Elkhorn Creek / Sting Boy (R2 #2/2X 1-5 PT; 1-1 M/L) brought out the bridge-jumpers (bettors who wager thousands to SHOW thinking they can make a quick 5% ROI), after the second choice (#6 –Ram) was scratched. As predicted, these two proved to be the best in here as they finished 1-2 well headed of the third place runner, but nearly 90% of the SHOW pool was on the 2/2X entry, returning $2.60 to WIN, $2.10 to PLACE and $2.10 to SHOW.

Selections for the Day 17 Pimlico Sunday, May 2nd card are on Page 2.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Wrestling-Ring of Honor Border Wars 2013 (Saturday 7:30pm from Toronto live on Pay-Per-View); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Long Island Lizards @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/ESPN3.com); Women’s College Lacrosse: Selection Sunday (Sunday 9pm NCAA.com)

10. Foreigner (Friday 8pm Pier Six Pavilion), Earth, Wind & Fire (Sunday 7:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); M3 Rock Festival feat. Bret Michaels, Twisted Sister (Friday & Saturday Merriweather Post Pavilion); The Lone Bellow (Thursday 7:30pm West Mt. Vernon Park); Papa Roach (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live), Limp Bizkit (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live); Old Man Brown (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club); Fear Factory (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Howie Day (Sunday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Kris Allen (Friday 9pm Rams Head Center Stage); Art Attack feat. MGMT (Friday 6pm Byrd Stadium); Jim James (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Tedeschi Trucks Band (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Foals (Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (Thursday 8:30pm State Theatre); Chili Cook-Off feat. Soundgarden, AWOLNation, Silversun Pickups, Capital Cities (Saturday RFK Stadium); Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall” and Kenny Chesney “Life on a Rock” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

When I heard The Lone Bellow was coming I legitimately nearly cancelled my trip to Louisville. Crikes they’re tremendous.

Can someone call Old Man Brown for me and ask if they’ll play my wedding?

I wish someone would force MGMT and Chiddy Bang to do a record together.

Look, I’m a warm-blooded mammal and all so Soundgarden is great…but don’t you sorta feel like Soundgarden actually limits the brilliance of Chris Cornell’s vocals sometimes?

9. Iron Man 3” out in theaters (Friday); Silver Linings Playbook” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); TowsonTown Festival (Saturday & Sunday Downtown Towson); Kinetic Sculpture Race (Saturday American Visionary Art Museum/Inner Harbor)

Ask the question “if you could trade places with any fictional person ever” to an adult male. If they say anything besides “Tony Stark”, kick them out of our country.

Also, I have no idea what a “Kinetic Sculpture Race” is, but a Google Image Search provided me WHAT THE F*CK?

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Rosie Napravnik featured on CBS’ 60-Minutes; Selection Sunday at Pimlico (Day 16)

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Rosie Napravnik featured on CBS’ 60-Minutes; Selection Sunday at Pimlico (Day 16)

Posted on 27 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Nearly 6 months ago, Rosie Napravnik was on top of the thoroughbred racing world, as she guided 2-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby to a thrilling victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, stamping him the early Kentucky Derby favorite. “Bobby” and Rosie seemed destined to have a date on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs. Well those of us who have been around the “Sport of Kings” for decades, know there are no “sure things” in horse racing.

“Bobby” won’t be one of the twenty to run in the Derby. His 3-year-old campaign did not go as planned, so he was taken off the Derby trail. On the other hand, Rosie’s riding career has continued to flourish. For the third consecutive year, she won the riding title at the Fairgrounds Winter Meet. One of the many winners she rode was Mylute. Lucky for Rosie, this 3-year-old son of Midnight Lute earned enough Derby points to get a spot in the Derby starting gate. Rosie has been named to ride.

Due to her success and the fact she’s a female in a male dominated industry, made her an attractive storyline for CBS’ 60 Minutes program. No female rider has won the Kentucky Derby. In fact, the best finish for a female rider is 9th, which was accomplished by Rosie in 2011 aboard Pant On Fire. On Sunday (Apr. 28th) at 7pm EDT, CBS will air that segment, giving thoroughbred horse racing some positive publicity 6 days prior to the Kentucky Derby.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #118… “Front-Runner

Recapping Pimlico’s Saturday 11-race card posted had just 3 winners with only 1 Top Selection (in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $42.20 (1strace), $3.20 (5th) and $23.00 (6th).

The BEST BET of the Day (14 7-2-1) Blues Heir (R3 #1 9-2 PT; 7-2 M/L) had a nice stalking trip while saving ground around the turn, swung out in upper stretch and closed gamely outside the winner, appeared to have gotten up in time for the win, but lost the photo finish by a nose, returning $6.80 to PLACE and $4.20 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (14 4-0-1) Jazz (R5 #6 3-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) took a ton of money at the mutual windows and was the Post Time favorite. Unfortunately for Jazz and all of her backers, she was carried out by a 26-1 shot entering the first turn, killing any chance. When put back into the race she was five deep leaving the far turn, tried to rally on the far outside in the stretch, but had nothing left after her rough trip. Put this one on your “Watch List” and bet her the next time she runs on the turf.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Smart Tori (R8 #8 6-1 PT; 9-2 M/L) broke down in upper stretch. This is one thing you cannot anticipate when handicapping based on Past Performances. The SHOW parlay has had a rough week, filled with bad racing luck. We’re down to the final $20 to play for Day 16.

Selections for the Day 16 Pimlico Sunday, April 28th card are on Page 2.

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Departing Wins IL Derby, Becomes First Preakness “Probable”; Selection Sunday at Pimlico (Day 12)

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Departing Wins IL Derby, Becomes First Preakness “Probable”; Selection Sunday at Pimlico (Day 12)

Posted on 20 April 2013 by Gary Quill

The Illinois Derby may not have been an official Kentucky Derby prep race, since no Derby Points were up for grabs, but could have served as a Preakness Stakes prep. Claiborne Farms Departing went off as the 9-5 favorite and did not disappoint his backers as he won the $750,000 IL Derby by 3 lengths.

If I were a betting man (grin), I would wager that Departing will be entered in the Preakness Stakes. The Al Stall, Jr. trainee now has 4 wins in 5 career starts. His only blemish was a troubled 3rd in the Louisiana Derby, beat by Revolutionary (the winner) and Mylute (runner-up). Both are scheduled to start in the Kentucky Derby.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #111…  “Float

Recapping Pimlico’s Satuday 11-race card posted just 6 winners but 4 were Top Selections (BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $8.60 (3rd race), $3.60 (7th), $9.20 (8th), $3.00 (9th), $3.80 (10th) and $8.40 (11th).

The BEST BET of the Day (10 5-0-1) Volastic (R8 #2 7-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) was tardy from the gate as usual but when asked for his best entering the stretch, a  winning move as all but ohe could make no headway on the leaders settling for 4th , 3 lengths behind the winner.

The LONGSHOT PICK (10 4-0-1) Sasta Go Lucky (R6 #3 11-1 PT; 10-1 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, $60 on Jewel of a Cat (R7 #10; 4-5 PT, 5-2 M/L) easily handled six rivals with a nice stalking trip then took over in mid-stretch under steady urging to win by 2¾ lengths returning a pualtry $3.60 to WIN, $2.40 to PLACE and $2.10 (ouch!) to SHOW. Look at it this way, you’d be doing back-flips if you financial institution gave you 5% ROI in 59.09 seconds. It adds $3.00 to the current $60.00 SHOW parlay amount for Day 12.

Selections for the Day 12 Pimlico Sunday, April 21st card are on Page 2.

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Closing Day Selections at Laurel Park plus UAE, Florida and Louisiana Derby Analysis

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Closing Day Selections at Laurel Park plus UAE, Florida and Louisiana Derby Analysis

Posted on 29 March 2013 by Gary Quill

Thankfully, the Laurel Park winter meet comes to a close on Saturday so that live Maryland racing shifts to Pimlico Race Course on Thursday, April 4th. I happily say, “Good Riddance” to Laurel Park as my Saturday BEST BET and LONGSHOT selections were woeful to say the least, as the record below indicates. It was great meet for the Maryland Jockey Club, but it’s time to pack up the wagons and move the troops to Baltimore for the next two months.

With Pimlico’s 36-day spring meet (Apr. 4th thru June 8th), it’s a new beginning. A chance to redeem myself as the plan is to post selections for all 36 live racing days. Here’s what the Maryland Jockey Club is doing at Pimlico on Opening Day to entice fans to enjoy nine (9) exciting chase scenes…
Pimlico Opeing Day
On the national scene, with the Kentucky Derby just five (5) weeks away, there are 3 Derby prep races on Saturday… G2 UAE Derby at Meydan Race Course (Dubai) at 10:22am EDT, G1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park at 6:19pm EDT and the G2 Louisiana Derby Fairgrounds at 6:44pm EDT. To read HOW I SEE IT, click here.

Recapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Mar. 23rd had 8 winners from 9 races (6 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.00 (1st race), $3.00 (2nd), $9.00 (3rd), $3.20 (4th), $4.00 (5th), $5.80 (6th), $7.60 (7th) and $2.20 (8th).

This past Saturday was a perfect illustration of how “snake bit” the BEST BET and LONGSHOT picks were during the Laurel Park meet. Despite having 6 Top Pick winners from 9 races, both BEST BET and LONGHSOT selections were off the board (OTB).

The BEST BET of the Day (12 2-1-0) Nacho Earl (5-1 PT; 7-2 M/L) trailed in the early stages, swung wide at the eighth pole and rallied strongly in deep stretch but was no match for the winner, setting for a runner-up effort and returning $5.60 to PLACE and $2.40 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (12 0-0-3) Willieslittletrick (6-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) dueled early with a rival, setting a pressured pace along the rail and tired when entering the stretch, finishing a distant 5th.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for a clear skies, meaning the track will be FAST at Laurel Park on Saturday Mar. 30th, Closing Day. Selections for all races posted are handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.

1st race – $38,000 Maiden Special Weight for 2 y.o.– 4½ furlongs
#3 – Take Time to Pray (5-2)
#6 – Debt Ceiling (4-1)
#1/1A – New Zone / Searchparty Dolly (7-2)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming N1Y for F&M 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Prime Mistress (5-1) *** BEST BET ***
#1 – Super Nova Desert (5-2)
#7 – Harbor Fox (2-1)

3rd race – $10,000 Claiming 3 y.o. fillies – 7 furlongs
#1 – Go Money Go (3-1)
#3 – Oxford Lass (3-1)
#5 – Lost Yer Number (8-1)

4th race – $10,000 Claiming 3 y.o.– 5½ furlongs
#5 – Monacacy Warrior  (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#4 – Video Storm (4-5)
#1 – Chi Chi’s Pride  (5-1)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming N3L for 4 y.o. & up – 7 furlongs
#3 – Ram (3-1)
#8 – Singing My Way (2-1)
#4 – Rio Samba (15-1)

6th race – $25,000 Allowance Optional Claiming for 4 y.o.& up – 5½ furlongs
#2 – Regal Revenge  (7-5)
#6 – Never Stop Looking (5-1)
#3 – Itsnottheright (9-2)

7th race – $38,000 Maiden Special Weight for F&M 3 y.o.& up – 5½ furlongs
#8 – Litigious (3-1)
#3 – Smart n Smokin (8-1)
#7 – South Andros (6-1)

8th race – $50,000 Allowance Optional Claiming N1X for 3 y.o. – One mile
#3 – Arrive (9-2)
#8 – Hanky Doodle (5-2)
#7 – Torchrunner (10-1)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o.& up – 5½ furlongs
#7 – Tennis Racket  (3-1)
#6 – Kincaid  (5-2)
#5 – By Your Side (15-1)


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Horse Racing Progress: GQ and “Mel” Join Forces

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Horse Racing Progress: GQ and “Mel” Join Forces

Posted on 07 March 2013 by Gary Quill

Progress. Webster defines progress, “positive development, usually of a gradual kind, toward achieving a goal or reaching a higher standard”.  In the 40+ years that I’ve been an enthusiastic thoroughbred horse racing fan, there has been plenty of progress. Racing surfaces, medications, jockey and horse equipment, tote systems and types of wagers have all been part of the progress in terms of safety and the quality of the horse racing product.

From a fans standpoint, there has been progress on many fronts. Information is one example. Now there are multiple sources from where one can obtain Past Performances (PPs) instead of just one. The PPs provide additional statistics such as jockey win percentages at a specific tracks’ meet and YTD, with a trainer for the current meet and YTD; a trainers’ win percentage with “Shippers”, “3rd off Layoff”, “1st time Blinkers” and so on. A horses’ record on a fast dirt track v. off track v. turf v. synthetic surfaces is at your fingertips, unlike yesteryear when one needed the memory of an elephant to recall if Port Conway Lane liked an off track or not. The only hint was seeing an asterisk (“*”),”X” or an X inside a circle, to the right of the horse name, which indicated his/her prowess on an off track. Are you old enough to remember those?


A true speed rating used to require simple addition of the Speed Rating plus Track Variant. Now anyone under the age of 35 thinks Beyer (or Bris) Speed Figures are “bible” and find it impossible to pick winners without them. Same is true with Tomlinson (or Bris) Pedigree numbers. Fractions were measured in 5th’s, not 100th’s of a second and unless you were at the track to witness every race ever run, you didn’t have a clue if any of the top 3 finishers of a given race came back to win their next start.

Even with all of this progress, there is a one aspect of thoroughbred horse racing that, until now, had fallen by the wayside, an equine cartoonist. For 53 years (1955-2008) Pierre Bellocq aka Peb” was the staff cartoonist for the Daily Racing Form. This French-American’s cartoons and caricatures earned him recognition worldwide. As a kid in the 60’s when my Dad would buy “The Form”, I’d look forward to seeing his work on the cover of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes editions. But that ended in December 2008.

Enter Marcy Leonard, aka “Mel”. In my humble opinion, Mel fills the void left when Peb retired. Thanks to social media, Twitter to be specific, I recently discovered Mel which led me to Daily Racing Funnies DOTCOM (www.dailyracingfunnies.com). The website features all of Mel’s equine drawings. From Aqueduct to Woodbine and many tracks in between, her gallery is impressive considering she didn’t draw her first (equine) “Funnie” until 2011.

Daily Racing Funnie

In an effort to give Mel’s “Funnies” exposure they truly deserve, I offered to use them in my blogs. After trading numerous emails of negotiating (not really) with Mel and her better half Rick, we settled on a “relationship” which is basically an old-fashion, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” arrangement. Because after all, GQ wants, needs and deserves (tongue in cheek) more exposure too.

It is my hope that you will join me in welcoming Mel into OUR horse racing inner circle and $upport her (and my) passion for this sport we all love, as she expresses it through art for our enjoyment.

My BEST BET of 2013: The Daily Racing Form or Bloodhorse come knocking on Mel’s door with contract in hand, leaving GQ out in the cold. Dooooohhhhhllllll!!!!!!

* Daily Racing Funnies are courtesy of Mel should not to be copied or produced and distributed without Mel’s written consent.

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Handicapping Tourney and Selections at Laurel Park Saturday plus Gotham is lone Derby Prep

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Handicapping Tourney and Selections at Laurel Park Saturday plus Gotham is lone Derby Prep

Posted on 01 March 2013 by Gary Quill

On Saturday at Laurel Park the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) will host a “Champions” Handicapping Tournament limited to 250 entries. Entry fee is $100 plus a $200 tournament bankroll.

As of noon on Friday, there are still openings. One can register at Laurel Park on Saturday starting at 9am. Tournament participants receive complimentary parking, admission, a multi-signal program and lunch buffet. Prizes will be awarded for  first ($5,000) through tenth ($300) places, with the top 3 finishers receiving automatic qualification for the February 2014 Coast Casinos Horseplayer World Series in Las Vegas. For more information contact Diana Harbaugh at 301-470-5432 or diana.harbaugh@marylandracing.com.

The Derby Trail heads north to the The Big Apple for its only legitimate prep race of the weekend, on Saturday (March 2nd) for the $400,000 Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct race track. The Gotham Stakes is contested at 1 1/16 miles on the inner dirt track. It features a field of 12 runners, 7 of whom have previously run in a graded stakes while 3 others take a big jump after scoring their maiden victory last out. In 59 previous runnings of the Gotham, only Secretariat (1973) has managed to win both the Gotham and Kentucky Derby.

The Morning Line favorite is #11 – Overanalyze (5-2), last seen winning a head-bob decision over Normandy Invasion in the G2 Remsen at Aqueduct in November. The latter ran a troubling 5th in last weekends Risen Star Stakes at Fairgrounds in NOLA. A solid 3-1 second choice is #7 – Vyjack, undefeated in 3 career starts, all at Aqueduct. One of three Kiaran McLaughlin’s runners, #8 – Elnaawi (8-1) stands a good chance based on the amount of lip service he’s getting from industry experts. No surprise here due to the fact he’s #19 on GQ’s Derby Double Dozen posted here on Feb. 9th, when no one else even gave him a mention.

Though the G3 Withers Stakes winner Revolutionary will skip this dance and point to the G1 Wood Memorial, four (4) other Withers starters will answer the bell in the Gotham… #2 – Champion Boy (30-1; 5th in Withers), #3 – Escapefromreality (6-1; 2nd), #5 – Amerigo Vespucci (20-1; 4th) and #6 – Siete de Oro (15-1; 3rd).

HOW I SEE IT: With the likelihood of a FAST track (only 20% chance of precipitation) and the Big A dirt surface playing “fair” (i.e. not speed favoring like a certain track located in south Florida), it appears the best horse, with a clean trip will win. So is Overanalyze the best horse? Not necessarily on Saturday, but a quick, early pace would certainly help his cause, and he just might get it. #1 – Now and Then,  #4 – Ore Pass (12-1), #6 – Siete de Oro,  #7 – Vyjack and #10 – West Hills Giant (20-1) will see to that. When the real racing begins at the head of the stretch, expect #3 – Escapefromreality (6-1) and #8 – Elnaawi (8-1) to make their presence known while the favorite, Overanalyze finds his best stride in the final furlong. But will it be enough to get to the Winners Circle? Well do you think Johnny Velazquez took the mount, leaving warm, sunny Florida for chilly New York just because he could also see a Broadway show?

The Gotham PLAY: #11 – $10 WIN, $20 PLACE; $2 Ex Box 3-8-11

Laurel Park logoRecapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Feb. 23rd had 8″chalky” winners from 9 races (1 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $6.60 (2nd), $4.00 (4th), $6.00 (5th), $6.40  (6th), $7.80 (7th),$2.40 (8th) and $5.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (8 1-0-0) Sweet Julianna (5-2 PT; 5-2 M/L) dueled between rivals to the quarter pole, kept on to mid-stretch but weakened in the final furlong, finishing 4th.

The LONGSHOT PICK (8 0-0-2) Libertytown Lass (19-1 PT; 10-1 M/L) racing without blinkers was outrun early, but  mustered a nice rally in deep stretch to get SHOW money, returning a handsome $7.20 to SHOW.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for a clear skies, meaning the track will be FAST at Laurel Park on Saturday Mar. 2nd. Selections for all races posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.


1st race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o.– 5½ furlongs
#1 – Raven’s Dance  (9-2)
#6 – Star Destiny (2-5)
#2 – Press One  (15-1)

2nd race – $7,500 Claiming N2L for 4 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#6 – Lacrosse Moon (5-1)
#3 – My Seby (2-1)
#1 – Esson  (7-2)

3rd race – $38,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. fillies – 1 1/16 miles
#3 – Golden Joop (5-2)
#1 – Everything Matters (7-2)
#4 – Moon Legacy (4-1)

4th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 miles
#1 – Legally Included (5-1)   *** BEST BET ***
#5 – Hypatia’s Sky  (9-5)
#6 – Chanterelle (7-2)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming N2Y for 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 miles
#7 – My Piano Man (3-1)
#2 – Dixie Emperor  (8-1)
#10 – Tea Tott  (20-1)

6th race – $40,000 Maiden Claimng.for 3 y.o. – One mile
#6 – Bolt Action (5-1)
#2 – A Street  (20-1)
#1 – Indian Companion (3-1)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o.& up N1Y or N4L – 1 1/16 miles
#6 – Changing Funds (6-1)
#8 – Hanson Heights (2-1)
#7 – Pics Good Boy (15-1)

8th race – $150,000 Caesar’s Wish Stakes for 3 y.o.fillies – One mile
#1–  Walkwithapurpose (1-1)
#6 – Sense of Reality (5-1)
#5 – Seven Stars (4-1)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming N3L for F&M 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Our Favorite  (15-1)      $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#7 – Bubbie Hon  (4-1)
#1 – Smoky Opal  (7-5)


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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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Two time Preakness winner Stevens to return to racing

Posted on 04 January 2013 by WNST Staff

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Two months shy of his 50th birthday, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is launching a comeback this weekend at Santa Anita.

“My passion is still there,” Stevens said Thursday in announcing his return after a seven-year retirement. “Or I should say my passion has come back. I’ve worked a couple of very good horses in the morning at Santa Anita that kind of made the hair stand up on my neck and I haven’t felt that in a long time.”

Stevens’ first race will be Sunday at Santa Anita, with his lone mount in a $50,000 claiming race on a horse named Jebrica.

“I’m going to be selective in what I ride and if that means not riding at all or upsetting people then so be it,” he said. “I didn’t come back to ride five days a week and ride nine races a day. I came back to ride some quality horses with hopefully some good futures.”

He retired in November 2005 after battling knee pain that had him downing anti-inflammatories every day for the last 15 years of his career.

“Knees, they were never 100 percent, I’ll tell you, but compared to my last five years of riding they’re about 120 percent now,” Stevens said, adding that the medications damaged his liver. “Fortunately, the liver is able to repair itself and I’m healthy.”

Stevens said he’s been working with a personal trainer and attended a program in Bellevue, Wash., that taught him how to eat a diet featuring high-protein and carbohydrates along with healthy fats. In retirement, his weight reached 146 pounds, but now Stevens said he’s “down to 119 without trying.”

“I’m sleeping well, no medications,” he said.

Stevens’ wife, Angie Athayde, said, “He cut out smoking, drinking, sugar. He went really hard-core.”

She and the couple’s young daughter visited Stevens in Washington state over Thanksgiving, where food and drink were in abundance.

“I said, `Are you OK? They’re drinking,”‘ she said of the get-together. “He said, `It’s not the drinking. It’s the pie.”‘

Athayde said she’s excited for him to resume riding.

“It’s long overdue,” she said. “He’s been so miserable not riding. I told him, `You’ve got to get back on a horse.”‘

Stevens has been working as a racing commentator for HRTV on weekends and for NBC Sports during the Triple Crown series, and he said he’ll continue in those jobs while juggling his riding commitments.

The TV work provides a fallback plan if his comeback is thwarted by his knees.

“I don’t know that that pain won’t come back. Only time will tell,” Stevens said.

Then there’s the danger involved in riding 1,200-pound thoroughbreds going 40 mph in a race.

“Anything can happen at any time,” he said. “I know being out there it’s not a question of if I’m going to hit the ground, it’s when. But I’m probably fitter than I’ve been. I know I’ll able to handle the blow. The risk is worth the reward at this point.”

For now, Stevens is working without an agent, although he indicated he may have one soon. He said he’s looking forward to riding a few horses in particular, although he declined to provide their names.

In addition to his TV duties, Stevens has worked as a jockey agent, opened his own racing stable, and done some acting. He played jockey George Woolf in “Seabiscuit” and played a down-on-his-luck jockey in the HBO racing series “Luck” that was cancelled after a brief run last year.

Stevens won 4,888 races and more than $221 million in purses during a career that began in 1979 at Les Bois Park in Boise, Idaho. He’s won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes three times each, and twice won the Preakness Stakes. His other highlights include winning the Santa Anita Derby nine times and eight Breeders’ Cup races.

In 1997, Stevens was elected to racing’s Hall of Fame and the following year he won the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding jockey.

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