It is that time again with the future betting on the Kentucky Derby - I have to admit a lot of the names with low odds never were on my radar with juvenile stakes wins. Others have put in great runs this summer/fall and yet are getting little respect.
Case in point - Master of Disaster who won with impressive ease but took 3rd to Henny Hughes at Saratoga is currently 60-1
7. (tied) Henny Hughes 30/1 (owned by Godolphin; won G2 Saratoga Special, bought for $4.3 million in July 2005)
(tied) Dr. Pleasure 30/1 (by Thunder Gulch)
(tied) Sir Percy 30/1
(tied) Stream Cat 30/1 (won G3 Kentucky Cup Juvenile)
(tied) Sunriver 30/1
I happened to see the Flash Stakes on tv this summer. It was a three horse photo. THe times were slow but all three looked like racehorses to me!
Beacon Shine (75-1)
Speed of Sound (150-1) and
Union Course (100-1).
we shall see!
A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton
"Don't kid yourself, all we think about is winning the Derby," said trainer Dan Hendricks. "If you ask 1,000 people on the street about horse racing, they're going to say Kentucky Derby and Bill Shoemaker."
Brother Derek was purchased in March for $275,000 and named after a Mormon missionary.
Stevie Wonderboy will need to continue his forward progression to end the 0-for-21 skid, but the probable 2-year-old Eclipse Winner has a large following. He is expected to make his first start in the San Rafael Stakes at Santa Anita on January 14, which will be one of the most highly anticipated returns of any horse. The game is his to lose.
"He's obviously a very talented horse," Matz said. "Whether he carries the class he shows on turf over to the dirt, we just don't know yet, but his mother and half-brother (Holy Ground) ran well on the dirt. So, we'll talk it over with the Jacksons to see whether we try him on dirt next."
Another colt of interest from the same connections as one of last year's biggest stars is Frisco Star, who began his career in much the same manner as his stablemate Lost in the Fog. Also owned by Harry Aleo, Frisco Star, a son of More Than Ready, broke his maiden by 8 1/2 lengths on Aug. 6 at Santa Rosa in a track-record 1:01 3/5 for 5 1/2 furlongs. He is up to five furlongs in his works at Golden Gate, and rattled off a half in :46 2/5 three works back on Dec. 17.
also worth citing ...
The most notable was Tatsuji, an Irish-bred son of Fusaichi Pegasus who turned in a spectacular performance in his career debut at Santa Anita, in which he got squeezed at the start, dropping far back in last, then unleashed a powerhouse move to sweep by everyone. Despite racing greenly, ducking in at the three-sixteenths pole, he still was able to get back in gear and draw off to an impressive two-length score for last year's Derby-winning connections, John Shirreffs and Jerry and Ann Moss.
Another one to watch: Achilles of Troy (trained by Jennifer Pedersen) who put in a very impressive stakes-record field crushing effort in the Count Fleet Stakes yesterday. Its worth pulling up the NYRA race video on line to see it.
As impressive as Smarty Jones was Ã¬n winning the Count Fleet Stakes two years ago, Achilles of Troy was even more so yesterday, scoring by 14 lengths after running the mile-and-70-yards in a stakes-record time of 1:39.61 for the distance.
Smarty Jones, of course, went on to capture the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness and while it's a long way to go to the May 6 Kentucky Derby, Achilles of Troy looks like he has the ability as long as he stays healthy.
Entering the far turn, jockey Alan Garcia asked on Achilles of Troy ($8.70), and the 3-year-old responded with an explosive run, opening up through the lane to score over Extra Bend and Platinum Couple.
For comparison's sake, Smarty Jones won the 2004 Count Fleet by five lengths, running the distance in 1:41.42.
Although the connections still haven't decided on where Achilles of Troy will start next, the Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct on Feb. 11 would seem logical, followed by the March 18 Gotham Stakes and then the April 8 Wood Memorial before they can dream of a trip to Churchill Downs for the Derby.
Steve Haskin (Blood-Horse) has his new update on the Derby Trail and reiterates some of the above action, like Doctor Decherd, Achilles of Troy, and Too Much Bling.
I liked his remark - as I feel the same way - with the naming convention for Itsallaboutthechase:
As for Itsallboutthechase, his potential and his pedigree make up for his name (sorry, I just dislike those one-word, 18-letter names that roll off the tongue as smoothly as bulldozer over broken glass. It's bad enough giving a horse a sentence for a name, regardless of its derivation, it's even worse when the sentence is so long you can't even fit it into the name and have to start chopping letters off.)
One horse to keep an eye on is Keyed Entry, who wired an allowance field on the Aventura card to win by 5 1/2 lengths in 1:09 2/5. The son of Honour and Glory is now two-for-two for Pletcher, but he still has to show what he can do going two turns.
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Pletcher also saddled the impressive maiden winner Exclusive Quality on the same card. The son of Elusive Quality, who cost $850,000 as a yearling, came between, then around, horses from fifth to win by two lengths in 1:10 3/5. He is another who is by a brilliant stallion, but has good stamina in his tail-female family. He showed excellent acceleration on the far turn and again in the stretch. The main lesson to be learned from his race is that he dislikes the whip, throwing his tail up every time he was hit.
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In other races this weekend, Final Copy made it three in a row winning the Turfway Prevue Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths. The son of Souvenir Copy still has not been over seven furlongs in seven career starts, but he has a strong pedigree, with an excellent combination of speed and stamina, the latter of which he gets from his maternal great-grandsire Alleged.