The early odds for today's key Derby prep race - Grade 1 $750,000 CashCall Futurity (off at approx 7:45pm EST) puts Todd Pletcher trainee Violence as the favorite over local shooter "He's Had Enough".
I truly expect the NY shipper, with Javier Castellano up, to show he's not coming out there for some sun and sand. While it's his first try around two turns he should love it. Violence to rock Hollywood.
Every horse in this race, by the way, is running on lasix.
Violence had made his first two starts in New York, including a victory in the Nashua Stakes last month at Aqueduct. He will winter in Florida, and was scheduled to head to the Palm Meadows training center on Sunday morning.
Pletcher said he envisioned a two-race Kentucky Derby prep schedule for Violence, beginning with a race “at the end of February or the beginning of March,” he said
Assuming Pletcher sticks to that schedule, the first races to be considered for Violence would be the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, or the Risen Star at Fair Grounds, both on Feb. 23.
I'd say he's put numerous rivals on notice that they'd better fear him!
The West Coast collective contingent - including four from Baffert - was schooled in their own backyard by the NY invader. Don't expect an I'll Have Another repeat (at this stage) to emerge on the First Saturday in May.
Bold Dance (c by Pulpit--Quiet Dance, by Quiet American)
Capo Bastone (c by Street Boss--Fight to Love, by Fit to Fight)
Delhomme (c by Dixie Union--Art Show, by Out of Place)
Dewey Square (c by Bernardini--Somethinaboutbetty, by Forestry)
Flashback (c by Tapit--Rhumb Line, by Mr. Greely)
Fortify (c by Distorted Humor--Kotuku, by A.P. Indy)
Frac Daddy (c by Scat Daddy--Skipper's Mate, by Skip Away)
Little Distorted (c by Distorted Humor--Asbeautifulasyou (Ire)
Long River (c by A.P. Indy--Round Pond, by Awesome Again)
Noble Tune (c by Unbridled's Song--Serena's Cat, by Storm Cat)
Normandy Invasion (c by Tapit--Boston Lady, by Boton Harbor)
Overanalyze (c by Dixie Union--Unacloud, by Unaccounted For)
Palace Malice (c by Curlin--Palace Rumor, by Royal Anthem)
Power Broker (c by Pulpit--Shop Again, by Wild Again)
Purple Egg (g by Lion Heart--Luminous Prize, by Prized)
Shanghai Bobby (c by Harlan's Holiday--Steelin, by Orientate)
Super Ninety Nine (c by Pulpit--Exogenetic, by Unbridled's Song)
Tulira Castle (c by War Pass--Tulira, by General Assembly)
Uncaptured (c by Lion Heart--Captivating, by Arch)
Violence (c by Medgalia d'Oro--Violent Beauty, by Gone West)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Den's Legacy, G K Gomez, 120, B Baffert
2. Goldencents, K Krigger, 120, D F O'Neill
3. Greeley Awesome, M Gutierrez, 118, D F O'Neill
4. Dry Summer, J Talamo, 118, J Mullins
5. Dirty Swagg, T Baze, 118, M K Cho
6. Manando, M Garcia, 118, B Baffert
Blinkers On: Dirty Swagg
Goldencents is part owned by Rick Pitino’s RAP Racing and already has 14-Derby Points.
At Aqueduct there is also the Grade 2, $200,000 Jerome Stakes - traditionally a Derby prep but this year without any points to award runners. NYRA has the Jerome as a prep for the Feb 2nd Grade 3, $200,000 Withers Stakes, then Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham on March 2 and finally the Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial on April 6.
Doug O'Neil has the presumed favorite in the Jerome Stakes: Mudflats. Although who in their right mind would count out Todd Pletcher & Ramon D. aboard Notacatbutallama!
Indeed Into Mischief's stud fee (@ $20k) certainly was given a boost over the weekend although I have to say the Sham was a weak race IMHO. California racing really needs to better sell graded races - especially those with Derby points. They could only get 5 horses to post? I guess that's what a mere $100k purse will generate.
Could there be a Marylou Whitney horse in the Derby? It certainly would be nice as she is getting up there in age and just seems to add something to racing. Lord knows she could buy top notch horses year over year but prefers to go the homebred route.
Eton Blue is the second Whitney homebred to have won his maiden here during the 2012-13 session, along with Mountain Eagle, who captured a similar one-mile maiden special weight race one month earlier.
“The way the thing is structured with the points, everybody is going to take their shot right towards the end,” Zito said, referring to the new system to determine which 3-year-olds will qualify for this year’s Kentucky Derby if the field overfills. “The best scenario would be just to get in that position with both these horses. If we can do that, I’ll take it. To desperately try the Fountain or Youth or something like that with this horse, I’m 99 percent sure that’s out of the question. That’s not the way [the Whitneys] do things. Even with Mountain Eagle, who looks like he could do that, I’m going to take my time. I got to be a horse trainer, that’s what I want to concentrate on now. If I have a Derby horse, I’ll be the first to know.”
Paced by Equipose, one of the winter-book favorites to win the 1931 Kentucky Derby, the Whitney thoroughbreds ...
Down the road there are some interesting early nominations for the $1 Million Grade 2 Louisiana Derby (March 30) including Shanghai Bobby which would be perfect for Rosie who knows the track like nobody else.
Los Angeles Times, Dec 13, 1934, Whitney Colors Drag
For the third time in eleven years, the famous Whitney eton blue and brown capped silks fail to head the list of money-winning owners on the American turf. Supplanted in 1925 by Samuel Riddle, and in 1928 by E. B. McLean, the colors yielded to the power this year to Mrs. Dodge Sloane's Brookmeade Stable.
Fourteen of his horses came romping home first, including Whitney's handsome little brown colt Fisherman in the renowned 85-year-old Travers Stakes.
It got to the point where Trainer Syl Veitch was seen hanging his head in happy embarrassment after each winner came in. And most of the crowd shared the sentiments of one trainer who said glumly, "This guy's so hot he could send his lead pony out to win if he wanted to."
Why was the showing so good? Trainer Veitch, who has been working for C.V. since 1946 (and saddled such winners as First Flight, Phalanx and Counterpoint), summed it up in four words: time, patience, money and luck.
"On Long Island in June I wouldn't have given $10 for our chances," said Veitch, who never before this season has sent out more than eight winners at any Saratoga meeting. "Everything in the stable had bucked shins or a cough. One day we had 23 sick at once. Then suddenly we got lucky. They all came around at once—like a ball team that gets hot just when you feel like giving up on every player on it."
1. Frac Daddy (22-1 odds at Wynn Last Vegas)
2. Delhomme (100-1)
3. Shanghai Bobby (18-1)
4. Goldencents (18-1)
5. Revolutionary (35-1)
The following horses round out my top 10: Normandy Invasion (25-1) ranking sixth; unbeaten Violence (12-1); Remsen winner Overanalyze (30-1) in eighth; Uncaptured (14-1), in ninth; and Fury Kapcori (100-1)
Others that fell just out of the top 10 but whom merit watching include Bradester, perfect in two routes despite a sprinter’s pedigree; Itsmyluckyday, a fast winner of the Gulfstream Park Derby; and quick maiden winners Flashback, War Academy, Verrazano, Palace Malice, Code West, and Belvin.
Nick Zito has quite a few noms including Mrs. Whitney's Eton Blue. That might be too much of a steep learning curve for him if the heavy hitters happen to enter. E.g., Normandy Invasion, Shanghai Bobby, Frac Daddy, Bern Identity ...
D. Wayne Lukas and his client Brad Kelley have a hot one - Oxbow - who had previously earned a Derby point for his fourth-place finish in the Grade I CashCall Futurity. Today (with Jon Court up) the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds was an absolute rout with a gate to wire run. That added 10-points to his tally ...
Johnny V. did put in a work on Overanalyze who will be pointed to the Grade 3, $400,000 Gotham at Aqueduct on March 2.
Violence, also was worked, under exercise rider Nick Bush, he's going to race next in the Grade 2, $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream on Feb. 23
Today a promising runner for the Marylou Whitney Stables - Flying Bird - will run at Gulfstream Park in the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy for 3-year-old grass runners at 1 1/16 miles. While its a turf race there is talk this could be a Derby hopeful - despite performing early on dirt in his career - as 'Bird' goes for his 3rd straight victory.
Flying Bird, by the way, finished 8th in the Kitten's Joy .. a race won by a hors sired by Kitten's Joy.
Today (Jan 21st) was another Derby qualifier race this time at Oaklawn Park with the $150k Smarty Jones Stakes (ungraded) which awarded 10-4-2-1 points. Texas Bling off his jaw dropping return (128-1 in the $300,000 Springboard Mile) was a serious contender.
A solid field of 10 will line up in the $400k Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park this Saturday (1/26) including 2-yr Eclipse Winner Shanghai Bobby with Rosie up. Side note, ironically Kauai Katie will race in the Forward Gal but again with JV