Flying Bird, by the way, finished 8th in the Kitten's Joy .. a race won by a horse sired by Kitten's Joy.
As a result of the sub-par effort (due to flipping his palate) the Marylou Whitney owned runner had 'minor' throat surgery to correct it. The surgery will likely keep him out of training for several weeks and with that could be off the Derby trail.
Itsmyluckyday completed a mile and one-sixteenth in 1:41.81 - slashing .54 seconds off the old mark set by Endorsement one year earlier - en route to his two-length victory over Shanghai Bobby. It was another 11 1/2 lengths further back to the tiring Clearly Now in third.
As Todd Pletcher said: “We got a good trip and didn’t expect to have to break the track record by three-fifths of a second in order to win.”
I'm thrilled to see this colt get some notable accolades under his girth. Lawyer Ron left too soon. Fingers crossed for the long road ahead, but it'd be wonderful to see his do well the first saturday in May.
I had high hopes for Frac Daddy; he was impressive at Churchill, and he's a nice big good-looking horse out of a Skip Away mare. But, not surprised that he ran a bit green, and appeared to loose his cookies in the post parade and at the gate. He was a bit quirky as a yearling with a high flight instinct. He got loose a couple times while walking in the paddock prepping for sales. Nice horse, though, hopefully McPeek turns him around. From his twitter, the horse grabbed his quarter pretty bad in the race, and he'll get blinkers next time out.
I had high hopes for Frac Daddy.. From his twitter, the horse grabbed his quarter pretty bad in the race, and he'll get blinkers next time out. Photo of heel injury.
Likewise I expected much more but an injury as ugly as that has to take a horse's focus out of the game. Poor guy hopefully it will heal and with it some valuable lesson's learned for the next time out. Thanks for sharing that link!
Dale Romans said that despite the grabbing of a quarter for Frac Daddy he's still on the Derby trail:
“We had to cut off a piece a little bigger than a quarter, it was pretty nasty,” McPeek said. “He was leaving a puddle of blood all the way around the barn that evening. He’ll be standing in a foot tub for a while and probably miss a week’s training. I don’t know that the configuration of this racetrack, with the short run to the first turn, is a good deal for him. I think he’d prefer a long stretch like the Fair Grounds, and I’d probably thinking about going that way if it’s the way things unfold.”
And if you recall the talk of multiple Gold Medal winner Michael Phelps wanting to get into racing it's come true ... he bought into Team Valor which owns 3-yr old Cerro who won a 1 1/8 mile undercard race of Saturday’s Holy Bull undercard. The victory gave him a very solid 90 Beyer Speed Figure and the Graham Motion trained runner is likely next going to run in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes on March 3. Not sure if he'd be considered on the Derby trail with no points in his immediate future.
Olympic gold medal champion swimmer Michael Phelps and his longtime coach, Bob Bowman, bought into the Team Valor partnership that races Cerro following the colt’s 3-year-old debut here on Jan. 1.
With just 22 Derby point awarding races (albeit many with powerball sized awards for hitting the board) left before the 1st Saturday in May a list such as this might be dated. Still it's a neat list to check out - -
As was rumored around the end of last year, Hawthorne Race Course has decided to significantly boost the Illinois Derby (G3) from a purse of $500k to $750k despite still having no KY Derby points. The April 20th run race (moved back) is somewhat aimed at enticing top tier horses they likely won't be Derby bound but are apt to be Preakness or Belmont contenders.
That purse is the result of some finally freed up slots money although Illinois now lacks Advanced Deposit Wagering (ADW) which makes it illegal for TVG, et al to allow for customers with money held in accounts to be wagered on any Illinois track. That became effective Jan 1 when the Illinois Legislature failed to renew the provision. Such brilliant folks in Springfield.
This weekend there are a few races on Saturday Feb 2nd which have Derby point's [10-4-2-1] to awarded
$200k Withers Stakes (Grade 3) @ Aqueduct PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Long River (KY), I. Ortiz Jr., 116, K P McLaughlin
2. Valid (VA), J. Alvarado, 116, K P McLaughlin
3. Revolutionary (KY), J. Castellano, 116, T A Pletcher
4. Escapefromreality (NY), J.L. Ortiz, 116, D A Schettino
5. Amerigo Vespucci (KY), E.D. Rodriguez, 116, T J Tullock Jr.
6. Siete de Oros (PA), M. Remedio, 118, R Preciado
7. Champion Boy (KY), E. Castro, 116, J C Guerrero
8. Smooth Bert (NY), M.J. Luzzi, 118, L Gyarmati
Also on Saturday another Derby points awarding race ...
$250k Sam F. Davis Stakes (Grade 3) @ Tampa Bay Downs
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Silver Day (FLA), M. Pedroza, 116, William Kaplan
2. Divine Ambition (KY), W. Martinez, 116, Darrin Miller
3. Name Is Michael (KY), J. Rosario, 116, Bill Mott
4. Speak Logistics (FLA), A. Serpa, 120, Eddie Plesa Jr.
5. Lightning Stone (NY), D. Coa, 115, William Allyn
6. Northern Lion (FLA), P. Husbands, 116, M E Casse
7. Balino (FLA), H. Goodwin, 116, Bernell Rhone
8. Falling Sky (FLA), L. Saez, 116, John Terranova
9. Dynamic Sky (ONT), L. Contereras, 116, Mark Casse
10. Midnite Poppa (KY), J. Lezcano, 116, Nick Zito
And a race that shouldn't have Derby points given to all simply for showing up - but here we have it .. .. a Grade 2 race with 4 horses running?
$200k Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Grade 2) @ Santa Anita
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Little Jerry (KY), T Baze, 118, R Baltas
2. Flashback (KY), J R Leparoux, 118, B Baffert
3. Den's Legacy (FL), G K Gomez, 120, B Baffert
4. He's Had Enough (KY), M Gutierrez, 118, D F O'Neill
The following is NOT a Derby Points race (oddly) but a long standing important Derby Prep race ...
$150k Hutcheson Stakes (Grade 3) @ Gulfstream Park
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Forty Tales (KY), J.R. Velazquez, 116, T A Pletcher
2. Falling Sky (PA), L. Saez, 116, J P Terranova, II
3. Weekend Hideaway (NY), J. Bravo, 120, P M Serpe
4. Little Distorted (KY), J.L. Castanon, 116, D Miller
5. Merit Man (FL), P. Lopez, 120, R B Hess, Jr.
6. Singanothersong (KY), J.Z. Santana, 116, R Pellegrini
7. Undrafted (KY), A. Serpa, 116, W A Ward
8. Honorable Dillon (KY), J. Rocco, Jr., 116, E Kenneally
9. Pataky Kid (OK), C.J. Lanerie, 120, T F Proctor
10. Really Sharp (KY), E. Trujillo, 116, I Black
Wow wow wow! with the Grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct for two efforts - first the winner Revolutionary who showed he had guts and power to wait then thread the needle. Impressive.
Second is the absolute shoveling of dirt, deep, by the 1A runner Valid at the start. I've seen horses stumble and almost touch this guy dug into the dirt with his nose. Amazing they continued to finish.
Revolutionary (who was the wagering favorite) is clearly a horse to be impressed with going forward. His mere 10-points for this victory might be paltry but it was hard earned.
Revolutionary was impressive as was Flashback, but I fell in love with AOC winner Verazanno today, WOW. The Tiznow winner in the first at SA today showed some talent as well. I'm starting to get Derby fever
I'm a bit perplexed (with the new Derby structure) that WinStar - Revolutionary owner - is rolling the dice on just one more race. With only 10 banked points a stumble or unexpected finished means getting almost certainly shutout from the KY Derby. 50 points min is likely the minimum.
Elliot Walden [CEO of WinStar] said that Revolutionary will likely head to trainer Todd Pletcher’s south Florida stable later this week and have one more race - presumably in late March or in April - to try to get into the Kentucky Derby. One possibility could be the Arkansas Derby, a race WinStar used for Super Saver before he won the 2010 Kentucky Derby.
Revolutionary got an 86 bsf Verazanno an eye popping 105. I had a hard time getting excited about flashback just because it was only a 4 horse field, how pathetic. H may indeed be a very nice horse, Baffert seems to think so. Hopefully he faces more than 3 in the SA derby. I loved Baffert's comment regarding Tiz the Truth, something to the effect of Gary Stevens having bugs in his teeth from smiling so big when he was flying down the lane.
The 369 early nominations is a decline from last year’s 397, though a slight uptick from the 366 who were nominated at this stage in 2011. This marks the fourth time since 2001 – and the third time in the last four years - that the early nominations failed to reach 400, a reflection of smaller foal crops of recent years.
All of the horses announced as nominees on Saturday were made eligible for a $600 payment that was due one week earlier. Horses can still be nominated, but for $6,000, at a second deadline on March 23.