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On the road to the 2012 Kentucky Derby

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  • Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
    The last grab at graded earnings before the Kentucky Derby is primed for this Saturday (4-28). Although no Kentucky Derby bubble horses are to be found.

    Still it's expected to be a full house for the 1-mile Grade 3, $200,000 Derby Trial to be held Saturday evening under the lights at Churchill Downs.
    This thing is run at 10:40. Oy. Why not 8:30 or 9:00?
    "No, not anything goes, I said no rules!"


    • Looks like they've changed things around. They originally had it as race 10, but now it's race 8 at 9:30. Makes more sense. The field:

      The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial S. (Grade III)

      1 Tarpy's Goal (FL) 3/C LA L R Goncalves 118 D L Romans
      2 The Black (CA) 3/C LA C H Borel 118 D F O'Neill
      3 Saint of Saints (FL) 3/C LA K J Desormeaux 118 D L Romans
      4 Nonios (KY) 3/C LA G K Gomez 118 J Hollendorfer
      5 Hierro (KY) 3/C LA J R Leparoux 118 S M Asmussen
      6 Quick Wit (KY) 3/C LA C J Lanerie 118 D L Romans
      7 Paynter (KY) 3/C LA M Garcia 118 B Baffert
      8 Seve (KY) 3/C LA J L Castanon 118 D L Romans
      9 Stealcase (KY) 3/C LA S Bridgmohan 118 M E Casse
      10 Motor City (KY) 3/G LA B J Hernandez, Jr. 120 I R Wilkes
      11 Bourbon Courage (KY) 3/C LA M Mena 118 K Gorder
      "No, not anything goes, I said no rules!"


      • Original Poster

        I'll give the connections of Dullahan props for their announced charity efforts:

        Donegal Racing along with Dullahan’s trainer, Dale Romans, and jockey, Kent Desormeaux, have pledged five percent of the colt’s Kentucky Derby winnings to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Additionally, Prairie Meadows will match the Donegal contribution.
        It make's Dr. Kendall Hansen's 1% charity proposal a bit small, so perhaps he'll get into the spirit and up the ante


        • Original Poster

          Will the connections of the $1M Louisiana Derby shocker 109-1 winner Hero of Order - not nominated to the Derby - actually still try to get him in? Maybe.

          Hero of Order, the Louisiana Derby winner, is still under consideration for the Derby, according to trainer Gennadi Dorochenko.

          “No decision yet. We have plenty of time,” Dorochenko said.

          Hero of Order was not nominated to the Triple Crown and must be supplemented to the Derby for $200,000. Because he was not nominated, he cannot knock out any horse who was nominated, so he essentially goes to the back of the line. But with fewer than 24 horses likely to be entered, Hero of Order could, at the very least, wind up on the also-eligible list if supplemented.
          As it appears right now #21 is Optimizer and maybe he'd be #22 depending on who fails to materialize with the entries. That of course would mean 2 horses would have to get scratched between Wed's draw and 9am EST on Friday if a horse is sitting at #22. Oh if you're wondering about the $200k supplement fee that get's returned if the horse doesn't start.

          His effort in the Blue Grass Stakes was terrible but that was a fairly quick return to the track and it was on synthetic.


          • Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
            Will the connections of the $1M Louisiana Derby shocker 109-1 winner Hero of Order - not nominated to the Derby - actually still try to get him in? Maybe.
            I'd point HoO toward the Preakness. It'd not only save the $200k but if he won it he'd make monkeys out of the whole Derby-nomination-for-a-fee business.
            Starts with an 'S,' ends with a 'T.' You figure it out.

            "Houston, Tranquility Base here, picking up where we left off ..."


            • Original Poster

              Hierro with Julien Leparoux aboard (and coming off his riders title victory for Keeneland) wins $200k The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial S. (G3) Saturday night. Now with 2 wins our of 6 lifetime starts he's owned by Stonestreet Stables and trained by Steve Asmussen.

              The storms were terrible down in Lexington/Paris where I was and they rolled up to Louisville too delaying this evening race by almost an hour. The muddy track wasn't an issue for Hierro. Paynter held on for second, and Stealcase was third.

              Despite the expected storms the evening racing still managed to have over 22,000 fans at Churchill Downs which is impressive all things considered.

              DRF's Steve Crist had this article "Here's why picking Kentucky Derby winner is so hard"

              Full fields of up to 20 horses in recent years has made a big difference. There is no longer such a thing as a Derby favorite who scares anyone off, and simply getting a horse to the Derby starting gate has become a badge of success for owners and trainers.

              Only nine lined up against Spectacular Bid in 1979 because few trainers wanted to run against a clearly superior horse. Today, Pegasus himself could be 1-10 and he would still have 19 opponents (and four on the also-eligible list). Larger fields mean more traffic, more chaos, and a larger pool of plausible contenders, especially for the minor awards that fill out trifectas and superfectas.
              With Derby news: here is a picture of Daddy Long Legs at Ballydoyle yesterday (Sun). Per the note he'll ship from Ireland tomorrow to Louisville.

              Connections for Mark Valeski said they wouldn't make a decision on him for the Derby until today (Mon) comments by the clockers were not encouraging: "Mark Valeski 5f. 1:00.34 off fast/tired not much gallop out 1:14 and change"

              Other remarks on Monday morning works:

              Trinniberg "did less than expected not impressive coming down stretch"[/url]

              Liaison just avg in company. Mark Valeski just OK, too. Creative Cause long warm up before avg 1/2. Nothing special from any.
              Last edited by Glimmerglass; Apr. 30, 2012, 01:59 PM.


              • Original Poster

                Another article - but with some more info - regarding Dr. Kendall Hansen and his namesake horse:

                Before Hansen won the Breeders Cup Juvenille, Dr. Hansen sold a one quarter interest in his horse to Harvey Diamond for $1 million. It was a way to “bank” some of the horse’s success for Dr. Hansen and a good indication of how valuable this horse from a common mare had become.

                For the Kentucky Derby, Dr. Hansen bought 140 tickets for friends and family and people who have helped with his horse. And he thinks they may all be happy at the end of the day. He has no doubt his horse can win the biggest race of the year. “We can.” And what about the Triple Crown? “We can, absolutely we can.” he says immediately. “Nobody else is a Secretariat.”

                And he will not apologize for having fun. This is a sport, he says. A wonderful, romantic sport filled with dreamers and people who love horses, just like him. “I used to smile all the time as a kid. Kids are always happy, then we grow up and it seems like there is less to smile about. I’m smiling all the time again.”
                An aside Hansen's half-sister (out of the dam Stormy Sunday) was born in Indiana on April 26, 2012.

                Per Mike Battaglia - the oddsmaker for Churchill Downs - no horse will have a morning line shorter than 4-1. As to who will earn that as the lowest ML odds won't be determined until after Wednesday's draw. That is a fat return, all things considered if they hold, on being able to wager on a horse like Union Rags in the Derby


                • Original Poster

                  And still on the fence about going - Larry Jones said it wouldn't be until WED morning to say yes or no with Mark Valeski - which is less of a bummer now there is an AE list.

                  Owner-breeder Brereton Jones and Larry Jones both noted that the work did not seem to take much out of Mark Valeski, who did not even need water after the breeze.

                  Mark Valeski worked at 8:30 a.m. EDT after the renovation break at Churchill, a time reserved for potential Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1) starters. Mark Valeski has the earnings to make the field but the connections want to be 100% sure about their decision to race or not.

                  “You shouldn’t go into the Derby unless you feel your horse is loaded for bear,” Brereton Jones said.

                  Larry Jones said he might not make a final decision until he personally gallops Mark Valeski on Wednesday morning.
                  Despite him being fastest out 28 horses working for that distance you can see the clocker comments which didn't rave about it.


                  • Original Poster

                    IMHO this is a silly consideration, but I guess Derby fever sweeps a lot of folks and perhaps more so folks with a horse having little chance (save for hoping for bad luck befalling others) against Hansen, Union Rags, Bodemeister, Sabercat, Dullahan ....

                    Breen trained My Adonis to be entered; expects to be on AE list

                    My Adonis won Delta Downs’ nongraded, $200,000 Jean Lafitte last fall. This year he was third in the Holy Bull and second in the Gotham before finishing seventh in the April 7 Wood Memorial in his last start.
                    If not he'll race at Pimlico in an ungraded $75,000 at 1 1/16th:

                    “There is the Canonero (formerly the Federico Tesio) the same day at Pimlico if he doesn’t get in. But he’s ready to go. If anyone stubs their toe, we’ll put him on a van and be in Kentucky in 12 hours.”
                    Why on earth not run in the Tesio then aim for the Preakness? The horse might like slop but he's a one move horse and with (likely) thicker traffic he has no chance to engage.


                    • No one lower than 4-1? Excellent.

                      Bodemeister's speedy work on a sloppy track was ... encouraging. <---- For this week, we'll call this the Baffert icon, BTW.


                      • Original Poster

                        Andrew Beyer's comments on Trinniberg who appears now likely to start in the Derby vs. their passing before.

                        Racing fans regularly root for low-profile owners and trainer who take a chance on beating the big boys in the Kentucky Derby. They should relish the story of a trainer making his first mark in the game after the age of 70. But fans who understand the basics of the game will deplore the Parbhoos for abdicating their responsibilities to their horse.

                        Any athlete, human or equine, needs proper conditioning to undertake a tough physical challenge for the first time. There are 137 years of evidence to prove that a 3-year-old needs to get the conditioning for the Derby by racing farther than a mile multiple times. In Saturday's 20-horse lineup, 19 of the prospective runners made their last start at 1 1/8 miles. And then there's Trinniberg.

                        Even if he were cut out to be a Derby horse, he couldn't succeed with this lack of preparation. But Trinniberg has never looked like a potential Derby horse (except to his owner.) He acts like a pure sprinter and is bred like a pure sprinter. (His father, Teuflesberg, was a sprinter-miler who tired and finished 17th in the 2007 Derby.)

                        An undertrained human athlete who imprudently enters a marathon at least has the option to quit when he runs out of gas. He doesn't have somebody whipping him to keep going past the point of exhaustion. Parbhoo's decision to run Trinniberg in the Derby could compromise the future of a colt with the potential to be a star sprinter.
                        Again, another horse that really should not be going to post in the Derby. They should've gone with their instincts and opted for the Preakness instead. Maybe they still will ...


                        • Original Poster

                          All entries for the Derby are due on Wednesday morning.

                          Post positions will be drawn later Wednesday, during a one-hour telecast, beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern, on NBC Sports Network.

                          The post draw will be a "traditional, double-blind draw, where an entry card is selected concurrent with a numbered pill that corresponds to post position." The concept of selecting posts through a draft was discontinued a few years ago.


                          • Per the TT fb page Larry Jones has declared MarkValeski a no go which means Optimizer gets in.

                            I too can't understand why they are putting Trinniberg in, BUT I have never been in that situation whose to say derby fever wouldn't get the best of me as well. On the plus side at least he's one throw out for me as I try to make sense of this deep and talented field.


                            • Yeah it's easy from the sidelines to think people are goofy for entering horses but I would have been the genius to scratch Mine That Bird and Giacomo.

                              Bottom line is that you can't win it if you are not in it and someone like these connections will probably never pass this way again.


                              • Originally posted by jennywho View Post
                                Per the TT fb page Larry Jones has declared MarkValeski a no go which means Optimizer gets in.

                                I too can't understand why they are putting Trinniberg in, BUT I have never been in that situation whose to say derby fever wouldn't get the best of me as well. On the plus side at least he's one throw out for me as I try to make sense of this deep and talented field.
                                Same reason why Optimizer is in. It's Derby fever. That and Lukas wants to prove he's still "got it"
                                "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by jennywho View Post
                                  Per the TT fb page Larry Jones has declared MarkValeski a no go which means Optimizer gets in.
                                  Churchill Downs Media PR Tweet confirms as well

                                  Mark Valeski has been declared from #KyDerby 138 by trainer Larry Jones. Puts Optimizer in field. My Adonis now 21.
                                  Mine That Bird while deserving of long odds in the Derby - same too of Giacomo - had at least been in 1 1/8 mi races (Sunland Derby was his last prep) prior to the Derby.

                                  It's amazing to ask a horse to jump up from racing 1-mi to not just 1 1/16 mi or 1 1/8 mi, but rather 1 1/4 mi.

                                  But hey the connections of Trinniberg are talking the talk

                                  "The way he's training now, I'm 100 percent certain he's going to win," Parboo said. "He's doing everything right. We couldn't ask for nothing more. Nothing more."

                                  "This is a race that you dream it, you chase it and you want to taste it. That's how I am right now. I'm just like Trinniberg, I'm champing at the bit to get a taste of it," Martinez said. "We don't have to worry about nothing so we're just going to go out there and have fun, take what they're going to give us and hopefully everybody else will expect to come back. He could rain on a lot of people's parades."


                                  • I was reading an article on why each horse can and cannot win the Derby, very interesting rundown of pros and cons for each.

                                    Have to admit his "why he can win" line for Trinniberg cracked me up. "Because he's in the starting gate, and any horse theoretically has a chance to win."



                                    • Original Poster

                                      Look for a Hansen toy at the Derby!

                                      Hansen, who runs a pain-management practice in Northern Kentucky, also has purchased about 3,000 miniature stuffed Hansen dolls. He plans to toss them trick-or-treat style at the track, including the glorious pre-Derby walk from the barns to the paddock.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by dressagetraks View Post
                                        Have to admit his "why he can win" line for Trinniberg cracked me up. "Because he's in the starting gate, and any horse theoretically has a chance to win."

                                        Ha! Another hit, this from the DRF's main clocker Mike Watchmaker:

                                        His best shot of getting the Derby's 10 furlongs is with the assistance of a Sallee horse van.

                                        Many folks have fears there will be some insane speed fest up front initially with Trinniberg, Hansen, and Bodemeister. That question was posed to Steve Crist and he replied with his analysis:

                                        I don't think I agree with those who think that his presence on the lead will compromise the chances of other horses who are likely to be near the front of the pack. In fact, it can work the other way. Hansen or Bodemeister might actually be able to relax better early stalking from second or third instead of having to commit to being on the lead, and either might take over rather easily at the quarter pole once Trinniberg begins backing up.


                                        • Originally posted by Glimmerglass View Post
                                          Oh boy! I hope he has people handing them out walking ring side instead of throwing them. I'd take one. Can it have a partially dyed blue tail?
                                          "My time here is ended. Take what I have taught you and use it well." -- Revan