Ridgefielder Spearman has vested interest in Kentucky Derby with Tapwrit

Ridgefielder Spearman has vested interest in Kentucky Derby

Spearman, a Ridgefield resident, is the chairman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, which has a substantial ownership stake in Tapwrit, an imposing three-year-old colt that is a contender in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby .

Source: Ridgefielder Spearman has vested interest in Kentucky Derby

Trainer Shirreffs has let Gormley do his thing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Parents remember when their A student brings home their first B, or, heavens, even a C. Maybe the parents react with a stern lecture or by taking away privileges or even removing the device that seems to be growing out of their hand. Rare is the parent who just views it as part… [Read more…]

Can New Jersey-bred in the Kentucky Derby actually win? Bet on it

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Regret and Cavalcade, the names are faint echoes, hallmarks of a time in American thoroughbred racing when New Jersey was a lot more than a casual pit stop in the breeding business. They were the only Jersey-breds ever to win the Kentucky Derby — Regret in 1915, Cavalcade in 1934. They were to…

[Read more…]

Wide Open Field for the 2017 Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is just four days away and a clear favorite has yet to emerge for the May 6 race at Churchill Downs in Louisville. This year’s parity has mostly quieted any Triple Crown talk after American Pharoah ended a 37-year drought in 2015 and after Nyquist entered the 2016 Derby as the favorite and… [Read more…]

It’s Here! Derek Simon’s Kentucky Derby Betting Guide – 2017

This is the one and only, the popular Kentucky Derby Guide from handicapping guru Derek Simon.

Simon’s in-depth KY Derby report offers 21 pages of insightful information on the most exciting two minutes in sports.

Find out:

  • 92% of Ky Derby winners, dating back to 1967, have this trait.  Two interesting runners fail to qualify, including one very major player.
  • Do Speed Figures Matter?
  • A last-race Brisnet Speed Figure stat that is 1 for 130 in the KY Derby.
  • Which major prep is a negative Key Race according to Simon’s data? (No horse since Strike the Gold has won the Derby after last competing in prep with a KRR of less than 3.0.)
  • Derek Simon’s PACE PROFILE on each and every Derby starter, along with Pros and Cons for each horse.
  • Simon’s Fair Value Oddsline
  • Which horses are most likely to “bounce” on the first Saturday in May?

How to invest in horse racing

The answer to these questions, along with past performances and pros and cons for every likely Derby starter, are in “Derek Simon’s 2017 Kentucky Derby Betting Guide.” Get yours today!  Download it to your PC or any mobile device [please note that this is a fairly large PDF file]

Only $19.97 Instant Download – PDF
Buy Now

Kidnapped Trainer, an Orphaned Horse and the Chance of a Lifetime at the KY Derby

Gunnevara Fountain of YouthTrainer Antonio Sano never expected to be here, having escaped Venezuela after being kidnapped twice. The same can be said about a strapping foal who became an orphan shortly after his birth when his mother dropped dead. Yet, here they are at the Kentucky Derby, looking to fulfill an impossible dream with improbable storylines.

Sano found… [Read more…]

Trainer Ian Wilkes Retains Confidence After Blue Grass Loss

Trainer Ian Wilkes had his humor intact and his perspective on point on the Sunday morning following McCraken’s third place showing in the $1 million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2), the colt’s first loss in five career starts.

Source: Wilkes Retains Confidence After Blue Grass Loss

Early Look at Kentucky Derby 143

Handicapper Art ParkerBy Art Parker

If were not for the obligation to write about the 143rd edition of the Kentucky Derby, I probably would not be considering the race this far in advance (this was penned on April 18, 2017). I do my best, as I have previously written, to avoid concentration on a race so far away. I guess it’s about time to take a look at Kentucky Derby 143, and without making a specific selection, which would be truly foolish, let’s see what the future holds for the first Saturday in May.

[Before I go further please note that the final Derby field is yet to be determined. Some horses mentioned here may not make it to the post position draw.]

Nothing is a replacement for sound historical data, especially when one is considering making an investment, be it real estate, the shares of a corporation, or a pari-mutuel wager on a thoroughbred. Where winners come from is a prime consideration when analyzing the Derby in search of a winner. For that answer we look to the Derby prep season, which reminds me of a presidential campaign. First there are primaries and eventually a convention. The deal with the Derby is similar; we have prep races and then we have a race at a big venue called Churchill Downs. In the presidential primaries so much is made of winning certain primaries because of the number of delegates available. The same is true of the Derby preps especially since points have been awarded to the highest ranking finishers. Without getting into the specifics of the point system, let’s just look at the most important piece of pre-Derby history.

In the last several decades over 80% of the Derby winners finished either first or second in one of the following major prep races: Florida Derby, Wood Memorial, Spiral Stakes, Arkansas Derby, Louisiana Derby, Santa Anita Derby or the Blue Grass. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, most of these races serve as the last “big prep” before the Derby and almost all serious contenders will run in one of these, plus the purses of these races are very appealing. Secondly, the cream of the crop shows up at these races, which are generally held four to five weeks before the Derby making these races the best indicator of current form.

Here are the winners and second place finishers in the critical prep races in 2017:

Florida Derby (Gulfstream Park in Miami): Always Dreaming (Winner) State of Honor (second)

Wood Memorial (Aqueduct in NY): Irish War Cry (Winner) Battalion Runner (second)

Spiral (Turfway Park in Florance KY): Fast and Accurate (Winner)  Blueridge Traveler (second)

Arkansas Derby (Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, AK): Classic Empire (Winner)  Conquest Mo Money (second)

Louisiana Derby (Fairgrounds in New Orleans): Girvin (Winner) Patch (second)

Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita Park in LA):  Gormley (Winner) Battle of Midway (second)

Blue Grass (Keeneland in Lexington, KY): Irap (Winner) Practical Joke (second)

A total of 14 different horses finished first or second in these preps. If you want to look in the direction of high probability when selecting a Derby winner then I can’t think of a better place than those that ran first or second in these select races.

Others worth noting:

McCracken won the Tampa Derby (Tampa Bay Downs) and finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes.

Gunnevera won the Fountain of Youth (Gulfstream Park) and finished third in the Florida Derby.

Malagacy won the Rebel Stakes (Oaklawn Park) and finished third in the Arkansas Derby.

Thunder Snow won the United Arab Emirates Derby in Dubai.

Easy pickings, right?

2017 KY Derby Update: Irap, McCracken

KY Derby Logo 2017Press Release

The Irap Traveling Show will remain at Keeneland for the time being.

“He will stay at Keeneland and probably do the Nyquist thing and go to Churchill Downs the week of the Kentucky Derby,” said Jack Sisterson, who assisted in the preparation of Irap for his maiden-breaking score in Saturday’s Toyota Blue Grass (G2). “It seems like every time (trainer) Doug (O’Neill) has brought a horse here from California, they have thrived.”

Last year, champion Nyquist shipped directly to Keeneland after a victory in the Florida Derby (G1) and trained here for almost a month before shipping to Louisville and winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).

Nyquist, like Irap owned by Reddam Racing, had all of his pre-Derby works here. Sisterson thinks Irap will follow a similar plan.

“I don’t think any of Doug’s Derby horses in the past have had their final works at Churchill,” Sisterson said before leaving town for Europe.

By text, O’Neill said he was not sure when he would come to Keeneland. Last year, he made several trips back and forth from his Santa Anita base to Keeneland before spending the final couple of weeks in Kentucky.

So, for now, Irap will be cared for by exercise rider Antonio Romero and groom Fernel Serrano. As a team, they have been on the road for three weeks now, first with a week’s stay at Sunland Park in New Mexico for the March 26 Sunland Derby, and then on to Keeneland.

“We got pretty excited,” Romero said. “Julien (Leparoux) rode him perfectly.”

Trainer Chad Brown said Toyota Blue Grass runner-up Practical Joke came out of the race well.

“Practical Joke ran terrific,” Brown said. “He had a little bit of a wide trip but really ran well. I was encouraged to see him in a two-turn race with a sustained run, making up ground in the lane, not losing ground. He gives me some optimism to keep going forward towards the Derby.”

Brown said Practical Joke would remain at Keeneland for the time being until he determines when to send the colt to Churchill.

Beaten favorite McCraken jogged once around the main track at 6 a.m. on Sunday with exercise Yoni Orantes aboard. Trainer Ian Wilkes vanned McCraken to Churchill Downs Monday.

McCraken finished third, beaten 3¾ lengths and recorded the first defeat in his five-race career.

“I thought he was too fresh and too much on the bit and that is where missing that race (the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby on March 11) showed up,” Wilkes said. “He was a little too keen.”

Wilkes was the exercise rider for 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled and the assistant to Carl Nafzger for 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, both of whom lost in the Toyota Blue Grass.

“I told Carl last night that I couldn’t get that ‘Nafzger Blue Grass Monkey’ off my back,” Wilkes said with a laugh. “I wanted to get a good race and I was very pleased with the race. He didn’t back down. He didn’t quit. You want to see what happens when he gets in against the big boys and he pushed back. We wanted to win, but maybe he learned something yesterday.”

Wilkes was asked if he was disappointed McCraken finished behind a maiden.

“That doesn’t matter. They all have a chance to beat you,” Wilkes said. “It got the monkey off my back of being undefeated. That adds a little pressure. Now that that is over, you can concentrate on getting the job done.”

While McCraken will be heading to Churchill Downs, fifth-place finisher Tapwrit figures to remain at Keeneland for the time being.

“He is good this morning and will stay here for a while,” said Ginny DePasquale, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “He may go over to Churchill Downs; I don’t envision him going back to Florida.”

Tapwrit has accumulated 54 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and is one of five Pletcher runners in the top 20, the maximum number of starters for the Run for the Roses.

“He just didn’t show up yesterday,” DePasquale said. “He was totally different compared to Tampa where he was on the muscle (before winning the Tampa Bay Derby).”

Calumet Farm’s Wild Shot, who set the pace before finishing last of seven, was fine Sunday morning, according to trainer Rusty Arnold.

“Nothing went right yesterday,” Arnold said. “He was terrible in the paddock and he may have run three races in there which is surprising because he had never done that before. He didn’t handle the crowd.

“Soundness wise, he’s fine. We will regroup and talk with the Calumet people. The ($250,000) Pat Day Mile (G3 on May 6) is an option.”

The Unbelievable True Story of Trainer Antonio Sano

Gunnevara Fountain of YouthHe is now training a major Kentucky Derby contender

Antonio Sano was Venezuela’s most successful thoroughbred trainer. Race after race, 3,338 times, his horses won as his reputation as the “Czar of the Hippodrome” grew. Until he lost it all in the span of 36 agonizing days. Not at the track, but in a cell of a room that had no windows, no toilet, no… [Read more…]