Facebook Group Scores with Up-and-coming Three Year Old

Metaboss crushes them in the G3 El Camino Real Derby

by Rich Nilsen

Last summer the idea was floated in a Facebook Group known as The Homeless Handicappers about the idea of going in together on a racehorse.  One of the administrators, Michael J. Arndt, spearheaded the idea and immediately, several members of the group expressed interest.

As someone who had managed a stable for 10 years and had already been through the ups and downs of ownership, I was interested.  It had been several years since I owned part of a horse.

Arndt came back to the group with an offering of a minority share in a two-horse package through his connection with Mersad Metanovic Bloodstock Agency.  Both horses, Metaboss and Arlington House, were maidens at the time, but the former was a two year old who looked very intriguing.  Purchased for $60,000 at a two year old sale, Metaboss had the pedigree and trainer (Jeff Bonde) to have a bright future.  Metanovic and Bonde had teamed up previously with She’s A Tiger, champion two-year-old filly of 2013.

Fast forward four career races and on January 4th, Metaboss put the Homeless Handicappers in the Winner’s Circle at Santa Anita, finishing powerfully in a nine furlong turf race to break his maiden.  The son of Street Boss was evening donning the sharp HH silks for the first time.

Metaboss at Del Mar copyright Gary Tasich

Metaboss at Del Mar
copyright Gary Tasich 2014

Off that impressive score and given the way he was training in the weeks after, the connections began to eye the El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields.  It seemed like a logical spot to try an improving sophomore (3yo) colt.

The 2015 field turned out pretty strong given the recent history of this stakes.  Five horses entered were already proven in stakes, including the top three finishers of the California Derby, Grade 3 and Canadian Grade 2 winner Conquest Typhoon, and Cal Cup Derby victor Mischief Clem.  Metaboss was coming off a maiden win and trying the synthetic dirt for the first time.

Around 6:50 ET this evening, my Facebook news feed lit up with comments from all over the country, including:

      “Holy crap metaboss won!!!!!”



         “OK, so our horse just won a Derby prep race and we are officially on the Kentucky Derby trail. This is nuts!”

         “Metaboss is blowing up Twitter!!!”

Metaboss had not only won a Kentucky Derby prep, but he had just done so in smashing fashion.  Racing in traffic on the backstretch, Hall of Fame jockey Alex Solis did not panic.  He then pushed the button and Metaboss responded with a devastating move around the far turn.  His momentum, and traffic, forced him up to seven wide, a move that simply does not win the overwhelming majority of the time.  But Metaboss kicked it into gear again in the lane, and the little but powerful chestnut drew off to an authoritative 2 1/2 length score, his second victory at the 1 and 1/8 miles distance.  He closed the final three furlongs in under 35 seconds.

The win was worth 10 points towards a possible start in the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2015, and a bunch of Homeless Handicappers are celebrating from coast to coast.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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