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Ting ding ding a ling ding

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My mommy inadvertently added to the Fred Stone art gallery I have going on in my room away at school. Barbaro, Zenyatta, and a medley of champions like John Henry and Secretariat. My wall is full of pony.

Ehmmm… I’ve toppled off the wagon a bit with the start of spring semester. Forgivies. I still have a crapload of things to unpack from Christmas and a new schedule to adjust to, which I am trying to change around today. GOOD CLASSES. GIVE IT ME! I also gotta pick up a magical grant application that will hopefully give me $500 toward financing my pony documentary.

I haven’t forgotten about the video. In fact it is much of what I’ve been thinking about, but I’ve been lazy. I have decided to wait until after Eblouissante's second start today to comment further because that makes the most sense. Laziness + freakish control over how I want things + too many things going on + Netflix = delays. I'm a delay fish.

Better news? After class Friday (tomorrow) I’ll be announcing the Derby Handicap Contest process/guidelines/rest of info this year. For those who did it last year the Holy Bull is shaping up to be much, much deeper than the two-horse race between Hansen and Algorithms. DUN DUN DUN! Prepare thyself!

Instead of a typical stakes analysis, I’ll be doing the late pick 4 at Gulfstream Saturday, which has a very decadent card for the Sunshine Millions. Palace Malice is running in the first race, yeehaw! So… yes… like I said, late pick 4… hopefully done by later today as soon as I get my grown-up stuff done.

High hoof!

Dawna

Weep with me! The stars from Todd Pletcher’s stable of three-year-olds that either faded from view or were injured: El Padrino, Spring Hill Farm, Algorithms, Discreet Dancer, and Stat (who is now apparently a gelding!). Remind me next year to never put a Pletcher trainee in my Derby fantasy stable…

The Top 10 Colts to Watch This Summer

Between January and today, we lost a ton of star power in the three-year-old dirt router division, the most prominent miss being Triple Crown leg winners I’ll Have Another and Union Rags, who suffered a suspensory injury and is now out for the year along with Went the Day Well, who has some ankle issues— all three would have likely been included in the top 5 otherwise. In devising the summer’s must-watch list, I had to leave out so many, blocking out any contenders who have not had a recorded work within the past 60 days.

Unfortunately, I am forced to leave out this year’s many excellent turf runners in favor of dirt routers in determining the best candidates to rack up points towards a big Eclipse prize.

10) Gemologist - I was going to leave this one out, but he’s been throwing bullets lately and it’s hard to knock a colt who was undefeated most of his career. However, he has a lot of questions hovering over him now that the fields are getting stronger than what he’s faced in the past, and it doesn’t help that trainer Todd Pletcher is in a slouch. Next move: Jim Dandy (II) or Haskell (I)

9) Neck ‘N Neck - The connections loved him despite his hard luck early on the Triple Crown trail, and he really blossomed when winning the Matt Winn (III) by a whopping 7 lengths. If he can continue to mature, I think we’ll see another special Flower Alley colt this year… Next move: Jim Dandy (II)

8) Alpha - Nearly left this guy off the list despite ranking him in my top three juvenile colts last year. By the looks of his three-year-old year, he has gotten over his gate quirks and has matured mentally quite a good deal. He dueled with Gemologist bravely in the Wood Memorial (I) before enduring a fuzzy trip in the Kentucky Derby. Issue-laced, I still feel it’s more possible for a Bernardini to blossom during the summertime (Stay Thirsty did as well as the sire himself!). Next move: Jim Dandy (II)

7) Prospective - A promising winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (II), I thought the colt had a good mind and a determined drive during the Triple Crown season, making him a live longshot for the Kentucky Derby. He didn’t do as well as I hoped, but made a nice run in the shrunken Ohio Derby (III) last out to show he still has what it takes. Next move: Haskell (I)

6) Blueskiesnrainbows - An English Channel who is actually good on dirt, the chestnut Baffert trainee made an amazing impression running third in the Santa Anita Derby (I), passed only toward the end by I’ll Have Another and Creative Cause. He won the Swaps Stakes (II), and while he was largely unchallenged in that race setting the pace, he’s another Baffert horse to watch as the distances grow. Next move: Nominated to Jim Dandy (II) as a possible

5) Street Life - The Street Sense colt has been an excellent runner all season, winning a few in New York and last finished a belated fourth in the Belmont Stakes (I). He should especially be watched because of all the speed present in this three-year-old crop, setting up quite perfectly for his closing move. Next move: Curlin Stakes

4) Hansen - A dynamite two-year-old, the Tapit phenom has had a very rocky three-year-old season thus far, sailing smooth to win the Gotham (III) but facing some questionable moves in the Kentucky Derby when strangled back to 10th and a rank 2nd to Algorithms in the Holy Bull (III). However, Hansen is still a classy horse, and should Mike Maker send the colt to the front, he’ll put up a serious fight to stay there. His Iowa Derby (III) prep looked real nice as well, automatically putting him at the head of the list of horses bound for the Travers. Next move: Likely West Virginia Derby (II)

3) Paynter - This horse has just been getting better and better with each start, much like his stablemate Bodemeister. I originally didn’t like him all that much even early on (I was an original Bode supporter of the Zayat string), but the way he constantly performs well despite getting the most bizarre things thrown at him— maiden, then a big G1, then shipping into mud, then 12 furlongs?! He still has some questions to answer, but looks like a horse who will get better as the months wear on. Next move: Haskell (I)

2) Teeth of the Dog - Michael Matz’s second-string to Union Rags may be pulling a Stay Thirsty this year by grabbing his ousted stablemates intended accolades instead. He showed tenacity while winning the Dwyer (II) and really hasn’t been out of the heat of the fight since the start of the year while finishing an improving third behind Gemologist and Alpha in the Wood Memorial (I). I’m waiting for this one to get better and better. Next move: Jim Dandy (II)

1) Bodemeister - The Empire Maker colt boasted huge figures winning the Arkansas Derby (I) and impressed more than the winner in the Kentucky Derby (I). I’m dismissing the Preakness (I) runner-up performance because of a boggy rail, and while my biggest concern will be post-fever fitness (the reason he is out of the Haskell), I have few doubts Bode won’t be able to handle the crowd. He isn’t a “need the lead” type, and with his pedigree, ought to do well. If a horse can outspeed Trinniberg and hold on to almost wire a classic with such little prep… I’m excited. Next move: Unknown prep for Travers


It would be awesome to see O’Prado Again, Algorithms, and or Fire on Ice come back in time, however unlikely that may be…

Algorithms and Javier Castellano

Algorithms and Javier Castellano

Algorithms is off the Derby trail with a fractured splint in his right leg, most likely incurred during training. Really disappointing news, I think he was Todd Pletcher’s best bet.

Algorithms is off the Derby trail with a fractured splint in his right leg, most likely incurred during training. Really disappointing news, I think he was Todd Pletcher’s best bet.

I don't think Union Rags will be second choice for when betting closes. Then again, I'm just basing this on how popular he is on Tumblr. That post got 15 notes, very impressive for just a short news bit on his ML.

Asked by thoughtsonracinglifeandmore

Now that Algorithms is scratched (due to a popped splint), I think you’ll be right that he’ll be the favorite here. As someone who watches the odds bounce up and down leading up to post time, I think had Algorithms been included the odds between he and Union Rags would have been tremendously close. However, I don’t think Union Rags has quite enough of a following to be affected by his fan base in the wagering… Uncle Mo, yeah, but not so much Rags. Yet.

I think the 15 (now 17) notes on that Union Rags news bit can be heavily credited towards the fact that most Tumblogs exist and thrive for “pretty pictures.” Had I just posted it as a text post, it would have been lucky to get 5 notes total.

Also, I should probably take this moment to note there won’t be a video from me today. My Fountain of Youth production was heavily based on Algorithms and Javier Castellano, who won’t even be in the field today. Factor in me being a perfectionist and lost hours due to my job being a douchebag, and there’s too many reasons against doing a vid right now. I think Union Rags will win it now that Todd Pletcher’s stretch runner is out. Woof.

Union Rags is the surprising second choice to Algorithms in Sunday’s Fountain of Youth Stakes (II) at Gulfstream Park.

Union Rags is the surprising second choice to Algorithms in Sunday’s Fountain of Youth Stakes (II) at Gulfstream Park.

Fountain of Youth Stakes Video

Working on some nifty assets to make a Fountain of Youth Stakes video to have online TOMORROW!

Do you have an opinion as to who will win? Who are you rooting for? Any questions for me to answer? I’m filming this early tomorrow afternoon when I wake up.

Racing Beat: February 12

According to recent research, racehorses are getting slower while breaking down more often. More on that one this week.

My subconscious has a Derby favorite: I had a dream about El Padrino winning his next race in an enormous romp. Don’t take me seriously though… if you guys remember, my last race prediction dream picked Stay Thirsty to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (I), where he ran last haha.

Javier Castellano picked to ride Algorithms in the Fountain of Youth (II) over Union Rags, who will be ridden by Julien Leparoux. He’s going to regret that decision…

After his huge Hutcheson win, Todd Pletcher intends to keep pointing Thunder Moccasin towards one-turn races. Thank God, someone has finally clued in that sprinters cannot win the Kentucky Derby… or the Preakness, like last year’s Hutcheson champ Flashpoint attempted to do only to wind up in epic fail-land.

I love trying to Google search So You Think only to get results for So You Think You Can Dance #fail

I think Hansen heard me talking crap about New York’s talent pool in its Derby prep races. He’s high-tailing it out of Florida to go beat up Alpha in the Gotham Stakes (III) next.

So Whitney Houston is dead. I’m frankly more concerned about the death of Refuse to Bend, sire of Sarafina and the winner of the 2,000 Guineas in France. One died at 48, the other was only 12! What’s more unfair?!

Dale Romans is serving a 7-day suspension in New York for a horse testing positive for phenylbutazone, or “bute”— an anti-inflammatory steroid. Certainly not the biggest deal in the world, but for the past several months or so (as I’ve voiced) I was under the impression a few times that Romans raced some horses a little too often when they were off their peak.

I can’t get over what a great race— for both watching and betting— the Donn Handicap (I) was. I just wish Shackleford did better, despite not putting any dough on him. Eh, I’ll live, two of my 2011 faves Hymn Book and Mission Impazible finished a close 1-2.

No one gives an eff about this weekend’s big races… not when Animal Kingdom is running over at Tampa Bay Downs on the 25th.

As much as I love seeing “bargain” colts like I’ll Have Another win big races, he looks like a miler to me after a very flukey Lewis Stakes.

Excuse me, you can take Take Charge Indy off the Kentucky Derby Future Wager now. He’s saving himself for the Belmont.

Racing Beat

I’m surprised that people are so surprised by Ultimate Eagle's win in the Strub Stakes (II). His connections said point-blank he was going to be their Derby horse originally, so why would he be terrible at dirt?

If you haven’t watched Luck yet, it’s worth a go. As with all HBO shows, keep the remote handy for fast-forwarding through awkward sex scenes.

I was crushed to see one of my favorite claimers at Aqueduct, Smarty Bull, run second yet again. She’s so cute and speedy!

Dr. Kendall Hansen claims Hansen's second in the Holy Bull was a good thing so Mike Maker can slowly get the colt to peak in time for the Derby. Add to the fact he gave away 6 pounds to Algorithms— who will unlikely ever get much of a break in the weights again— and he makes a decent case to keep believing in the champ.

Florida Derby preps are looking amazing talent-wise. California is going to get a boost when Creative Cause runs. New York… um… who is Alpha beating, exactly?

If you were on Twitter and missed the #fakeracingmovies, you missed out on a lot of fun. Caddyshackleford, The Empire Maker Strikes Back, Indian Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…

Now Del Mar wants to host the Breeders’ Cup. NO. NEW YORK IS CLOSER TO ME.

The hearing for that mongrel Kelsey Lefever has been postponed until February 21. She’s currently free to do as she pleases, including mislead more people into giving her their Thoroughbreds only to send them to slaughter.

Going to the Thoroughbred races, keeping "track" of the memories. Obsessively providing a comprehensive and personal glance at the sport of kings through original photography, handicapping analysis, editorials, and much more.

Tracks visited: Calder, Saratoga, Belmont, Suffolk, Aqueduct.


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