Tumblr Codes

Tagged with archarcharch RSS

My 2011 Kentucky Derby horse: Nehro, who finished 2nd.
It was my first time trying to legitimately handicap the Derby, and overall, not a bad job! Nehro became my horse after his rushing 2nd in the Arkansas Derby (I). He showed great tenacity when almost-beating my pick Archarcharch, who unfortunately drew the rail post in the Derby. It kind of sucked not being able to go to the Belmont that year because I wanted to see “my” horse as well as Animal Kingdom in the flesh, but hey maybe someday he’ll show up again around here! (Photo Courtesy of Zayat Stables)

My 2011 Kentucky Derby horse: Nehro, who finished 2nd.

It was my first time trying to legitimately handicap the Derby, and overall, not a bad job! Nehro became my horse after his rushing 2nd in the Arkansas Derby (I). He showed great tenacity when almost-beating my pick Archarcharch, who unfortunately drew the rail post in the Derby. It kind of sucked not being able to go to the Belmont that year because I wanted to see “my” horse as well as Animal Kingdom in the flesh, but hey maybe someday he’ll show up again around here! (Photo Courtesy of Zayat Stables)

I have deep feels for Archarcharch, so it’s only naturally I put up the picture of his first foal.

I have deep feels for Archarcharch, so it’s only naturally I put up the picture of his first foal.

Archarcharch *swoons and falls over*

Archarcharch *swoons and falls over*

Re: Best/Worst picks I hit a Sabercat too! My biggest was Ruler On Ice in the Belmont. I took him only after I saw it was muddy and to this day I have no idea why. My first ever bet that got me started in racing I bet ArchArchArch in the Derby. Really sad to see him get hurt in my first race.

Asked by behindthecounterinasmalltown

Yaaaay! Wow, that was a good play for the Belmont. That was such an unfortunate race, but with a few factors in mind I feel like I should have considered Ruler On Ice a little more than I actually did :/

Arch would have been one of my Derby choices had he not gotten the rail… probably the kiss of death for his career… agh! I really hope Sabercat gets back up to his awesome two-year-old form again. Such a nice underrated horse.

Your best/worst plays?

Reinier reminded me of this. While I can’t credit any one particular factor (LUCK has a lot to do with it!), I’ve lost as well as won plenty of really weird plays over the past year or two since I’ve started legitimately handicapping Thoroughbred horse races.

Major/memorable “win” plays, odds are approximated from the win return:

  • 36-1 Pool Play in the 2011 Stephen Foster (I) - This was an oh-my-stars result as the longest shot on the board. I liked Mission Impazible, who was the favorite and ultimate runner-up, but what can you say about a field with no clear front runner and a favorite who loves to place second or third? Pool Play was a force on Woodbine’s synthetic, and to me there was no excuse to ship him all the way down to a G1 at Churchill without a good reason.
  • 27-1 Tackleberry in the 2011 Sunshine Millions Classic - First Dude was favored, but the good Calder-based sprinter Tackleberry pretty much secured a heart bet from me. I remember thinking he could probably pull off a win if placed right, as he didn’t race much as a three-year-old due to issues and was just starting to race regularly as a four-year-old.
  • 26-1 Archarcharch in the 2011 Arkansas Derby (I) - I’d liked him since the Rebel Stakes, but sadly the beautiful Arch colt got no love heading into the big Arkansas Derby due to entries like The Factor aiming for the big win. I was so excited to see him get the win, and made my Derby pick following the race with runner-up Nehro.
  • 20-1 Brilliant Speed in 2011 Blue Grass Stakes (I) - Jetting off to a super upset, I liked Brilliant Speed’s distance pedigree in a field where anything could happen.
  • 13-1 Shotgun Gulch in the 2011 Vinery Madison (I) - Because who favors an Oklahoma-bred who hadn’t won lately in a sprint against horses like Evening Jewel? The win took place right before this gal started making a real name for herself before she was scratched and retired at the Breeders’ Cup. Her morning line was 20-1 when I originally picked her.
  • 15-1 Castaway in the 2012 Southwest Stakes (II) - A love for Street Sense and belief that Baffert had the slow developer ready in time backed this heart bet in a season where I struggled picking Triple Crown prep winners.
  • 15-1 Believe You Can in the 2012 Kentucky Oaks (I) - There were faster horses in the Oaks, but it was hard to turn away the promising Believe You Can after watching her battle at the Fair Grounds all spring. With Rosie and Larry Jones on her side, I had her down to win.
  • 13-1 Done Talking in the 2012 Illinois Derby (III) - Low-rent field headed by a unimpressive, developing favorite, I went with a face I knew I thought had a rough trip running in New York and was apt to do better this time.
  • 10-1 Hymn Book in the 2012 Donn Handicap - I had liked Hymn Book in the prior year’s Suburban, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out why he was 10-1 after a good showing in the Cigar Mile. I was so giddy to have had money on him to win with that wide sweeping stretch move.
  • 10-1 Camp Victory in the 2012 Triple Bend Handicap - He wasn’t weighted super heavy, had Joe Talamo aboard, and most importantly, had the “psychology” factor playing in his favor with his ailing trainer in the hospital. Camp Victory boasted some respectable speed figures, and while I don’t normally play very many sprints, the presence of the need-the-lead The Factor guaranteed some decent odds. It was great to see Camp Victory make a dramatic late move for the win.
  • 9-1 Sabercat in the 2011 Delta Jackpot- The selling point of this pick was actually the layout of the track. Sabercat would break from towards the outside coming down the awkward chute of Delta Downs and be able to conveniently lay off the speed before coming in late. I already loved the horse after seeing pictures of him training at Churchill Downs, and he already sported a nice prior win at Monmouth.

I think that’s the lot of them… I’ll have to brainstorm my worst plays next…

Racing Beat: April 8

It would be awesome if someday Union Rags and Rags to Riches would go out on a date. It’s a match right up there with Pants on Fire and Unzip Me.

Todd Pletcher doesn’t have a Twitter, but he’s well aware of @NotTheToddster

Tackleberry's going to the Charles Town Classic again… bring. it. on.

It’s been announced that Wood Memorial winner I Want Revenge has been retired. But… but… that horse still owes me some money!!

I was 2-for-3 yesterday in predicting the winners of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby preps, with Creative Cause falling short by a nose in the Santa Anita Derby (I) to knock me out. This is the umpteenth time I decided to sideline myself from betting later races on Saturday that could have turned out profitable— I could have had Castaway weeks ago at 8-1 while yesterday Done Talking won at 13-1. Ffffffuuuu— Then again, this feels like last year where I started doing better as the races grew to 1 1/8 miles. I picked both longshot winners last year for the Arkansas (I) and Blue Grass (II): Archarcharch at 15-1 and Brilliant Speed at 20-1.

Did a little reading on breeder Annie Cauley the other day, and was pleased to find out that she didn’t learn how to ride until she was 22. Now, she’s breeding stakes winner after winner, most recently On Fire Baby.

Havre de Grace gets 123 pounds in the Apple Blossom (I), giving away some 5 pounds to some other probables like Plum Pretty, causing Larry Jones and Rick Porter to pull their Horse of the Year out of there. I’m going to guess it was the difference between weights they found unfair— I’d have given the mare 124 pounds at least— but it’s not like she’ll have it easy in her other anticipated start, the La Troienne (I) on Derby weekend.

Gulfstream is over? :( But that means Calder is around the corner for South Florida and in New York, Belmont steps in for Aqueduct!

I’ll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby (I) with a time 3 seconds faster than Gemologist's Wood (I)… I have officially stopped doubting him. (However, Gemologist had a 98 Beyer while I'll Have Another scored a 94)

The magnificence of this year’s three-year-old crop almost makes me sad because I’m convinced this year’s juveniles won’t be as good. It’s also because of said magnificence I’m beginning to step away from the idea that this could be a Triple Crown year. It’s also going to make my Derby Dozen profiles that much harder to narrow down.

I wish all my readers a very happy Easter. The bunny did not fail me this year.

2011 Derby Starters: Where Are They Now?

Making it to the starting gate of the Kentucky Derby is on the same playing field as getting nominated for an Academy Award, but even better since the perks of winning one extend far beyond 6 months (wink). While only one horse wins, we all fall in love with a particular horse or two, many of whom seem to still be on track to return next year as four-year-olds:

  1. Archarcharch - Injured with a slab fracture in the Derby, the gorgeous son of Arch is now retired to Spendthrift in Kentucky awaiting the start of his stud career in 2012.
  2. Brilliant Speed - Successful on multiple surfaces, the son of Dynaformer came in a valiant third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. He looks to return next year, likely on the grass where he seems best.
  3. Twice the Appeal - Finished a sleepy 10th in the Derby, the Sunland Derby winner took a vacation and hit the work tab at Santa Anita in October. He’s now preparing for his four-year-old season.
  4. Stay Thirsty - Out of all the Derby horses, Thirsty probably has had the best year total, winning the Jim Dandy and the Travers over the summer. He’s on track to keep training as a four-year-old in 2012, wintering in Florida before shipping north to New York.
  5. Decisive Moment - 14th in the Derby, black underdog scored a stakes win in July and another recently on one of his favorite tracks, Delta Downs, in the $125,000 Delta Mile. By the looks of it, he’s still a very happy little racehorse.
  6. Comma To The Top - Injured in the Derby after setting the pace, Comma has been training like the freight train he is and was recently entered in the Vernon O. Underwood Stakes in Hollywood Park. He was 9th in his comeback, but the gelding looks to continue on with his career as a gifted sprinter.
  7. Pants On Fire - Had a sour showing in the Kentucky Derby, but came back later after a rest to win the Pegasus at Monmouth Park. Currently still resting on the Jersey shore, but is expected to race again next year.
  8. Dialed In - Sidelined with an injury following the Preakness, the Derby favorite has been slowly warming back up to the rigors of training with the ultimate goal of entering the 2012 Met Mile.
  9. Derby Kitten - Obviously with a Kitten’s Joy, this Kitten is destined for the turf. Sixth in the Hawthorne Derby, he did manage to win the Ontario Derby on synthetic while making some strong runs throughout the year on grass. Expect to see him progress next year as well.
  10. Twinspired - The only gray horse in the field, the cute Harlan’s Holiday colt is working his way back to a respectable reputation. He faded to seventh in the ungraded Victoria Stakes at Woodbine on Polytrack, but managed a second very recently in an off-the-turf race at Churchill.
  11. Master of Hounds - Took a holiday back overseas, and is set to compete on his old stomping grounds in the 2012 Dubai World Cup.
  12. Santiva - Took a long breather after finishing eighth in the Belmont Stakes, but is currently back on the work tab at Palm Meadows.
  13. Mucho Macho Man - Took a long and much needed break after running well in all three Triple Crown races. “Macho” returned to the races at Aqueduct in an early November optional claimer, scoring a win very easily.
  14. Shackleford - The most campaigned Derby horse, Shack’s been a busy fellow since the Derby, winning the Preakness and finishing sharply in almost all of his races to hit the board. He finished off this year with a second in the Dirt Mile with no concrete plans set in stone for next year, though he will come back to the races.
  15. Midnight Interlude - Switched to turf racing after his sleeper performances in both the Derby and the Preakness. He won the ungraded Tsunami Slew in grass debut, but hasn’t managed to wake up in time for several others that followed. Likely going to continue on the grass by the looks of it.
  16. Animal Kingdom - Out of the picture following a slab fracture in the Belmont Stakes, the Derby winning horse has been slowly recuperating and is set to start regular galloping in December, with the ultimate goal of entering the 2012 Dubai World Cup— probably without any prep races.
  17. Soldat - Took a long breather after the Derby and vacationed at a Lexington farm with a return anticipated in the fall. Now that fall’s gone, Soldat is still nowhere to be seen. I’m guessing he needed more down time and will come back next year.
  18. Uncle Mo - Did not start in Derby due to gastrointestinal problems, but rocketed back to a show in the King’s Bishop and a big win in the Kelso Handicap. Unfortunately, he did not show up strong in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and due to his stress-related health condition, he’ll continue on to a stud career at Ashford Stud.
  19. Nehro - Runner-up in the Derby and a strong finisher in the Belmont Stakes, Nehro had to undergo ankle surgery to correct an injury sustained in the latter race. Originally expected to recover in time to make the Breeders’ Cup Classic, he will instead rest up more and come back in 2012 to race again.
  20. Watch Me Go - The plucky underdog of the bunch, he was never a factor in the Virginia Derby and finished fifth in the 6-furlong Select Stakes last out in August.
I miss this guy: Archarcharch. Look at those hindquarters! He was so amazing!

I miss this guy: Archarcharch. Look at those hindquarters! He was so amazing!

Three-Year-Old Crop A Hot Mess

Chipped knees. Bowed tendons. Fractured cannons. Let me count the ways how this year’s crop of promising three-year-olds fizzled under the weight of injury and illness to an astonishingly unfortunate degree. To my memory, I’m having a hard time recalling a year that had more young horses bow out of Triple Crown and summer contention. So many favorites have fallen behind schedule, and it’s not due to slow maturation or trainers being overly careful with their growth. A whopping three horses were injured in the Kentucky Derby, whose winner and runner-up were both injured in the Belmont Stakes.

Included in the pecking order of potential greats were:

  • Tapizar - Chipped a knee in the Robert B. Lewis. Still not working, no known return date.
  • To Honor and Serve - Suspensory ligament injury following a third place in the Fountain of Youth. Back in light training, hopeful for a summertime start at Saratoga.
  • Uncle Mo - Underwhelming third in the Wood Memorial revealed a strange illness, which was revealed to be a rare liver disease, keeping him out of Kentucky Derby contention. Hopeful return is the King’s Bishop in August.
  • The Factor - Ankle hairline fracture from the Arkansas and throat surgery kept him out of the Kentucky Derby. Hopeful return is the King’s Bishop in August.
  • Toby’s Corner - Went lame in his hindquarters weeks after Wood Memorial victory. Back in training, but no known return date.
  • Archarcharch - Had a horrendous start in the Kentucky Derby and is now retired due to an fractured leg injury he sustained from it.
  • Animal Kingdom - Out for the rest of the year following a hind leg injury in the Belmont Stakes where he was bumped and tripped
  • Nehro - Chipped a knee in the Belmont Stakes. Planned for a fall return.
  • Comma To The Top - Injured himself in the Kentucky Derby after setting the pace. No known return date.
  • Dialed In - Has recently undergone knee surgery following a second set of glaring X-rays revealing inconsistency. Will miss 2011.
  • Brethren - “Off” since a bad Tampa Bay Derby and Arkansas showing, being rested. No known return date.
  • Premier Pegasus - Cannon bone fracture after winning the San Felipe. No known return date.
  • Pants On Fire - Bled a bit in the Kentucky Derby, but is reportedly back to work now. Planned for an appearance in the late July Haskell.
Get well soon Archarcharch! The colt, who broke from the #1 hole in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, stumbled at the start and finished lame. He was discovered to have a condylar fracture and was operated on yesterday. While his injury is not career-ending, it’s not known at this point if he will return to the races once healed.

Get well soon Archarcharch! The colt, who broke from the #1 hole in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, stumbled at the start and finished lame. He was discovered to have a condylar fracture and was operated on yesterday. While his injury is not career-ending, it’s not known at this point if he will return to the races once healed.

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.


Popular Tags:

Editorials

Handicapping Info

Photos

Answered Asks