Tag Archives: Triple Crown

The Haiku Handicapper: 2011 Belmont Stakes

#1 – Master Of Hounds
Derby trip got buzz
Transatlantic trips bring pause
Not buying the hype

#2 – Stay Thirsty
Sidekick did little
To kick Uncle Mo’s shadow
Best will come later

#3 – Ruler On Ice
Mid-tier near-misses
Give him ho-hum resume
Doesn’t inspire

#4 – Santiva
In Derby’s top half
Shows solid dirt form at three
Has wild card chops

#5 – Brilliant Speed
A turf, synth standout
Didn’t bomb in dirt return
Keep on your radar

#6 – Nehro
The Derby bridesmaid
Stricken with seconditis
Threat to hit the board

#7 – Monzon
Mid-Atlantic steed
Class jumps were a disaster
Stick to overnights

#8 – Prime Cut
Making breakthrough start
From decent second-tier tries
Deep gimmicks at best

#9 – Animal Kingdom
Crown campaign fell short
Has the tools for 12 panels
Two for three ain’t bad

#10 – Mucho Macho Man
Hard-luck campaigner
Preakness trip was traumatic
What does he have left?

#11 – Isn’t He Perfect
Preakness afterthought
Homecoming doesn’t mean much
Isn’t he a toss?

#12 – Shackleford
Held strong in Preakness
Blistering pace is rare here
Lots more ground to keep

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Who wins the Belmont?
Animal Kingdom’s a beast
Four and five follow

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The Haiku Handicapper: 2011 Kentucky Derby

First and foremost, if you would like a more detailed analysis of the Kentucky Derby field, I wrote 5,000 words on the race over on ThoroFan.com for its “Handicapper’s Corner”. If you can find a more detailed breakdown of the Kentucky Derby field, you read it.

Please note, the ThoroFan analysis was written prior to Friday’s scratch of Uncle Mo, who factored into my exotic tickets, thus my picks are a little outdated. For the sake of discussion, let’s replace him with another horse who might have an advantage in the second wave of front-runners, Pants on Fire.

If you prefer a short, punchy breakdown of the field in a 5-7-5-syllabled parameter, you have come to the right place. Best of luck on all of your wagers today.

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#1 – Archarcharch
Arkansas leader
Snuck up on folks at Oaklawn
Must overcome post

#2 – Brilliant Speed
Turf, synth specialist
Dirt efforts not so brilliant
Nice horse, not his spot

#3 – Twice The Appeal
Has the Borel bump
Super ticket needs longshots
He fits the profile

#4 – Stay Thirsty
Mo’s tag-team partner
Has shown tendencies to wilt
When placed in big spots

#5 – Decisive Moment
Got in the gate with
Minor checks in rich races
Decide against him

#6 – Comma To The Top
Derby Fever strikes
Wobbles coming down the stretch
Not the spot for him

#7 – Pants On Fire
Rosie’s rose runner
Earns his keep out on the lead
That’s a tall task here

#8 – Dialed In
Mud-in-face closer
Lone big horse to deliver
In his last big prep

#9 – Derby Kitten
Late to the party
Distance, surface, class concerns
They’re asking a lot

#10 – Twinspired
Another synth horse
Improving, but still outmatched
Not inspiring

#11 – Master Of Hounds
Foreign invader
Prior form offers few hints
On how he’ll perform

#12 – Santiva
Light soph schedule
History does not bode well
For last-prep clunkers

#13 – Mucho Macho Man
Well-traveled and tough
Qualities you like to see
In a Derby horse

#14 – Shackleford
None saw him coming
In Florida Derby scrape
Won’t go unchallenged

#15 – Midnight Interlude
Raw, rising talent
First start out of comfort zone
Hard place to have it

#16 – Animal Kingdom
Won the Spiral Stakes
Even connections seem tense
About his dirt form

#17 – Soldat
Went from chalk to dust
After dull Gulfstream effort
Needs to prove his grit

#19 – Nehro
Standing room only
On deep closer’s bandwagon
Can he find the line?

#20 – Watch Me Go
Tampa Bay shocker
Barely sparked in Illinois
Hard to expect much

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Glory’s on the line
Can you hear Dialed In now?
One, seven and three

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Deal or No Deal: 2011 Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Soldat could end up being worth a look in the first pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

There are few things that please a horse racing fan more than being the first in his or her group to pick the Kentucky Derby (G1) winner.

The first opportunity to put some money behind that boasting will come this weekend when betting opens for the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool.

The first of three pools opens Friday, Feb. 18 at noon and closes Sunday, Feb. 20 at 6 p.m.. There are 23 horses listed as individual betting interests, with the rest lumped together as “The Field”.

A lot can happen between now and the first Saturday in May. Horses can emerge from obscurity just as easily as they can be knocked off the Derby trail. The future pools allow bettors to do some long-term speculating and hopefully catch a horse at odds higher than they might be on Derby day.

Of course, these bets come at a time when no horse, even with enough earnings, is guaranteed to be in the gate for the big race. Like all long-term investments, those are just the accepted risks of the game. The trick is finding the horses with the best chance to reward that risk.

Each year, I take a look at the horses offered in the first pool and try to single out a few who might be worthy of such a ludicrous wager and others who will probably offer more value on Derby day.

The whole situation can feel like staring down the banker’s offer on the game show “Deal or No Deal”. A horse may look tempting at the odds it gives in this pool, but that price could change drastically depending on the twists and turns of the Derby trail, just like the banker’s offer can fluctuate depending on which suitcases are opened. Some horses are worth taking the banker’s deal at the odds you’ll see this weekend. Others should be held on to until the final suitcase is opened.

The question is…Deal or No Deal?

A verdict of “Deal” means a horse should be considered for a bet in this particular pool and could give a higher price now than it will later. “No Deal” means bettors should pass for now.

Please keep in mind these speculations are based solely on the morning line odds set by Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battagalia. The odds can, and will, fluctuate according to the action in the pari-mutuel pools, which could negate some of my statements – especially if a horse is entered to race this weekend.

Also, unless otherwise noted, this is not an analysis of talent, but a projection of betting value. Just because a horse is labeled a “No Deal” does not mean I do not think it is capable of winning the Kentucky Derby, and vice versa.

For a full list of the future pool horses, along with free Daily Racing Form past performances, click here.

Deal

Anthony’s Cross
Odds: 30-1

Anthony’s Cross showed gritty determination edging out Riveting Reason for the win in last Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. The Indian Charlie colt has improved with added distance and appears to have overcome early difficulties with leaving the starting gate.

Above all, there is one reason to take a chance on this horse – He broke his maiden at Churchill Downs under Calvin Borel. Three wins out of the last four Derbies, including 50-1 shot Mine That Bird, means that any horse Borel chooses to ride in the race automatically becomes live. If Anthony’s Cross continues to improve throughout the spring, their past experience together could lead the rider to take a good, long look at riding this horse.

On that same note, any horse Borel chooses to ride will likely be bet into the ground on Derby day. It will take a long string of “No Factor” mounts for him to sneak in with another high-priced horse, just because every bettor in America knows what he’s capable of in that race. There are a lot of “ifs” and “maybes” in the equation, but if Anthony’s Cross makes it to the Churchill Downs gate and Calvin Borel decides to ride him, he won’t give anything close to what he’ll give this weekend.

No Deal

Decisive Moment
Odds: 50-1

A son of With Distinction, Decisive Moment kicked off his 2011 campaign with a win in the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs. You know who took a detour through Southwest Louisiana on the Derby trail last year? Last place finisher Backtalk. That’s not the kind of company a Kentucky Derby winner tends to keep. Scheduling fashion faux pas aside, that race was Decisive Moment’s first victory since a narrow maiden score five starts prior, and he stepped back in class and distance to earn it. A second place finish in the rich Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) will keep him on the earnings bubble, but if Decisive Moment does manage to sneak in with a resume consistent to what he has shown so far, he should give one of the longest prices on the board on race day.

Decisive Moment also figures to be one of the most volatile propositions in the first pool by virtue of his start in Saturday’s Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds. His status as a viable future wager option and Derby contender could shift drastically in that race. Hold off on making too big of a judgement on him until we see what he is made of.

More keepers and tosses from the first Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool can be found behind the jump.

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Valient Tenobob nominated to Triple Crown

Michigan-bred Valient Tenobob is one of 364 early nominees for the prestigious Triple Crown races.

The series for three-year-old Thoroughbreds includes the Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course and the Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.

The dark bay or brown Service Stripe colt is trained by James Jackson for owners Red Riding Hood Stable (George & Chrissy Kutlenios) and Laura Jackson. Valient Tenobob was also bred by James and Laura Jackson.

Valient Tenobob is the first Triple Crown nominee born in Michigan since Hot Chili, another Jackson trainee, was made eligible for the races in 2008.

Valient Tenobob went three-for-three in 2010 for earnings of $48,222.

He broke his maiden on Sept. 4 at Pinnacle Race Course with a five-wide rally to prevail by a length. Valient Tenobob then traveled to West Virginia to follow up with a 2 3/4-length allowance score at Mountaineer.

After that race, Valient Tenobob was nominated to the Oct. 31 Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, but instead returned to Pinnacle to compete in the Oct. 30 Michigan Futurity. Despite an erratic trip, Valient Tenobob exploded in the stretch to win by seven lengths.

Valient Tenobob has not raced since the Michigan Futurity and, according to Equibase, he has not posted a workout in the last 60 days. Check back for further updates on Valient Tenobob’s journey down the Derby trail.

For a complete list of the 2011 Triple Crown nominees, click here.

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The Haiku Handicapper: 2010 Belmont Stakes

Can Stately Victor bounce back from a troubled trip in the Kentucky Derby to win the Belmont Stakes? The world will find out on Saturday.

Test of champions/
Classic champs took the day off/
The Crown’s finale

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#1 – Dave In Dixie
A Derby trail dud/
Trounced in a weak Ill. Derby/
Toss with no remorse

#2 – Spangled Star
Mid-Atlantic based
Well handled by weaker foes
Seems pretty outclassed

#3 – Uptowncharlybrown
New McLaughlin charge
Traffic often derails him
Live in the gimmicks

#4 – Make Music For Me
A lights-out closer
Derby try wins most races
Hard one to pin down

#5 – Fly Down
Dwyer Stakes winner
Owns two wins over First Dude
Live, but not likely

#6 – Ice Box
Became this field’s chalk
When he crossed Churchill’s wire
Shouldn’t disappoint

#7 – Drosselmeyer
Used to have some hype
Has yet to turn the corner
Doubt he’ll do it here

#8 – Game On Dude
Stomped in legit stakes
Blew away a weak Lone Star
Dude looks like a toss

#9 – Stately Victor
Wiseguys love upside
Hard to glean much from Derby
Could go either way

#10 – Stay Put
Comes off a class drop
Stakes tries close, but no cigar
Could break some tickets

#11 – First Dude
Better of the “dudes”
Comes off the race of his life
Not keen on this spot

#12 – Interactif
A Derby dropout
Dirt is his third best surface
Nice horse, but I’ll pass

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How does it shake out?
Ice Box proves everyone right
Ten, three for the tri

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The Haiku Handicapper: 2010 Preakness Stakes Recap

Lucky bests the Dude
Finally gets a clean trip
Saver disappoints

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In other important news learned from watching the big race at the Mount Pleasant Meadows simulcast, opening day at the Central Michigan racetrack has been pushed back a week to May 30. Be sure to adjust your schedules accordingly.

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The Haiku Handicapper: 2010 Preakness Stakes

Baltimore’s crown jewel
Maryland, my Maryland
Is “Saver” super?

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#1 – Aikenite
A Derby shut-out
Does best work in mid-tier stakes
Wait for Penn. Derby

#2 – Schoolyard Dreams
Has one on the champ
Tends to run into buzzsaws
Something to prove here

#3 – Pleasant Prince
Sunshine-bred and based
Scrambled for earnings but failed
Not too keen on him

#4 – Northern Giant
Ran well in weak preps
Crumpled against top rivals
There are better spots

#5 – Yawanna Twist
Lightly-raced prospect
Better fit in Peter Pan
Has yet to blossom

#6 – Jackson Bend
Mid-pack in Derby
Training well into this race
Could provide value

#7 – Lookin At Lucky
Nightmare trip last out
Parts ways with Garrett Gomez
Not lookin’ for much

#8 – Super Saver
The Derby winner
Could take to the front early
Will be in the mix

#9 – Caracortado
Hard-trying Cal horse
Played catch-up in last two starts
The field’s wild card

#10 – Paddy O’Prado
Off two big efforts
Romans has him dialed in
Primed for breakout race

#11 – First Dude
Dale Romans’ Plan B
Troubled trips look deceptive
Exotic buster?

#12 – Dublin
Gomez takes the mount
Could provide a needed spark
Just seems to lack “it”

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Who gets his Preak on?
Paddy spoils Triple Crown
Eight and eleven

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