Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Making Sense Out of Everything

There's just two words that I have for you - Street Sense.

Emerging from the dirt and muck to pick off horses one at a time, he came from 19th place to win the Kentucky Derby, breaking one jinx and hoping to break a few more.

But that's what people are still questionable about. Can this remarkable colt win it all? He broke the curse of the Juvenile and Two Year Old Champ winning the Kentucky Derby. Now, can he become the next Triple Crown winner?

It's a question that many people ask, a burden that every Kentucky Derby winner carries into the Preakness - and a few are lucky enough to carry it into the Belmont come June. Street Sense (Street Cry - Bedazzle, by Dixieland Band) took this responsibility and burden when he was blanketed with those red roses.

In my personal opinion, the Preakness Stakes is going to be the big question. To have come from so far behind the pace and take the Kentucky Derby, he had to have been on. I'm not sure if he can duplicate that performance, which is what he will have to do to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown. I hope that he can because the sport needs it.

But it's like being in the middle of a desert. When you go so long without water in a draught, you learn to do without it and dismiss the real thing as a mirage. Then again, you also have lots and lots of mirages that come across you in your thirsty state.

One day, the racing world's thirst for a Triple Crown winner will be quenched again - of this I'm sure.

It's just a matter of time - and luck.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Tales of the Triple Crown Trail

This post will be my favorites to win the Kentucky Derby going by what has happened so far on the Triple Crown trail. This is completely by opinion, so don't take this all as some kind of expert opinion based off of years and years of crunching numbers. First, this is the list of the top ten graded stakes earners for the Kentucky Derby.

  1. Street Sense ($1,482,000)

  2. Scat Daddy ($1,308,500)

  3. Circular Quay ($1,116,134)

  4. Curlin ($780,000)

  5. Nobiz Like Shobiz ($778,500)

  6. Great Hunter ($752,500)

  7. Stormello ($642,900)

  8. Dominican ($498,484)

  9. Tiago ($450,000)

  10. Cowtown Cat ($437,253)

I'm fairly certain that most of these horses (if not all) will be in the Kentucky Derby if they are healthy and sound at the time. So far, my favorites are Street Sense, Scat Daddy, and Nobiz Like Shobiz. Those three have proven to be at the top of their races time and time again. They're tested, and despite Street Sense's loss last weekend, I think that I can take it to heart when his jockey said that people would see a "much different horse" on Derby Day.

Street Sense has impressed me more than the others that are on the trail, with Scat Daddy close behind in second. I think if these two can provide us with what we've seen of them on their best days, it'll be a Kentucky Derby to remember. I really hope that we'll have a Triple Crown winner someday, but at the moment, let's focus on one race at a time. The Kentucky Derby is the biggest race of the three, with a purse of $2 million.

Happy hunting to all! And to one special horse and connections, roses on that first Saturday in May!

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Contenders Keep Coming

This weekend's races highlighted several great performances - two of which stand out in my mind.

The first performance on the list was given by Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Wood Memorial Stakes. His trainer, Barclay Tagg, was worried about the lack of pace in the race, but despite the fact that he was on the lead almost the entire way around the track, he still held on to take home the winner's share of the purse. In my opinion, he outclassed the field. But don't take my word for it; watch this race below.

In the next race on my mind, Tiago won the Santa Anita Derby. He's racing for the Derby, but what got me to like him the most was the fact that he's the half brother of Giacomo, who won the Kentucky Derby in 2005. Not only that, he races just like his older brother! He was racing ninth out of the ten horses in the race up until that last half of the race! He came on to snatch it out from under King of the Roxy at the very end, just like his brother did in the 2005 Derby. You can compare the two races below. The first one is of Tiago winning the Kentucky Derby. The second one is of Giacomo winning the Kentucky Derby.

I must warn you people that are looking at this with betting strategies on your mind - Giacomo was not a very consistent and it should be noted that he hardly ever strung together any kind of winning streak. With that said, I'm still very excited about this year's field. This is certainly shaping up to be a Derby to remember!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Scat Daddy takes Florida Derby

Scat Daddy dominated the field in the Florida Derby, and that's just all that there is to it.

Could it be two years in a row that the Florida Derby winner takes the Kentucky Derby? Many of the doubters were silenced as the Florida Derby finished with Scat Daddy ahead by a little over a length.

It was a solid race for the heavy favorite, who impressed me yet again with that closing kick (though he stayed a lot closer to the pace this race - just another reason to like him with the way that he adjusts so nicely to the changing conditions of the race). Another great thing about this race was the way that Chelokee was coming on at the end (watch the race down below).

All in all, I was very impressed with the top three finishers, though I think Scat Daddy may be the only one that will show up for the Kentucky Derby. He has shown everyone that he can race with the best of them - and win. Another amazing performance by the talented colt, and his next stop is the Kentucky Derby!

This year's entrants will be one of the toughest fields to enter the gates of Churchill. They all look as good as gold, and there is no clear, distinct favorite - though there are plenty of stand-outs. It'll be exciting to watch the race come the first Saturday in May.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Derby Dreamers

This is a list of my top prospects for the Kentucky Derby. It's still too early to tell as to who I think will win the Derby, much less who I think will be part of the action on Derby Day. For now, these are the ones that still have Derby Dreams. These are my Derby Dreamers. Below them are videos of their latest races when I can find them on Youtube.com.

1. Street Sense: He won the biggest races last year as a two-year-old. He also won the honor of being voted the best two-year-old in the country last year. Now, he's come back a winner for his three-year-old year. He's got the most earnings and outclassed the field in the Tampa Bay Derby. His next stop is the Bluegrass Stakes and then it's on to the Derby for him. I'm not sure if he'll win, but he certainly has a really good shot.

2. Any Given Saturday: I've liked this guy since I first saw him race as a two-year-old. He's got a lot of class and is maturing very nicely. He put up a gutsy second place to Street Sense in the race above. I'd really love to see this rivalry continue through the entire Triple Crown, but as always, let's just take it one race at a time. Shown below winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes this year.

3. Circular Quay: The Louisiana Derby winner has put up some good numbers. He's proven he can do it; he just needs a bit of luck on his side to show everyone out there that he can do it. He's been part of my top horses since I spotted him last year racing. He was shoved to the background by Street Sense last year, but perhaps this year he can outshine the rest of his class.

4. Nobiz Like Shobiz: Winner of this year's Holy Bull Stakes, he's been sitting nicely. He raced fairly well last year, too, beaten by Scat Daddy in last year's Champagne Stakes and then again this year in the Fountain of Youth, where Nobiz Like Shobiz finished behind both Scat Daddy and Stormello. If he improves off of that and shows up for the Derby, he could snatch the roses away from them all.

5. Scat Daddy: Winner of the Fountain of Youth Stakes not long ago, Scat Daddy nailed Stormello at the wire. He proved that his closing kick is one that is going to be there come May. He's a proven winner in both years, and he looks to head what may be one of the most accomplished fields to enter the gates of the Kentucky Derby.

6. Hard Spun: Now that he's returned to his best form, Hard Spun might be something to look at. Written off earlier in the year when his green ways lost him the race, he's straightened himself out a good bit. He's still a little too green to face such stiff competition as Scat Daddy, especially since Hard Spun has been proven to lose interest when he gets the lead. With Scat Daddy's closing kick added to the equation, I'm not sure. But the colt deserves the shot with all of that talent.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fillies in the Kentucky Derby

The owners and connections for Folk, the filly a lot of people thought would make it to the Kentucky Derby, have announced that all of the hopes and dreams of feminists everywhere rest on one single race - the $2 million UAE Derby.

That's where Folk will take on the males in a showdown of grit and grime.

Though there is a list of many fillies that have tried to take the Kentucky Derby, there are only three fillies that have actually won the prestigious honor and taken home the roses.

This story brings to mind the three fillies that have actually gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. It started with Regret in 1915. An amazing racehorse, she had won the Hopeful Stakes and the Stamford Memorial the year before. But what is even better is that she was voted as the Eclipse Award Horse of the Year for her acheivements in her three-year-old year.

Then there was Genuine Risk and her Kentucky Derby (watch it below). Sent off at odds of 13 to 1, she overpowered the boys to win the Kentucky Derby in one of the more memorable moments in history.

The most recent Kentucky Derby to be won by a filly was in 1988, when Winning Colors defeated the boys. She was not a long shot, either, going off at odds of 3 to 1, she pulled away from the pack at the very beginning and did not give up her lead for the entire race. In the racing world, it would be called a wire-to-wire victory.

I personally hope that Folk makes it to the Kentucky Derby. Though her connections are aiming her for the Kentucky Oaks, the fillies' version of the Kentucky Derby that is run the day before the Derby, I'd like to see a filly actually present a threat and a challenge to the boys.

Then again, I guess I'm bias because I'm a girl.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hard Spun: Proven and Contested?

There's a new face on the Kentucky Derby picture.

Well, not so much as new as different.

Hard Spun, trained by Larry Jones, made a big improvement on his previous starts to win the Lane's End Stakes on March 24 at Turfway Park. Bred in Pennsylvania, this colt regained his winning ways, showing that he had matured a bit since his last starts.

Though some commentators would suggest that he still has a lot of growing up to do - noticeable in the way that he acts when he gets on the lead - he has managed to get himself on Steve Haskin's (of Bloodhorse.com) Derby Dozen. The colt's pedigre is one that sounds familiar to me. He was produced from Danzig and the Turkoman daughter Turkish Tryst.

"This horse will do anything you want him to do," Larry Jones, the colt's trainer, said to reporters. "I could tell he was wanting to run but he listened for Mario to ask him. He makes more money than Mario [Pino] and I, but he'll still listen to us. He's very coachable. My only concern with the Blue Grass is that it could be suicide with so many good horses going in the race. You know me. I worry about everything. I wouldn't be overly confident going into that race, but it's a good feeling to know our horse could compete with those horses."

Jones also added that he would like to have at least one more race under the colt's belt before going into the Kentucky Derby.