2014 KY Derby Preps

Preps, Performances and Real Contenders

Scatcat will be posting some thoughts, selections, and comments on the 3-year-old preps as they ready for Kentucky. So, bookmark this page and check back often.

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April 19, 2014 Lexington Grade I 1 1/16 Keeneland


Mr Speaker    J. Lezcano $6.20   $3.40   $2.40
Divine Oath   J. Castellano   $3.80   $2.80
Supermonic   J. Rosario   $3.00

Times in 5ths: :24  :48  1:13  1:374    1:44
Times in 100ths:
:24.13  :48.07  1:13.17  1:37.97    1:44.18

Nothing to see here.

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April 12, 2014 Blue Grass Grade I 1 1/8 Keeneland


Dance With Fate   C. Nakatani   $14.80   $6.80   $5.80
Medal Count   R. Albarado   $7.80   $5.20
Pablo Del Monte   V. Espinoza   $6.80

Times in 5ths: :232  :472  1:123  1:374    1:50
Times in 100ths:
:23.58  :47.59  1:12.74  1:37.83    1:50.06

Post-race Thoughts
Loved this race from Dance with Fate but think he is a synthetic horse. Connections were unsure about running him in the Derby so even they have their doubts. However, if he could take to the Churchill surface this horse would have a good shot. Medal Count ran well but also seems to be unlikely on the dirt.

Pre-Race Thoughts
Large, talented field for this year’s Bluegrass. I see about 8 horses that could win here. Extrasexyhippzster trombetta/Pimentel Gotham never got into race. Works seemed to have improved at Keeneland. Harry’s Holiday. Has Napravnik aboard but seems to alternate running well. He may take off this race. Likely favorite Bobby’s Kitten has run well on turf but may not be as good as he appears against this field. Coltimus Prime should improve returning to synthetic. Gets Garcia and has good works. Dance with Fate 2nd by a half length on synthetic in El Camino real. Big Bazinga could move forward off the spiral. Coastline figures to be closing. Vinceremos  Closer will like distance. Medal Count has top Beyer and Gala Award velazguez/pletcher success can’t be ignored. Has won at the distance already.

Boxing Vinceremos, Gala Award, and Dance with Fate in an exacta.

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April 12, 2014 Arkansas Derby Grade I 1 1/8 M Oaklawn


Danza    J. Bravo $84.60   $28.40   $11.00
Ride On Curlin   J. Court   $7.00   $4.00
Bayern   G. Stevens   $4.00

Times in 5ths: :233  :473  1:121  1:371    1:493
Times in 100ths:
:23.72  :47.71  1:12.29  1:37.38    1:49.68

Post-race Thoughts
I did not even consider Danza in this race. I wondered why he was entered. Obviously, the horse’s connections knew better and he stepped up big time. Not always the best to run back with an even better performance going a longer distance. We shall see. I still like Ride On Curlin. Hoping he makes his leap up in the big race. Bayern probably won’t make the cut.

Pre-Race Thoughts

No reason to think that Tapiture will not run well. Ride On Curlin gets a jockey change and he knows this track. Conquest Titan has been working well. Bayern looks like a top contender on paper. However, I’m worried about the time off. Feel like he may need a race (though works have been sharp). And, his earlier races may not have been as strong as they seem. Figures to be low odds so I will take a shot with others. Commisioner started off the year with a lot of promise but seems to be regressing.

I’m playing Tapiture, Ride On Curlin exacta box.

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April 5, 2014 Santa Anita Derby Grade I 1 1/8 M Santa Anita Park


California Chrome   V. Espinoza   $3.40 $2.40 $2.10
Hoppertunity   M. Smith $4.00 $2.60
Candy Boy   G. Stevens $2.40

Times in 5ths: :224  :47  1:104  1:35    1:472
Times in 100ths: :22.89  :47.02  1:10.81  1:35.03    1:47.52

Post-Race Thoughts
Not much to say. California Chrome blew this field away. Seems like the real deal. Hoppertunity also ran well for a race he did not need to win.

Pre-Race Thoughts
Candy Boy and California Chrome seem the most likely in here. Hoppertunity I am not convinced about. Others that could step up and finish in the top three are Rprettyboyfloyd and Friends with K Mill. Don’t think Schoolofhardrocks likes dirt. Dublin Up also seems to be working well.

Will try to get some value by playing Candy Boy and California Chrome is P3 and P4.

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April 5, 2014 Wood Memorial Grade I 1 1/8 M Aqueduct


Wicked Strong R. Maragh $20.40 $7.60 $4.20
Samraat J. Ortiz $4.90 $3.00
Social Inclusion  L. Contreras $2.70

Times in 5ths: :233  :472  1:11  1:361    1:491
Times in 100ths: :23.79  :47.47  1:11.16  1:36.39    1:49.31

Post-Race Thoughts
Wicked Strong
ran well to take the win but not convinced he will do well in the Derby. He may be an Aqueduct horse. More convinced that Samraat is a real derby contender. He had something left at the end so seems like derby distance will not be a problem. Social Inclusion may be a special horse, but he’s not there yet.

Pre-Race Thoughts
Once again Samraat and Uncle Sigh hookup again for what has become an exciting duel to watch between these two horses. Though they are both top contenders here, there definitely a chance for others to make there mark as the distance stretches out to 1-1/8th. Kid Cruz has run the distance before in a not overly impressive time. He does close well and it is possible the race could set up for him. Wicked Strong returns to Aqueduct and Maragh. Figures to improve. Noble Moon was a top prospect early on but has been sidelined with some health issues. Harpoon ran an unimpressive Gotham. Figures maybe to get a piece but not more. Los Borrachos gets blinkers but seems slower than these so will take a pass. Kristo ships from California along with Martin Garcia avoiding the Santa Anita Derby. Social Inclusion is listed as the M/L favorite. Not sure he will get the same type of race he is used so will be playing against.

I’ll be playing Kid Cruz to win and place and boxing him on an exacta with Samraat.
4/4 8:30PM Kid Cruz has scratched due to a sore shoulder. Replacing him in an exacta with Wicked Strong. $2 Exacta (2-8) Paid: $100.50,


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March 29, 2014 Louisiana Derby II Grade 1 1/8 M Fair Grounds


Vicar’s in Trouble R. Napravnik $8.60 $4.40 $3.00
Intense Holiday M. Smith $3.20 $2.60
Commanding Curve R. Albarado $5.20

Times in 5ths: :232 :474 1:12 1:37 1:503
Times in 100ths: :23.56 :47.86 1:12.14 1:37.15 1:50.77

Post-race Thoughts:
Not sure Vicar’s in Trouble is going to wow anyone with this relatively easy win at slow fractions. He had a good post position and got to the front and controlled the pace. However, I think he cannot be dismissed off of this performance. He did what he had to do. Rose Napravnik is a smart jockey and knew what to do with Vicar. Intense Holiday ran well enough to keep in the mix but not sure he will like the mile and a quarter distance.

Pre-race Thoughts:
Very competitive field signed on for this running of the Louisiana Derby. Intense Holiday ran a great race last out, but looking at his pattern of races he may level off here and not move forward. Gold Hawk doesn’t look to me to be moving forward in his races. Vicar’s in Trouble was compromised last time out in the Risen Star by the wide post position. Today I think he should run a big race. Commanding Curve should also move forward off his Risen Star effort where he was also caught wide. This is his 2nd off the layoff. In trouble has faced tough competition, lightly raced, and has great J/T percentage. Rise Up has also been working well and gets blinkers added.

I’ll be playing Vicar’s in Trouble top and bottom with Intense Holiday, In trouble, and Commanding Curve.

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March 29, 2014 Florida Derby I 1 1/8 M Gulfstream Park


Constitution J. Castellano $8.60 $4.20 $3.60
Wildcat Red J. Velazquez $4.80 $3.40
General a Rod J. Rosario $3.40

Times in 5ths: :24 :48 1:12 1:362 1:49
Times in 100ths: :24.01 :48.19 1:12.00 1:36.46 1:49.16

Post-race Thoughts:
I drank the kool-aid a a little on Cairo Prince keying him on top, but I did like Constitution coming into this race and I like him even better now. I know he is lightly raced and still needs to move forward off of this, however, with this current crop of contenders this horse might just be able to take the Derby without running a two year old. Wildcat Red is gutsy horse, if he hadn’t moved a little bit away from the rail giving Constitution that path to slip through, things might have been very different.

Pre-race Thoughts:
This looks to be a set-up for another show down between Wildcat Red and General a Rod with a Cairo Prince thrown into the mix. The track may be sloppy and that could impact the race but there is no way to tell at this point. Matador looks like a horse that might be helped by a wet track but he still seems like he may be a few steps slower than these. Constitution ran the same day as Wildcat Red and had similar numbers. Lightly raced, he has a chance to compete with these. Spot is another unknown. Could possibly surprise.

I’ll be keying Cairo Prince on top of a trifecta with Wildcat Red, General A Rod, Constitution over Wildcat Red, General A Rod, Constituion, Spot.


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March 23, 2014 Sunland Derby I 1 1/8 M Sunland

50 -20-10-5

Chitu M. Garcia $5.80 $3.20 $2.20
Midnight Hawk M. Smith $3.40 $2.40
Commissioner J. Velazquez $3.00

Times in 5ths: :231 :462 1:093 1:342 1:474
Times in 100ths: :23.24 :46.46 1:09.60 1:34.58 1:47.88

Pre-race Thoughts
x8Chitu6)Midnight Hawk all figure to run well on the speedy Sunland track. I was impressed with how well Chitu hung on in the RB Lewis. I think the added distance may do him in today. Global Strike ran well breaking his maiden in his third start at a much lower level. Would need to step forward from that to beat these but could be moving in the right direction. Rebranded with Ry Eikelberry has a chance to get a piece of the exotics.

Exacta play: key Commisioner top and bottom with Chitu and Global Strike.
Trifecta play


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March 22, 2014 Spiral Grade III 1 1/8 M Turfway Park


We Miss Artie J. Velazquez $9.20 $5.80 $4.20
Harry’s Holiday R. Napravnik $13.40 $8.60
Coastline S. Elliott $7.40

Times in 5ths: :223 :471 1:122 1:382 1:521
Times in 100ths: :22.78 :47.21 1:12.43 1:38.59 1:52.26

Pre-race Thoughts
Finally getting to the 1-1/8 preps which should start to separate some of these. Of course, a prep on synthetic doesn’t necessarily make things too much clearer. Tamarando seems the most likely here. Won last out at a mile and an eighth on synthetic and has the ability to close. All Tied Up with Saez aboard has been running on Turf at both sprint and routes. I think he has the chance to step up here. Big Bazinga also has a strong closing kick and has run well up at Woodbine. We Miss Artie gets Velazquez back and could return to his better form. Solitary Ranger might just get loose on the lead and run away with it.

Playing an Exacta and Tri with Tamarando and All Tied Up on top with Tamarando, Solitary Rangerx8All Tied Up in 2nd Tamarando, Solitary Ranger, All Tied Up, We Miss Artie in 3rd.



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March 15, 2014 Rebel Grade II 1 1/16 M Oaklawn Park


Hoppertunity M. Smith $14.20 $5.80 $4.20
Tapiture R. Santana, Jr. $3.80 $2.60
Ride On Curlin K. Desormeaux $4.60

Times in 5ths: :24 :474 1:121 1:372 1:434
Times in 100ths: :24.06 :47.97 1:12.24 1:37.58 1:43.90

Pre-Race Thoughts
Only an eight horse field signed on for the last of early Derby preps. Next week when the 1-1/8 preps start, the picture should get a bit clearer. Jet Cat Has a bullet work but not much else to recommend. Sheltowee’s Boy beat him last two times out. Ride on Curlin gets Desormeaux. Trainer having a good meet. 3rd off layoff. Worth a look. Tapiture ran big last time out against Strong Mandate. Assuming he doesn’t regress will be right there. Strong Mandate beginning to think he is not all he is cracked up to be. Hoppertunity Mike Smith rides. Was wide throughout in Risen Star. Same work tab as before. Sheltowee’s Boy Slower than some of these. Street Strategy seems to be able to vary running style. Can progress in his thrird start. Kobe’s Back ran well in San Vincente in 6 horse field. Stepped forward on dirt but at only 7F. Lezcano rides.
I’ll be playing:
Trifecta: Tapiture with
Street Strategy, Ride on Curlin with
Street Strategy, Ride on Curlin, Kobe’s Back, Strong Mandate.

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March 8, 2014 San Felipe Grade II 1 1/16 M Santa Anita Park


California Chrome V. Espinoza $4.80 $2.60 $2.10
Midnight Hawk M. Smith $3.00 $2.20
Kristo J. Rosario $2.60

Times in 5ths: :23 :452 1:092 1:334 1:402
Times in 100ths: :23.09 :45.55 1:09.45 1:33.94 1:40.59

Post-Race Thoughts
California Chrome
looked much the best running on a lightning fast Santa Anita track. Midnight Hawk did well to finish second but at this point seems to be distance challenged. I think California Chrome is a top contender at this point.

Pre Race Thoughts
Home Run Kitten may not be a dirt horse. Has been working very well, though. Rider switch. 14% J/T. Unstoppable Colby gets Luis Saez. Rprettyboyfloyd switches back to Nakatani which may help. Not sure he is quite good enough though. California Chrome has been running in state bred races but looks to be a top contender. Sawyer’s Hill taking a big step up. Respect Mulhall so thinking she thinks he has a shot. Kristo nicely progressing beyers. Rosario rides and has been working well. Schoolofhardrocks Talamo / Hoffmans. Big step up. Midnight Hawk do you give him another shot? Doesn’t seem to like the added distance. Will leave him out of the top spots. Recanted goes Turf to dirt.

Boxing California Chrome in an exacta with Kristo.
Boxing California Chrome, Schoolof Hardrocks, Kristo, and Sawyer’s Hill in a superecta.

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March 8, 2014 Tampa Bay Derby Grade II 1 1/16 M Tampa Bay


Ring Weekend D. Centeno $30.00 $10.20 $8.60
Vinceremos E. Prado $6.00 $3.80
Surfing U S A J. Lezcano $5.20

Times in 5ths: :233 :463 1:112 1:37 1:433
Times in 100ths: :23.62 :46.68 1:11.41 1:37.04 1:43.71

Post-Race Thoughts
Once again Graham Motion had his horse Ring Weekend ready to run and he looked good running. Hard to tell if the runner ups let him get away early thinking he would falter in the turn for home. Daniel Centeno also knows Tampa Bay. So, taking this win with a grain of salt. Not impressed with the efforts of Vinceremos and Surfing USA. Top horses should have been able to close in on Ring Weekend.

Pre-Race Thoughts
Good field signed on for this edition of the Tampa Bay Derby. Very few you can totally toss. I’m leaning toward Surfing USA, who finished second to Top Billing last time out, and Conquest Titan who I think this race sets up well for. Ring Weekend steps up big time and needs to improve to run with these, however, hard to overlook a Motion horse. Matador ran behind Harpoon in his last race but seeing as Harpoon was not overly impressive, I am staying away this time. Coltimus Prime has definite possibilities. This will be his first start on dirt but has been working well and 24% winning trainer. Vinceremos seems to lose his concentration in the stretch. Needs to stay focused through the wire. Cousin Stephen looks like one of these horses that may have peaked as a 2 year old. If he can run back to that form, he can run with the best of these. Hy Kodiak Warrior has had two bullet works in a row and comes in ready for this race. Tuscan Gateway makes his first start of the year. Has had some good works and if he improves enough, is not out of the realm of possibility to get up for a piece.

I’m boxing Conquest Titan and Surfing USA,Vinceremos and Coltimus Prime in a trifecta.



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March 1, 2014 Gotham Grade III 1 1/16 M Aqueduct


Samraat J. Ortiz $6.40 $3.90 $2.40
Uncle Sigh C. Nakatani $4.20 $3.00
In Trouble J. Rocco, Jr. $3.70
Financial Mogul

Times in 5ths: :234 :481 1:121 1:372 1:442
Times in 100ths: :23.85 :48.30 1:12.30 1:37.56 1:44.44

Post-race Thoughts

The race was quite a duel to the wire for the top three finishers. Not much separated them, but it seems Samraat just has the tiniest bit more of a will to win. Not sure how they can keep it up. Samraat was never asked for more in the stretch so it’s unclear whether there is more to give or whether he just runs all out every time. I like the horse a lot, but not convinced he will do well in the longer distances. Financial Mogul did run well to get up for 4th, but he did not step forward as much as I had hoped.

Pre-race Thoughts

Uncle Sigh and Samraat get their chance to duke it out again. I was impressed with Samraat’s win in the Withers but I think things will get even tougher today. Noble Cornerstone looks to improve with the addition of blinkers, as does Monopolize if he runs. In Trouble looked good in his first two starts but seems to be taking too big of a leap forward for me to like here. Financial Mogul gets away from Cairo Prince who he faced in his last two races, which maybe the relief he needs to move forward. Deceived seems a bit outclassed, but he certainly did run well at Aqueduct in his last start and he keeps Maragh. Extrasexyhippster has done nothing wrong. Harpoon ran well in the Sam F Davis and figures to run another big one.

Will play Samraat Entry in exacta with Harpoon and Financial Mogul.


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February 22, 2014 Fountain of Youth Grade II 1 1/16 M Gulfstream Park


Wildcat Red L. Saez $11.00 $5.00 $3.40
General a Rod J. Castellano $4.60 $3.20
Top Billing J. Rosario $2.60

Times in 5ths: :23 :461 1:10 1:351 1:414
Times in 100ths: :23.03 :46.25 1:10.13 1:35.24 1:41.85

Post-race Thoughts
I thought Top Billing and Commissioner were most likely to win this race and Wildcat Red had a chance for a piece of the pie. Wildcat Red dug in gamely and held on for the win in a wicked pace. Thinking Top Billing had too much to do to catch up and he should do better next time. Not sure what happened with Commissioner. Keeping Top Billing on my Derby radar.

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February 22, 2014 Risen Star Grade II 1 1/16 M Fair Grounds


Intense Holiday M. Smith $12.00 $6.00 $4.00
Albano K. Clark $12.20 $6.80
Vicar’s in Trouble R. Napravnik $3.40

Times in 5ths: :24-1/5 :48 1:13 1:37-2/5 1:43-4/5
Times in 100ths: :24.30 :48.14 1:13.00 1:37.42 1:43.86

Pre-race Thoughts

Another mish mash of a field with a lot I think can easily be passed over. Rise Up6)Vigorish Hoppertunity, and Vicar’s In Trouble all figure to contend. Others to look out for if they can take a step forward are Quick Indian, Commanding Curve, Gold Hawk and Emmet Park (AE).

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February 17, 2014 Southwest III 1 1/16 M Oaklawn Park

Tapiture R. Santana, Jr. $13.00 $4.80 $3.20
Strong Mandate J. Rosario $3.40 $2.60
Ride On Curlin C. Borel $3.80

Times in 5ths: :23-2/5 :47-4/5 1:13 1:38-2/5 1:44-4/5
Times in 100ths: :23.45 :47.92 1:13.06 1:38.59 1:44.95

Post-race Thoughts

Tapiture did put it together and ran a very nice race. Strong Mandate tried to close but just couldn’t make up the ground. This often seems to happen at Oaklawn. Strong Mandate was wide throughout. I think Strong Mandate is better than this performance. Ride On Curlin ran well to get up for 3rd but I don’t see him as a strong Derby contender at this point.

Pre-race Thoughts

Full field signed on for the Southwest. Strong Mandate is the class of the field and looks like the most likely winner here in a field with no other big standouts and many unknowns. Tapiture hasn’t raced in 2 months. May need a race. But may be putting it together. Will probably go against. Coastline Speightstown horse. Respect Mark Casse however not sure horse is headed in the right direction. Kendall’s Boy 2nd start off lay off after poor showing in Breeders Futurity at Keeneland on Synthetic. Eligible to improve. Jockey Goncalves is a plus. Louie’s Flower has ability to step up. Has improved in successive starts. Nice works. Tanzanite Cat/Paganol Entry Trainer wins at 27% clip. Only 2nd career start for Paganol. Asking a lot. Walt trainer wins at 36%. Could surprise for piece at a price. Gets Blinkers on which may help keep him focused down the stretch. Ride On Curlin Not sure he likes the distance. But, others in front of him have gone on to win. Might like it sloppy. Bourbonize room to improve. Steps up in class.

I’m hoping for a price. Will play Exacta box of: Strong Mandate/Louie’s Flower/ Walt. Tri key: Strong Mandate over Louie’s Flower, Kendall’s Boy over Louie’s Flower, Walt, Kendall’s Boy, Tapiture. Show bet on Walt.

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February 15, 2014 El Camino Real Derby III 1 1/8 M Golden Gate

Tamarando R. Baze $6.60 $4.00 $2.20
Dance With Fate
A. Gryder $4.60 $2.60
G. Stevens $2.10

Times in 5ths: :242 :493 1:134 1:394 1:511
Times in 100ths:
:24.40 :49.73 1:13.98 1:39.87 1:51.23

Post-race Thoughts
ran well with a nice sustained move around the final turn. He may like this surface best, but if he can carry his progress onto dirt he has potential. Dance with Fate also ran well and fought hard to the finish.

Pre-race Thoughts
seems most likely. Like the switch to Russell Baze. Craftsman figures to improve in his second US start and the addition of blinkers. Dance with Fate ran well in his last race after a disappointing result in the BC Juvenile. Proctor trained Enterprising gets Gary Stevens back up. Puppy Manners closes well and may appreciate the added distance if he can get a strong pace upfront to run into.

I’ll be playing an Exacta with Tamarando and Dance with Fate over Tamarando, Dance with Fate, Puppy Manners. Place and Show bet on Puppy Manners. Exacta paid $27.40.

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February 8, 2014 Robert B. Lewis Grade II 1 1/16 M Santa Anita Park

Candy Boy G. Stevens $6.60 $3.20 $2.20
Chitu M. Garcia $5.00 $3.00
Midnight Hawk M. Smith $2.10

Times in 5ths: :23-1/5 :46-4/5 1:10-4 /5 1:35-3/5 1:41-4/5
Times in 100ths:
:23.33 :46.80 1:10.84 1:35.64 1:41.83

Post-Race Thoughts

Midnight Hawk seems like he is not going to be a significant contender for the Derby. Looks to be more of a miler. Candy Boy looked impressive and seems like got it all together. If he can continue on track he is a real contender. Chitu surprised me in his ability to stay up on the lead and just gave in at the end. Not sure whether he wants any more distance.

Pre-Race Thoughts

This is a race that’s very hard to figure. There’s not much to go on and some in here would require a significant leap of faith to land on. Midnight Hawk seems the most likely but in winning the Sham against only 3 other horses, he hasn’t exactly been tested . Candy Boy is the second choice in the M/L. But, in 5 starts, 4 on synthetic he has only won once. Gary Stevens stays aboard after running 2nd of 12 in Cash Call Futurity at 13/1. Diamond Bachelor tried dirt for the first time last out in BC Juvenile. It did not go well. Homerun Kitten has not run more than 6-1/2F but has been working consistently at 6F and tries dirt for the first time. The Moss owned, Shirrefs trained Cool Samurai closed well in his last start and could move forward from that. El Nino Terrible battled well in his win last time out, though he may be a bit slower than these. Chitu should gun to the front and I expect him to tire on the lead.

I’ll be playing a Trifecta: Midnight Hawk , Cool Samurai over Midnight Hawk, Cool Samurai, Homerun Kitten, Candy Boy over Midnight Hawk, Cool Samurai, Homerun Kitten,

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February 1, 2014 Withers Grade III 1 1/16 M Aqueduct

Samraat J. Ortiz $4.30 $2.50 $2.10
Uncle Sigh P. Morales $2.60 $2.20
Scotland K. Carmouche $3.10

Times in 5ths: :24 :48-1/5 1:12-3/5 1:39 1:46-1/5
Times in 100ths
: :24.00 :48.33 1:12.77 1:39.06 1:46.31

Post-race Thoughts
and Uncle Sigh dueled in the stretch with Samraat finally pulling ahead near the wire. I was wrong about Uncle Sign in that he ran better than I expected and really made Samraat give it his all. I’m not convinced that either of these will want the Derby distance. Scotland came on for third. He ran well, but will have to take a large leap forward to get into contention for any real Derby consideration.

Pre-race Thoughts
As with last year’s running there are only 6 horses signed on for this year’s Withers. Last year Revolutionary won and he really never lived up to his perceived potential after that. I have a feeling that this year will be similar, but we will see. Uncle Sigh won going away last time out and the horse he beat was a next out winner. However, there wasn’t too much impressive about that win and I don’t think he will live up to his 9/5 morning line odds. Street Gent is worth some consideration. Nice Jockey/Combo with Irad Ortiz and Leah Gyarmati, this Street Sense colt has progressed each time out. His Jan 27 work was good and I like the switch to Ortiz. Scotland finished 3rd in the Jerome but seemed to be fading. Classic Giacnroll ran 2nd in the Jerome. Seems to be able to close or stay up close to the pace. Samraat has done nothing wrong in his 3 starts, progressing in each of his wins. He seems to like to be in the lead. He has been working well leading up to this. He is the deserving favorite. Honorable Judge is an Afleet Aflex colt and has potential to improve.

I’ll be playing an exacta Samraat, Giacnroll over Honorable Judge, Samraat, Giacnroll, Street Gent.

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January 25, 2014 Holy Bull 1 1/16 M Gulfstream Park

Cairo Prince L. Saez $6.20 $4.40 $3.20
Conquest Titan S. Bridgmohan $8.60 $4.80
Intense Holiday J. Rosario $6.40

Times in 5ths: :23 3/5 :46 3/5 1:10 1/5 1:35 2/5 1:42
Times in 100ths: :23.63 :46.75 1:10.30 1:35.41 1:42.16

Post-race Thoughts
Cairo Prince came through and won easily over this field. was pleased to see that Conquest Titan did improve. Wicked Strong was wide throughout, made a slight move and then gave in. Mr. Speaker seems to be a Turf horse. Will keep an eye on Conquest Titan who closed from last though he did not look like he was going to gain much more on the leader even with a little more room. Will need to stay closer to the leaders and time his one run better to have a chance.

Pre-race Thoughts
Looking forward to getting into the real derby preps and the Holy Bull is full of some serious contenders. Cairo Prince has done very little wrong and seems a deserving ML favorite going into this race but there are many in here worth a closer look. Our Caravan was very impressive in his debut at Gulfstream in December. He did have a nice pace in front of him to close into and he could get that today from some of the runners. Mr Speaker is one of those who won wire to wire last at Gulfstream but on the turf. Will see if he is able to continue to improve on the switch to dirt. Cairo Prince ran well at 1-1/8 in the Remsen just getting beat by a nose. Wicked Strong with Castellano aboard was just behind Cairo Prince in the Remsen, closing well in a paceless race. Has been improving in each race. Conquest Titan did not do well stepping up in class as a 2 yo. But maybe he learned a few things and can hang behind the leaders. Has potential to step up here.

I’ll be playing against the favorite going with Wicked Strong to win and place and boxing Mr. Speaker, Conquest Titan and Wicked Strong in an Exacta.

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January 20, 2014 Smarty Jones 1 Mile Oaklawn

Points: 10 4 2 1

Tanzanite Cat N. Arroyo, Jr. $20.20 $8.40 $5.60
K. Tohill $8.00 $4.40
S. Bridgmohan $2.80

Times in 5ths: :23 :47-1/5 1:12-1/5 1:25-2/5 1:38-3/5
Times in 100ths
: :23.17 :47.37 1:12.31 1:25.52 1:38.69

Post Race Thoughts: Top 3 finishers ran around the track together, with Coastline looking like he was in a good stalking position behind Walt and Tanzanite Cat battling on the lead. When the time came Coastline had no kick. He did have a wide post and may have tired himself out racing wide most of the trip. Tanzanite had, lost, and recaptured the lead. Shows he has so

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Jan. 4 Jerome, Aqueduct, 1 Mile 70 Yards, Grade II

Points: 10 4 2 1

Noble Moon I. Ortiz, Jr. $3.60 $2.50 $2.10
Classic Giacnroll A. Solis $4.10 $3.10
Scotland D. Cohen $3.60

Times in 5ths: :24 :481 1:132 1:403 1:45
Times in 100ths: :24.07 :48.34 1:13.50 1:40.63 1:45.08

Post Race Thoughts: Not very impressive race but Noble Moon did what he had to do to win. Had to dig in a little at the end but was able to put Classic Giacnroll away fairly easily. Will see how he progresses in his next race.

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Jan. 11 Sham, Santa Anita, 1 Mile, Grade III

Points: 10 4 2 1

Midnight Hawk M. Smith $2.80 $2.10
Kristo R. Bejarano $2.20
Ontology M. Gutierrez

Times in 5ths: :23-1/5 :461 1:10 2/5 1:23 1:36 2/5
Times in 100ths: :23.31 :46.33 1:10.50 1:23.06 1:36.48

Post Race Thoughts:

Scratched down to a 4 horse field. Not much to go on here.

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Jan. 18 Lecomte, Fair Grounds, 1 Mile 70 Yards, Grade III

Points: 10 4 2 1

Vicar’s in Trouble R. Napravnik $5.40 $4.00 $2.80
K. Clark $8.00 $3.80
Gold Hawk
S. Bridgmohan $2.20

Times in 5ths: :23-3/5 :47-4/5 1:13 1:38-1/5 1:42-2/5
Times in 100ths: :23.71 :47.80 1:13.11 1:38.36 1:42.57

Post Race Thoughts: Easy, but impressive win for Vicar’s in Trouble. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

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Pable Del Monte 85 Has been working very well at Keeneland Possible