Matt's Interactive Derby Dozen 2016

MySaladDays
Posts: 907
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:16 am

Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:16 am

tcw wrote:8. American Pioneer - Could surprise in Ark. Derby and should appreciate added distance.
I am looking forward to seeing him too.

Whitmore loves to run, and Suddenbreakingnews has a real nice pedigree, but I'm not "sold" on them yet.

Gettysburg is an interesting possible, Pletcher may be bringing him.
MySaladDays
Posts: 907
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:16 am

Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:21 am

peeptoad wrote: Adventist is the exact type of horse I'm hoping can spice up the bottom of the tri or super...
I kept him because of Gyarmati. She has been working some bottom into that horse since January.
EquineAnne
Posts: 685
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:22 pm

Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:30 am

Matt Converse wrote:1. Exaggerator--someone finally wowed me, 103 Beyer confirms what I saw. Was it just a muddy mirage? The answer is coming.
2. Destin--sure looks like he wants the distance.
3. Cupid--he's hard not to love.
4. Brody's Cause--91 Beyer isn't great but sure looked like he could go further.
5. Nyquist--highest two turn Beyer is 94, but doesn't like to lose.
6. Swipe--would be an interesting wildcard if he won the Lexington with a decent Beyer, especially this year. Derby mystique aside, would this prep be considered so impossible for any other 10f race?
7. Trojan Nation--I've seen good gallop outs before but the jock literally had to strangle the horse to get him to slow down, like a rank front runner. I overlooked him initially because the others were so bad, but for a maiden trying the Derby, this would be the year.
8. My Man Sam--probably too slow but could close for a piece.
9. Cherry Wine--see above. (And they are both as fast as the '13 & '14 Derby runner-ups.)
10. Gun Runner--the Rodney Dangerfield of the Derby hopefuls.
11. American Pioneer--will take a shot in the Ark. Derby, ran close to Cupid's time last race.
12. Outwork--don't see him loving 10f.
From your pen to God's ears.
Apollo
Posts: 294
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:05 pm

Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:44 am

I have a severe advantage in that I no longer follow racing all year long. Anyone who does so is forced to justify it in their own minds, to pretend for example that those obscure December races actually meant something, that they watched them for a reason and the horses emerging are high caliber. You can find props like Beyer ratings to rationalize your frauds.

Meanwhile I can apply a big picture overview and understand that the freaks, if any, are going to come from young juveniles pointing to the Classics. I don't care about late blooming stiffs or older horses, blah blah blah. Those types get trampled by the American Pharoahs while Happy Adjusters on this board and elsewhere are forced to scramble for explanation. I think I remember how that went: American Pharoah improved a tremendous amount in the fall. Yeah, that was it. He wasn't much of anything during the Triple Crown series. Those older horses were going to carve him up, the blah blah blah types. Do those stiffs run in December? I'll never know.

In brief sampling recently, only two horses offered any threat of wow. Songbird looks as classy as they come. Darn shame she won't risk the Derby. I mentioned last week that Nyquist and Mohaymen looked like mere claimers in the Gulfstream padddock area. Not Songbird. I loved her appearance before seeing one stride. Then the way she held her head so high and steady throughout the race was so memorable.

I'm a bit biased toward Exaggerator because I saw him in person early last October at Keeneland on a wet cold Saturday in the Breeder's Futurity. I braved the elements to examine those horses up close because there is obvious potential for a star to emerge from a race like that. Brody's Cause outgutted him that day. I took note of it. I have no idea how the Keeneland locals could be so dunce last weekend to prefer Zulu above Brody's Cause. What the heck is a Zulu, and who cares about a result after a layoff at Tampa Bay Downs, of all places? Brody's Cause showed a bit of class in overcoming Exaggerator early last October. I don't discount it and IMO Brody's Cause is more than a grinder. Often when two horses run 1-2 in an early prep and then the handicapping conventional wisdom tries to separate them much later, the result was more meaningful than the analysis and they run in close contact again when it matters.

That being said, the flash wow was from Exaggerator. I generally hate deep closers, the parlor act. But when a horse runs big near the lead in one race and then can alter course and dominate via different strategy, it's generally a very positive sign. There is no way I could discount what Exaggerator did in that race, whether it was on mud or divoted bermuda.

***

BTW, as a USC alum I naturally took an interest in a horse called Trojan Nation last weekend, although I knew nothing about him. I took note of the #3 saddle cloth and followed him all the way around, when possible. For a while he was far back and out of the screen.

Then I laughed like heck as the joke race caller Larry Collmus had no clue what he was looking at and continued to call Trojan Nation by the wrong name. He had obviously handicapped the race beforehand, and in brutal fashion. That can't be the severe longshot closing stoutly on the rail. Therefore I'll identify another horse who makes more sense in that spot, even though the #3 is plainly visible throughout. It was hilarious that he prolonged the gaffe for an eighth of a mile or thereabouts.

I couldn't wait until Collmus detected his error, with the inevitable bumbled words. Even more awkward than my projection.

Granted, there have been much higher profile flubs. I remember the 1975 Derby with Chic Anderson, and Denman missing Street Sense until nearly the wire in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. But at least those guys offered a flash of brilliance at their best. Larry Collmus is a "...shines bright" caliber race caller. Barely above dullard stage. I can't believe we are stuck with him.
Last edited by Apollo on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Matt Converse
Posts: 3045
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: San Francisco

Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:49 am

EquineAnne wrote:
Matt Converse wrote:1. Exaggerator--someone finally wowed me, 103 Beyer confirms what I saw. Was it just a muddy mirage? The answer is coming.
2. Destin--sure looks like he wants the distance.
3. Cupid--he's hard not to love.
4. Brody's Cause--91 Beyer isn't great but sure looked like he could go further.
5. Nyquist--highest two turn Beyer is 94, but doesn't like to lose.
6. Swipe--would be an interesting wildcard if he won the Lexington with a decent Beyer, especially this year. Derby mystique aside, would this prep be considered so impossible for any other 10f race?
7. Trojan Nation--I've seen good gallop outs before but the jock literally had to strangle the horse to get him to slow down, like a rank front runner. I overlooked him initially because the others were so bad, but for a maiden trying the Derby, this would be the year.
8. My Man Sam--probably too slow but could close for a piece.
9. Cherry Wine--see above. (And they are both as fast as the '13 & '14 Derby runner-ups.)
10. Gun Runner--the Rodney Dangerfield of the Derby hopefuls.
11. American Pioneer--will take a shot in the Ark. Derby, ran close to Cupid's time last race.
12. Outwork--don't see him loving 10f.
From your pen to God's ears.
I had a hunch you'd like it.
Matt Converse
Posts: 3045
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: San Francisco

Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:08 am

For the record, I'm not picking Trojan Nation to win. I have him picked to come in 7th. I think there's a very good chance he'll do that, or better. Would it really be shocking to see him beat Brody's Cause, Cupid, or even Nyquist? They all ran 90-95 Beyers in their last race, and he looks as likely as any to improve at 10f. Would an all-Cali tri be surprising with him 3rd? And like I said, I have him picked 7th, I think that's about where he'll finish. When the Derby favorite has a fastest ever two-turn race of a 94 Beyer, and a maiden just ran a fast-closing 2nd with a 93 Beyer, many possibilities exist this year.

As for what I want to happen...is it too early to start my rain dance? A little mud never hurt anyone.
peeptoad
Posts: 2711
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:53 pm

Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:33 am

Tessablue wrote: But hey, if peep is looking at Adventist, I'll make sure to do so as well!
I don't want to be the responsible party if your super gets ruined... To me Adventist just has the look of a slower, grinding type that'll just keep on going when the speed stops at the eighth pole.
Matt Converse
Posts: 3045
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: San Francisco

Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:06 am

peeptoad wrote:
Tessablue wrote: But hey, if peep is looking at Adventist, I'll make sure to do so as well!
I don't want to be the responsible party if your super gets ruined... To me Adventist just has the look of a slower, grinding type that'll just keep on going when the speed stops at the eighth pole.
There are a few that fit that this year.
User avatar
Diver52
Posts: 1636
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:44 pm
Location: Redlands, CA

Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:32 am

Die, Trojan scum. Can't go there.

Signed, UCLA class of 1976.

Wishing the horse long life and happiness, just slow Beyers.
I ran marathons. I saw the Taj Mahal by Moonlight. I drove Highway 1 in a convertible. I petted Zenyatta.
peeptoad
Posts: 2711
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:53 pm

Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:17 am

Matt Converse wrote:
peeptoad wrote:
Tessablue wrote: But hey, if peep is looking at Adventist, I'll make sure to do so as well!
I don't want to be the responsible party if your super gets ruined... To me Adventist just has the look of a slower, grinding type that'll just keep on going when the speed stops at the eighth pole.
There are a few that fit that this year.
There are... I also like Fellowship and Majesto to fill that slot. I used Commanding Curve a couple of years ago; that's the guy I'm looking for this year.
Lord Helpus
Posts: 170
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:03 pm

Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:39 am

How can Mohaymen fall off the list just because he threw in one so-so race. He is still a wonderful horse and I plan to bet him in the Derby. He is certainly a better horse than a maiden winner and other iffy horses.

Unless he is hurt and will not run in the Derby?
Tessablue
Posts: 3506
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:29 am
Location: Boston

Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:01 am

There's a lot conspiring against Mohaymen in this race. He did not improve from 2-3, he isn't terribly fast, he does not have a 10f pedigree, he is historically up against it in the Derby given his very poor last-out performance, and he has not been flattered at all by the horses he has beaten this year. In fact, it's pretty alarming to look at how the subsequent performances by the second place finishers in his stakes wins:

Flexibility- beaten 27 lengths in the Wood
Greenpointcrusader- beaten 10 lengths in the LA Derby
Zulu- beaten 23 lengths in the Bluegrass

He's got a good mind and a pretty good style for the race, but there's a lot to be concerned about and he'll likely be a massive underlay.
MySaladDays
Posts: 907
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:16 am

Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:00 am

peeptoad wrote:I also like Fellowship and Majesto to fill that slot. I used Commanding Curve a couple of years ago; that's the guy I'm looking for this year.
I was looking at Majesto a little more today, he has run 3x at 1-1/8th so we know he is capable distance horse, albeit, slow as molasses. that's okay, Adentist is a grinder too.

Fellowship, with the last minute barn and trainer change, this late in the game..........I dunno.

I don't even like to see small equipment changes in the weeks before the derby, we are talking an entire new entourage for this horse. And every barn has their own way of doing things, even the little stuff. Alarm bells going off for me..... If he was running on AW up at Woodbine, I would be more optimistic.
MySaladDays
Posts: 907
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:16 am

Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:17 am

tcw wrote:1. Cupid - Impressive last out, closing in 6 flat going 8.5f. Will see how he stretches out to 9f.
2. Nyquist - Undefeated and also closed well going 9f. Also question his last BSF considering the drying out track condition.
3. Exaggerator - Can he duplicate or even improve next out in the KD if the track is fast? If so, he should be in the mix assuming he can negotiate traffic.
4. Gun Runner - Has the pedigree to stretch out to 10f and has been consistent, but would prefer shorter layoff until KD.
5. Mor Spirit - A grinder who will need to improve and run faster if he's to have an impact on the first Saturday in May.
6. Brody's Cause - see above; seems to run best at Keeneland.
7. Destin - Would be up near the top of the list without the 8 week layoff.
8. American Pioneer - Could surprise in Ark. Derby and should appreciate added distance.
9. Whitmore - Ran well last out; Can he take a step forward in the Ark. Derby?
10. Majesto - Big, well built horse; came home decently in the Florida Derby.
11. Suddenbreakingnews - Will need to be in top 2 or 3 in Ark. Derby to make KD.
12. Trojan Nation - Has an excellent pedigree for the KD distance.
Nice list.
Matt Converse
Posts: 3045
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: San Francisco

Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:58 pm

MySaladDays wrote: I don't even like to see small equipment changes in the weeks before the derby.
Might depend on the horse. Worked wonders for Whirlaway and Sea Hero.
tcw
Posts: 1089
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:18 am

Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:38 pm

1. Nyquist - Undefeated and also closed well going 9f. Also question his last BSF considering the drying out track condition. Appears to be training well at Keeneland.
2. Creator - Closed well in Ark. Derby after going from 11th at the 3/4's pole to 1st at the top of the stretch; Also has outstanding pedigree for 10f as his dam was a graded winner going 12f and finished 3rd going 10f.
3. Exaggerator - Can he duplicate or even improve next out in the KD if the track is fast? If so, he should be in the mix assuming he can negotiate traffic.
4. Gun Runner - Has the pedigree to stretch out to 10f and has been consistent, but would have preferred a shorter layoff until KD.
5. Mor Spirit - A grinder who will need to improve and run faster if he's to have an impact on the first Saturday in May.
6. Brody's Cause - see above; seems to run best at Keeneland.
7. Destin - Would be up near the top of the list with a 9f prep and without the 8 week layoff.
8. Suddenbreakingnews - Closed well for 2nd n Ark. Derby, but wasn't able to gain ground late on the winner.
9. My Man Sam - Closed well for 2nd in Blue Grass; has excellent stamina influence on dam's side of pedigree.
10. Whitmore - Finished 3rd in Ark. Derby; Seems to usually be around, although not on top, at the finish line.
11. Majesto - Big, well built horse; came home decently in the Florida Derby.
12. Trojan Nation - Has an excellent pedigree for the KD distance.
Spahny
Posts: 968
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:02 pm

Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:20 pm

At this point I have to pick Exaggerator. Fast track or wet. Maybe I could be convinced by someone here that prepping a horse properly for the Derby is meaningless. And that the horse's steady progression through that process is a rainy, foggy mirage.
Matt Converse
Posts: 3045
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: San Francisco

Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:12 pm

Top 15 Final prep Beyers
1. Exaggerator-103
2. Destin-100
3. Creator-96
4. Suddenbreakingnews-94
5. Nyquist-94
5. Mor Spirit-94
6-Outwork-93
7-Trojan Nation-93
8-Whitmore-92
9-Brody's Cause-91
10-Gun Runner-91
11-Collected-90
12-Majesto-89
13-My Man Sam-88
14-Cherry Wine-88
15-Fellowship-87
Many improved in their final prep with added distance, a good sign. One very high profile horse dropped 7 pts. with added distance. Some feel the fastest horse is suspect on a dry track and the second fastest in suspect off a long layoff. Creator isn't looking so bad.
Matt Converse
Posts: 3045
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:10 pm
Location: San Francisco

Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:24 pm

Creator's pedigree isn't so bad either. I see Belmont winners, Derby & BC winners, and the sire of Personal Ensign.
Somnambulist
Posts: 7382
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:59 pm

Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:26 pm

Matt Converse wrote:Creator's pedigree isn't so bad either. I see Belmont winners, Derby & BC winners, and the sire of Personal Ensign.
Ancestry.com told me that I'm a DAR and that I'm directly related to English and Viking kings.

I'm still living paycheck to paycheck.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
Post Reply