Derby Lists 2017

Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby MySaladDays » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:27 pm

Somnambulist wrote:It has nothing to do with the Derby. I don't even know which of these horses I would trust to win against each other in an allowance race.


Well I feel similarly challenged every year.

But, given some of the really beautiful pedigrees in this field, esp. many of the best and very potent broodmare sires with the influences of so many past KY Derby winners and other Classic winners, I just can't see them as anything but the high-level stakes horses that they are.

In which case maybe it's the trainers, not the horses, who are allowance-level. Or the US breeding stock. :lol:

Honestly, I find this field to be mostly beautifully bred though. If we want stayers we are going to have to get off the more-speed-than-stamina obsession that makes Classic distances the exception, rather than the rule, in American racing.

JMHO.
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby MTO » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:35 pm

Is there a web site that has the PP for the potential Derby runners?
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby peeptoad » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:38 pm

MTO wrote:Is there a web site that has the PP for the potential Derby runners?


http://interactives.courier-journal.com/docs/derby2017/derby.pdf
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby Somnambulist » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:52 pm

MySaladDays wrote:
Somnambulist wrote:It has nothing to do with the Derby. I don't even know which of these horses I would trust to win against each other in an allowance race.


Well I feel similarly challenged every year.

But, given some of the really beautiful pedigrees in this field, esp. many of the best and very potent broodmare sires with the influences of so many past KY Derby winners and other Classic winners, I just can't see them as anything but the high-level stakes horses that they are.

In which case maybe it's the trainers, not the horses, who are allowance-level. Or the US breeding stock. :lol:

Honestly, I find this field to be mostly beautifully bred though. If we want stayers we are going to have to get off the more-speed-than-stamina obsession that makes Classic distances the exception, rather than the rule, in American racing.

JMHO.


Well that's fine. Everyone can have their opinion.

I am really not even speaking about this race in particular. This is just another race and I don't get why I should feel differently about this one vs others. I might feel the same about an overnight stakes race running tomorrow but no one talks about those here.

I think you and I are talking about different things honestly
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby MySaladDays » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:10 pm

Somnambulist wrote:I think you and I are talking about different things honestly


I get ya.

I think this is a race for which we have more information than most other races, is why people get into it so much. Plus, like the Melbourne Cup etc. it is "our" big race.

(Of course, the every day detailed info you get on horses at Sha Tin is miles above this, but I've just gotten used to being in the dark somewhat with American racing.)

But you are right.......it's just one race. (but the pools are pretty healthy, which makes wagering kinda alluring).
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby ElPrado2 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:51 pm

If they are the same horses, it would make no difference if it is the Derby, a lesser stakes, an allowance or a $2,500 claimer. The horse just goes out to the track, gets saddled, someone jumps on him and eventually he is shoved into the starting hate and then told to go. His training is no different.
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby Big Ten » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:18 pm

The more I replay the preps, the more I believe Irish War Cry will win the Kentucky Derby for New Jersey and for Curlin. He seems like another Dortmund but there is no American Pharoah or even Firing Line here. I don't think the pace will be very fast. He is a beautiful horse too.

IWC is the only Derby horse with a pair of triple figure BSFs. His 101s isn't very high but still higher than McCraken (95) or Gunnevera (97). The Holy Bull and FOY where IWC and Gunnevera raced against each other and beat each other is the most formful for me. Classic Empire did lost to both of them in that FOY. Those races reminded me of the San Vicente of last year when Nyquist and Exaggerator went 1-2 only to repeat it in the Derby.

Irish War Cry (ala Affirmed)
Gunnevera (ala Alydar)
McCraken
Classic Empire

Another chalky affair by a pair of chestnuts. Kennedy is pretty much spot on with his Top 3. I have the same but in different order and don't like Tapwrit that much. Just depends on the pace. Too fast, and I like Gunnevera or McCraken to catch IWC. Slow or moderate, and IWC hangs on which I believe will happen. Replay the Derbies from 2014-2016, and that's how I see this Derby unfold.

I wasn't really that impressed with his Wood with the slow final 1/8th but it was good enough and earned the highest BSF among the last major preps. Although that prep hasn't made any impact since 2003. Most of the other horses I like are plodders that will deal with traffic one way or another, so Irish War Cry it is.

$10 Exacta Box
IWC w/ Gunnevera (like Nyquist/Exaggerator exacta)
IWC w/ McCraken

$5 Exacta Box
IWC w/ Classic Empire

Another $50 to win on IWC.
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby Treve » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:42 pm

1. Classic Empire
He's been my number one for a long time, be that though I tried to talk myself off him right from the beginning of the 2017 season. It's hard to ignore my gut. Regardless of his campaign not being ideal, I feel a little better knowing Casse said he's only missed about 10 days total of training when taking into account all of his issues. His first prep of the season is a toss, and in fact not really that bad when you consider the only two horses who have ever managed to beat him figure in the top 5 of many Derby lists, and they did so while he was running on an abscessed foot. There's a lot to like about him - one of the few multiple G1-winning horses in the gate, he's been in stretch battles and won so he won't be afraid of a fight and won't back down if challenged. His Arkansas Derby was everything you want to see in terms of overcoming adversity and being capable of winning in spite of having nothing go your way. As others have pointed out it was a pretty Derby like run. First time being so far back and not where he prefers, first time taking a ridiculous amount of dirt, first time being boxed in between horses at each side, front and behind, being forced wide at the end and still finish running. That revealed he is a horse who does not need his favourite spot and showed enough of versatility. Granted he switched his lead at the last minute but that gave him a burst of speed and he won under a hand ride pulling away. Only half a second slower than older males at the same distance on a track known to be deep and tiring on an extremely humid day. I also believe his Beyer to be a toss, Whitmore was a hair off the track record that day and received a 100. And due to him not only winning but how he won, I think he got exactly the race he needed to tune up his fitness. If that's not enough, he's also 2 for 2 over the surface at his home track, Churchill so that is not an unknown and that may give him yet another edge. It's hard to know if that'll be enough for him on Derby Day, but given his effort and the projected spacing, I think it'll be just right. Pedigree is no question. This horse's greatest enemy is himself, provided he stays happy and keeps his game face on I have a hard time seeing anyone finish ahead of him.

2. Always Dreaming
The prep with the most show of brilliant speed at 9f and arguably the best of the final Derby preps overall. He is clearly a very talented player and there aren't many knocks against him, but just enough questions that I rank him behind Classic Empire on my list. While Pletcher was probably smart to be patient and wait for him to break his maiden before throwing him into Graded stakes company, that leaves him with only one start in a Stakes race, and so for me the question of experience comes up. He also has never been in a stretch battle and won (haven't seen his two year old races so I don't know if he's been in stretch battles and lost). Never ran at Churchill or a Churchill-like track. Pletcher factor. I'm not sure I love the long spacing from his last prep to Derby day, but on the other hand it cancels out the concerns I had that he might be a tired horse coming out of the race. His last work looked good even if it wasn't very fast I liked the way he was moving, but I will be curious to see how he moves over Churchill. I do think he's got the pedigree for the distance, and the ideal running style for a Derby winner. I also liked the fact he wasn't phased by having to check hard at the beginning of the Florida Derby, and while that doesn't mean he'll be unflappable about anything or everything thrown his way, it does bode well for him as a potential indicator of temperament. Will likely go off as the second or co-second favourite and deservedly so, I think there's a good chance he'll hit the board barring an excessively bad break or horrible trip. The biggest knocks against this horse are not flaws, but rather several unknowns.

3. Irish War Cry
I keep hesitating with him going back and forth between ranking him co-number 2 and co-number 3 or lone number 3. On the one hand, he's only had one loss. On the other hand I'm having trouble evaluating his 3 year old form, since his two first prep are a toss for me, and the third one was questionable. The first he was benefiting hugely from First Time Lasix in my opinion, an abscessed Classic Empire and a Gunnevera not getting his setup. The second was I think the bounce back reaction to the first time Lasix, and to me what confirms this is how he seems to have levelled out in his third race, but that one's also hard to gauge based on the track conditions and I don't think the time accurately reflect his best. So, nothing gobsmackingly spectacular, but in correspondence with his 2yo form. Some horses are more sensitive and for that reason I'm willing to overlook that ugly 7th, but if I'm willing to overlook that, it means, per my reasoning for overlooking it, I also have to treat his prior win with suspicion. He's not been in any real stretch battle either, and while Battalion Runner just doesn't seem to be that good, he at least didn't fold to him, which would have been pretty concerning. Based on raw ability I think he is less talented than the previous two at this point in time, but being a Curlin I'd expect him to improve throughout the year, and the next if given a chance. Pedigree wise it could go either way, not sure if he really wants to go further but he could be in the mix with a suitable pace and he's shown he can rate. He was out working on the tapeta this morning and apparently moving well but haven't seen him with my own eyes. Graham Motion is also an asset. The biggest question will be the distance, the track and his ability cap at this point in time.

4. Gunnevera
This horse is no doubt a hard worker, and he seems to do better the closer together that his races are. He's well raced and experienced in stakes company. He's mostly consistent in how he performs even though that isn't always enough to win. And he's done well to perform the way he has at Gulfstream in spite of the fact his running style is at a disadvantage. He comes home fast and works well, seems to have good stamina, and as far as the Florida Derby goes, while I did expect him to perform better, without expecting him to win however, that would have been his bounce race. He didn't need to win. Foundation isn't even a question with this horse, and I'm not sure a stretch battle is relevant given his run style. I do think in the Derby his preferred position in a race puts him at a huge disadvantage, and he will need a hot pace to close into, as well as luck to find his way through horses if he wants to get there on time. I do not know how he would feel about being closer than usual, perhaps blinkers would give him an edge. It is also worth noting that while he has run in Graded stakes company, he has failed to win a G1. I do have questions as to whether he will be tired coming in, but since he seems to perform better when his races are closer together, I am choosing to take that angle rather than the tired one. Lastly he hasn't ran at Churchill before so he may or may not like it. This horse's biggest knock is his running style.

5. McCraken
It's not that I think he's 5th most likely to win or won't hit the board. He's a talented runner, who unfortunately suffered an injury setback, which affected his fitness. That might explain why he was blowing hard after his 3rd place effort last out, but I'm also concerned that even taking this into account, that was also his first time going further. On the other hand, he's been working very well since he's been back home at Churchill, showing good energy and looks keen to work, and like Classic Empire may benefit from a home track advantage. Like my boy CE, he's got a perfect record there, with an additional race. His run style seems generally suitable to the Derby even though it's further back than I'd like but since he doesn't need to be close to the pace, if the pace gets really hot he won't be at a disadvantage. The fact that when he was close to it however, he was unable to sustain his turn of foot will be concerning at a mile and a quarter unless he really gets his way. Which is easier said than done in the Kentucky Derby. Logically he should relish the distance, but he certainly didn't finish his 9f like a horse who wants 10f. I do like that he came wide in his Sam F. Davis performance though. He hasn't won (or even ran in) a G1, and besides State of Honor, he hasn't beaten or faced anyone else on my Derby list. He's going to need a very good ride, and his greatest challenge will be the competition to distance ratio.

6. Thunder Snow
Some might find him to be a little high on my list. But given how weird this year is and how this crop appears mostly subpar, if there is any year for a foreign invader to hit the board, if not win, this could be it. Additionally he is the horse with the most experience in Graded stakes company (7) and has done well in the UK, France and obviously Dubai. Yes he's primarily from Europe and has won on Turf but seems better on dirt, and looks to get better with added distance. Which brings me to my next point - having won the UAE Derby in a respectable time he's also been the one to technically run as closely to the 10f distance than the rest of the field due to the 9.5f distance and the fact he broke from gate 13 and raced wide most of the way. He's also one of the few to have gotten caught up in a true stretch battle and have won. On the other hand, Meydan is a weird track, and it's not like the best 3yos on Dirt in the world rush to the UAE Derby so it's hard to gauge just how well he actually matches up against this competition. With Christophe Soumillon in the irons, this is a jockey who has ran and won in Japan and can handle a large field. However, I should hope he will get some rides the day before and on the undercard. I'm not sure I'm fond of the idea that he's shipping late and I don't like his issue with changing leads. This horse's greatest obstacles are training questions, the foreign factor and the long journey to Kentucky.

7. Hence
8. State of Honor
9. Girvin
10. Lookin At Lee *

* = indicates the horse either needs a defection, supplementation or final decision

This post will be updated with my thoughts on the remaining four eventually.
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby Apollo » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:53 pm

Treve wrote:1. Classic Empire
He's been my number one for a long time, be that though I tried to talk myself off him right from the beginning of the 2017 season. It's hard to ignore my gut. Regardless of his campaign not being ideal, I feel a little better knowing Casse said he's only missed about 10 days total of training when taking into account all of his issues. His first prep of the season is a toss, and in fact not really that bad when you consider the only two horses who have ever managed to beat him figure in the top 5 of many Derby lists, and they did so while he was running on an abscessed foot. There's a lot to like about him - one of the few multiple G1-winning horses in the gate, he's been in stretch battles and won so he won't be afraid of a fight and won't back down if challenged. His Arkansas Derby was everything you want to see in terms of overcoming adversity and being capable of winning in spite of having nothing go your way. As others have pointed out it was a pretty Derby like run. First time being so far back and not where he prefers, first time taking a ridiculous amount of dirt, first time being boxed in between horses at each side, front and behind, being forced wide at the end and still finish running. That revealed he is a horse who does not need his favourite spot and showed enough of versatility. Granted he switched his lead at the last minute but that gave him a burst of speed and he won under a hand ride pulling away. Only half a second slower than older males at the same distance on a track known to be deep and tiring on an extremely humid day. I also believe his Beyer to be a toss, Whitmore was a hair off the track record that day and received a 100. And due to him not only winning but how he won, I think he got exactly the race he needed to tune up his fitness. If that's not enough, he's also 2 for 2 over the surface at his home track, Churchill so that is not an unknown and that may give him yet another edge. It's hard to know if that'll be enough for him on Derby Day, but given his effort and the projected spacing, I think it'll be just right. Pedigree is no question. This horse's greatest enemy is himself, provided he stays happy and keeps his game face on I have a hard time seeing anyone finish ahead of him.

2. Always Dreaming
The prep with the most show of brilliant speed at 9f and arguably the best of the final Derby preps overall. He is clearly a very talented player and there aren't many knocks against him, but just enough questions that I rank him behind Classic Empire on my list. While Pletcher was probably smart to be patient and wait for him to break his maiden before throwing him into Graded stakes company, that leaves him with only one start in a Stakes race, and so for me the question of experience comes up. He also has never been in a stretch battle and won (haven't seen his two year old races so I don't know if he's been in stretch battles and lost). Never ran at Churchill or a Churchill-like track. Pletcher factor. I'm not sure I love the long spacing from his last prep to Derby day, but on the other hand it cancels out the concerns I had that he might be a tired horse coming out of the race. His last work looked good even if it wasn't very fast I liked the way he was moving, but I will be curious to see how he moves over Churchill. I do think he's got the pedigree for the distance, and the ideal running style for a Derby winner. I also liked the fact he wasn't phased by having to check hard at the beginning of the Florida Derby, and while that doesn't mean he'll be unflappable about anything or everything thrown his way, it does bode well for him as a potential indicator of temperament. Will likely go off as the second or co-second favourite and deservedly so, I think there's a good chance he'll hit the board barring an excessively bad break or horrible trip. The biggest knocks against this horse are not flaws, but rather several unknowns.

3. Irish War Cry
I keep hesitating with him going back and forth between ranking him co-number 2 and co-number 3 or lone number 3. On the one hand, he's only had one loss. On the other hand I'm having trouble evaluating his 3 year old form, since his two first prep are a toss for me, and the third one was questionable. The first he was benefiting hugely from First Time Lasix in my opinion, an abscessed Classic Empire and a Gunnevera not getting his setup. The second was I think the bounce back reaction to the first time Lasix, and to me what confirms this is how he seems to have levelled out in his third race, but that one's also hard to gauge based on the track conditions and I don't think the time accurately reflect his best. So, nothing gobsmackingly spectacular, but in correspondence with his 2yo form. Some horses are more sensitive and for that reason I'm willing to overlook that ugly 7th, but if I'm willing to overlook that, it means, per my reasoning for overlooking it, I also have to treat his prior win with suspicion. He's not been in any real stretch battle either, and while Battalion Runner just doesn't seem to be that good, he at least didn't fold to him, which would have been pretty concerning. Based on raw ability I think he is less talented than the previous two at this point in time, but being a Curlin I'd expect him to improve throughout the year, and the next if given a chance. Pedigree wise it could go either way, not sure if he really wants to go further but he could be in the mix with a suitable pace and he's shown he can rate. He was out working on the tapeta this morning and apparently moving well but haven't seen him with my own eyes. Graham Motion is also an asset. The biggest question will be the distance, the track and his ability cap at this point in time.

4. Gunnevera
This horse is no doubt a hard worker, and he seems to do better the closer together that his races are. He's well raced and experienced in stakes company. He's mostly consistent in how he performs even though that isn't always enough to win. And he's done well to perform the way he has at Gulfstream in spite of the fact his running style is at a disadvantage. He comes home fast and works well, seems to have good stamina, and as far as the Florida Derby goes, while I did expect him to perform better, without expecting him to win however, that would have been his bounce race. He didn't need to win. Foundation isn't even a question with this horse, and I'm not sure a stretch battle is relevant given his run style. I do think in the Derby his preferred position in a race puts him at a huge disadvantage, and he will need a hot pace to close into, as well as luck to find his way through horses if he wants to get there on time. I do not know how he would feel about being closer than usual, perhaps blinkers would give him an edge. It is also worth noting that while he has run in Graded stakes company, he has failed to win a G1. I do have questions as to whether he will be tired coming in, but since he seems to perform better when his races are closer together, I am choosing to take that angle rather than the tired one. Lastly he hasn't ran at Churchill before so he may or may not like it. This horse's biggest knock is his running style.

5. McCraken
It's not that I think he's 5th most likely to win or won't hit the board. He's a talented runner, who unfortunately suffered an injury setback, which affected his fitness. That might explain why he was blowing hard after his 3rd place effort last out, but I'm also concerned that even taking this into account, that was also his first time going further. On the other hand, he's been working very well since he's been back home at Churchill, showing good energy and looks keen to work, and like Classic Empire may benefit from a home track advantage. Like my boy CE, he's got a perfect record there, with an additional race. His run style seems generally suitable to the Derby even though it's further back than I'd like but since he doesn't need to be close to the pace, if the pace gets really hot he won't be at a disadvantage. The fact that when he was close to it however, he was unable to sustain his turn of foot will be concerning at a mile and a quarter unless he really gets his way. Which is easier said than done in the Kentucky Derby. Logically he should relish the distance, but he certainly didn't finish his 9f like a horse who wants 10f. I do like that he came wide in his Sam F. Davis performance though. He hasn't won (or even ran in) a G1, and besides State of Honor, he hasn't beaten or faced anyone else on my Derby list. He's going to need a very good ride, and his greatest challenge will be the competition to distance ratio.

6. Thunder Snow
Some might find him to be a little high on my list. But given how weird this year is and how this crop appears mostly subpar, if there is any year for a foreign invader to hit the board, if not win, this could be it. Additionally he is the horse with the most experience in Graded stakes company (7) and has done well in the UK, France and obviously Dubai. Yes he's primarily from Europe and has won on Turf but seems better on dirt, and looks to get better with added distance. Which brings me to my next point - having won the UAE Derby in a respectable time he's also been the one to technically run as closely to the 10f distance than the rest of the field due to the 9.5f distance and the fact he broke from gate 13 and raced wide most of the way. He's also one of the few to have gotten caught up in a true stretch battle and have won. On the other hand, Meydan is a weird track, and it's not like the best 3yos on Dirt in the world rush to the UAE Derby so it's hard to gauge just how well he actually matches up against this competition. With Christophe Soumillon in the irons, this is a jockey who has ran and won in Japan and can handle a large field. However, I should hope he will get some rides the day before and on the undercard. I'm not sure I'm fond of the idea that he's shipping late and I don't like his issue with changing leads. This horse's greatest obstacles are training questions, the foreign factor and the long journey to Kentucky.

7. Hence
8. State of Honor
9. Girvin
10. Lookin At Lee *

* = indicates the horse either needs a defection, supplementation or final decision

This post will be updated with my thoughts on the remaining four eventually.


That's the best summary I've seen anywhere so far. Of course, I guess I'm biased because your top two are the same as mine, albeit in reversed order.

Brilliant is the key word. The only hint I've seen of brilliance outside Mastery was from Always Dreaming in the Florida Derby. So I'll default there. Not complicated.

As you indicated, everything else used against Always Dreaming is mostly a guess, an unknown. It's hardly an unknown that stretch runners like Gunnevera have much the worst of it. Sure they'll Borel their way around the track and through the maze once in a while. Everyone raves. Big deal. I'm not impressed with outliers. Give me the logical trip from the stalking position and I'll take my chances. Everything from the Florida Derby indicates Always Dreaming is more adaptable than his sire.

I have no idea how Todd Pletcher can be viewed as a negative. I don't want those people handicapping anything meaningful for me. It's like when the voters in professional sports give coach of the year to some dullard merely because he took a team expected to go 5-11 and managed to go 9-7. That's mostly meaningless...normal distribution among moderate teams. The next year they'll drop to 6-10 again but nobody takes away the phony award. Give me instead the top guy who consistently finds a way to go 11-5 or 12-4 even if he flops in the playoffs. The bar stool dunces invariably knock that guy because it's convenient and nobody in the adjacent bar stool will disagree. If Todd Pletcher is the Marty Schottenheimer of this era of trainers, that's fine. Keep lining up and eventually the results normalize with level of ability. Todd Pletcher is so good that it's not impossible he could win this Derby and then follow up with another one very quickly. At that point there's talk of a dynasty and all the earlier skepticism seems silly. Give me that potential above the second and third tier trainers who show up with a Derby contender every 3-5 years. That type receives more credit than warranted.

I'm not a believer in Irish War Cry. That could be wrong but I have to take a stand somewhere. His style is okay but I think he's a cut below Always Dreaming and in the Holy Bull he defeated the shell of Classic Empire with the waddling Gunnevera taking his natural spot deep on the background. Gunnevera is like a supporting actor. I'll be surprised if that's not his role in Louisville.

If Irish War Cry had shown any brilliance in the Wood I would have more respect more him. It wasn't close to brilliance. I was annoyed at myself for not wagering on him in that mush field and at a second tier track in terms of recent Derby preparation. It confirmed my suspicion that Irish War Cry needs an ideal set of opponents and everything else perfectly in place. He mostly wobbled home.

Normally I would prefer the early class in Classic Empire. If he wins I won't be surprised and I'll be mostly relieved. This group for a month or more looked like it might spit out the most undeserving of Derby winners. But since Classic Empire has had such a strange journey as a 3 year old I have to believe it can't be fully overcome, so I pick the upstart Always Dreaming on top of him.
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Re: Derby Lists 2017

Postby Big Ten » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:59 pm

Tactical speed/closing speed Derby exactas

Affirmed/Alydar
Sunday Silence/Easy Goer
Nyquist/Exaggerator

Irish War Cry over Gunnevera or McCraken

McCracken-Gunnevera exacta is too dangerous to bet on. Need a speedy one in there. Both could end up with traffic trouble.

The sons of Curlin-Ghostzapper exacta would be pretty sweet. But Gunnevera seems more like Alydar to IWC's Affirmed. Irish War Cry has an Easy Goer resemblance, has same stripe face as Secretariat, and runs like Affirmed. Gunnevera is a darker chestnut with blinkers that closes like Alydar.

The Holy Bull wasn't the best prep but it was the most revealing especially for Classic Empire. Kinda cooled off him after reading an article about Mark Casse who went fishing and how his 2YOs don't improve. CE ran a distant 3rd and didn't validate that loss with a 94 Beyer in the Ark Derby. He hasn't improved since 2 and if he wasn't the 2yo champion, he and Girvin would be the same horse to me. Slow. Getting dusted by IWC and Gunn in the HB was legit.

Still taking a stand against Always Dreaming. Had CE and IWC been in the FL Derby, then the dynamic would change. He runs the fastest FL Derby since Alydar and only earns a 97 Beyer which matches Gunn's FOY. He won't win running splits like 1:09 and 1:34 in Churchill. In Gulfstream, sure. Speed wins there. I think the FL Derby is a bit of a mirage. Another fool's gold from Pletcher.

If Unique Bella had entered, I can see her be in the money like Eight Belles, but not necessarily winning it. I would like Gunn or McCraken chances to win if she was entered though. Mike Smith is riding the best 3yo male and female of the year along with the best 4yo male and female. What a superfecta. Can't wait for Mastery to return. The only 3YO that wowed me this year.

Majority of Triple Crown winners had early speed. Even the ones who failed at it like Silver Charm, Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, Big Brown, and California Chrome had it. I think if McCraken or Gunnevera win it, I don't believe they will win the Preakness ala Animal Kingdom. If IWC wins the Derby, then a good chance to win the Preakness. Not saying he will win the TC but he has a better chance at having a shot at it thanks to his tactical speed.

Hoping Irish War Cry gets a good post somewhere between 4-15. Thinking of including Battalion Runner because if I like IWC, I have to kinda like BR too for finishing 2nd and he will have 5x higher odds than Always Dreaming. I can see him hang on for 3rd. He earned a 95 for the Wood. That's one point higher than Classic Empire's Ark Derby and BR wasn't beaten as badly like CE did in the Holy Bull.

McCracken's Sam Davis track record performance was undervalued like the Florida Derby. Destin got a 106 when he set it two years ago. McCraken gets a 95. J Boys Echo gets 102 for the Gotham with a 1:46+ final time. JBE then finishes behind McCraken in the Blue Grass. Gimme a break. That's fine. Better odds for me. Had he earned a 102-105, novice players would look at him in a different way. On par with Mastery and his 105 San Felipe.

I don't understand all the complaints about this being a slow crop or no standouts, blah blah. That is a great thing! More uncertainty means this is the perfect race to bet on. I don't wait for the Derby to bet on the chalk or to be right with little ROI. Want to win big money. I can't wait to make money on my Irish War Cry win ticket and exacta box with Gunnevera and McCraken. About $500+ if I hit.

Final
Irish War Cry
Gunnevera
McCraken
Battalion Runner

Like in 2014, the most beautiful horse in the field with a cool name will win the Kentucky Derby. Another Big Red on the 100th birthday for the original Big Red. This one is for you, New Jersey!

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Rock Hard Ten. Zenyatta. Justify. Cigar. Ghostzapper. Lava Man. California Chrome. Seattle Slew. Secretariat. Affirmed.
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