Derby Lists 2017

Somnambulist
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:00 pm

If he's conceding ground late in the Ark Derby why would he be dangerous in the Preakness? Unless it's dangerous to not win!

I only hope they nominate him so we get the Conquest memes.
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Somnambulist
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:02 pm

All these horses are untrustworthy.
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peeptoad
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:06 pm

Tessablue wrote:I'm happy to hear that you agree, I felt kind of crazy putting him up there! I'm uncertain where he sits in terms of likely winners because I'm having a lot of trouble evaluating Irish War Cry and Always Dreaming, but he's certainly up there for me. I think I read that we'll find out if he's running tomorrow. Would love to see him run but can't blame the connections if they pass, he's already a great success story- I wonder how on earth a horse with his pedigree went for only 8.5k?

Also, a potentially important new development- the Sunland Derby has been revised to a 97, up from a 93. This puts Hence right up there in terms of final Derby preps.
I don't have a Derby list but I have a loose mental ranking and I'm not sure exactly where Hence fits in that yet. I need to watch his last race and the previous one again. I don't necessarily compare horses directly to each other, but it certainly can't hurt that the horse he beat came back and ran well.
Treve wrote:
I agree with both of you. I don't love him for the Derby but he's an impressive horse. I am a bit chilly about placing him up high because he was passed late both times and especially in the Ark Derby, I don't like that it happened after he slowed the pace down and controlled it. I don't think he would win the KY Derby, but he'd be an interesting addition to the mix. He's on my Derby list anyway. I do think he'd be a dangerous horse in the Preakness, however.
Yeah, I'm cautious with my mental ranking of him. He does seem far less likely to win outright vs horses like CE, War Cry, et al, but he's improving steadily at the right time, which the connections should feel good about if they choose to go to the Derby with him.
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Treve
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:09 pm

Somnambulist wrote:If he's conceding ground late in the Ark Derby why would he be dangerous in the Preakness? Unless it's dangerous to not win!

I only hope they nominate him so we get the Conquest memes.
Not sure there will be any more Conquest memes since I thought he was part of the conquest dispersal? But perhaps some anonymous twitter hero can carry on the legacy.

Should have clarified that I think he'll be dangerous in the Preakness if he bypasses the Derby. I think he can stretch out to 9.5 provided he's ridden intelligently and if he's capable of sitting back a little or press instead of trying to set the pace. He may still have the altitude training effect going for him by that point, and he will have less horses to worry about closing late. (Well unless 10 closers enter the Preakness but given the amount of late closers in the Arkansas Derby he did pretty well to hang on for second).
I could be wrong, though.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


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ElPrado2
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:25 pm

I'm a happy camper on the Hence line. I just stole him in my fantasy stable auction. The Sunland Derby caught my eye. Now he's tossing bullet works around at Churchill. He likes the track.
Tessablue
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:28 pm

I normally don't like horses who lose ground or get passed late like he did, but I'm willing to forgive him because 1) he was used so hard early, only to get caught wide and hung out in front of a brutally fast pace and 2) he only got passed late because he was up against the 2yo champion/ potentially the best horse in the crop (and on the rewatch, he was hooked with Malagacy at probably never saw CE coming). We've had a few Derbys in recent years which projected to have a fast pace but instead were fairly moderate. If that happens and he ends up with a good trip, I think he could really surprise people at what would be an excellent price. He doesn't have any quit in him and that's a good feature for a front-end Derby horse.

Interested to hear your thoughts on Hence, peep. I loved the sustained run he made in the Sunland Derby, but his race prior is a mystery and I don't know that Asmussen has ever offered an explanation for it.
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ElPrado2
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:37 pm

From what I remember, Hence has already raced and won at CD.
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Treve
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:45 pm

I will give him that he's a consistent trier, and provided he has a good trip and either controls the pace or can relax in a stalking position, he should at least make some noise in the exotics if he goes to the Derby. I also just realised that Conquest Mo Money is facing the curse of Apollo too, which superstitious aspects aside even if you decide to overlook the plausible explanations for the curse, is a lot of history to challenge. Then again it has been such a weird year, this could be one where many trends are bucked.

Hence has raced at CD but lost. Not badly - he placed 2nd and per the chart: duelled early, shifted into the three path in the turn, continued to duel in the stretch and gave in late. He did win over the Oaklawn surface though.
A filly named Ruffian...

Eine Stute namens Danedream...

Une pouliche se nommant Trêve...

Kincsem nevű kanca...


And a Queen named Beholder
Tessablue
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:57 pm

I just watched that CD race and it was pretty good for a horse who turned into a closer. His maiden win was wild though- had a clear lead with an eighth to go but shied and ducked in, almost bounced off the rail and lost all momentum, then re-rallied in the final sixteenth. Looks like he was a horse who needed quite a few races to mature.
Kennedy
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:01 pm

Final Top 10

1. McCraken (1)
2. Gunnevera (2)
3. Classic Empire (new)
4. Tapwrit (3)
5. Irish War Cry (4)
6. Hence (10)
7. Girvin (5)
8. Always Dreaming (new)
9. Conquest Mo Money (new)
10. J Boys Echo (9)

Dropped: Petrov (6), Malagacy (7), Untrapped (8)

So the field is all but set and among my top 5 it feels like I’ve come full circle after including both Classic Empire and Irish War Cry in my original top 5 last December and dropping them both after some bad starts and then finally bringing them back as they won final major preps.

I think it’s fair to say that the Derby trail seems to have featured a lot of ordinary horses and this collection of ordinary horses have produced a series of results that may have been more predictable than dependable. I only say they’re predictable in the sense that you could count on really any member of the established class running poorly and just about anyone had a chance to get back on terms because no one stepped up and distanced themselves from the rest.

It’s for that reason that I’ve done a 180 on Always Dreaming after initially ignoring him from my top 10. I still don’t love his chances but is he among the 10 most likely winners? Of course he is.

The Arkansas Derby was another typical prep in that I’d say the race that the winner ran was good but it was also the type of race that many other horses can run and perhaps would have run if you redid the Ark Derby a few times.

I expect the Derby to be much the same in that while the winner may run really well in order to win the Derby it won’t necessarily make them a superior horse to the rest of the crop. I think this is a groupd that will take turns running well and because of that there are going to be a lot of Derby entrants with really defensible chances.

I think the horse who has maybe done the most without doing anything is Hence. The Sunland Derby looks pretty live in retrospect and I think you’ll see a good amount of wise guy support for this horse. After all he was way better than Conquest Mo Money and Irap. Now he gets the upgraded BSF and he had solid closing fractions. He’ll be pretty live on the board I’d suspect. My worry with him though is really just whether or not he’s grown up enough. The eye test should give us some bearing but I think I’ll like him less the more popular he becomes unless we really see him fill out and muscle up.

I’d say any of my top 10 have a winners chance but I definitely prefer McCraken. In a year of bounce backs it’s his turn next. I also see a healthy amount of speed in the race. Everything should setup perfectly for him and I think he’s handier than Gunnevera.
Apollo
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Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:01 pm

I forgot to mention Classic Empire. Racing is always best served when the 2 year old champion translates dominance to 3. That's what made the '70s so special when I was a teenager. You could isolate the horse and follow his schedule. The schedule was actually somewhat crowded in those days.

What a concept.

Then the subsequent generation got robbed when the 2 year old champ generally wasn't much. It rarely was worth following him into 3 and you actually had fans who made a point to throw out that horse. I think it was one of the reasons American Pharoah was ridiculously doubted deep into his Classic campaign. For those of us who followed the '70s legends in real time it was a familiar pattern and not difficult to project a comparatively dull Derby effort leading to a more dominant Preakness and cruising Belmont. The younger fans who wasted time desperately rooting for Smarty Jones types either didn't believe in American Pharoah throughout or thought he would be yet another New York disappointment.

Classic Empire isn't on American Pharoah's level but I was thrilled at his Arkansas Derby rally and that the early class horse will get his chance in Louisville. His trip is difficult to project. That's why I prefer Always Dreaming above. The latter looks like an improved and more tactical version of his sire Bodemeister. With Classic Empire if he gets stuck in the Derby he's going to have to spring clear and chase down somebody considerably more formidable than Malagacy.

The kicker with Classic Empire is I don't see how anyone can back him in the Kentucky Derby if you didn't have him in the Arkansas Derby. Otherwise you bypassed the soft spot with the value price and now are inheriting dozens more variables and nearly ten more horses, all for a price that won't be appropriately more rewarding. For a matchup bettor like myself that type of thing doesn't always come into play if he's matched against a vulnerable horse in a one-on-one situation. But I don't see how it can be ignored from a parimutuel standpoint.
peeptoad
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Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:06 pm

Tessablue wrote: Interested to hear your thoughts on Hence, peep. I loved the sustained run he made in the Sunland Derby, but his race prior is a mystery and I don't know that Asmussen has ever offered an explanation for it.
To compare them coming out of that one common race I actually prefer Mo Money slightly because of his running style. That might be negated by Hence being more likely to appreciate the added distance. Hence seems more pace dependent to me. Mo Money has taken greater adversity (and overcome some of it). He's a horse I toss with a bad post or if it seems a torrid early pace is likely, but otherwise I prefer him slightly to Hence and give him a shot to hit the board. They both should be pretty decent prices and I'll likely use both underneath, at least.

I think the ultimate result, as in any race, will be partially dependent on how the early pace unfolds, and much of that may lie with horses like Battle of Midway and Fast and Accurate, that are more up against it. That might result in a solid early pace, advantage Gunnevera, McCraken, Hence, etc. If the pace is more moderate it would favor horses like Always Dreaming, IWC, Mo Money, and possibly Classic Empire. The latter might be more adaptable when he's at his best, but he's erratic and has had setbacks.
I don't have really strong feelings about any individual horses, but there are ones that more certain for the outright win vs others. Doesn't mean any one of them couldn't win it all.
Based on that general line of thinking:


McCraken- I think needed the last one and was up against it closing into the slow early pace of the BG. If he takes to 10F then he's the most likely winner imo
Classic Empire- when he's right he's tough but he also has had setbacks both mentally and physically.
Gunnevera- would benefit from a solid to fast early pace, less likely to close if the pace is slower and his last was a bit ho hum
Irish War Cry
Always Dreaming- I won't personally be using him, but has a forward running style. I'm not convinced he can take adversity and still finish and his price will be chalky

the rest I give a varying & overall slightly lesser chance to win. These are some that I will likely use in win spot and underneath (with the chalk) because their prices will be better:
Girvin
Conquest Mo Money
Hence
J Boys Echo
Practical Joke
Lookin at Lee or Soneteer- if a fast early pace seems likely
MySaladDays
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Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:21 pm

Old picks, deleted
Last edited by MySaladDays on Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
stark
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Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:28 pm

IF this is the toteboard I'm looking at on Derby Day, I think I want to narrow my choices for key win betting down to just four horses where I consider the risk worth the reward, horses at odds between 12-1 and 15-1.

Classic Empire 5-1
Always Dreaming 6-1
Irish War Cry 6-1
McKraken 8-1
Gunnevera 12-1
Gormley 15-1
Girvin 15-1
Practical Joke 15-1

Irap 20-1
ThunderSnow 20-1
JBoysEcho 20-1
Tapwrit 20-1
Malagacy 20-1
Hence 20-1
Batallion Runner 20-1
Hence 20-1
Battle of Midway 30-1
StateofHonor 30-1
Untrapped 30-1
FastnAccurate 50/1

It just makes my handicapping easier when I only need to focus on 4 out 20 stalls. I'm avoiding those with too short of a price as well as those bombers the majority think have little chance of winning.

I'm betting the winner pays between $22 and $32. Do you think anybody else fits that profile?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
tcw
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Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:48 pm

Regarding Hence, he ran well and more importantly finished well going 9F last out, but one thing I don't like is the fact that his last race will have been 6 weeks out from the Derby. But given that fact, at least he's not TP-trained. If so, I would have given him virtually no chance.
peeptoad
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Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:51 am

peeptoad wrote:


McCraken- I think needed the last one and was up against it closing into the slow early pace of the BG. If he takes to 10F then he's the most likely winner imo
Classic Empire- when he's right he's tough but he also has had setbacks both mentally and physically.
Gunnevera- would benefit from a solid to fast early pace, less likely to close if the pace is slower and his last was a bit ho hum
Irish War Cry
Always Dreaming- I won't personally be using him, but has a forward running style. I'm not convinced he can take adversity and still finish and his price will be chalky

the rest I give a varying & overall slightly lesser chance to win. These are some that I will likely use in win spot and underneath (with the chalk) because their prices will be better:
Girvin
Hence
J Boys Echo
Practical Joke
Lookin at Lee or Soneteer- if a fast early pace seems likely
Of the likely chalkier horses I am liking Irish War Cry more after reviewing his races and pps for about the 4th time. He broke reasonably and was able to move up and stalk a fast pace in the Wood and still finish, albeit maybe not the fastest. If the pace is more reasonable in the Derby and he can carry that form, then he should fare okay (having all the same distance questions that the other need to answer as well).
I feel less positive about McCraken after the same review process, but who knows since he missed a race. CE is too erratic for me to feel confident about and, unless those 3 are compromised by the post draw and Always Dreaming is not, I will likely toss Always Dreaming from the top 2 spots anyway. I would need at least 7-1 or better to bet Always Dreaming and I think his price will be lower than that.
MySaladDays
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Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:58 pm

An early trial list, from a number of angles, I computed that the KY DERBY WINNER comes from these 7.

(has nothing to do with exotics, only winner of KY Derby). Then use whatever pedigree and track performance angles, which ones are snake-bit or not 10F horses, to eliminate 6 of 'em from the WIN spot :D

No order: Winner comes from here:

-Irap - less probable esp.w/ tiznow as sire
-Irish War Cry
-Always Dreaming
-Practical Joke
-Hence
-Battalion Runner
-Thunder Snow


Regardless of win list, Gunnevera will be on my ticket somewhere for SURE.
Last edited by MySaladDays on Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:17 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Big Ten
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Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:26 pm

Kennedy seems to be spot on with his top pick like it was in 2013 with Orb. Planning to bet plenty for McCraken. Son of Ghostzapper, 3 for 3 at CD, and a closing kick like Street Sense and his papa is all I need to know. Hoping to get 10-1 on the son of my #4 fav horse ever. The jockey shares the same last name as me as well.

McCraken is where it's crackin'. 8-)
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Somnambulist
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Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:28 pm

If McCracken has GZ's kick its only because it's the watered down one.
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Kennedy
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Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:35 pm

Personally I love this part of Derby trail. Where all the preps are run and we can just crunch the numbers and find enough angles to confuse ourselves.

It's a wonderful time of year!

My own personal number crunching does show what most people believe already. All the entrants have a least one statistical flaw that a potential backer would need to be willing to overlook. It comes down to which factors you think are most important!
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