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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Derby Head to Head - Brian vs. Lisa

Essential Quality

Brian: 2yo Champion. Hard to knock and has done everything asked of him. But for me he doesn't demonstrate the brilliance necessary. He reminds me of 2 other sons of Tapit… Frosted and Mohaymen. And I think he's more likely to finish 4th, as they did, then win the Derby.

Lisa: Undefeated. Tapit Stamina. Showed speed on a sloppy surface. Showed grit and determination to beat the speedy Highly Motivated at 9f. All qualities of a Derby Champ but I believe there are two better on this field. An easy call here for a must use somewhere on that super. Extremely vulnerable for a win though.


Rock Your World

Brian: I LOVE everything about him. Stamina monster. He'll be sitting just off the leader. He wants to run the track twice. He'll have Joel Rosario. Only unknown is the slop. If it's dry, he's as close to a Single as it gets.

Lisa: He'll be at the very top of my super ticket because of his displayed speed coupled with his crazy stamina and his style of running. Major questions concerning a sloppy win though, which will force me to spread him across the board if it rains. First time I believe that I will not be wishing for that scenario. He has the finest and highest qualities for a Derby Champion, and his determination is off the charts. WINNER.


Known Agenda

Brian: I've liked him since his maiden race back in November where he beat Greatest Honour at 9F. He already owns 3 wins at 9F, and adding blinkers has put him into the race sooner and with more focus. He'll be sitting in the 2nd flight w/ HRC (I loathe those initials). Bonus note: We know from the Fla Derby, he can run a race when stuck on the inside. Few can say that. Very live.

Lisa: The only thing I truly like about this horse is that he is sitting on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Mandaloun (speed category). That stamina spot at the bottom has been doing well lately. His triads are bad and his last race was tolerable but unimpressive. Because of his location on that field as it pertains to "Speed vs. Stamina", I'll use him underneath but I won't be too thrilled about it, but I'll be less thrilled if I miss by one again.


Hot Rod Charlie

Brian: Love his versatility. In the Derby, I think he sits in the 2nd flight, and has an opportunity to get first jump. I'm not sure I place him as a win contender, but I think he's got Board hit pedigree and performances.

Lisa: If Oxbow is really adding to his endurance this guy has every shot in the world to make it. I keep seeing Lookin at Lee every time I see his name. Killer 9.5f prep breaking a track record. Gotta give him the shot on your ticket just in case he grabs hold of his sire. He needs him on May 1st.


Super Stock

Brian: No. He ran his best race in the Arkansas Derby. Got a perfect trip and set up. That’s not happening again. Toss.

Lisa: Gorgeous triads with a 3.00 index is very hard to toss in the Derby. Performances are greatly under par though. Asmussen is very cool and he always seems to find a magic touch in the big game. I feel Super Stock may be a bit stagnant but with some of the recent defections, his balance may lean greater on his side at this distance. The configurations are keeping him on the side for me, for now. I need to see him in the post parade before final judgement.


Like the King

Brian: He's a tough one because his pedigree is solid, although I'd like to see more robust Triads. His lack of dirt performance, coupled with some others I like better, makes him a likely Toss for me.

Lisa: This horse scares me. His numbers are killer for this race but not sure which horse is going to show up. I don't want to toss those numbers but I'm also not keen on those PP's. Because of Mr. Big News last year, (perfect numbers but showed no speed prior, just like this guy) it looks like I will need to hold on to him until the bitter end - if it's a clean track I will most likely spend the extra and use him at the very bottom of my super. That's called superstitious!



Brian: Totally pace dependent. He's got the distance, but he'll be coming from too far back to make a difference, unless there is an absolute pace meltdown. Likely Toss.

Lisa: The only thing perplexing is that he gained ground at Parx on a sloppy surface and then came back and toppled that group at Aqueduct. Two sides of the spectrum and he was proficient at both. Terribly slow in the Wood but he was not responsible for the pace. He is another whose analysis will be changed, in the meantime, I'll keep him on the side and forego tossing for now. He remains in limbo for the time being.


Medina Spirit

Brian: I really like him, but I wonder if he's peaked, and starting to get tired. He reminds me of another spirited Baffert horse… Mor Spirit. Never worse than 2nd, but kind of one paced and plodding. I guess he's a use underneath due to pedigree and Baffert, but I'd guess he's more like a 6th/7th place finisher.

Lisa: I have soured on this guy over the past couple weeks but the fact remains, he's in Baffert's barn. Magically, he will probably find extra endurance at the tail end of this race. There is zero shot at a win here but the trainer feels he deserves those roses by any means necessary. I don't even like him for a board hit since the true field has been assembled but unfortunately with that "Baffert Factor" there is no choice but to use him - somewhere.


Midnight Bourbon

Brian: Toss. Love Mike Smith, but he's not enough. This horse will get caught up in the early pace, and it will undo him. 7th-10th finish.

Lisa: This guy has no shot in this race. He belongs in the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile or the Pennsylvania Derby at Parx. He reminds me so much of McKinzie, same type of breeding. He won't be last on this field but he won't be anywhere near those 10f players up front.



Brian: This guy is way better than the LA Derby showed. If Florent can get him to settle early, and sit nicely in the 2nd flight, I think he can be a factor. An inside post will not help this long striding horse. He needs clear running room, tucked in on the first turn. He needs an Animal Kingdom/I'll Have Another type of trip. Definitely worth using underneath.

Lisa: He gains extra lengths in the mud and would be a must use if it rains. On a clean track, he could be a straggler towards the front of the second tier, which means he has a shot at 3rd or 4th. I'm tossing his last and sticking with his ability at board hit material, but I would feel much more confident with this guy if it does indeed rain. Highest inbred speed on the field with killer triads. That must remain for me. Bottom spots.


Caddo River

Brian: He'll be a casualty of the pace. And he will be the pace in this race. Based on all of the early speed horses, I expect 22.4, and 46.0. He'll finish near the rear of the field. Toss.

Lisa: He is lacking in Derby Configurations even with his strong 10f capability. Against the likes of Rock Your World and the tank, Sainthood, this guy would be best kept in his barn and away from a starting gate.


Highly Motivated

Brian: My biggest question mark. His pedigree suggests he can get the distance. His numbers are very near the top of the class. And yet, I see a miler. I see a horse who went two turns w/ EQ, but only after setting cupcake fractions. He scares me, and depending on how things shake out, I may have to spend the $$ and use him.

Lisa: There is no question here if we see a sloppy track on Derby Day. With his triads and the most inbred speed out of the stamina category, he will gain extra lengths in the mud. He is fast enough to grab a small piece underneath if he stays out of trouble. I view him in the same way as his half brother Soup and Sandwich. There is a will and determination that allows for hope for a small board hit with their Into Mischief speed. Keeper.



Brian: His sustained run at Tampa was kind of Freaky. And yet, the figs for that race were terrible. He's running after only having 3 races, only one this year, off an 8 week layoff, and never going past 8.5F. All of that… Yuck. And yet I can't unsee that run at Tampa. He might land on a few of my tickets, but I think he probably comes up short.

Lisa: Undefeated for Casse but will have Julien Leparoux on his back. That's all that needs to be said. Toss.


Soup and Sandwich

Brian: A week ago, I was not feeling him. Now, I'm definitely warming up. Into Mischief over Tapit. Will be forwardly placed, but doesn’t need the lead. I loved his workout last weekend. If he can rate, I think he can be there heading into the stretch. He is eligible to take another step forward. He's a board hit possibility for me.

Lisa: No denying that Tapit stamina and that Into Mischief speed. He has the best set of board hit numbers in that top speed category. He has shown his class in each of his 3 races and those odds will be spectacular if he doesn't get himself into any trouble with a 20 horse field. A major live longshot with Panadol out. Board Hit Material and a major keeper for me.


Hidden Stash

Brian: Very consistent, but just not real fast. He's steady, but unspectacular. 10th-15th finish. Toss.

Lisa: He is holding more stamina than speed which throws his balance off. That being said, he will perform better at the 10f distance than he has to date and he always gains ground, finding his way onto that Super. After writing the analysis I looked deeper and his is one that I will be updating soon. He is a second generation Tapit horse sporting a 3.67 chef index. That pedigree is in line with Soup and Sandwich which means he deserves respect. He is built better for 10f and he has inbred speed which will be reserved. Keeper for Underneath.


Dream Shake

Brian: I think this guy could win the Pat Day Mile. His pedigree is beautiful and with more seasoning, he could be a player, but I don’t see it here. He's lost twice in a row to Medina Spirit and I don't think he's making a huge leap now. Toss.

Lisa: Descendants of Candy Ride usually steal my heart. His offspring's configurations usually stand out. But this colt's two relative races are lacking on the late end and are not up to par with either Candy Ride or his numbers. Can't stand with that at all.


O Besos

Brian: A. I have a soft spot for Orb. B. LA Derby near misses have often done well to hit the board in the Derby. Maybe due to the similarly long stretch run. That being said, I do like this guy. He has 5 progressively improving figures, and he finishes every time. With the expected quick pace, he could sit a nice trip. He's another who has run well, while inside of horses. I'll be using him.

Lisa: Very near perfect sets of configurations for what actually wins historically. Always gains and passes horses no matter distance and no matter bias. Late comers usually have killer betting odds and with his pedigree, the profitability with this type of breeding for this particular race is worth every penny of the shot. He will grace every one of my tickets, however, I will not rely on him in any one spot. Keeper.


Get Her Number

Brian: Definitely a mid-level Derby type horse. I don't see him making an impact here. Toss.

Lisa: I gave this horse 2 stars back on Sept 26th of 2020 and I'm sticking to it. He was lucky to secure a gate and he appears to be way out of his league here.



Brian: This guy has been begging for more distance. What I love so far is that he's run on the front end of races that are too short for him. When he does that in the Derby, and those without stamina collapse, he'll still be running. He's the youngest horse in the field, and very much on the improve. I'm interested to see who he picks up as a jock. Also... I've never seen a 3rd Triad # of 25 as this guy shows... He's going to run his best race in the Derby with a clean trip.

Lisa: For me, this race is between Rock Your World and Sainthood. They are both built perfectly for the race, they both have the perfect style and I'm gonna love those odds on this guy. His time comes at this distance. His stock will probably drop dramatically if it rains on Derby Day but I still wouldn't discount this stamina guy completely because of his style if its muddy. He is a must use on a clean track and if he continues his wicked progression, I see him as the main threat to the big guy, Rock Your World.


Dynamic One

Brian: He has potential, but he definitely has both pros and cons. Pro: He has the distance pedigree, he's run multiple races at 9F, and he can be forwardly placed.. Maybe 3rd flight… Con: He's not as fast as some, nor does he have the stamina of some… So he is kind of a tweener.... I could see him getting up for 4th, or he could plod along to 8th.... Possible for the bottom of some tickets.

Lisa: With the talent on this field, along with the top notch breeding on the separate ends of the spectrum that will be sitting in the other gates, his single Grade 2, second place finish is way too immature and his class is way under this group of talent. I think Pletcher has a better shot with his other.



1st - Rock Your World

2nd - Known Agenda

3rd - Sainthood

4th - Essential Quality

O'Besos - "Top Extra Add" to Ticket

Must Use Underneath on Clean Track:


Hot Rod Charlie

Dynamic One

Highly Motivated



1st - Rock Your World

2nd - Hot Rod Charlie

3rd - Sainthood

4th - Essential Quality

Like the King - "Top Extra Add" to Ticket

Must Use Underneath on Clean Track:

Soup and Sandwich (gate assignment cripples his shot now)

Known Agenda


O Besos

Of course, these picks are extremely preliminary and will most likely change several times before the big day based on gate assignments and the weather. The extras are for going deep on the lower end of a super, but again, post positions and rain would definitely disrupt things. Plus, both of us generally configure everything and come up with final top picks during the post parade.

(I know, I keep changing the order of my picks, but the defections and additions keep changing!)


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