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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2021 Kentucky Derby Analysis

Speed 3.10 and Over


Into Mischief – Brooch (Empire Maker)

DP = 2-3-1-0-0 (6) DI = 11.00 CD = 1.17

Mare Profile = 2-9-6-10-2 Speed = 11 Stamina = 12 Index = 0.95 Triads = 17-25-18

With the low 6 points total from the chefs, his mares will take over and they are perfect board hit numbers underneath a strong amount of inbred speed. The 18 in the final slot of the triads is just one point off (prefer it to be 19 or 20) but that small detail did not preclude Audible from grabbing his piece in the mud. The LA Derby was off and so should be a toss for this guy. His numbers are not winning numbers, however they are very strong for a board hit especially in the rain. He will gain lengths on a wet track and he will fly much easier on that surface. He is not quite as strong on a clean track, but just enough for possible lower end board hit.

UPDATE: The reason I believe this horse will be okay for a potential board hit is because the breeding and configurations of his numbers do not correspond to a track like Fairgrounds. On Mar 20th, something was even more askew with that bias. The fact that he pulled off the Remsen on a track that really doesn't suit him is quite an accomplishment and shows the talent. This horse would thrive at a track like Parx or Gulfstream. He will find greater footing back at Churchill, but he will need to travel further than the Remsen which isn't too far out of the realm with his 11.00 index. When you calculate his combined CD's - he actually reveals more endurance capability than his half brother Audible. (Audible gained extra lengths because it was a sloppy track that year.) Mandaloun's mares CD falls at a very low Negative .03 whereas Audible's mares CD was a positive .21 That is a large difference in Endurance. Believe it or not, his combined numbers fall EXACT with Authentic. And to top that off, they are also falling EXACT with his half-brother Soup and Sandwich and Soup has a 3.57 index. Even though Mandaloun has an 11.00 index, he only has two chefs to pull from Unbridled (BI) and Fappiano (IC) which will allow the mares influence to shine brighter. He has 3 strikes against him for a win. Only 6 points in chefs profile, the 11.00 index, the 1 point spread in mare balance. His mares are configured so well in the Classic distance that even with that 11.00 he still hits the mark. That is amazing. But a Win could never ever happen. He has board hit numbers and this horse has already proven that he can move on that track at Churchill. LOW BOARD HIT SLOTS ON SUPER.


Palace Malice – Like a Queen (Corinthian)

DP = 3-8-7-0-0 (18) DI = 4.14 CD = 0.78

Mare Profile = 7-4-0-7-11 Speed = 11 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.62 Triads = 11-11-18

After much scrutiny over the past week with this guy, I need a complete re-do. On the one hand, his triads are not quite as packed as we usually prefer, however underneath a 4.14 index it would not be as necessary to throw more speed towards his chefs, so in this case, the lower numbers on the front end are not a detrimental prospect. If the middle 11 in the triads were at least a 14, I would have felt a bit more confident from the beginning. On the other hand, it is obvious by his resume that he is leaning a great deal towards his mares (the higher end 18) and in turn, is not showing much speed. The horse has a 7 point spread leaning to stamina from those mares. This is not good for any of those shorter distances, no matter the surface and his sheets are proving that. The overextended amount of mare endurance absolutely works in the 10f Derby though, which is why I keep coming back to him. There is no doubt that he is packing more than enough genes to go the distance and he will pass tiring horses. To me, he is the exact opposite of Hot Rod Charlie - or better still - opposite but similar - in that Hot Rod Charlie has the speed but needs to rely on something outside of his mares to get him the distance. Like the King has the distance but needs to rely on something outside of his chefs to give him speed. But the weird thing is, his chefs ARE GIVING him a 4.14 index. So in reality, he has what it takes but maybe it hasn't presented itself because he hasn't really had the opportunity to show it on dirt, nor at his preferred distance. If I'm willing to offer Hot Rod Charlie the opportunity to latch onto Oxbow, then I must give Like the King the opportunity to latch onto his chef's inherited speed ON DIRT closer to his distance capability. This keeps bringing me back to him. I can't toss him. He is set-up correctly for this race and just like with Mr. Big News last year - to toss a horse with great configurations based on his displayed speed at shorter distances, well, that was a huge mistake. The Derby comes once a year, these configurations work for board hits - the extra money to keep him is well worth it. I won't rely on him, he will be packed in with other choices for the same spots. I have no problem spending money on killer shoes that I never wear so why not spend some on a shot to hit with a well-bred Derby Contender with long odds. He's either hitting the very bottom of that tote board or his stamina keeps him toe-to-toe with Rock Your World and Sainthood down that stretch. I'll pay for it. In addition, the boy was finally let loose in a dirt workout at Keeneland on 4/17. He posted 1:12.80 - BREEZING. That is exactly what I would have wanted to see - going short at 6f on dirt with his stamina - That is called Displaying Derby Speed. I don't think Sadler was the only one hiding out on the turf. I really like this guy and I will be using him somewhere on that ticket, more heavily on the secondary ticket.

UPDATE: Because of that 1:12.80 workout on dirt, the reality and possibility of this horse exploding at Churchill like his foe Rock Your World did at Santa Anita is a 50 to 1 proposition that I am willing to pay for. Because of that workout coupled with his impressive set-up in balance for this race (which is historically great for a board-hit) I will take that chance and spend to see his number on my super. He is the ultimate "just in case" type bet. The type that either sees a piece of the pie or comes in dead last. I had tried this with Gray Magician in 2019, and in case you don't remember, he came in dead last! But it would be my luck to bypass the idea and the horse ends up finally exploding at a distance and surface that suits him better and I let him go. USE ( somewhere) JUST IN CASE AND HOPE HE DOESN'T PULL A GRAY MAGICIAN.


Into Mischief – Souper Scoop (Tapit)

DP = 2-6-6-0-0 (14) DI = 3.67 CD = 0.71

Mare Profile = 8-7-4-9-4 Speed = 15 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.29 Triads = 19-20-17

Soup and Sandwich has board hit numbers, especially on a wet surface. He is set up very similarly to Audible and Authentic except everything across the mare’s lines is down about two notches. With Into Mischief sons, the balance from the mares is lopsided to speed on the top of the chart, so that area becomes a bit deceiving. The uptick in the mares stamina end will come from the bottom of the chart. Soup and Sandwich actually gained more stamina and has a better chef CD than both Audible and Authentic had, which means he gained more endurance. His numbers are right on par with Practical Joke, who hit 5th in his bid on a sloppy surface in 2017. That was a very fine and commendable effort, however, Practical Joke was not holding that extra Tapit influence which is crucial in this case in this particular field. This guy has a very good set-up for a taste of the board and these are definitely higher echelon numbers among this huge field of 10f runners. Additionally, having Tapit in his second generation (on the bottom, not the top) may be the key to success in the Derby with that 3.67 index. Tapit's mares have a way of getting their strong stamina influence in there, even from the second generation and since Soup is above 3.00 with his chef index – 3.67 – that may just be the recipe for success. Throw in Tapit's influence and then add in his 19-20-17 triads next it. WOW! That is striking! Consider what the normal set of Tapit offspring's triads usually look like! Nowhere near this guy. Of importance to note though, the placement of Tapit is on the bottom, not the top, which may or may not have the same effect. This field is so packed up with 10f runners and the smallest details in these configurations are key. Everything he is presenting to us; the Into Mischief speed factor, the Tapit stamina factor, triads packed up across and better than most, obvious will and determination as seen in his 3 successful performances while sitting in this highest advantaged category is saying that he is a player. Also, the Florida Derby is a huge prep historically and generally outweighs a good portion of the others. This maiden and OC winner was defeated by only 2-3/4 lengths by the new overly hyped Known Agenda - so this untested speed guy went toe to toe with a highly regarded stamina contender and his performance was extremely admirable. His numbers are quite good historically as board hit material, rain or shine. I’ll latch onto those odds with a colt who is holding quite a few major advantages and assets here, especially because he really showed his class against a favorite. He stands out among his immediate peers in this group – one has a crazy high 11.00 index, another a turf and AWS runner and one is traveling from overseas. This is the highest advantaged category year after year and he has a nice advantage against his peers who sit here with him. This is not a horse to be taken lightly. Rain or Shine. - *** With the unfortunate Post Position draw, he drops down the ladder significantly. It's a shame.

UPDATE: His set-up still outweighs most all on this field and his combined numbers sit exactly on par with Authentic and better than Audible. He is falling dead on with the combined numbers of Mandaloun. These 2 Into Mischief colts have serious history on their side for a board hit. His post position is a real disadvantage but if he breaks well and tails Rock without being bothered, he will gain his position and fly. The major difference between Authentic, Audible and his exact combined balance with Mandaloun is that Soup is carrying that strong mare line of endurance through Tapit that the others did not and do not possess. That small detail is freakin MAJOR. The addition of all of that extra dominating stamina is not something to disregard even when sitting in gate #19. That gate took away his shot at a win, but not his shot at the board. This guy has delivered in each of his races for a reason, regardless of type of race, because he is bred extremely well and the balance is stunning. He will put himself in the race and his genes are bubbling with power for this race. One of the better combinations on the entire field. HE'LL BE ON MY TICKETS 2nd thru 4th.


Constitution - Making Mark Money (Smart Strike)

DP = 6-10-12-0-0 (28) DI = 3.67 CD = 0.79

Mare Profile = 7-8-1-8-7 Speed = 15 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.00 Triads = 16-17-16

Here's another second generation Tapit boy. The field is loading up with them. In every race this horse has run after his first two extremely short maiden races, he has always improved his position from back to front and always hit a piece of the super. He has won only one race, an optional claiming back in November of 2020. This shows outwardly and easily that Tapit is compromising his speed. He has not utilized his 3.67 index which, with Tapit sons and grandson's, that sign needs to be revealed. For about 2 days, I started to see him in a different light based on that 3.67 index with that Tapit stamina traveling 10f - but now I am straight back where I started. He should have shown speed at the earlier distances first and he didn't. That will not change on May 1st. If he beats me at the 10f, then I will learn yet another lesson for next year.

UPDATE: This horse is just plain not fast enough to compete in the Derby. TOSS.

3.57 O BESOS

Orb - Snuggs and Kisses (Soto)

DP = 4-5-7-0-0 (16) DI = 3.57 CD = 0.81

Mare Profile = 4-4-6-5-9 Speed = 8 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.62 Triads = 14-15-20

First things first. If it rains, don't even consider it. This horse is not built like his sire Orb. Even with that 3.57 index, which would normally hold a little water on a sloppy track, he has already shown us that he doesn't like it. Even though his dad, Orb, won the Derby on a sloppy track there is a major difference. Orb was packing 40 chef points, his son is not. They are two completely separate entities. On a clean track, we are looking at something different though as far as the numbers go. This guy has an 11.1f inbred capability which means we have yet another who has the distance if he gets in. His mares are packed in stamina and he has a nice 3.57 index over that. That is very nice for him and his connections but much harder for us. These rear running types who are stacked in mare stamina will usually have a very hard time in trying to post impressive wins on their road to get to this race. O Besos' resume attests to that as well. Now presented with a race much closer to his optimum, he will be able to post much better figures because he has more track to work with. Unfortunately, this time he will be trailing behind 19 horses if he takes that rear position and with that kind of traffic against what will be flying out front, he doesn't have a prayer. If he reverts back to his Risen Star style, he has plenty to work with and would stand a much greater chance if he doesn't get blocked in. I don't know how you all feel about this guy, but I'm hoping not to see another colt in this race that has the distance. We need tosses, not more anguish.

UPDATE: Here's the first shocker of the updates. I may regret this Sunday Morning but I'm sticking with it. Even before this horse procured his gate, I thought his numbers were pretty damn good for the Derby. His numbers. Numbers alone don't get a horse over the wire. I will admit, sometimes I get blinded by the numbers but this year, since there are fifteen 10f runners on the field, you have step back and use common sense. Numbers tell you what they are made of and what they are capable of. Knowing what I originally thought and wrote in the paragraph above, the thought kept coming back to what guarantee do we have that this horse will revert BACK to his Risen Star Style. There is no guarantee. None at all. The 2nd thing is whenever I start seeing that "buzz" thing going on with a Derby contender, I tend to take a step back and look extra deep. Remember McCracken, Hence, By My Standards, Irap, etc etc. Those mid-range type guys who all of the sudden become the darlings of the backstretch and then the masses jump on the bandwagon. Then after the race, that same buzz turns into buzz-kill and you never hear about them again. Back to Beso's numbers vs his performances. If somebody can point out to me which race on his PP sheet is telling you that this guy is running to his configurations or that he is some major obvious Derby player, please show me. Was it his 3rd place with the 94 beyer? Or was it his 4th place with the 91 beyer? Or was it one of his first three races, traveling 5.5f to 6.5f while posting 76 to 88 beyers?! Where is the speed? Where is he beating real contenders? He hasn't produced anything that stands out with confirmation that he is running to his brilliant numbers. This horse has a 3.57 index, this is not a 1.40 horse who struggles going short with low beyers because he didn't inherit speed. This guy inherited 3.5 times more speed than stamina and it's not showing up in his races to date. Nowhere. Is he just gonna magically find his speed genes on the walk over from the barn on the day of the big race? Remember, High Speed + High Stamina works in the Derby. That is not just refering to his dosage numbers - that speed must BE DISPLAYED before the Derby. He is holding half of that equation. Yes, these numbers, historically, are great - and he has the 10f without a doubt. But he does not have the displayed speed. With 15 runners in the gates who have the 10f, the next most important thing that must go with that is SPEED. This horse's resume is devoid of it. TOSS.

EXACT 3.00


Curlin – Taris (Flatter)

DP = 6-6-12-0-0 (24) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 6-3-3-7-10 Speed = 9 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.60 Triads = 12-13-20

He has better Belmont numbers than Derby numbers and with his style of running, you would think he would be an easy one to simply wait out until the June race. What sets a curve ball in motion here is that this horse, with his overwhelming mare stamina influence and his rear running style, decided to beat nine other colts on the sloppy surface at Keeneland. That ability is certainly not coming from the mares and it points to something very special here. He is more suited for the Belmont but that win on that wet surface is against those triads, it is against the chefs CD and it is against the mare’s index. Since the race was extremely quick (22.39) in the first quarter, his stamina helped him a great deal since the speed horses gave in. This would need to happen in the Derby and unfortunately for King Fury, there are few top flight horses who have everything they need to continue the 10f. A few of those guys though will not enjoy such an advantage if it rains so he must be saved on the side for such an occasion. The horse is definitely going the distance and he is extremely lopsided to stamina even with that 3.00 index. He is built like Plus Que Parfait, Irish War Cry, Solomini, Gronkowki, etc. But most of all, he has an entire Country House thing going on which is a bit scary. He showed some speed in the Breeders Cup Juvenile but it resulted in doom. To hope that he can keep up with the speed up front and still reserve an ending kick on a clean surface at 10f is too far-reaching with the caliber on this field. I do believe we shall see a surprise or two hitting that Super High Five, but I don't see it coming from here on a clean track. He is a Belmont contender.

SCRATCHED. Hope he gets better as soon as possible and they enter him in the Belmont Stakes. Exacta bet - Rock Your World on top of King Fury. BOOK IT.


Oxbow – Indian Miss (Indian Charlie)

DP = 1-4-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.60

Mare Profile = 11-1-5-11-3 Speed = 12 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.27 Triads = 17-17-19

This guy and Mandaloun are the last two that I saved to write up last because these two are major puzzles. Looks like Mandaloun will be the very last. Time to stop procrastinating and just start writing. Hot Rod Charlie was so impressive in his 9.5f win in the LA Derby, wiring the field and breaking a track record. This horse's configurations do not get him to 9.5f, so the win and the record is baffling and it could point to a complete standout who is running through his numbers. Or, it could be pointing to a fluke. Or, the third option, which is really far-reaching but possible none-the-less, is an extreme influence from Oxbow himself. Oxbow was fairly loaded with his chefs, three times as loaded as Charlie, and we have no way of knowing if that strong influence is seeping through. Oxbow hit second in the Belmont Stakes, which carried a major influence of stamina from the chefs side to get him there (mares set-up basically the same as his son's.) No person alive could ever know if Charlie has that stamina influence because Oxbow is not time-tested yet but that doesn't mean that isn't occurring. We will only know that answer after the Derby is run. Since this guy is 50-50 on both sides, there is no other option than to use him across the board. Every year, there is at least one (sometimes two) colts that showed signs that they were not running to their numbers and they are outwitting their configurations, leaving me completely baffled. This year, that guy is Hot Rod Charlie. When this occurs, the only thing I can do is to relay that I am not confident enough in this particular guy's set-up and I cannot say one way or the other how far he can go. Realistically, on the surface, his numbers fall short, but he out-ran them on March 20th and he is the only one on the field who can stake that claim. If he latched onto Oxbow's loaded profile and influence, he is a major player. His mare's numbers would then give him his balanced speed instead of tilting it to both speed on top and bottom, which is exactly what it is presenting, leaving him with an optimum quite short of the 10f. With the possibility of leaning on Oxbow's displayed stamina, he becomes perfectly balanced and perfectly in line with what succeeds in the Derby. He has displayed that speed which is right there in his numbers (mares index 1.27) and the additional stamina takes him all the way. In his case, with the uncertainty and mixed signals of these configurations vs his performances, the money must be spent across the line, just in case. If he falters, he is just running to his numbers like everyone else, if he grabs it, that is all Oxbow.

UPDATE: Second Shocker of the Update. This guy is really a fine high caliber horse. He had poor numbers in the Robert B. Lewis because he stumbled and then he was bumped. He can't be faulted for that. He'd have been right there at the end. He is running very well on all bias'. He was bumped again in the LA Derby and he still pulled off a track record run on a very odd track. The more I look at his numbers, the more I like them much better than I had originally liked O'Beso's numbers. His .60 CD is standing out like a sore thumb - in a very good way. The Derby produces winners (if you include Baffert's runners) up in this speed category consistently 3.00 and over. If we toss Baffert's runners from the equation, then 3.20 and over is the place to be. But here is why I think Charlie exceeds that fact being a 3.00 horse. His mares have a very high 1.27 index. (Remember, over .90 mare index is speedier) That extra speed is built in from his mares. That is beautiful. Now, since this category is the most advantaged, Charlie becomes the main player. He has a great post, he has displayed speed, he has very nice triads and he has Oxbow. USE IN 2nd, 3rd and 4th spot.


Tapit – Delightful Quality (Elusive Quality)

DP = 5-12-14-1-0 (32) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.66

Mare Profile = 12-3-2-2-12 Speed = 15 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.04 Triads = 17-7-16

Now we have another Tapit boy, this time first generation, on top with the dreaded 3.00 index. This is why this horse is vulnerable for the win. With Tapit offspring, the mares numbers are almost moot so his poor triads are not the same if found in others. Along with the additional stamina, this guy is packing 32 points, which is the highest on the field this year. His sloppy performance put him on a higher level and revealed that the incredible Tapit stamina influence did not affect or over-run his speed which leaves him as a major player for this Derby. With his displayed speed and flawless resume, he can absolutely win this race, however that 3.00 index is powerful when it comes to Tapit's boys and it puts a huge damper on his clear advantage. Knowing that he will be at very low odds and the M/L favorite, gives yet another good reason to spread him. He is one the most talented on this field, undefeated, with stamina and displayed speed. There is no need to go any further. Major player obviously.

UPDATE: No change. He's a player obviously.

USE IN THE 2nd, 3rd and 4th spot


Dialed In – Super Girlie (Closing Argument)

DP = 3-2-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.80

Mare Profile = 8-4-7-7-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.04 Triads = 19-18-20

This horse has no shot in the Kentucky Derby. He hit close to his max in the Arkansas Derby. He has a gorgeous set of triads but he also has a .80 mare CD, and when combined with his chefs also at .80, it gets him to a little over 9.3f. Whatever position he finds himself in the early stages of the race will basically be the same place he ends up at the wire - stagnant.

UPDATE - No change. TOSS.


Ironicus – Thundering Emilia (Thunder Gulch)

DP = 4-3-7-0-0 (14) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.79

Mare Profile = 10-5-3-8-9 Speed = 15 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.97 Triads = 18-16-20

This guy is just shy of basically everything. He is just shy between his Brilliant (4) and Intermediate (3) chefs numbers. It dips down going from the 4-6f category to the 7-8f category. His mares profile is just shy in the Intermediate slot which raises his speed side higher than his Classic side. His triads center slot is just shy of par. His combined optimum is just shy of the 10f, it is 9.5f to be exact. He can't win the Derby, but his distance gets him at least to board hit material, but that is stretching it. He is undefeated but we are looking at two average 7f wins on AWS at Woodbine and one very nice effort in the Tampa Bay Derby at 8.5f. That is simply not good enough for this race after thoroughly going through this eventual field. He would have to bypass his 9.5f optimum and pass way too many 10f runners. In addition to all of that, the fact that Julien Leparoux is aboard is doing no justice to his cause. When laid out in it's simplest form like that, it becomes very easy to move on.

UPDATE: Gotta love an undefeated colt going into the Derby. He has never done anything wrong. Exceeded first two races off of AWS going further on dirt. But there are still some facts that go along with his undefeated record. All 9 calls on his resume are under par with a majority of the top players in this race. He is still under par in class. But most importantly, his configurations are simply under par with 10f and with that against all 15 of the colts who exceed the 10f, even the Leparoux factor isn't as disadvantageous. TOSS.


Bernardini – Dancing Afleet (Afleet Alex)

DP = 2-6-8-0-0 (16) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.63

Mare Profile = 8-3-2-6-8 Speed = 11 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.88 Triads = 13-11-16

Beautiful percentage that line-breeds to St. Simon (38%). He has a combined 10.3f capability. He has speed on top which he reserves til the end. With his speed on top, he has a nicer advantage than Known Agenda coming from the back. More inherited speed to work with late. His triads are lacking a great deal, however, he does have the distance and he does have a 3.00 index. These are definitely not winning Derby numbers and just like Honor AP from last year, the distance is there but the mares numbers lack for the Top spot but they do not lack for board hits. What is fascinating here is that he was able to drive on a sloppy track at Parx and then come back at 9f on that Aqueduct track and flies late again. Two completely different bias'. Yes, slow, extremely slow, but Market Maven and Weyburn decided on that 24:88 and that 50:18 - he didn't. Actually, he didn't even start his race until just before the top of the stretch. He is the one that ran into those slow fractions, it wasn't because the front two were running so incredibly fast that they wore each other down. No, I see a horse who had no problem using that 8 in the first slot of his triads for the sloppy performance at Parx, and he had no problem using that .63 Chef CD and the final 8 in the mares profile in his final prep. Slow yes, his fault, no. He did what he had to do and succeeded with the hand he was dealt. Is he good enough to tackle some of the guys on this field, which, in all sincerity, far surpass Weyburn in every way? Doubtful but not ridiculous to assume that he will tower over a great deal of the lesser class colts on the field. Worth a few bucks if you load up the bottom of a super? Yes. I think so. He is up against it but there are some half decent arguments in the way this guy operates.

UPDATE: I will say that I've been on the fence with this guy. He is very intriguing with the way he was able to work some magic on two separate and competing bias'. Watched a replay of last year's Derby and in my mind, I transposed Bourbonic with Honor A.P. - his cousin. Back of the pack, running in Bourbonic and Honor Code style and still made it up to 4th. I could see Bourbonic every step of the way. I want to like him for this race. He really has something special and he could surprise everybody with capturing a piece. That A.P. Indy family is very strong. But after all is said and done, even though he has that distance, those triads are horrendous and with this field, I do believe that will hold great weight against him. I truly hate to do it, but there is just too many players to offer any mercy with those triads.

Throw him at the very bottom for good measure.


Wicked Strong - Riviera Chic (Medaglia D'Oro)

DP = 3-4-4-1-0 (12) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 5-6-5-7-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.81 Triads = 16-18-19

Brooklyn Strong has the capability to run 10f and his configurations are on the better end of some but fall alittle short with others. (Again, I have to be picky with this field due to the higher amount of 10f capable runners.) He is a fine horse and he probably has the same shot as some of the mid-echelon type 10f runners on this list. There are a few telling things though on his PP sheet that I think will go against him in this particular race depending on how Churchill's bias is playing Saturday evening. The horse started his career at Delaware Park. This is a track that used to be my old haunt and the caliber is...well, let's just say...not the type that you would see running at Churchill Downs. Every one of his workouts to date have been at nearby Parx (Philadelphia Park), which is a very slick and fast track. This horse has been conditioned to run on a certain bias (regardless of his breeding) and he runs exactly to that conditioning as opposed to his breeding as seen on his resume. He did okay at Belmont running 8f against a bunch of allowance horses. He came in first in the Remsen on a SLOPPY TRACK because he was trained on that Parx bias. He bombed on that "quick sand" (thank you, hayes!) at Aqueduct in the Wood Memorial because he was conditioned consistently on a completely different bias. Now he comes to Churchill and depending on how that bias is playing on Oaks day and throughout the afternoon on Saturday will tell us how this horse will take to that bias. This guy is strongly bias-oriented. If it's playing fair, he won't have much of an advantage. If it is playing very speedy, his stock rises. That is the type of track this horse will thrive on because he is holding 10f and he has already shown us his preference every step of the way. Smarty Jones was a Philadelphia Park guy and won the Derby in 2004 but Smarty was in a completely different league and not comparable in the least. Smarty Jones was undefeated walking into the Derby with 6 races under his belt. Next item to consider, is that his jockey, Umberto Rispoli, is going to be one determined jockey with something to prove more-so than any other jockey on this field. He was stripped off of the star of this race, Rock Your World, and I could imagine the sleepless nights he encountered before getting the call to mount Brooklyn Strong. This points an arrow directly at a man's heart and his perceived reputation and self worth. Rispoli will be going after Rock's connections with all the determination he can muster. His will to win might actually exceed Brooklyn Strong's. So, if the track is playing speedy, Rispoli's plan of redemption will not be in vain. He'll at least have a fighting chance.

UPDATE: Third Shocker of the Updates. The Wood Memorial is a toss for him. He shouldn't have been there in the first place because it is completely against his preferred surface. His numbers are great for a board hit. There is no question about that. If you look closely at his body of work BEFORE the long layoff, his trajectory was spectacular. Far exceeded O'Besos in every way. And then it all came to a halt. His growth and maturity did not halt though, only his track appearances. After the long layoff, the connections decide to put this horse, who trained only on the fast surface of Parx, onto the thick deep quicksand in the Wood Memorial. He couldn't run on it. He didnt WANT to run on it. He started the race in 5th position and ended it in 5th position. Are we supposed to forget his entire body of work leading up to that mess at Aqueduct. If you look at what he did in the Remsen, the beyers he posted, on the sloppy bias while still a 2 year old, that translates to magnificent speed capability and displayed speed which quite frankly far exceeds the big BUZZ horse O'Besos and just about 70% of the field. His connections were hot to get their horse into this race. For a reason. I think he will love the bias at Churchill and I love the fact that Rispoli is aboard. I think he is a very strong player. USE IN 3RD and 4th spots in Super. Depending on final cost, throw him in 2nd too.

Mid-Range 2.00 to 2.90


Union Rags – Beat the Drums (Smart Strike)

DP = 6-6-11-1-0 (24) DI = 2.69 CD = 0.71

Mare Profile = 8-5-4-9-6 Speed = 13 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.00 Triads = 17-18-19

When any Derby contenders are sitting in the higher end of this midrange category, they automatically walk into the gate with a strong disadvantage. The only tell-tell sign, regardless of the mare numbers and regardless of half descent triads, is that the horse performed in tandem with his speedier foes going shorter and also competed down the stretch with the stamina driven colts as the distances climbed. His resume is not depicting anything close to resembling standout performances.

UPDATE: Another buzz horse ala By My Standards and McCracken. Made a nice dramatic eye-catching run in the Wood but he will never get away with posting a 75 and 80 in the first two calls of the Derby. Churchill bias will not match the Wood bias. His best beyers came at Gulfstream Park in second Maiden at 8.5f and still couldn't win. With a 2.69 index and his lackluster resume, this guy is exactly the type of horse who finds no success in the Kentucky Derby. TOSS.


Tiznow – Catch the Moon (Malibu Moon)

DP = 4-2-8-0-0 (14) DI = 2.50 CD = 0.71

Mare Profile = 9-3-3-5-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.20 Triads = 15-11-14

This is a very nice horse but he has no chance in this race. The mares set-up is completely off for the Derby.



Protonico – Mongolian Changa (Brilliant Speed)

DP = 3-6-15-0-0 (24) DI = 2.20 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 6-5-4-8-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.81 Triads = 15-17-19

What is funny about this guy is that way back in the beginning of January, after his second place to Life Is Good in The Sham Stakes, I liked everything about this horse much better than the hyped winner. I stayed with him all the way through to the Santa Anita Derby. Now that the hype has moved to Medina Spirit, things have changed. I was feeling much stronger about this colt pitted against what appeared to be the Derby players at the time. Now with the full field assembled, his set-up drops dramatically. Without any of Baffert's potions, Medina hits 10.1f exactly, which means if he is left alone and the powers that be play by the rules, Medina is running for a board hit underneath only if he is close to that rail and even with that, he never hits that wire first. He has a better pp sheet than most on this field but his form drops substantially in the latter part of his races. That works at 9f and below for board hits but it will be a killer at 10f. His numbers are good but they are not winning numbers and his triads are half-decent but they are under-par. He hits the board at 9f and under, he doesn't win, he always falls short. The fact that he is in Baffert's barn is basically the main reason why he will have low M/L odds. There are a handful of runners on this list built much better and performed much better than this guy - they actually won their races. Unfortunately, we have no choice when it comes to a Baffert horse. The unknown is always lurking around the corner. If Medina Spirit wins this race, Baffert should be taken to the Winners Circle in handcuffs.

UPDATE: From 5.5f all the way up to 9f, Medina always takes a significant drop at the tail end of his races because he is being forced to run against his numbers and his breeding. His numbers define reserved speed and he is being pushed to run in Baffert fashion which is effecting his expended energy. If Baffert sends him to the front again, he is doomed. But none of that matters. Nobody can really analyze a Baffert boy so, I'll pay the compensation, but I truly can't see this horse even holding on for a piece of the board against the caliber that will be out front. But it doesn't matter. USE HIM SOMEWHERE.


Candy Ride – Charm the Maker (Empire Maker)

DP = 3-4-8-1-0 (16) DI = 2.20 CD = 0.56

Mare Profile = 2-3-4-7-8 Speed = 5 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.41 Triads = 9-14-19

It is no secret at our Club that I believe this guy is the easy winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby. I gave him 10 stars when the highest rating has always been 5, so that was probably a huge giveaway. Yes, everything is pointing to RYW as the hottest beast on the field. A lead horse with his mare’s numbers. His 12.9f distance capability. The highest inbred stamina on the entire field. His ability to tear up both the soft turf and the slick fast dirt at Santa Anita. Half-brother to the incomparable Shared Belief, and the big guy, Gun Runner. On top of that, he is UNDEFEATED with that 2.20 index going much shorter than his optimum to date. As great as Essential Quality has performed, he is not holding stats like that while sitting with a HIGHLY DISADVANTAGED 2.20 index. Everything about this guy, especially his numbers, is pointing to an easy single on top. But we can’t. When a horse is so obviously the star of the show, you must play devil’s advocate to bring yourself back to the reality of how the Derby works. It would be so nice to single him, save money, and use that extra to spread more contenders below him, but it is not a safe bet. First reason is because no matter how great he appears to be, he is still sitting with a 2.20 chef index which has only an 11% winning ratio in the Derby. It is still the most disadvantaged category even though he runs way past his numbers. He far surpasses his stamina set-up in every way but the fact still remains - 2.20. The next reason is because of the probability of a wet track. With Rock Your World, he has a 50-50 chance of hating it or loving it based on his inheritance and his style. He will either love it based on the killer speed that he displays out front, speed that seemingly comes from nowhere (just like Shared Belief who, by the way, beat Chrome on a wet track in the San Antonio) - or he will hate it based on his overwhelming mare stamina and his obvious Turf ability (Just like Gun Runner who couldn’t win on a wet surface). We cannot ascertain a specific answer with him when it comes to the mud. Third, his line-breeding to St. Simon is secondary to Teddy. Additionally, he is not guaranteed his lead or stalking spot. He will have a target on his back. He could get banged around if coming from an outer post. And just like every other colt on that field, we have no idea how he will react to the spectacle of the Derby itself. Rock Your World can run this 10f race backwards - and he is fast, very fast. High speed + High stamina = Derby Winner and he has it, but he also has a couple of items that are beyond his control. Nothing is ever a sure thing, but this guy is not just built to win the Derby, he is built to win the entire Triple Crown. I don’t see any other horse in his stratosphere, including Essential Quality (the only other horse on this field who is holding both a much better Derby set-up with his configurations historically AND is also holding the 2nd highest inbred mare stamina is the invader from overseas – Panadol.) When a colt is built like this guy, the shorter races (including short turf races) are not as easy to win like they are for a true speed guy at those distances 9f and under. He overcame his disadvantages with class and superiority. Realistically, this guy has invaded the stamina category below with his 12.9f capability (the highest stamina on the field) which easily moves him out of this disadvantaged category and places him with the 3 below. He is better suited for a clean Churchill track than he was at Santa Anita and he demolished that crew, but nothing is ever a guarantee for the best on the field in the Derby...Now, with all that said, you better believe that this girl will have at least one super ticket with this Monster singled on top!

UPDATE: I love this horse. I adore everything about him. I think he wins by at least 6 lengths easily. I know I have gone back and forth with a single on top with this guy for the past 3 weeks all the way up to 5 hours before post time. But I made up my mind. This horse is a Champion and there is no good reason to double the cost of my super bet.

Single on Top for the Win. Load up underneath with my favorite players.


Laobon - Inclination (Victory Gallop)

DP = 0-2-4-0-0 (6) DI = 2.00 CD = 0.33

Mare Profile = 11-2-2-4-8 Speed = 13 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.18 Triads = 15-8-14

This is the type of placement that truly pisses me off. It depicts the transparency of the connections who apparently view the accolades and boasting rights of having a colt that actually ran in the Kentucky Derby over what is best for their own horse. I have to assume that they know their own horse, his capabilities and his optimum distance - so this decision to run this guy in this race is completely bewildering. He is 101% incorrectly built for this particular race and if they wanted to run at Churchill on the 1st Saturday in May, they should have chosen a different race. TOSS.



Into Mischief – Strong Incentive (Warrior’s Reward)

DP = 1-1-1-1-0 (4) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 2-8-9-7-3 Speed = 10 Stamina = 10 Index = 0.95 Triads = 19-24-19

Into Mischief son packing the normal mare configurations while sitting in the stamina category, which is a bit different than norm. The last time this occurred was in 2013 with Vyjack who unfortunately had the sloppiest track ever in his Derby. Chad Brown is a great trainer and when he has a horse in the race, you have to take notice. This horse has a combined CD of .22 which falls at an optimum of 10.3f. For comparison, Vyjack's combined CD is .38 which falls at 9.5f. That's a big difference. Vyjack's chef index was 1.70, (basically the same as Highly Motivated) but his chef CD was oddly high at .71 which affects that endurance. Highly Motivated's chef's CD is a nice low .50 which keeps his endurance intact. So, we know that this Into Mischief son has the Derby distance and he is packing a gorgeous set of triads. His speed inheritance tops that of Known Agenda's AT THE 10F DISTANCE. He did well at Saratoga, coming in 2nd at 6f ON A SLOPPY TRACK. He has advanced nicely as the distances progressed which is a sure sign that he is running directly in line with his numbers. He has a strong packed set of triads which is showing glorious speed inheritance underneath his .50 CD. The mares are balanced across the spectrum which is fine for a stamina horse because he gains that stamina already from his chefs and he doesn't need more from the mares to get that distance. He is in a position to exceed his last and he really put on a show going toe to toe with the favorite of this race. He must be used in any superfecta bet because he is showing every winning attribute for a stamina contender. He needs a great post because he can't afford to run too far away from that rail for very long. He has the least amount of inherited stamina in this group, but it is still enough. I would imagine he would gain extra lengths on a sloppy track as well, and out of this group, he is probably the only one that can be bet in the rain with pure confidence that it wouldn't have an adverse effect. He is a live one but I must caution, stamina horses who WON the Derby had overtly overpacked mare stamina to go with their chef stamina. They all had a crazy amount of stamina top and bottom. Highly Motivated does not have that, so proceed with caution if you're considering a top spot.

UPDATE: The next surprise of the update. I truly believe that his speed will be a great asset to him against the specific contenders who are standing out. He really and truly reminds me so much of Destin who sat in this very same spot in his edition of the Derby. Destin and Highly Motivated both had basically the same road and the same style on the road to get here. (Destin ultimately came in 6th in the Derby) Highly Motivated was faster though, and there is no comparison with the numbers. Highly Motivated's numbers far exceeded Destin's who also sat at the top of the stamina category. Motivated has excellent Derby numbers and I think he set to exceed his beyers in this race - but even if he doesn't - his very best to date will still get him there. I think he is a strong player. USE IN THE 2nd, 3rd and 4th spot in the Super.


Mshawish – Lemon Hero (Lemon Drop Kid)

DP = 4-2-5-3-0 (14) DI = 1.55 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 5-3-6-8-11 Speed = 8 Stamina = 19 Index = 0.53 Triads = 14-17-25

Here sits Lemon Pop's replacement. Massive numbers. Perfect stamina Derby numbers. Loaded. Just about every year, 3 speed guys (3.00 and over) and one stamina guy hits that tote board board for the superfecta. Major stamina inheritance top and bottom and he has the distance times two. The big difference between Sainthood and Agenda is in their style. In that comparison, Sainthood walks away with a much higher advantage. He doesn't need to rely on anything except himself in the beginning stages of the race. If he gets his position up front, there is no need to play ping pong trying to catch up in the latter stages of the race. He's already there and he can keep going. His triads are the best on the entire field. He came in second in his highly disadvantaged 6f maiden on the slick dirt track at Gulfstream. He won his 2nd maiden attempt at 1-1/16 at Fairgrounds traveling wire to wire. He then put in an extremely impressive performance at 9f on AWS and ran out of track for the win. That depicts a horse who doesn't care about the bias of the track and will perform no matter what. His numbers are screaming that he wants more lengths and his last performance proved that he is indeed running directly in line with those numbers. Out of the 3 contenders in the stamina category, Sainthood holds the best configurations, the best consistency in his performances, the best over-all ability on different surfaces, the best running style for this particular race, and the highest advantage in this category. This guy is a major player.

UPDATE: No Change. USE IN THE 2nd, 3rd, 4th spot.


Curlin – Byrama (Byron)

DP = 4-5-8-4-1 (22) DI = 1.44 CD = 0.32

Mare Profile = 10-3-0-6-13 Speed = 13 Stamina = 19 Index = 0.72 Triads = 13-9-19

This guy needs to rely on a fast pace. One major aspect on his side is that his mares gave him a nice load of speed to go along with his chefs stamina. Notice the brilliant and Intermediate slots in the mares profiles. He has 13 points in his Mares inherited speed. This is why Known Agenda was able to capitalize with speedy beyers and timeform figures - he inherited more speed. This is also why he was much more successful at Gulfstream than Tampa Bay and Aqueduct. There is nothing wrong at all with this colt and he has performed very nicely at the 9f distance. He has some built in mare speed with that 1.44 chef index which is always an advantage for this race. What I don't like, not even in the least, are those triads. They are harshly under-par against the three others who sit in this group. Be that as it may, he still has the distance regardless. In terms of late surging speed, he is faster late at 9f than the other three, which, in all reality, does not correspond to this race in the least. In his final prep, he was running in 5th position at the 1/4 pole, on the rail most of the race and was fortunate to see a clean dream trip. In terms of competition in the Fla Derby, he had only one, Greatest Honour, who had the 9f with class and he did beat him decisively. If you transpose his performance onto the Jeff Ruby track with Sainthood, both came out of gate #5 and both had a similar positioning throughout the race while hugging the rail. Agenda on a slick dirt track, Sainthood on AWS (a tougher track). Agenda had a clean and unimpeded run, the other did not and it affected his momentum down the stretch and it also trashed his late figures. Known Agenda posts 83 86 / 112 for the Florida race, while Sainthood posts 94 93 / 93. The trouble Sainthood saw down that stretch affected his late number and quite frankly, the first two numbers slammed Agendas. There was only a 1 second difference in the final times. That's it. One second between a Gulfstream fast dirt final and a Turfway AWS final. (Sainthood only one length behind.) Down the stretch, Sainthood all but stopped and had to rebound and regather speed while surging to the wire, forcing the hand of his jockey to use the whip to restart his momentum. In complete contrast, as soon as Ortiz crossed that final turn with Agenda, he was whipping him like he was starring in a porno movie to get him down that stretch. In addition, the colt who came only 2-3/4 behind Agenda in this "powerhouse" of a performance, was a two for two colt - maiden and an optional claiming runner. Between this buzz horse and Sainthood, based on their final prep, their performance, how they run and who they beat, I see no comparison between the two. I see Sainthood as having an impeccable set-up for this 10f race, much better configurations for the 10f run and much more impressive in his final prep. Agenda is a good horse, he sits at the bottom of the stamina category with the lowest CD out of the entire field and if this race wasn't so packed up with 10f runners, he would be a definite player for me but he lacks a great deal of the qualities that are imperative for this race. Is he worth a few extra dollars to see his number on the lower end of a super? Probably, but there are better odds in this category with greater strengths.

UPDATE: The last surprise of the Update. I have been at odds with this entire Known Agenda thing from the beginning and against the great handicapping of a few of my friends. I just can't. I don't like this horse. At all. His triads suck for the Derby. His post sucks for the Derby. The Florida Derby was just weird and has zero correlation to how the Derby will run. Prior to the freakish overblown late run and unimpressive early run in that last prep, this horse ran in an optional claiming race and posted beyers of 80 93/ 92. What would you think Highly Motivated or Brooklyn Strong or Rock Your World or Hot Rod Charlie would have posted if they were the lone champ standing in that Claiming race? His two "big" Graded stakes races, he came in 5th and 3rd with late pace beyers at a whopping 89. I see nothing here that would or should turn my head, including those triads and that post. Sometimes you just have to take a stand. If he beats me, then God Bless him. TOSS.

This analysis may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, paraphrased or posted without written consent and permission. You may not recreate this analysis in any manner.

LDM 4/14/2021


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