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PART TWO: 2022 Derby Prep Winners Analysis



February 19, 2022 - RISEN STAR - Fairgrounds

EPICENTER Results 9f (Final Time - 1:49.03)

DP = 0-0-9-1-2 (12) DI = 0.60 CD = -0.42

Mare Profile = 1-10-5-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.74 Triads = 16-23-18

St. Simon: 29.3%

Rating for the Derby: +++++

Carrying a 5 star rating from one race to the next is critical for any of the bigger players who have won their preps. This guy deserves a few extra. Epicenter was 1.39 seconds behind the track record for this race set by Nates Mineshaft back in 2012. There is no doubt that he would have broken that record, but Rosario wisely geared him down mid-stretch. The race was over as soon as Epicenter found that rail. As stated in the first Derby Prep Winners Article Epicenter has the potential distance capability of 12.6f. He beat a field which held 4 other competitive Derby Trail players and there was no contest. With the highest amount of inbred stamina on the entire field, he made his speedy competition look like allowance runners. This same scenario will reoccur over and over again because contrary to what some wanna-be handicappers put to print, Epicenter will carry his chart and his pedigree with him in each gate he enters. He will always carry the most inbred stamina on the field based on his negative .42 CD and the mares .74 index. Those are the inherited configurations that he will hold from his maiden til his retirement. Expect this horse to perform even better each time he enters the gate. As the distances increase, he will thrive, while many others who show-off with jazzy beyers at 8f will deteriorate at the top of the stretch. His wins will begin to appear flashier as the distances grow. Great expectations of seeing his name on this Prep Winner List again on March 26th. Take special notice of his two profiles. See how the chefs profile leans heavily to the right side (killer stamina) and the mares profile is weighted in the Intermediate (speed) slot as shown with a 10 in the second slot. Heavy speed with heavier stamina. His speed will stay intact as far as he needs to go based on his extraordinary inheritance. His inbred quality on the lead is what champions are made of. The 29.3% linebreeding to St. Simon is the cherry on the cake. Between this guy and his half-brother Simplification, no better can be found. There isn't much more to say that hasn't already been said except that this guy is the epitome of running exceptionally true to his numbers.

 

February 20th, 2022 - HYACINTH STAKES - Tokyo Racecourse

COMBUSTION Replay about 1 mile (Final Time: 1:35.3)

DP = 0-6-4-0-0 (10) DI = 4.00 CD = 0.60

Mare Profile = 11-2-4-4-7 Speed = 13 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.27 Triads = 17-10-15

St. Simon: Damascus → Phalaris

Rating for the Derby: +

When I pulled the chart up, the very first thing I saw was that 4.00 chef index with that very low .60 chef CD and I thought to myself, "Oh no! Not another one!" But then I saw the mares numbers and had a sigh of relief. This Godolphin owned colt is supercharged with speed and his owners would be wise not to spend on supplementing his fee for a gate. After adding in his extras, he gets to 8.9f (very quickly) and then he will be ready for a peppermint in his stall. Actually, better if they do bring him, it would be one easy toss! I must also add here, if you were to look at simply the chefs, especially in this instance, it would be extremely deceiving. These configurations are a very good example of why it is so important to use both sets of dosage figures as opposed to just the chefs alone. This is the main reason why dosage has such a bad wrap and the reason why we do what we do. The combination tells the complete story. Study both sets of these numbers hard, because this is what separates us from those who think they know how to read charts. Those numbers - BOTH SETS - tell the complete story.

 

February 26th, 2022 - REBEL STAKES - Oaklawn

UN OJO Results 8.5f (Final Time: 1:45.69)

DP = 3-6-9-0-0 (18) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67

Mare Profile = 12-0-4-3-10 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.04 Triads = 16-7-17

St. Simon: 10.16%

Rating for the Derby: ++

Every Derby Prep season we are assured of seeing a longshot upset an otherwise fairly easy to read race - like Weyburn in last year's Gotham. This one is just a bit different though. The two major headliners, both Newgrange and Chasing Time, along with Ben Diesel and Dash Attack had a seriously hard time on that track. At the short 8.5f distance, all 4 dropped their winning form which says to me that something was very off with that bias. We have seen this happen many times before - like Mandaloun in the Louisiana Derby - and it has no impact for the following races to come. Un Ojo was the only horse on the field who was actually dropping down in distance which could have aided him on that rail. Regardless, he's a fine horse but he will have nothing for the Kentucky Derby. Split mare profile, split triads, boring numbers. The performance of Newgrange does not affect him for future competition at 9f or under. He'll bounce back fine. The performance of Chasing Time was just as dead, although his run was steady straight through. I cannot say one way or the other how this affects his bid for a Derby gate. The horse has much more gas in the tank than what he displayed today on that strange bias and much more speed out front. Quite a head-scratcher moving forward with him. Barber Road and Ben Diesel aren't Derby Material, so their performance today was fairly meaningless as far as points for a gate anyway. Dash Attack was extremely slow in his win in the Smarty Jones and he made no significant step in proving otherwise in this race as well. The bias affected these runners today and that final time just accentuates how disastrous it was. After all is said and done, Un Ojo is configured improperly for the Derby so he should savor this win for as long as he can. He may go on and do well in subsequent races, but he has no shot at the board in the Derby. At the very least, we luckily gained a Derby entry who can be tossed. We actually need more of those going forward. I will need to watch that replay many more times and study the day's bias to get more insight into what actually occurred on that track today.

 

March 2nd, 2022 - Road to the Kentucky Derby - CONDITION STAKES - Kempton

BLUE TRAIL Replay 1 mi (Final Time: 1:39.11) AWS

DP = 1-5-9-11-0 (26) DI = 0.68 CD = -0.15

Mare Profile = 2-7-5-9-6 Speed = 9 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.62 Triads = 14-21-20

St. Simon: 56.83% Sadlers Wells → Nearco → St. Simon plus Northern Dancer, Natalma, Native Dancer

Rating for the Derby: +++

The winner of the Condition Stakes on AWS coming from the back of the pack only stands to prove just how exceptional Epicenter truly is when it comes to inheritance and style of running. Epicenter actually has even more stamina from his chefs than this guy and more speed (plus additional stamina on top of that) from his mares. Blue Trail is an AWS and turf runner with a rear running style, a negative chef CD (negative .15), packed stamina from the mares, killer triads and 57% linebreeding to St. Simon. But he is taking everything he has and running as they are stated, rear closer on AWS and turf. His numbers, both top and bottom, combined and on their own, coincide with the track bias and his running style, opposite of Epicenter. Epicenter is doing it all on dirt on the lead. The configurations are exceptional for both. The fact that Epicenter is doing what he is doing on the dirt surface as opposed to AWS and turf like this guy is putting him in the same league with Thunder Snow. We all remember Thunder Snow. Winner of the UAE Derby, Al Maktoum, and the Dubai World Cup two times. All on Dirt. He also took home many High Stakes trophies on turf as well. This is the type of breeding that Epicenter and Blue Trail are holding but Epicenter is doing it where it counts right now when it comes to the Derby. Eventually, maybe we will see him tackle the turf as well. Potential-wise, the win here by Blue Trail stands to amplify Epicenter in more ways than one. Back to Blue Trail... He is not nominated to the Kentucky Derby with his 20 points, but if we see him appear in the UAE Derby at the end of the month, there may be a reason for his connections to supplement. While he certainly has the distance of the Derby, without question, we will have to see how he handles the UAE Derby if entered. He will have an advantage in that race, as the UAE Derby caters to stamina, however, that stamina is usually positioned much more forward than he prefers. If he wins the UAE (if entered) and if he comes here, we will have to gauge his speed up against Rattle N Roll and Mo Donegal. No need to worry about it now. If his trainer wants him in the Derby, he will send him to Dubai first. I am not convinced that these killer configurations will work on the Churchill surface with his experience and track preferences.

 

March 4th, 2022 - PATTON STAKES - Dundalk

JUNCTURE Replay 1 mi (Final Time: 1:38.56) Polytrack

DP = 1-0-4-3-0 (8) DI = 0.60 CD = -0.13

Mare Profile = 4-3-5-10-8 Speed = 7 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.52 Triads = 12-18-23

St. Simon: 18.75%

Rating for the Derby: Filly

This is one talented filly based on her performance against all the boys in this prep but unfortunately, I cannot give a proper analysis with any confidence when it comes to fillies. The numbers are easily and obviously on par with an overseas turf runner, and she is running directly in line with them in the same manner as Blue Trail above - with surface preferences and with style. Again, she also shows us just how special Epicenter is. Juncture's mare's sire is Frankel which pretty much says it all. The configurations are beautifully set up but that is all I can really say about that. She is not nominated for the Derby and will be directed to both the Newmarket Guineas and the Irish Guineas both held in May.

 

March 5th, 2022 - JOHN BATTAGLIA - Turfway Park

TIZ THE BOMB Results 8.5f (Final Time: 1:44.12) AWS

DP = 3-5-10-2-0 (20) DI = 1.86 CD = 0.45

Mare Profile = 10-5-2-6-6 Speed = 15 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.35 Triads = 17-13-14

St. Simon: 66.81%

Rating for the Derby: + (updated below)

This horse has 101% NO CHANCE at all in the Kentucky Derby. His mares entire line is completely backwards. He could have a timeform or beyer figure out of this race that supersedes them all today but that number will not get him anywhere in the Kentucky Derby - only inheritance will. What his chefs gave him in stamina, his mares taketh away. Negative in Mare balance and descending triads are the kiss of death on the first Saturday in May. It will not work in the Derby. Second place finisher in this race, Stolen Base, is the one who has what it takes for the Derby. The son of Bodemeister is holding a very nice set-up as a speed contender for board-hit consideration should he gather enough points before the big day. Tiz the Bomb will be the hyped one and all of the hotshot sports writers out there will now add Tiz the Bomb onto their Top Ten lists this week - don't fall for their misgivings and lack of understanding or forward thinking. It is second place finisher Stolen Base who truly steals the show going forward should he secure a gate.

 

March 5th, 2022 - FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH - Gulfstream

SIMPLIFICATION Results 8.5f (Final Time: 1:44.04)

DP = 1-0-9-0-0 (10) DI = 1.22 CD = 0.20

Mare Profile = 2-11-4-11-3 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.90 Triads = 17-26-18

St. Simon: Blushing Groom → Blanford

Rating for the Derby: +++++

In the words of our friend Brian, "BUH-BOOM!" Oh, what a fantastic horse. But straight to business: The main thing, as far as handicapping a fresh new crop with respect to the Kentucky Derby, is aligning their breeding with the clues that they present to us as early as their debut. If you don't know what the colt's chart states with respect to their limitations or their potential capabilities, you might as well take up a different hobby. When a colt is built the way this horse is, and he wins a maiden race travelling 6f and demolishes the field by 16 lengths, he becomes a monster from day one. A horse who is sporting a speed driven chart with a very high index doing the same is simply common-place and will probably point out a nice sprinter or miler. The two colts will NOT have the same career. Regardless of timeform figures or beyers or lengths won by, they are not the same type of animal and they will not perform the same along the way as the distances progress. If this site has taught you anything, it must be that you understand the true breeding of the colt and how that relates to what you are witnessing in real time during these prep races. Simplification is probably one of the best all-around stamina colts that I have seen on this side of the ocean since Shared Belief and Gun Runner. The versatility of this colt is unmatched within this crop. His balance is allowing him to capture his speed and his stamina exact across the spectrum. As stated before, he's going to run exactly the same across each distance and he realistically could be considered within both categories. His trainer and jockey knew that Markhamian was going to go to the lead and completely give in before the final turn. They sat back, waited and then his speed was let loose. This guy can win on the lead, mid-pack or coming from the far back. That adaptability puts him in the drivers seat in the Kentucky Derby, coming from any post and with the strong ability to withstand the stampede, bumping, and loss of lengths out of the gate. If the Derby were running tomorrow, based on history, based on capability, and based on talent and breeding, Simplification - Epicenter - White Abbario - Emmanuel - and quite possibly the winner of the Gotham stakes today would be the best top players without a shadow of a doubt. Back on February 1st, Simplification was #1 on the Dirty Horse Club's Top Ten list and was moved to #3 on March 1st. I do believe that March's Top 3 (Epicenter, White Abarrio and Simplification) are perfectly in sync with the performances and will hold up all the way through to the 1st Saturday in May. There is none better (outside of Messier) who has a shot against them on a clean track. Simplification and Epicenter are absolutely aligned with the champions of the distant past, and they are exactly what this sport needs at this time. We're heading back to the 1940's and I'm loving every second of it.

 

March 5th, 2022 - GOTHAM STAKES - Aqueduct

MORELLO Results 8f (Final Time: 1:39.28)

DP = 4-3-5-0-0 (12) DI = 3.80 CD = 0.92

Mare Profile = 6-5-6-9-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.79 Triads = 17-20-22

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy

Rating for the Derby: ++++

Been waiting for Classic Empire to produce a Prep winner and it was Morello all along. Undefeated as well. We needed a speed guy desperately with the proper Derby configurations and Classic Empire's offspring do not disappoint in that regard. Beautiful 3.80 speed colt with a mare stamina index and packed up gorgeous triads. These are advantaged Derby numbers in the sun and in the rain. These configurations work much better at a track like Churchill than Aqueduct so his performances and final times should heighten away from this rougher track. It is a good seasoning for him though being a speed guy who sits up close to the pace with the disadvantage he had in this race. Proves he has something under his belt as a player. He gets 4 stars instead of the 5 stars that his configurations deserve mainly because of the lack of quality opponents in this particular race. Once he hits a field with the likes of some of the heavy-hitter Graded stakes winners on this list then we will see about 5 stars. Right now, he has the breeding, the distance, the right configurations and some added class, next we need to gauge his quality against real competition. I'm almost positive he will do it.

ADDITION: I just posted the Free PP's for Derby Futures Pool Four. I noticed that Morello's Prime Power was #1. Damn. I was hoping that he would have gone unnoticed for the time being. This horse is correctly built for the Kentucky Derby and it appears that his figures are following suit onto that PP sheet. Hopefully the guy just below here will take all of the action this weekend.

 

March 5th, 2022 - SAN FELIPE - Santa Anita

FORBIDDEN KINGDOM Results 8.5f (Final Time: 1:43.98)

DP = 5-3-2-0-0 (10) DI = 9.00 CD = 1.30

Mare Profile = 7-4-2-11-3 Speed = 11 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.05 Triads = 13-17-16

St. Simon: Blushing Groom → Blanford

Rating for the Derby: ++

A speed-driven American Pharoah colt who is sporting a 9.00 chef index and a 1.05 mare index with an extreme 1.30 CD that is not stationed in Bob Baffert's barn getting "stamina juice" will never ever make it around the 10f track at Churchill Downs. Mandella has an extremely fast 8.5f to 9f runner in his barn who has a very strong potential to make a name for himself within those distance confines. Even better and further for this guy when taking full advantage of the Santa Anita speed bias on the lead. The wire-to-wire win by this guy on that bias with his breeding makes Simplification's final time look all the better. I will happily sit back and watch this guy take the lead in the Derby, showing off his incredible speed out of that gate, with Epicenter sitting right off him and Simplification in good position wherever he wants. Dream scenario if ever there was one. Generally, take a Pharoah horse away from that Santa Anita bias or the slop and they have trouble with any sort of real distance.

ADDITION: I am going to take some time looking into this chart a bit more. As they stand, the numbers are absolutely pitiful for the Derby but I won't get burned by American Pharoah. So far, all I see are sprinters from him unless they are running at Santa Anita. And the numbers say it as well, but I want to be 101% sure that the low 10 points total in the chefs profile will not negate that high 1.30 CD when they are combined. In addition, the Santa Anita bias is notorious for lead speed which aids in additional lengths up on the lead. This horse will most likely run in the Santa Anita Derby. He will grab the lead and float across the finish line. The final pace will be enhanced so the projected pace into the 10f Derby will be difficult to figure. His numbers suck for the Derby but so did Pharoah's for the Belmont and the assumption of something nefarious is probably warranted but there is always that 1% doubt. I need more time with this guy just in case. I need to be 101% sure with each and every contender.

UPDATE: After going through a ton of American Pharoah's progeny charts and race results, I am sticking with that 2-star rating for the Derby. I will give him a 5 star rating for the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile. He will probably do well in the Santa Anita Derby because of the lead speed advantage on that slick bias. I truly believe that come Derby day, if he grabs that lead, he will see at least 6 horses pass him before the stretch. I do believe as well, that he will gain in lengths on a sloppy track and he is undeniable fast so he may be a player for 4th spot super consideration in the mud. If this horse were in Baffert's barn I would probably not even bother with an analysis and simply say that we need to spread him and pay the compensation. The fact that his sire American Pharoah won the 12f Belmont Stakes holds no bearing, and in my mind, will remain as one of the biggest thefts in horse racing history.

 

March 12, 2022 - TAMPA BAY DERBY - Tampa Bay Downs

CLASSIC CAUSEWAY Results 8.5f (Final Time - 1:44.90)

DP = 3-2-23-0-0 (28) DI = 1.43 CD = 0.29

Mare Profile = 4-6-5-10-5 Speed = 10 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.76 Triads = 15-21-20

St. Simon: 45.9%

Rating for the Derby: ++++

Classic Causeway's rating will stay at 4 stars as it was for the Sam F Davis race last month. Nothing changes. Being serious about that superfecta hit in the Kentucky Derby means every little nuance needs to be nit-picked and nothing short of perfection can be permissible. His numbers for the Derby are spectacular for a stamina boy especially one that runs on the lead. There are reasons why though, that he must be kept at 4 stars for the time being. His two preps have come from the same track. Tampa Bay. The colts who win the Tampa Bay Derby have more stamina and therefore are advantaged for that track. The correlation to Churchill generally doesn't work because they lack in that balance of true speed below that stamina. Past winners, Helium, King Guillermo, Quip, Destin, Carpe Diem, Ring Weekend etc had severe problems away from that track. The two Tapit Boys, Tacitus and Tapwrit had different outcomes. Of course, Tapwrit could not manage a board hit in the Derby (3.00 index) and went on to the win the Belmont with all of his stamina keeping true to the Tampa Bay advantage. Tacitus (3.92 index) had good back up of speed with his 3.90 index to hit the board in the Derby and still enough Tapit stamina to grab second in the Belmont. Tacitus aside because he had the inbred speed, Classic Causeway is sitting dead center with this group of previous winners. Great stamina for the two races at Tampa Bay on the lead but may have problems away from that track like the others who found advantage there. Remember, we are talking about the Kentucky Derby and not the Belmont Stakes. (Also, Classic Causeway is not built properly for Belmont) This horse needs to get away from this track. The second reason is exactly the same problem he had in the Sam F Davis race. His competition was non-existent. Shipsational was really his only competition today at 8.5f. Spin Wheel, who at least showed his signs today going from 10th at the 1/2 pole to 6th late displays that he truly needs a hell of alot more track to compete - hopefully, his trainers get the clue that he has Belmont Stakes written all over him - he was easily no competition to CC today. None of them really were and therefore Classic Causeway breezes yet another prep. He would not have won that race if White Abarrio was stalking him. He would not have his easy lead if Epicenter or Messier were in the gate either. This is a very good horse and his numbers are fantastic for the 10f but his resume will not be up to par due to the Churchill bias. When (or if) he leaves Tampa Bay and tackles another prep, we shall see where it takes him. Right now, he still remains below the top tier but still within the Top Eight. This is the nature of the Kentucky Derby and only the very best competitors can be the top players. So far, even with his killer configurations and his prep wins, he has not proven to be the very best competitor - he has proven to be the ONLY competitor in his two prep wins.


 

March 26, 2022 THE UAE DERBY - Meydan

CROWN PRIDE Replay 1-3/16 mi (Final Time - 1:59.76)

DP = 5-0-7-2-0 (14) DI = 1.55 CD = 0.57

Mare Profile = 9-3-2-10-5 Speed = 12 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.05 Triads = 14-15-17

St. Simon: Sunday Silence → Mahmoud

Rating for the Derby: +++

Without fail, a colt with an index far under 2.70 wins the UAE Derby. But I'm going to update this: I think there may be something here as far as a nice balance and ability to run different biases so more work is in order. He is no Mendelssohn or Thunder Snow with those numbers, but there is something the way he is capturing his balance that needs more investigation.

 

March 26, 2022 LOUISIANA DERBY - Fairgrounds

EPICENTER Results 1mi 3/16 (Final Time - 1:54.38)

DP = 0-0-9-1-2 (12) DI = 0.60 CD = -0.42

Mare Profile = 1-10-5-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.74 Triads = 16-23-18

St. Simon: 29.3%

Rating for the Derby: +++++

Epicenter was the only colt who captured a Dirty Horse Club 5 star rating from the USA as a two year old. His half-brother Simplification was next on January 1st. The only other 5 star rating went to Luxembourg from overseas who is now the Irish Guineas and Epsom Derby favorite. This is not clairvoyance working it's magic. It is all in the numbers that they hold, their balance, their performances matched with their numbers and the history of the Derby. It is the magic of dosage. Epicenter was also #2 back on February 1st on our top ten and moved up to #1 on March 1st. Drumroll...This horse will be #1 again on April's Top Six. Even with that little white-haired disgrace of a man weaseling Messier into a gate, I still have the same exact confidence as the day after the Gun Runner stakes that Epicenter would be either first or second in the Kentucky Derby this year. Now I just feel #1 in the Derby. No matter how fast and flashy the others may be, not one of them (including Simplification) has this type of vintage - stamina - champion configurations. He is in a class all his own. There are only two times when I have said those words about any horse, Shared Belief and Le Vent Se Leve. Epicenter is in that league. The fact that he sat two off the pace is exactly what we needed to see him do while also having that trophy attached at the end. He did it perfectly, he did it easily, and he did it with class. That same set-up will occur with Forbidden Kingdom and Messier. And honestly, I don't give a fuck what Messier does in the Santa Anita Derby. Messier will just have to settle for second in the Derby. Epicenter has the speed to keep pace behind them, the late thunder to kick past them, the endurance and the grit to do exactly what he did today at 10f and beyond. As I have stated each time, he will run exactly the same without breaking a sweat as long as the track goes. Epicenter is the best of the crop, not only this year but at least since 2011. They just don't make them like this any more on this side of the world and when they do come around, we have to savor every blessed moment. As much as I love Simplification, and as much as that horse looks to be in a fantastic position to make his presence known on Derby day, I will say now, Epicenter is going to be the horse to beat. Not only in the Derby, but in the Breeders Cup Classic as well. His numbers are saying Champion.

SIDE NOTE: The connections of Silent Power should not be allowed anywhere near a race track. The absolute mishandling of that horse since day one was so transparent on his PP's. They have succeeded in ruining a horse because they are clueless and greedy. Silent Power should have been nowhere near the Louisiana Derby. I hope they are proud of their last place trophy.

 

March 26, 2022 FUKURYU - Nakayama

DELICADA Replay 1800m (Final time: - 1:52.1)

DP = 3-6-10-1-0 (20) DI = 2.33 CD = 0.55

Mare Profile = 8-1-5-7-8 Speed = 9 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.79 Triads = 14-13-20

St. Simon: 9.38%

Rating for the Derby: Filly Rating for the Belmont Stakes: ++++

If anyone out there speaks Japanese, please call the connections of this horse and tell them to hold off on the plane ride in May. Tell them to make sure that they show up in Elmont, NY on June 11th. Let them know that this filly has breeding that is potentially excellent for the Belmont Stakes. Even as a filly, hard not to point out what those numbers are saying.

 

March 27, 2022 SUNLAND DERBY - Sunland Park

SLOW DOWN ANDY Results 9f (Final Time - 1:50.16)

DP = 1-2-3-0-0 (6) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67

Mare Profile = 5-4-4-7-6 Speed = 9 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.78 Triads = 13-15-17

St. Simon: = Tie on top between Teddy @ 10.94% and St. Simon @ 10.94%

Rating for the Derby: +++

Andy will go from the 2 star rating he received in the Los Alamitos Futurity back in December to a 3 star rating for his performance today. He showed us some of that Nyquist speed today that was very important, so the extra star is warranted. Nothing against his effort today, he did very well, but a few things stand out here. His win today does show that the Rebel stakes was a strange and deceiving bias and that race must be a toss for all players involved. Be that as it may, Andy's numbers are still not that great for the Derby. His competition today pales in comparison to the main Derby players. The Sunland Derby produced only one significant player in almost two decades, Firing Line, who came in 2nd in Kentucky. And finally, the horse did not show much class in that stretch run, it was very sloppy. He did however, show some determination at 9f today and he did prove to us way back that Messier is actually beatable if not on the lead. Is this horse bred with the correct configurations and has he shown superior talent along the road to win the Kentucky Derby? No, not really. Could he blossom enough by May and latch a bit more onto Nyquist's speed to grab a small piece of that tote board. Of course he can. He has the 10f and sometimes 4th spot on that superfecta can come in all sorts of packages. There are about 5 of them who meet that criteria headed to Churchill in May already. He's going to have to pull even more from his sire's line if he expects to keep pace with the speedsters in the top tier. He's going to have to mature very fast and clean up his late run. He's going to have to show some killer workouts between now and then. He's going to have to compete with more than 4 to 7 competitors on the field. It will be 19. That is asking alot.

 

April 2, 2022 ARKANSAS DERBY - Oaklawn Park

CYBERKNIFE Results 9f (Final Time - 1:50.42)

DP = 0-2-6-0-0 (8) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.25

Mare Profile = 3-2-5-12-6 Speed = 5 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.45 Triads = 10-19-23

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy

Rating for the Derby: Clean track: ++++ /// Wet Track: ++

I am not one to grab ahold of a late comer but you can't disregard a Gun Runner colt with configurations like this. When Early Voting captured his Derby prep win in the Withers, it was hard to discount a Gun Runner son, but his configurations were wrong. This one has exceptional mare configurations and they are loaded to the max. A 13 point spread leaning all the way to the stamina side running slightly off the pace is definitely not something to be overlooked on a clean track. Unfortunately we must add one more to the mix of talented runners with the distance. Those mares are affording him 12.8f capability and if we were to combine that with his chefs it takes him to 12.6. This distance potential is on par with Epicenter. The only thing that is bothersome here is the Lecomte performance which is not jiving. Being on par with Epicenter in type and make-up, he should have been able to compete on that bias. But he didn't. Having a bad day could be an excuse but Derby players do not have bad days. They are consistent. His top linebreeding goes directly to Teddy, whereas Epicenter is at 29% to St. Simon. If that had an affect in the Lecomte, it will absolutely have an affect in the Kentucky Derby. This is why his configurations get 4 stars as opposed to 5. Is he winning material? No he is not. He is too heavy on the stamina side for Churchill but he certainly could be considered for board hit material based on the pace projection. He cannot be discounted, yet.


 

April 2, 2022 FLORIDA DERBY - Gulfstream

WHITE ABARRIO Results 9f (Final Time - 1.50.64)

DP = 2-5-5-0-0 (12) DI = 3.80 CD = 0.75

Mare Profile = 9-5-2-7-8 Speed = 14 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.00 Triads = 16-14-17

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy

Rating for the Derby: +++++

I'll make it short. This 3.80 Tapit boy will be in the mix down the stretch in the Kentucky Derby and he has every shot at landing at the finish line first. He is 101% a main contender for the win. Rain or Shine. This has been known since before the Holy Bull.

Again, this is a very important horse.

 

April 2, 2022 JEFF RUBY - Turfway Park (AWS)

TIZ THE BOMB Results 9f (Final Time - 1:48.60)

DP = 3-5-10-2-0 (20) DI = 1.86 CD = 0.45

Mare Profile = 10-5-2-6-6 Speed = 15 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.35 Triads = 17-13-14

St. Simon: 66.81%

Rating for the Derby: +++

I will up his rating from 1 star to 3 stars based on his final time, which was 1/2 second off of the track record set by Ball Four in 2006. It was a visually impressive performance, as well it should have been. I always talk about being built for a race and having an advantage. There was no greater advantage afforded to a single horse in any prep race to date than the colt that won this one. Out of the 13 entries on the field, 8 of them were speed horses and 4 of them were average category horses. Tiz the Bomb was the only horse on the entire field with a 1.86 stamina configuration that perfectly aligned with the AWS surface. Six of the speed competitors were well over 3.00, heavily drenched in speed and did not even belong on that AWS. He had no competition because of the bias which is opposite of the Churchill track. In addition, he is running perfectly in sync with his chefs and that line is excellent but the mares offer no assistance and drag his optimum down. In this case, it would be pure guesswork as to how his mares heavy speed dominance fits into the equation because the way he favors the AWS, it says that he is sticking with his chefs. If that is the case, the chefs give him 9.5f which isn't enough anyway. When the mares are added, he shoots down to 9.1f as his preferred optimum, which is directly in line with this prep. Looking at the extraordinary percentage that linebreeds directly to St. Simon, 67%, a case could be made that this guy is holding something extra outside of his configurations. Top linebreeding to St. Simon is very powerful and supersedes mares configurations, especially with one who has 20 points of influence from his chefs. Again, this would be guesswork but certainly shouldn't be overlooked. The mares contribution is horrendous for the Kentucky Derby but that St. Simon number will be the absolute top (only Epicenter comes close with 29%). In order to be completely safe for the superfecta, my gut is telling me now, not to disregard St. Simon here. A board-hit nod underneath may be in order, regardless of the mares, just in case. Nothing can be overlooked. I can just see the day after the Derby, lamenting and complaining about being blind to that 67% linebreeding to good old St. Simon. You know that would happen! I still contend that these numbers have no chance in the Derby but I cannot look passed St. Simon. Not one thing will be bypassed this year. I am covering all bases.

 

April 9, 2022 WOOD MEMORIAL - Aqueduct

MO DONEGAL Results 9f (Final Time: 1:47.96)

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

Mare Profile = 9-0-6-8-6 Speed = 9 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.92 Triads = 15-14-20

St. Simon: 10.16%

Rating for the Derby: +++

Mo Donegal will remain with 3 stars, just as he was after his win in the Remsen. He's a fine horse, but he does not have winning Derby configurations. He is second tier and highly capable of grabbing his piece but a win here is really pushing it. I am always wary of Wood Memorial winners. They need stamina on that Aqueduct track and are usually better suited for the Belmont stakes. One look at this guys configurations and he definitely leans much more in line with the Belmont. Based on this win, no need to waste a dollar here using this guy on your ticket in the rain. The winners of this race do have a shot to grab a small piece on a clean track, but it's few and far between. Now onto Morello. The only silver lining is that Morello's odds for Derby day will be much better than if he won this race. Do not discount this horse on Derby day. He did hit the gate, he lost precious lengths at the start and he lost his favored position. He could not accomplish what Simplification did in the Holy Bull, because his balance leans to speed, incapable of moving from his comfort zone. He has competed very well against the bias and is much better suited for the Churchill track. But this is very important... Morello wants a forward position and if he gets that position he will fly even better on Churchill's bias but if he does not secure his spot, he won't be able to perform. His gate assignment will be extremely important in his case. Morello is absolutely still board-hit material, but if his gate is out in left field, he won't take kindly to that.

 

April 9, 2022 BLUEGRASS Stakes - Keeneland

ZANDON Results 9f (Final Time: 1:50.35)

DP = 2-3-9-0-0 (14) DI = 2.11 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 13-0-1-5-9 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.13 Triads = 14-6-15

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy

Rating for the Derby: ++

When everything is calculated and combined, he comes up short. 9.5f is the optimum. The triads are notoriously off for the standards of the Kentucky Derby. Does he have enough for a 4th spot shot? Realistically, yes if the bottom tier is straggling far from the front. Other than that, they should ship him to the Pennsylvania Derby instead of the one in Kentucky. He has a dream set-up for that race. Very nice horse, but his breeding does not work on the 1st Saturday in May.

 

April 9, 2022 SANTA ANITA DERBY - Santa Anita

TAIBA Results 9f (Final Time: 1:48.67)

DP = 2-2-8-0-0 (12) DI = 2.00 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 5-3-6-8-8 Speed = 8 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.63 Triads = 14-17-22

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy

Rating for the Derby: +

Before I get into Taiba, I just want to sit back and savor this moment for as long as I can. The only thing that is slightly adverse that comes out of this glorious race is that Mandella probably won't enter Forbidden Kingdom into a gate any more - but realistically, it certainly does not matter as far as Messier is concerned. Compromised on a clean track at 9f while pressured is all we needed to know. Messier has no shot against Epicenter or White Abarrio on a clean track. He should still be considered a player on a sloppy track though, but as far as a clean track, no need to waste betting dollars with him anywhere near the top of your ticket. Reserve him for the bottom slots. This is wonderful but I would have preferred to see the horse go completely backwards behind FK in the Derby. Anyway, don't let Messier's 2nd place fool you, he has the 10f in him, he is just incapable of expending his energy properly because he has been trained to kick it out of the starting gate for the lead. In this race, he lost it all tailing Forbidden Kingdom, which is exactly what we wanted to happen in the Derby. Now we lost Forbidden Kingdom sprinting on the lead, but Messier could easily just take his place now up front, the way he was trained. He wont make it on a clean track. Additionally, I must point out (I just can't help it!) all of those bigshot Sports Writers out there who have had Forbidden Kingdom on their Top Ten Lists based on freakin beyer figures are now hitting that delete button tonight! LOL! It's just a beautiful thing and I live for these moments! No money lost on futures bets from anyone here, that's for sure! Now on to Taiba. Another ex-Baffert horse who gets enough points to be entered into the Derby. A nicely bred Gun Runner colt with very very nice configurations, beautiful triads ... blah blah blah... If this horse hits the superfecta in the Kentucky Derby, not only will I never bet a single race that has Baffert attached to it in any way for the rest of my life, but the same thing that I said in Medina Spirit's analysis prior to the Derby pertains here as well... "If this horse wins the Kentucky Derby, Bob Baffert should be taken to the Winner's Circle in handcuffs." Any colt, no matter how pretty his configurations are and no matter what barn he comes from - if he has one maiden race in March and one Graded Stakes race in April - both within 2 months of the prestigious Kentucky Derby is a ridiculous proposition and should not be entertained at all. A colt who has only faced 6 competitors in that maiden race and 5 competitors in the graded race, 11 total competitors in his entire career within two months of the Kentucky Derby will retreat faster than lightning when he sees 76 powerful horse legs stampeding out of that gate in front of him. That horse won't know what hit him.

 

April 16, 2022 LEXINGTON STAKES - Keeneland

TAWNY PORT Results 8.5f (Final Time: 1:45.24)

Chef's Profile = DP = 3-3-4-0-0 (10) DI = 4.00 CD = 0.90

Mare Profile = 4-7-5-9-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.77 Triads = 16-21-20

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy

Rating for the Derby: ++++

There is plenty to like here with this particular horse. Brad Cox got his confirmation today that Tawny Port is indeed built for a dirt surface which I truly believe is the reason why this guy was wheeled back into this race. The simple fact that this colt was competitive on both the AWS and turf with his configurations is pointing to a very special horse who is proficient in using his chefs speed inheritance and mixing in his mare's stamina inheritance very well. He is using it all. The set-up of both sides is absolutely perfect for the Derby. This horse has inherited 4x the amount of speed over stamina from his chefs - (major speed). He inherited a speed/stamina balance of 4 points leaning to stamina from his mares - (major stamina) He has a packed and loaded set of triads. - (Derby Worthy). He is built extremely well for the Derby as a "speed" driven colt with the obvious tendency to utilize his full stamina on any bias. The only reason why he gets 4 stars as opposed to 5 is because of the turn-around time. Tawny Port is an excellent Longshot choice based on these configurations and his ability to tackle the distance is on par through his mares. With the heavy-hitters present in his chart, the only thing he will need to overcome is the quick turn-around. He's a good one, however, receiving only an 89 beyer in this final prep, he's definitely not up to par with the heavy-hitters. He has the ingredients, but he's definitely second tier.


NEXT UP: THE 2022 KENTUCKY DERBY ANALYSIS!

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51 Comments


Unknown member
Apr 20, 2022

If anyone likes Tawny Port and I do for underneath, he still gets 3 full weeks since the derby is the deepest in May you can go @ May 7th! His mom Livi Makenzi by Mucho Uno and Dad - Pioneer of The Nile have excellent DNA, especially the Triads as you suggested. Tawny Port trained and early raced on synth but now really loves the dirt. A must see as his 1st two races were EXPLOSIVE from the back. He was clearly a beast in the Lexington Stakes.

Yes Tiz The Bomb manhandled TPort in The Jeff Ruby, but I think TizTB loves synth more than dirt. Lisa, somehow you need to diagnose Crown Pride for us.

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Unknown member
Apr 29, 2022
Replying to

I spent some time with Tawny Port last night. I also spent time re-reading much that was written about him here and I am with you mmichele. I do love his configurations and I have been burned many times by overlooking things that I see on one day, write about, and then completely disregard later. It always bites me hard so I am glad that you wrote this post. It forced me to look into him again with fresh eyes. I am revamping my final analysis on him.

Crown Pride - a definite keeper.

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Unknown member
Apr 13, 2022

Having issues with the Blog Page Menu. I have someone trying to fix it now. Hopefully all gets right very soon. Sorry again.

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Unknown member
Apr 11, 2022

Agree Lisa. This idea that you can enter a horse to win a race like this, without utterly careful planning of their campaign from the beginning, and conditioning them for a forward move each step of the way, is ludicrous. It takes a patient dedicated trainer with a horse who also has some serious natural athleticism and the right breeding in the first place. (already seen some trainers who had the horse but they really aren't doing things right). I never understood why anyone would choose FK in the first place to be on a derby list but believe it's more about trusting Mandella and knowing he is one of the good guys so you want to bel…

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Unknown member
Apr 11, 2022

I wondering if the Pretenders in Bafferts corner are actually greedy enough to even consider entering Taiba into the Derby. Any upstanding connections would see that the horse has zero class, competed against only 11 competitors in his entire career all within 2 months before the biggest and hardest race for a 3 year old. If they do, that would be the epitome of pure greed and absolutely no thought for the horse at all. The marching orders from the puppeteer won't give a damn about the horse. He wants his glory any way he can get it.

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Unknown member
Apr 12, 2022
Replying to

Could you imagine if something happened to that horse during the Derby? You know that the talking heads will be praising the "EX"-Baffert horses the entire broadcast as they usually do, and then something tragic happens. OMG that would be terrible. I hope that horse is not installed anywhere near the center of the track. This is just bad all the way around.

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Unknown member
Apr 10, 2022

Forbidden Kingdom and Classic Causeway have been ruled out of the derby per Horseracingnation

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Unknown member
Apr 11, 2022
Replying to

LOL! How perfect! A nice souped up Santa Anita speedy beyer. We couldnt have asked for anything better. Take those bets Taiba!!! Grab it all! Please! Affect the odds board as much as you can!!

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