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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2023 Derby Prep Winners Analysis - Part Two




2/18/2023 - Risen Star - Fairgrounds 

ANGEL OF EMPIRE Results Charts 9f dirt Final Time 1:51.47 - clear/fast 

DP = 4-4-2-0-0 (10) DI = 9.00 CD = 1.20 

Mare Profile = 6-4-6-11-3 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.96 Triads = 16-21-20 

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy 

Rating for the Derby: +++ on clean track // ++++ on wet track 

Although these configurations are balanced extremely well for the Kentucky Derby, mild caution with ratings are in order for the time being. The main reason is because these numbers combine to 9.25f, which was optimum for the Risen Star. The next reason is because Classic Empire has sired many with fantastic numbers over the last 2 years but nothing had materialized with his first crop after April. He may have better luck with this 2nd crop (just like Mendelssohn) but it is safer to step lightly this early. Lastly, when the entire lead tier group breaks down, red flags go up for the validity of the track. From Curly Jack (who came in 8th) on down to Determinedly (who came in last) all had much more inbred stamina than the winner - including Victory Formation. This may have bode well for the 9f race which killed speed up front, but is a different story at 10f where speed generally lasts in most Kentucky Derby editions. While Angel of Empire was a solid bet in Futures Pool Three when it comes to the possibility of rainy weather with that 9.00 index and he has done nothing wrong at all on dirt so far on the trail, slight caution for 10f at this point is in order. Another 2 turn win and he's good to go.  

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2/18/2023 - Hyacinth Stakes - Tokyo Racecourse 

PERRIERE Replay just under 8f dirt Final Time 1:37.2 

DP = 1-0-4-1-2 (8) DI = 0.60 CD = -0.38 

Mare Profile = 6-5-5-7-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.00 Triads = 16-17-17 

St. Simon: 30.47% 

Rating for the Derby: +++ 

Very nice horse heading to Dubai to continue to compete. The chefs D.I and C.D. are very promising, however, the mares are under-par. With only 8 points in the chef profile, there is a cause for concern at 10f with a field of 20. If he shows up in the UAE Derby and that track is playing anywhere near how it played last year, this will confirm allegiance to the mares - detrimental then at Churchill. Depending on who comes in 2nd and 3rd should he win that race, will tell us where his allegiance lies. If the top of the race results chart in the UAE all lean towards stamina, then the track is in its normal mode, unlike last year. Then we will know if those chefs are staying true and this would give him at least a shot in Kentucky. Still though, it takes more than a negative .38 chef CD to handle the KD, the bottom must be just as exaggerated, which it is not. We'll wait til the UAE Derby to see which way it goes. Japan will ship if they have the points and even though overseas competitors have had very bad luck at Churchill, one of these years, they are going to connect. We can never be dismissive when it comes to them because many of the very horses who had their early shot from abroad have gone on to become serious thoroughbreds. One of them will connect eventually so we can't assume a thing until all indications are exhausted.  

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2/25/2023 - Rebel Stakes - Oaklawn Park 

CONFIDENCE GAME Results 8.5f deep sloppy dirt Final Time: 1:44.21 

DP = 2-3-10-1-0 (16) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.38  

Mare Profile = 2-2-7-4-9 Speed = 4 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.45 Triads = 11-13-20 

St. Simon: Fappiano → Teddy 

Rating for the Derby: ++++ 

This horse stood out back in August before his debut. Son of Candy Ride and Eblouissante (Bernardini) with Kris S. and Roberto thrown in there. Most all of his allegiance to St. Simon shows up past the 4th generation, it's all there but further back. He needed this win to garner respect, as he bombed at Churchill in the Iroquois and was 8 lengths behind Instant Coffee in the Lecomte. His numbers are very nice, leaning much greater to the stamina side. Because the off track was deeper and more tiring today, (something we have been seeing alot of lately) both Confidence Game and Red Route One had some extra assistance correlating to their higher stamina side. Horses like Frosted Departure and Giant Mischief lean much further to speed and had the bias been simply wet as opposed to deep, they would have had a much easier time here. The 3rd place finisher, Reincarnate, actually ran a very nice race in defeat on that track and may have easily placed better without the interference from Bourbon Bash. Look for him to redeem himself in his next as he may in fact be the real deal. Not only has he shown both sides of his scale, but he is one magnificent looking horse. Reincarnate takes a huge jump up even with that 3rd place. Confidence Game needs to show consistency now going forward - no more of the hitting on one day but missing in another. A Graded Stakes win on a clean fast track like he did in his allowance at Churchill is the concrete evidence that we need to see next. This was a very telling race when it comes to bias preferences and advantages with regard to the main players and their breeding as they relate to the Kentucky Derby. Reincarnate stood out today in a huge way.  

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3/3/2023 - Patton Stakes - Dundalk 

CAIRO Replay 8f AWS Final Time: 1:40.48 

DP = 2-3-13-6-0 (24) DI = 0.92 CD = 0.04  

Mare Profile = 6-6-2-6-11 Speed = 12 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.67 Triads = 14-14-19 

St. Simon: 14.06% 

Rating for the Derby: +++ 

The first overseas "stamina category" colt to win a prep this year that was not won on turf. He also happens to come out of Aiden O'Brien's barn. Unfortunately, this win came on the AWS and it was fairly slow. Cairo was running up front and very far from the rail, so the distance he went was considerably further than the 8f. The time could be adjusted a bit, but he would never get away with that at Churchill. This horse can run the Derby distance with his eyes closed, so there is no issue there. Depending on O'Brien's plans for future placement and if that coincides with the UAE Derby, we can judge his true speed on dirt at that time. Right now, we have an overseas runner on AWS with 20 points - there isn't much more to give other than 3 stars at the moment. His style of running up front is excellent with his configurations and only time will tell if Aiden decides to wheel him back in the same month to compete for the necessary points. Update: Looks like he will be going for those 100 points in the UAE.  

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3/4/2023 - Fountain of Youth - Gulfstream Park 

FORTE Results Chart 8.5f dirt Final Time 1:43.12 clear fast 

DP = 4-4-5-1-0 (14) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.79 

Mare Profile = 11-2-5-1-11 Speed = 13 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.04 Triads = 18-8-17 

St. Simon: Storm Cat → Nearco → St. Simon 18.75% Bias Preference: Pace Meltdown 

Rating for the Derby: +++ 

He gains another star today for displaying ability to win on a speedy track. This is a very nice horse but of major importance is that Forte has dominated the early crop between 5f and 8.5f so far. These ratings have nothing to do with the trail and everything to do with 10f at Churchill Downs. He calculates to 9.25f so his entire Derby Road is his for the taking, especially since he has shown his adeptness on both sides of the bias, at Keeneland and at Gulfstream. This horse is built perfectly for the Preakness, the PA Derby and the Pegasus but falls a bit short for the Derby. There are some horses who run through their numbers, like Zandon and Olympiad, etc. so he can't be disregarded as a player for a board hit. He reminds me of Enticed and McKinzie. Forte should be right on target for a huge 9f prep race if the forward speed fails again, and he will enter the Derby as a main favorite. He is very vulnerable for a win in the Kentucky Derby, but he will be a main prospect in the Preakness. If Faustin shows up there, watch the fireworks fly. It will be quite a show. It is difficult to separate pure exhibited talent with the dynamics that dominate the Kentucky Derby year after year. Forte cannot be disregarded when it comes to the Superfecta, just like Zandon, but caution for the winners circle still needs to be left on the table until the final gate is assembled. With 67% of the winners on the Prep list falling into the dreaded midrange category so far, he certainly has his chance against that.  

  

In addition, this was an 8.5f race. Rocket Can is still way under his optimum and he is not burning through his energy which still bodes well for the 10f task at Churchill. It is hard to convey just how unimportant it is to post wins at 8f and 8.5f with huge timeform and beyer figures when it comes to the Derby. Inbred ability to run past 10f with equal energy distribution is a hell of alot more important, especially with a field of twenty. 

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3/4/2023 - Gotham Stakes - Aqueduct 

RAISE CAIN Results 8f dirt Sloppy Sealed Final Time: 1:38.09 

DP = 5-4-8-3-0 (20) DI = 1.86 CD = 0.55 

Mare Profile = 9-2-5-4-7 Speed = 11 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.09 Triads = 16-11-16 

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy 

Rating for the Derby: + 

One mile at Aqueduct on a tough track surface and the only horse on the field who stepped into the gate with a chef index below 2.00. The only one in the stamina category who took complete advantage of the bias and the distance. This horse has no chance in the Kentucky Derby - but the second-place finisher sparkled in this race with his configurations on that bias coming from the rear and stood out like a sore thumb for the Derby. He displayed his speed against the bias and charged from 13th position at the 1/2 pole to pass all but the advantaged winner and was still charging to the wire: 

  

SLIP MAHONEY 

DP = 5-17-10-0-0 (32) DI = 5.40 CD = 0.84 

Mare Profile = 8-3-2-6-11 Speed = 11 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.70 Triads = 13-11-19 

St. Simon: Deputy Minister → Bunty Lawless 

Rating for the Derby: +++++ 

The balance in these numbers is perfect. He is a rear runner who is showing complete allegiance to his mares and that lopsided scale. 32 points with a 5.40 index and a nice CD is pointing directly to his late killer displayed speed. The 8 points in the mare's brilliant slot adds even more late speed but balanced with a 6-point spread leaning all the way over to the Solid side. Nailed it on a sloppy rougher bias way under his optimum. The fact that he lost an 8.5f race charging from the back in the mud means nothing. This was only a mile race. Obviously, not a sprinter with those configurations and obviously well-adept and built to tackle a fast track going further. This distance is way under his build. In addition, his sire is Arrogate, who is passing through his incredible amount of stamina but still keeping a hold of that speed. This horse is going to kill it as the distances progress. When a "stamina horse" with a very low index runs on the lead, you must take notice - the same stand-out evidence occurs when a high "speed category" horse is a rear runner. It means he is grabbing all of that impressive stamina, he favors that stamina, and he displays his killer 5.40 chefs speed late. Major 10f Derby player and will explode traveling further. Obviously, rain or shine. If this horse makes a gate in Kentucky, Hayes Strike is in trouble. He is not packing the type of inbred late speed that Slip is holding. Huge player that went under the radar prior to this race.  

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3/4/2023 - San Felipe - Santa Anita 

PRACTICAL MOVE Results Chart 8.5f dirt Final Time: 1:42.01 

DP = 1-0-1-0-0 (2) DI = 3.00 CD = 1.00  

Mare Profile = 6-5-5-11-4 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.92 Triads = 16-21-20 

St. Simon: Hail To Reason → Plucky Liege Bias Preference: Speed bias. 

Rating for the Derby: ++++ 

Rating from the Los Alamitos Derby remains the same. This race was actually won 2 seconds slower than the same distance is his Los Alamitos win. Not a major drawback but it would have been nice to see a speed progression after a two and a half month growth period in a young horse. He is well adept on a speed bias so for this guy, a speedy clean track at Churchill will put him on board as a player, especially with those 3 numbers in his trads. For some reason, Practical Move gives the same type of feeling as Arctic Arrogance even though their charts are very different. Their scales are very similar, and they run exactly the same. Hard to explain but interchangeable in my mind. On a side note, nice to see the entire Baffert Crew crumble, but it would be better to get them into a Derby gate, so we had a few easy tosses. None of them work for the Derby and I love seeing that ridiculous early hype go up in flames. It is always based on the trainer as opposed to the horse's ability to go the distance. Baffert held on to his two best horses, and he let the sprinters go. He must be planning for a huge Preakness comeback to ruin any chance for any trainer to grab a Triple Crown this year. If the selfish one can't have it, nobody will. If he does that, he will succeed. Faustin is a monster. 

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3/4/2023 - John Battaglia - Turfway Park 

CONGRUENT Results Chart 8.5f AWS clear/fast Final Time: 1:43.02  

DP = 6-11-14-1-0 (32) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.69 

Mare Profile = 8-4-4-4-9 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.92 Triads = 16-12-17 (Tapit) 

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy 

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

This race is such a great example of the absolute importance of knowing and understanding the BIAS FACTORS when handicapping races. First of all, who in their right mind would bet a horse who trained and worked out on the Santa Anita track in all but one singular time for his entire career so far? A horse who posted bullet workouts on the fast track of Santa Anita over and over again? A horse who traveled around the corner to run on "AWS" at Golden Gate, which is still a much speedier track surface than Turfway. Gilmore going off at 2-1 in this race is a joke and just shows the absurdity of hype and how clueless most are - it just would never translate onto the AWS at Turfway. Ridiculous. A fast Baffert boy with Santa Anita training is going to bomb on AWS at Turfway. In that same vein, Congruent, a "TAPIT STAMINA DOMINANT" horse failed to win on TURF (Tapit's don't thrive on turf) but still managed to excel late, even in defeat, each time showing his fluent stamina leanings. Each time revealing promise of a better trip once he stepped off turf and onto the "easier" AWS. Being race-trained on turf three times in a row had a strong potential of feeling like heaven for this horse moving down to AWS. He was either going to explode on this track OR he would fail again waiting for a much longer dirt distance. This horse went off at 16.5 to 1 because most handicappers look at Timeform and Beyer figures and ignore the bias. Take heed. Congruent is a 3.00 Tapit boy with a .69 CD. This will not do for the Derby at all. Obvious major leaning to stamina. It was proven today (and also by his turf "training") that this particular Tapit Boy is a prime candidate for the Belmont Stakes. He is also a good candidate for Dubai. In addition, the fact that he ran only one second slower on the AWS than Practical Move on the Santa Anita dirt, gives proof that Congruent would be an exceptionally fast Belmont prospect. When it comes to the Triple Crown, it is all about BIAS and the proper placement in specific races along the way.  

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3/11/2023 Tampa Bay Derby - Tampa Bay 

TAPIT TRICE Results Chart 8.5f clear dirt Final Time: 1:43.37 

DP = 5-15-11-1-0 (32) DI = 3.92 CD = 0.75  

Mare Profile = 10-6-1-7-7 Speed = 16 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.23 Triads = 17-14-15 

St. Simon: A.P. Indy → Bold Ruler → St. Simon - 18.75% 

Rating for the Derby: +++++ 

I watched this replay about 14 times before typing this analysis, and I have to be completely honest. As flashy as his stretch run and his win was today, I truly struggled with this 5 star rating and was very close to simply putting 4 stars. I may be in the minority here, but I truly hated the way he ran today. Or should I say, what little running he actually did. It worked, he won, but if he thinks he can run like that in the Kentucky Derby, he won't even see 4th place on that board. The Tampa Bay bias was NOT playing as the history dictated today. Persistent mild weather saw to that, but the fact that he still took over and won is what redeemed him for the 5 stars. The track was neither speedy nor yielding, it was simply neutral - similar to Belmont in the summer. Tapit Trice needs a fast track and this is something he has not seen yet. The fact that he has done so well in all his races so far does show that he is a quality horse who can pull from his entire chart. He ran hard today for 1/4 mile and blitzed that field but we really need to see his SPEED IN CONJUNCTION with his STAMINA. We saw a tiny glimpse of that in his allowance in the wind at Gulfstream, but today, we saw him take advantage of low-class colts at the top of the stretch. He did his job, he got it done and he is built very well for Churchill - but he can't repeat this uninspiring performance there. Was hoping his last race before the Derby was in the Florida Derby to judge a fast track run but read today it will most likely be the Bluegrass. This means we have to "expect" an explosion in Kentucky, without the evidence of what he can do on a fast track. I'll feel much better than I do at this moment about him after he wins a race against some real competition, and he actually runs the entire race showing off his strong stamina with speed throughout the entire race. Exactly the way he is built. Could you imagine Flightline with a performance like that? No chance. Displaying Speed the entire time. From the first step out of the gate, down the backstretch and all the way to the wire. Tapit Trice has it built right into him as well, so he must get it tied together and display it before the May race. He was given an 88 beyer for the race, that will never cut it in May. He has to perform at a higher level in his next.  

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3/15/2023 Condition Stakes - Kempton Park 

BRAVE EMPEROR Race Replay 8f Polytrack Final Time: 1:39.76 

DP = 1-2-7-4-0 (14) DI = 0.87 CD = 0.00 

Mare Profile = 7-3-0-9-8 Speed = 10 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.68 Triads = 10-12-17 

Rating for the Derby: + 

Brave Emperor, trained by Archie Watson, and Cairo, trained by Aiden O'Brien both lead the European Road to the Derby at this moment. They are both sporting 20 points each. Cairo heads to the UAE Derby to vie for 100 points and Brave Emperor will be heading to the last European Prep in the Cardinal at Chelmsford. Brave Emperor is not nominated to the Derby but there is still time to supplement. Even though this horse is pumped with a magnificent amount of stamina and could easily run 10f in Kentucky, it is his lack of inbred speed that would defeat him in the end. There is no reason for them to spend the money on a supplement and a plane ride, he would have no chance at Churchill.  

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March 25, 2023 Louisiana Derby - Fairgrounds 

KINGSBARNS Results 1-3/16th cloudy Final Time: 1:57.33 

DP = 2-4-6-2-0 (14) DI = 1.80 CD = 0.43 

Mare Profile = 9-2-7-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.08 Triads = 18-17-20 

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy (Below Teddy, 34.77%) 

Rating for the Derby: +++++ 

Thanks to Patty, we were all alerted to this guy just after his maiden race. He became the only "stamina category standout" as a maiden and claiming winner to make the Top 12 article besides Extra Anejo, coming in at #6 prior to this race. After this race, he will take a huge leap forward on April's Top Ten. He has 9.9f combined, however, he also has Tapit in his 2nd generation. BAM!!!! On the lead!!! BAM Again! Pure Tapit stamina, on the lead with a 1.80, demolishing the prestigious Louisiana Derby. On top of that, simply a maiden and claiming runner against class. He has tackled three separate biases now. This stamina guy is taking over where Extra Anejo should have been and we are right on it. Between this race and the one prior, Kingsbarns is responsible for the biggest cashes for me personally on the trail so far, and that will not end going forward. His ability to run up on the lead with pure speed and backed by exceptional stamina are the ingredients of a Derby Winner. Flashy 8f wins are a dime a dozen if the horse doesn't have 10f in him. Take heed, all of the Forte backers. To win the Derby takes EXACT qualifications, and Kingsbarns has those elements in spades.  

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March 25, 2023 Fukuryu - Nakayama 

MITONO O approx 9f 

DP = 2-0-15-1-0 (18) DI = 1.12 CD = 0.17 

Mare Profile = 5-8-3-7-4 Speed = 13 Stamina = 11 Index = 1.17 Triads = 16-18-14 

Rating for the Derby: + 

He is not nominated for the Kentucky Derby and they should not consider supplementing. He would be toast in the Derby at the far turn.  

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March 25, 2023 UAE Derby - Meydan 

DERMA SOTOGAKE Replay 9.5f Final Time: 1:55.81 

DP = 1-1-2-0-0 (4) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.75 

Mare Profile = 8-2-5-9-6 Speed = 10 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.88 Triads = 15-16-20 

Rating for the Derby: NEED MORE TIME 

After the Santa Anita Derby performance with Mandarin Hero, I need more time to look into both Derma and Continuar as they relate to figures from Japan and to pit each against each other, so I am reviewing more and still need to track alot of info down. This will take some time but highly necessary this year. Derma and Continuar arrived in the USA today 4/8 - The connections are taking this very seriously and we should as well.  

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March 25, 2023 Jeff Ruby Steaks - Turfway Park 

TWO PHIL'S Results 9f AWS Final Time: 1:49.03 

DP = 2-7-11-0-0 (20) DI = 2.64 CD = 0.55 

Mare Profile = 3-4-8-8-5 Speed = 7 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.69 Triads = 15-20-21 

St. Simon: 70.32% 

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

This is the mid-range category stand-out for the Derby. Mares are dropping 12.2f on him and when combined with his chefs, he ends at 11.1f. Chefs are responsible for the bulk of his speed inheritance. In addition, the 70% line breeding to St. Simon is not only a fierce clue into his stamina leanings, but it is sensational for the Derby. This is one reason why he stood out for this 9f on AWS. Concrete Stamina gives him the ability to work that type of surface. The second reason why he stood out was because of the prior evidence of speed that is attached to it from the Lecomte and the Street Sense. If you go back to the Lecomte entry from Part One analysis... "Two Phil's did extremely well on that bias with his lopsided configurations that lean strongly to the stamina side. He was aided by the demise of Echo Again on the lead, but he progressed in his speed. He is the one who stood out here at the 8.5f distance today on that bias."  

  

The reason why this 2.64 guy stands out for the Kentucky Derby is mainly due to his win on the sloppy surface in the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs traveling 8.5f. The ability to tackle a highly speedy surface with pure and exceptional stamina is exactly the mixture that is necessary to tackle the Derby - RAIN OR SHINE. We have concrete evidence from both sides of the scale that correspond to his configurations. His speed will heighten as he travels further. The power that he showed on the AWS is exact confirmation that he is attached to the high stamina side in his breeding. The ability he showed in winning his early short dirt races on the lead and the muddy performance is the exact form that is a major necessity for the Derby.  

  

The single most important piece of the equation is that Two Phil's came in at only 3/4ths of a second below breaking the track record for the Ruby. The evidence of a strong Derby player doesn't get much better than that. He's a Superstar and a complete standout for all three races of the Triple Crown. We have the confirmation in our back pockets now. No speculation. No distance issues. Display of raw speed. Finally, something to get excited about on this Trail. He will be a big part of the following Top Ten List for April. MAJOR Mid-Range PLAYER.  

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March 26, 2025 Sunland Derby - Sunland Park 

WILD ON ICE Results 9f Dirt clear/fast Final Time: 1:51.39 

DP = 3-6-7-0-0 (16) DI = 3.57 CD = 0.75 

Mare Profile = 10-3-5-7-5 Speed = 13 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.27 Triads = 18-15-17 

St. Simon: Wild Again → Nearco → St. Simon 18.75% 

Rating for the Derby: + 

There is no reason to get too in depth here. This is not a Derby horse and these configurations will never do. The entire race was a dumpster throw because of Baffert's presence. His horse was run into the ground for no reason what-so-ever. Is there any wonder why the man is so despised among the horse racing community. He treats his horses in the worst possible way. 

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April 1, 2023 Florida Derby - Gulfstream Park 

FORTE Results Chart 9f dirt Final Time: 1:49.37 clear fast 

DP = 4-4-5-1-0 (14) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.79 

Mare Profile = 11-2-5-1-11 Speed = 13 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.04 Triads = 18-8-17 

St. Simon: Storm Cat → Nearco → St. Simon 18.75% Bias Preference: Pace Meltdown 

Rating for the Derby: Win: +++ Board hit: +++++ 

Rating stays the same from the Fountain of Youth. There is no doubt that Forte is one of the best from this crop and while the configurations are not particularly well-suited for a win in the Kentucky Derby, talent does mean something during the bigger races. Recall Essential Quality who went undefeated up to the Derby who was not built for a win in the Derby. He managed 4th in his bid for the roses. An undefeated status does not always mean that the horse is a lock to win at Churchill. Because of the leaderboard status this year, Forte is absolutely a player in the Derby, the type that would need to be spread on a super and not relied upon as a single on top. His distance is questionable on paper but the will to win is always there as well. With the high amount of tosses this year, default status falls right on his shoulders.  

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April 1, 2023 Cardinal Condition - Chelmsford City 

BOLD ACT Replay 8f AWS  

DP = 2-6-10-10-0 (28) DI = 0.87 CD = 0.00 

Mare Profile = 3-9-1-13-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 19 Index = 0.62 Triads = 13-23-20 

St. Simon: 37.69% 

Rating for the Derby: +++ 

Grandson of Galileo and Dubawi, trained by Charles Appleby. Undefeated on Turf and AWS to date. Configurations are perfectly situated as a top notch stamina candidate, however, he has never performed on a dirt surface, let alone a fast dirt surface. Distance is easy for this guy, but the surface is questionable. The only way to judge is if Appleby decides he wants to go for it and gets him to Churchill with ample time to work him on the track. He would need to show explosive workout times on that track before considering. If these numbers were attached to an American runner, he would get 5 stars, but at the moment we can only wait and see about Churchill fast dirt works. 

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April 1, 2023 Arkansas Derby - Oaklawn Park 

ANGEL OF EMPIRE Results Charts 9f dirt Final Time 1:49.68 - clear/fast 

DP = 4-4-2-0-0 (10) DI = 9.00 CD = 1.20 

Mare Profile = 6-4-6-11-3 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.96 Triads = 16-21-20 

St. Simon: Mr. Prospector → Teddy 

Rating for the Derby: +++++ on clean track // +++++ on wet track 

Two second improvement in displayed speed from the win in the Risen Star. This horse looked like a class act and at the moment there is not one who compares to the highly advantaged numbers in the speed category. After the Risen Star win, his job was to replicate the win at this distance to make sure that he was not simply taking advantage of an "off track" and he passed with flying colors. The most important item that stands out with Angel of Empire is that he is configured MUCH BETTER for a very fast track and so far, he has not competed on that type of surface. This means, he has a very strong chance of exploding even greater at Churchill Downs, rain or shine. Back in 2017, his sire, Classic Empire, was the best built entry on the field with a matching resume. Luckily, Angel of Empire has Prat and not Leparoux on his back and hopefully he will see a much better ride. This horse has turned out to be one of the best contenders on the field, even though he is shy of the full 10f in his breeding. His ability to work biases that are against him have only proven to enhance his stamina and he will glide much easier at Churchill. Main contender at this point. Spectacular Derby numbers and he is running directly in line with them. Big Derby Player. 

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April 8, 2023 Wood Memorial - Aqueduct 

LORD MILES Results Chart 9f clear/fast Final Time: 1:51.17 

DP = 5-6-9-0-0 (20) DI = 3.44 CD = 0.80 

Mare Profile = 9-2-4-8-8 Speed = 11 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.86 Triads = 15-14-20 

St. Simon: Prospector → Teddy 

Rating for the Derby: ++ 

He got away with banging Hit Show 3 times down the stretch and Hit Show then kept banging into Dreamlike. He won the purse, but Hit Show still gains his Derby gate. He has the 10f, but the mare's line is not good enough to compete in the Derby. He will be lost within a sea of horses. Since he did much better on the Aqueduct bias than at Gulfstream, he is gravitating to his mares and that overtakes the 3.44 index. Opposite for Churchill.  

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April 8, 2023 Blue Grass Stakes - Keeneland 

TAPIT TRICE Results Chart 9f cloudy/fast Final Time: 1:50.00 

DP = 5-15-11-1-0 (32) DI = 3.92 CD = 0.75  

Mare Profile = 10-6-1-7-7 Speed = 16 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.23 Triads = 17-14-15 

St. Simon: A.P. Indy → Bold Ruler → St. Simon - 18.75% 

Rating for the Derby: +++++ 

Tapit Trice ran exactly as his numbers reveal today. Worthy of those 5 stars with much more confidence than after the Tampa Bay Derby. He was checked before the 1/4 pole, ran mid-pack, then made a killer move midway down the backstretch. He was running 3-4 wide over half the trip. He then overtook a very good competitor as he was eyeing the patrons in the stands, almost aloof to the entire exercise. Much better performance all the way around. The next step is to see how he works at Churchill Downs vs his workout times at Palm Beach and Belmont Park. Still a bit wary with the Tapit factor when it comes to the Derby, even with the 3.92 index for the win though. This is the Kentucky Derby and only the best of the best can be considered for the top. He is a major top 4 player but there are 3 others who also have fantastic configurations and performed just as well, if not better. Because of lessons learned from last year, two pace scenarios will be addressed for two separate tickets. He has the muscle to win on the one scenario, but not the other. Things will be configured and looked at from both sides of the pace structures and either way, Tapit Trice is a player with both and a major win consideration on the one side. 

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April 8, 2023 Santa Anita Derby - Santa Anita 

PRACTICAL MOVE Results Chart 9f clear/fast Final Time: 1:48.69 

DP = 1-0-1-0-0 (2) DI = 3.00 CD = 1.00  

Mare Profile = 6-5-5-11-4 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.92 Triads = 16-21-20 

St. Simon: Hail To Reason → Plucky Liege Bias Preference: Speed bias. 

Rating for the Derby: +++ 

When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, every single item needs to be nit-picked to death. Practical Move has been very consistent along his road so far and has done nothing wrong. He is the typical west coast player with high beyers on the fast tracks up to 9f, strictly DelMar, Santa Anita and Los Alamitos. Of course, many have won the Derby exiting Santa Anita, but they weren't holding 2-point profiles. Just like in this race, he will most likely see a speedy failure on the lead that he can take advantage of, which gives him at least a shot within the top 8. If you notice, his star rating dropped from the consistent 4 stars down to 3 stars for one main reason... the 3.00 speedy Practical Move, a "resident" of the California scene with seven races under his belt, in his home neighborhood every step of the way, and with every workout at either DelMar or Santa Anita for his entire existence, was only able to beat a Japanese invader by a nose at 9f in a very fast time on a very fast bias. A Japanese invader who is L-O-A-D-E-D in stamina. Evidence of a very massive tell with ALL 3 invaders because of that performance... 

  

MANDARIN HERO 

DP = 2-3-5-0-2 (12) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.25 

Mare Profile = 3-8-4-11-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 17 Index = 0.67 Triads = 15-23-21 

St. Simon: Halo → Blue Larkspur 

Rating for the Derby: +++++ 

Incredibly impressive performance on a foreign track, against highly regarded home turf competition, and with the completely opposite type of breeding that would thrive on a track like Santa Anita. This horse ran on a bias that is so against the grain that it is as impressive, if not more, than Two Phil's in the Jeff Ruby. Hero can run the 10f's of the Derby with his eyes closed and the amount of speed that he displayed on that bias was so remarkable and dramatic that I had to go back and watch several times before moving on to replays from Sunday Silence (3rd generation, mare's side). The dominate qualities are so apparent and similar, which points directly to his top linebreeding through Halo, Sunday Silence's sire. Mandarin Hero's performance in the Santa Anita Derby was absolutely astonishing and impressive for a colt with an optimum of 11.6f and his prowess on that bias puts our entire crop to shame. The downfall here is the track record of overseas players, even with the most impeccable breeding. Each year, they show up with their royal charts and their killer resumes and they collapse but there would not be a chance in hell that I would ever bypass these configurations attached with that performance. The big difference is that we saw what he is made of on our track and he is not holding turf numbers. He is here, there is no question with distance and his displayed speed with that .25 CD rivals our speedsters. Spectacular peformance as a graded novice on that track. 

  

But here is the important part. Mandarin Hero is in the NAR (National Association of Racing - local) which is the "lower end" side of Japan horse racing. This guy almost won a Graded USA race, losing by just a nose. Both Derma Sotogake and Continuar are part of the JRA (Japan Racing Association - metropolitan) which is the "high end" or Top Level of Japan racing. A colt named Hero Call beat Mandarin Hero last out - the same horse who came in 4th place far behind Derma Sotogake in December.  

  

Derma, Mandarin and Continuar all have the 10f+ easily. These guys are not like Summer is Tomorrow from last year. The only thing I can say at this point is that there is much research to be done before any conclusions can be made.  

2 Comments


Lisa De
Lisa De
May 21

Thank you, Richard for retrieving this for me! I really appreciate it.

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Replying to

You're welcome. 😊

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