OH NO, NO MO! Press conference at 8:45 will have the reasons, but UNCLE MO IS OUT, so much for Bob Baffert’s funny diatribe (see below..)
IS MO READY TO GO, OR IS HE A NO-SHOW?
The interests of UNCLE MO are keeping us in the dark, will they really scratch the champ 2yo from last year from the Derby? He’s a slight fellow, who so far is not as fast as he was last year///stay tuned
Cindy Pierson Dulay – horse-races.net
TIME FOR THE OAKS
Baker’s dozen including Ontario bred Joyous Victory
Bill Graham, owner of Windhaven, is on his way to Kentucky to watch his homebred filly, JOYOUS VICTORY, run in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) today at Churchill Downs. The Toronto businessman, owner of Graham Brothers Construction, a direct of WOODBINE and a former tackle with the Toronto Argonauts, will meet up with his daughter Jackie and take in the sights and sounds of the biggest weekend in Kentucky racing.
JOYOUS VICTORY is by Tapit out of WILD LUCY BLACK, who is currently in foal to Congrats. Joyous Victory was born at Graham’s Celdon, farm under the watchful eye of Bob Hancock.
A story on the filly apears today in the TORONTO STAR…www.thestar.com
BUT CAN SHE WIN?
Certainly, if JOYOUS VICTORY is favoured for the KENTUCKY OAKS (G1) today), she has the credentials to win the 9 furlong classic.
Her two big wins this year came with a new trainer, Larry Jones, and fresh new blinkers, so she has essentially been untested. She has tactical speed and as long as she does not move too soon, she should be right there. But she is no certainty.
The pace should be strong enough with PLUM PRETTY in there. Some gals are coming off Polytrack races (LILACS AND LACE) and the switch to dirt is a question.
This corner has always thought KATHMANBLU was overrated but her pattern looks like she could be sitting on a peak race and she may love the switch abck to dort.
The price play from THOROUGHBLOG is ST. JOHN’S RIVER, an improving gal with ANNIE NAPRAVNIK oon board.
THE PICKS – KATHMANBLU, ST. JOHN’S RIVER, JOYOUS VICTORY
A total purse of $2,196,800 is up for grabs with the winner receiving $1,436,800.
Post 10 has been the most successful post over the last 30 years with five wins. Ferdinand, the 1986 Derby winner, was the last horse to win from the rail. No winners have come from posts 2, 9, 12, 14, 17, or 19. Big Brown won from post 20 in 2008.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I)
Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1. Archarcharch Jon Court Jinks Fires 10-1
2. Brilliant Speed Joel Rosario Tom Albertrani 30-1
3. Twice the Appeal Calvin Borel Jeff Bonde 20-1
4. Stay Thirsty Ramon Dominguez Todd Pletcher 20-1
5. Decisive Moment Kerwin Clark Juan Arias 30-1
6. Comma to the Top Patrick Valenzuela Peter Miller 30-1
7. Pants On Fire Rosie Napravnik Kelly Breen 20-1
8. Dialed In Julien Leparoux Nick Zito 4-1
9. Derby Kitten Javier Castellano Mike Maker 30-1
10. Twinspired Mike Smith Mike Maker 30-1
11. Master of Hounds Garrett Gomez Aidan O’Brien 30-1
12. Santiva Shaun Bridgmohan Eddie Kenneally 30-1
13. Mucho Macho Man Rajiv Maragh Kathy Ritvo 12-1
14. Shackleford Jesus Castanon Dale Romans 12-1
15. Midnight Interlude Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert 10-1
16. Animal Kingdom Robby Albarado H. Graham Motion 30-1
17. Soldat Alan Garcia Kiaran McLaughlin 12-1
18. Uncle Mo John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 9-2
19. Nehro Corey Nakatani Steve Asmussen 6-1
20. Watch Me Go Rafael Bejarano Kathleen O’ Connell 50-1
BOB BAFFERT SAYS THIS THING…
“I’m not buying that crap. He’s just trying to steal this race.” – Bob Baffert on Uncle Mo’s 50-50 status
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After years of putting his foot in his mouth, Bob Baffert has come up with something he likes to call “The 10 Minute Rule.”
He’ll talk to the media about whatever they want, but only for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, he says, he tends to say stuff he later tends to regret. So when reporters gathered around his barn Thursday morning to get his thoughts on the horses entered in this year’s Kentucky Derby, including his own horse, Midnight Interlude, he playfully checked his watch every few minutes.
“When I first came here, I felt like I had to talk to everybody and give them good stuff,” Baffert said. “But my wife taught me that when I talk to much, after 10 minutes, I start babbling, and that’s when I get myself in trouble.”
ANDY BEYER WEIGHS IN ON FIELD…
Analysis: Mediocre field mars Kentucky Derby
Another weak crop of 3-year-olds raises questions about U.S. racehorses
Thursday, May 5, 2011 03:08 AM
By Andrew Beyer
SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST
The field for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday could be the worst in decades. Except for Uncle Mo – the champion colt whose current form is suspect and who might not get to the starting gate – not one of the 19 other entrants would rate as a serious contender in an average Derby.
Three-year-old crops vary from year to year, of course, and racing fans periodically lament the quality of the colts in the Triple Crown series. But this year’s group comes on the heels of mediocre Derby fields in 2009 and 2010, a trend that raises an uncomfortable question: While human athletes are getting bigger, stronger and faster, benefiting from improved training techniques and nutrition, are America’s thoroughbred racehorses getting worse? And, if so, why?
It is an incontrovertible fact that the competition in recent Triple Crown series has been weak. Last year, Super Saver was one of the least talented colts in the postwar era to earn a blanket of roses. He had won only a single Grade II stakes race before the Derby, lost his three starts after the Derby and was retired. In 2009 the impossible long shot Mine That Bird ran away with the Derby; it was his only victory in a dozen starts as a 3- and 4-year-old.
Time is the most objective measurement of a horse’s ability, and the 3-year-olds in recent years have been slower than their counterparts in the past. Over the last quarter century, the average winning Beyer Speed Figure in the Derby has been 109. Mine That Bird’s 105 and Super Saver’s 104 were below the norm. But the slowness of this year’s field is unprecedented
Wednesday night at Woodbine
Whether it was the rider’s decisions to stay closer to the inside and see what happens or if the track actually offered better footing on the rail, the inside was surprisingly not a bad place to be last night.
There was no distinct bias to the track to these eyes, however,as horses came from everywhere.
JUSTIN STEIN rode the DAILY DOUBLE winners – CARLA CHRISTOFFERSEN got her first winner of the meeting with KEEP SIX in the 1st race at 1 1/16 miles.
MIMI COOPER, a tough, speedy mare who is currently in the barn of Scott Fairlie, zipped up the rail to win race 2 but she did drift out badly through the stretch and seemed to hamper a charging INDYCAT a bit.
Inside speed ruled race 3 as CLASSY KATHERINE (Old Forester) won the featured allowance event for 3yo, Ontario sired fillies at 5 to 1. The front running winner, bred and owned by Dom Romeo, beat 2 to 5 shot Dreamy Moonlite, who could not catch the winner, a half sister to BIG RED MIKE.
SUSANBANDOOZAN, 3 to 1, won the first leg of the PICK 4 for owner/trainer MIKE PINO. The filly was the first of 2 straight winners for LUIS CONTRERAS who then steered CLASSICAL MELODY to a predictable win in race 5. The light grey Alphabet Soup fellow won off the long layoff last year and did it again with a 7 path rally for $20K claiming. Radlie Loney is the trainer.
Trainer Dave Cotey had DEFINITE HUMOR well prepared off the September – May layoff to win race 6 for maidens, $12,500. The Sharp Humor colt had a lovely trip, tucked in behind a 3 horse speed duel and then he rallied 4 wide off the turn.
RICHARD DOS RAMOS seems to be riding as confident as ever these days.
The SAM DIPASQUALE barn is on a major roll, taking its 6th winner in race 7 last night with HEY BATTER BATTER, who darted up the rail and battled front runner Forest Justice to the wire, winning by inches. The grey Najran fellow won the $4K claiming event in a sharp 1:09.94
and Congrats to Thoroughblog reader STEVE OWENS the owner and breeder, along with wife Bev, of DULCE ESPERANZA won her debut at 1 1/16 miles in the finale under a heady ride by Jesse Campbell.
The Survivalist filly won quite nicely and in her wake was 4 to 5 shot Bubbles to the Top. The winner was 8 to 1.
STAKES PREVIEWS – WOODBINE
11 races tomorrow, hooray! no overlapping PICK 4’S!
The Queenston and Vigil (Grade 3) are the features at Woodbine this weekend, part of 21 races set for the 2 days. The cards are good, but the stakes races this season have struggled and that once again intimates that perhaps the schedule needs close scutiny for years to come.
Both stakes events are pretty interesting, though.
The QUEENSTON is a 7 furlong step towards the Queen’s Plate and BEAR’S CHILL will look to win his first stakes attempt over the little BLACK N BEAUTY.
BEAR’S CHILL was very eager in his allowance win but Emile Ramsammy, named the AVELINO GOMEZ AWARD WINNER this year, managed to get him to realx and bit before they took off to win. Tomorrow, the colt strats from the rail and if SAY NO MORE wants to push him, he may just do so. The latter won his season opener and is quickly back in action for Gus Schickedanz. It will be interesting to see what the tactics are here.
OH CANADA won the Woodstock and likely was not even cranked up so he is a stretch running threat along with BLACK N BEAUTY.
The Vigil marks the return of champion sprinter HOLLYWOOD HIT, who will square off against ESSENCE HIT MAN, who set a track record in his opener this year in the Jacques Cartier.
Purse $150,000. For Three-Year-Olds, Foaled In Ontario. By subscription of $150 each which shall accompany the nomination and an additional $1,500, when making entry. The purse to be divided 60% to the winner, 20% to second, 10% to third, 5% to fourth, 2% to fifth, 1% to sixth 1% to seventh, 1% to eighth. Weight: 124 Lbs. Non-winners of a Sweepstakes of $75,000 three times, allowed 3 Lbs.; Of a Sweepstakes of $75,000 twice, 5 Lbs.; Of a Sweepstakes of $75,000 once, 7 Lbs.; Of a race other than maiden or claiming or restricted allowance, 9 Lbs. (No Canadian Bred Allowance) Final entries to be made through the entry box at the closing time then in effect for overnight events. A supplemental nomination may be made no later than the time of final entry, by a non-refundable fee of $3,000, which includes the entry fee. *Plus up to $13,200 Ontario Sired/Ontario Bred Breeder Awards. *$60,000 of this purse has been provided through the Thoroughbred Improvement Program. Seven Furlongs. (All Weather Track)
P# PP Horse Virtual
Stable A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1 Bear’s Chill (ON) 3/C L E Ramsammy 117 R Baker 5/2
2 2 Sardonicus (ON) 3/G L C Fraser 115 M E Casse 10/1
3 3 Say No More (ON) 3/G L R A Dos Ramos 117 M Keogh 4/1
4 4 Oh Canada (ON) 3/G L L Contreras 119 R P Tiller 9/5
5 5 Black N Beauty (ON) 3/C L T Pizarro 117 D L Romans 2/1
Sunday, Woodbine, post time: 3:27 p.m. EDT
VIGIL S.-GIII, $150,000, 4yo/up, 7f (AWT)
PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER WT
1 Hollywood Hit Cactus Ridge McAleney Jordan 120
2 Essence Hit Man Speightstown Husbands Cappuccitti 118
3 Stunning Stag K Running Stag Olguin Attard 122
4 Southdale Street Cry (Ire) Wilson Black 120
5 Signature Red Bernstein Contreras Attard 12