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🐎 *OFFICIAL 2022 Horse Racing Extravaganza Traveling Road Show Thread - Life Gettin' Better At Big Sandy* 🐎


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5/3/22: Link To Post With All Career Starts For The Field & All The Prep Races

 

 

'ola, you handful of intrepid folks who give a #### - we have only 7 weeks to go, so ... why the hell not - plenty in the books already to catch up on, but i'll "Psaki" to that as time permits during the upcoming week. 

what's new for '22?

NO. BAFFERT. 

yeah, Medina Spirit was officially DQ'd, giving the '21 roses to ol' Louisiana buddy Mandaloun - refund line forms at the left, good sirs. 

so the Silver Bullet gets a 2 year Churchill ban, and all of a sudden a yuuuuuge 75/1 shot takes down his million $ baby in The Rebel 

under increased scrutiny, Bob is ... now, i'm not sayin',  BUT - when was the last time you recall this kinda clunker from one of his prized colts? UN OJO up that friggin' rail, as Bobbo's Newgrange doesn't even board, as the 4/5 favorite, in a field he towered over. 

yeah, #### happens in this game, we all know that - but, again, this wasn't second by a neck to another hotshot trainer/horse/connection.  

so, there's that - take from it what ya will ... not flat-out claiming he's lost his juice (pun intended), just that Hot Springs has been very good to him on the trail in years past - it's a new ballgame in '22. 

the Rebel being my favorite prep race, yes - i whiffed it. 

anyway - today brings the 2022 edition of the storied TAMPA BAY DERBY - always such a wildcard event ... what with the concrete like surface foisting false speed gods on us - the points system may have robbed us of those cheap sprinters, but there's always these mid-tier bullrings to make up for that. 

interestingly enough, tho, our bored darlings out this circuit have not been of that speed ilk ... starting with Musket Man a dozen years ago, we find solace and comfort in the grinders who give us honest efforts down there - Tapwrit, Tacitus ... hell, even Street Sense bagged this one back in '07. 

the last 3 winners have been no bueno (Helium, King Guillermo, Quip), with Helium and KingG being two whose numbers dazzled on that surface, but did not translate at all to more reasonable ovals - and Quip just plain sucked. 

what can we expect today?

PAIN. 

ok, heavy favorite coming in is #4 CLASSIC CAUSEWAY (guess where his bloodline lies, go ahead) - yeah, i know ... this track is a ####### mind blower, and heavy rests the head who holds the chalk, but this cat has a ton going for him:

- maiden broken at the Spa

- won his 3 yr old debut, the Sam F. Davis, last month (this race's prep).

- worked impressively leading up.

- IRAD IS ON FIRE. 

- likes this surface, familiar with this surface, can absolutely uncork another ginormous run on this surface. 

seriously, i kno we wanna look for the coin angles here, and pimping the 9/5 ml fave (who will be banged down to prolly 4/5) really ain't gonna break the bank. 

so we'll look underneath:

#1 GRANTHAM (20/1 ml)

track could be off today, and this cat has run decently in the muck ... was fourth in the Withers, behind winner EARLY VOTING and Rebel darling UN OJO. 

just hope he doesn't get pinched too far off the class speed, 'cuz that would put the cue in the rack by the 1/2m.

Camacho won on King G a couple years back ... so that familiarity with this surface helps, but he's gonna need to run back to his Turfway (Tapeta) fig to matter here - but the fact that they opted for this Tampa surface, over the Tapeta over there at Gulfstream, tells me something.  

he's gotta fire. 

 

#3 HAPPY BOY ROCKET (12/1 ml)

shipping in for Mott, after a doozy maiden score (91) at this same distance (1m 1/16) at Gulfstream. great stalking spot right next to the fave - can't see this one missing the board. 

 

... and now 2 who have run this course well, which is a huge plus down there:

#9 SHIPSATIONAL (5/1 ml)

ran 2nd to today's favorite in the Davis, has best consistent speed #s of the lot, and has been working very well.  

has mixed it up with good stakes company, fits extremely well with this group ... if the fave falters, this is my choice to be picking him up as they cross the wire. 

#11 MONEY SUPPLY (10/1 ml)

***SCRATCH***

Chad Brown deciding to stretch this one out after his debut at 6f is telling me he likes what he sees here ... $400,000 price tag, outta Practical Joker - so there are some questions about consistently getting 1m+ routes - but the connections (including a smokin' Jose Ortiz) from top to bottom have been very right in recent vintage.  tough to ignore, and i certainly advise using. 

 

TRI KEY-BOX 

3/1, 4, 9, 11.

 

:deadhorse:

 

 

Edited by otb_lifer
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potential off weather scared the #7/#11 - both scratched. 

so, let's slide that #5 into that key box, and hope it was just his displaced pallette last out that caused the #### effort. 

TRI KEY BOX:

3/1, 4, 5, 9. 

 

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Posted (edited)

4/1/9 in the TB Derby. 

expected the #4, and he pretty much wired 'em - never in doubt. 

but that #1 (37/1) ran a hell of a race - that first turn comes up real quick, and he was able to position nicely, avoiding the pinch ... from there he pretty much drafted the 4 all the way around - was challenged a smidge in the stretch, but hung on for 2nd.  good effort. 

the #9 was in the stalk pack, but never really looked a threat ... was almost nipped for show dough by 2 huge underneath bombs.  

so, #4 CLASSIC CAUSEWAY did not disappoint ... and #1 GRANTHAM ran as i hoped he would. 

 

Edited by otb_lifer
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Posted (edited)

watching the replay off the TVG app ...

ya know, they really let the 4 loaf around, he FIRED out the gate, and nobody pressed - the 1 sat on the rail, the 9 was four wide most of the way ... the 3 was asked and just had nothing, but still fared better than the Pletcher entry, who couldn't be bothered at all. 

even though this win was comfy, it certainly didn't jump off the screen - but, again, he wasn't asked to - pretty suspect field. 

ok, found a replay on their twitter site:

TAMPA BAY DERBY

winner looks to be pointed towards the Bluegrass at Keeneland (the '07 Street Sense path), four weeks away.  

the last few winners (Helium, King Guillermo, Quip) opted not to run until Churchill after their scores. 

 

Edited by otb_lifer
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  • 4 weeks later...

Blue Grass Stakes and Santa Anita Derby both on Saturday.

Smile Happy had a tough path to getting beaten by Epicenter in the Risen Star, but that might have been a closer race with just a little bit more luck and some earlier daylight.   I'm still not sold on Epicenter even after the Louisiana Derby.   Classic Causeway ran the Florida Derby instead of the Blue Grass and faded to dead last.   Nobody seems to know what happened.  That leaves Zandon, who ran third in the Risen Star, and Ethereal Road, who placed in the Rebel as the primary challengers to Smile Happy.  I think Smile Happy will be too much.   

Santa Anita Derby gives us a chance to see which if either of Forbidden Kingdom and Messier is the real deal.   Messier would have earned 10 Derby points for winning the G3 Robert B Lewis by a massive 15 lengths, but he was in Baffert's barn at the time.   Now that's he's been switched over to Tim Yakteen, he can earn points.  Problem with evaluating both of these horses is that they've only raced against short fields, and that's not going to change here.   I think Forbidden Kingdom takes it, but I don't really like either for the roses.   

Edited by -fish-
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Guess I should have mentioned the Wood Memorial, also being run on Saturday.   Morello tries to go 4 for 4 without beating any interesting horses.   Early Voting beat the overrated Un Ojo in the Withers and is trying to go 3 for 3 for Chad Brown.  

I'll take Early Voting, but only because I'm a degenerate.   This is a weak field and unless Baffert's vet shows up with a syringe, none of these horses is going to hit the board in the Kentucky Derby.   

 

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i'll be investing quite a bit of oTb bux on Taiba in the S.A. Derby - blew the doors off in his debut sprint, with plenty left to spare - has a Justy feel to him, imo ... he needs the points, so he'll be pressed and full GO!

a Baffert orphan, this - i think big things are comin' for Gun Runner's kid. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, otb_lifer said:

i'll be investing quite a bit of oTb bux on Taiba in the S.A. Derby - blew the doors off in his debut sprint, with plenty left to spare - has a Justy feel to him, imo ... he needs the points, so he'll be pressed and full GO!

a Baffert orphan, this - i think big things are comin' for Gun Runner's kid. 

 

 

That was an impressive debut.   I assumed he would be aiming for the Preakness.

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50 minutes ago, otb_lifer said:

i'll be investing quite a bit of oTb bux on Taiba in the S.A. Derby - blew the doors off in his debut sprint, with plenty left to spare - has a Justy feel to him, imo ... he needs the points, so he'll be pressed and full GO!

a Baffert orphan, this - i think big things are comin' for Gun Runner's kid. 

 

 

Watched that Withers again.   Question is whether Gun Runner's other kid (Early Voting) is that good or the rest of the field was just unimpressive.   

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Posted (edited)

Yuuuuuuuuge prep day 🍻

gonna start at the home track with a selection of #5 Morello in the Wood - been 20 years since this circuit churned a KD winner, and i'm not expecting this to change this year ... gimme the #1 Mo Donegal under him ... the four best horses here are all KY breds, so wtf knows - but that's my call. 

Keeneland opened yesterday to some ridiculous tote/steward shennanigans, so hopefully the deck was cleared of that chicanery (wrong finish order was posted and paid, then acknowledged, and repaid to those who didn't tear tix).

woooop dee ####in' doooo.

The Blue Grass is deep with contenders, but i'm looking at the #9 Rattle N Roll to score again here on the surface of his sig vic back in the Futurity, where he hit the c-note bsf winning by 5 lengths ... injury sidelined him for the BC, and his first out as 3 year old was a very MEH effort in the Holy Bull, one he probably needed in good company to get his legs back, but that didn't shake out as he labored in the La. Derby, finishing 4th. 

ok - so 3rd off the bench, back at Keeneland - if he's worth his salt, he fires a big effort today. i'll jump in at his possible 10-1 or so anticipated odds ... btw, if it's an off track he can handle it.  

i already touted #6 Taiba for the SA Derby, though Mess and FK are some serious racehorses, and going against may be a fool's errand - but i saw glimpses of Justy in this Taiba cat, and i'll stick to the guns.  he's green, sure - and Smiff has seen MUCH better days in the irons, but i gotta follow the gut - howzabout a coming out party? i'll bite, though the two big guns can blaze like the friggin' wind.  this is gonna be a great race to watch, that's for damn sure. 

 

 

Edited by otb_lifer
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re: Blue Grass ...

Irad is riding bigly thus far today - cannot ignore the #1 Commandperformance (Pletcher) - no matter which way you're playing, find him a spot on yer tix. 

i still like that #9, but Irad is getting a masterful feel for today's conditions. 

 

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On 4/6/2022 at 5:35 PM, otb_lifer said:

i'll be investing quite a bit of oTb bux on Taiba in the S.A. Derby - blew the doors off in his debut sprint, with plenty left to spare - has a Justy feel to him, imo ... he needs the points, so he'll be pressed and full GO!

a Baffert orphan, this - i think big things are comin' for Gun Runner's kid. 

 

 

BOOYA

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16 hours ago, Cowboysfan8 said:

BOOYA

 

15 hours ago, the rover said:

thanks to otb lifer.  made a nice haul on Taiba

 

:hifive:

ya know when you watch a horse just motor so effortlessy that it seems almost mechanical?

YA KNOW?

that's how i felt watching Taiba's maiden score ... this is a big(ger) and strong(ger) and fast(er) fella, i already made the Justy comparisions ... he even looks like him. 

but yesterday surpassed expectations, inasmuch that he rated off that pace, and then made a TC winning move ... and that was all she wrote.  we already know how much this cat can blaze, but seeing discipline, albeit in a not so crowded field, showed chops needed to advance all the way up the 3 yr old ladder. 

hyperbole?

nope. 

we know it when we see it - check that final time, watch him make up ground with the ease i light a Marlboro. 

L.E.G.I.T.

Smiff had a hell of a journey, and complete control - well done all around. 

so awesome was his thrust that it overshadows two very worthy horses who also made championship level moves. 

we'll start with Mo Donegal, who ran the best final third of the afternoon ... Early Voting had no idea what hit him as that #1 came screaming up - was just as impressive a finish as Taiba's. 

... as was Zandon's. 

that was a classic close in a very evenly matched field - GO! button was hit, then just accelerated so efficiently.  awesome race outta that cat. 

 

now, as we start to get serious about contenders, we gotta remember that deep closers aren't winning the Roses these days ... whether it's due to the cheap speed being legislated out via the points, or because of press/need the lead types just being the best in their respective crops - six of one, half dozen of the other. 

so horses like Mo D and Zandy figure to be much more attractive as underneath types to me, which is basically what i'm looking to construct a ticket around ... would not plunk coin without either in the spread, whether they be my key or not. 

Taiba is another story. 

he can dominate from the lead, or from that first stalk pack, which is where you wanna be these days.  

the Derby will only be his THIRD career start, so if we are looking at the cw of that parameter, he's gonna hit another huge one next month. 

only knock will be his draw/traffic.  he's never been in a field more than 6, so fighting through is finna be a test. 

if he draws golden (between 8-15), it's pretty much fait accompli he's the ml favorite, prolly at a generous 2/1 or 5/2.  

i think he's Justy. or Big Brown, if they hang him in an outside post.  

i've seen enough to know. 

 

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18 hours ago, Cowboysfan8 said:

I like Zandon in the Bluegrass and will be wps on Happy Jack in Cali 

good luck my dudes 

 

good to double cash, no?

:banned:

nice call on Zandy, my guy Rattle N Roll had first time blinks, and attended for a few seconds ... he's a cooked 3 yr old. over. 

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7 hours ago, otb_lifer said:

 

 

:hifive:

ya know when you watch a horse just motor so effortlessy that it seems almost mechanical?

YA KNOW?

that's how i felt watching Taiba's maiden score ... this is a big(ger) and strong(ger) and fast(er) fella, i already made the Justy comparisions ... he even looks like him. 

but yesterday surpassed expectations, inasmuch that he rated off that pace, and then made a TC winning move ... and that was all she wrote.  we already know how much this cat can blaze, but seeing discipline, albeit in a not so crowded field, showed chops needed to advance all the way up the 3 yr old ladder. 

hyperbole?

nope. 

we know it when we see it - check that final time, watch him make up ground with the ease i light a Marlboro. 

L.E.G.I.T.

Smiff had a hell of a journey, and complete control - well done all around. 

so awesome was his thrust that it overshadows two very worthy horses who also made championship level moves. 

we'll start with Mo Donegal, who ran the best final third of the afternoon ... Early Voting had no idea what hit him as that #1 came screaming up - was just as impressive a finish as Taiba's. 

... as was Zandon's. 

that was a classic close in a very evenly matched field - GO! button was hit, then just accelerated so efficiently.  awesome race outta that cat. 

 

now, as we start to get serious about contenders, we gotta remember that deep closers aren't winning the Roses these days ... whether it's due to the cheap speed being legislated out via the points, or because of press/need the lead types just being the best in their respective crops - six of one, half dozen of the other. 

so horses like Mo D and Zandy figure to be much more attractive as underneath types to me, which is basically what i'm looking to construct a ticket around ... would not plunk coin without either in the spread, whether they be my key or not. 

Taiba is another story. 

he can dominate from the lead, or from that first stalk pack, which is where you wanna be these days.  

the Derby will only be his THIRD career start, so if we are looking at the cw of that parameter, he's gonna hit another huge one next month. 

only knock will be his draw/traffic.  he's never been in a field more than 6, so fighting through is finna be a test. 

if he draws golden (between 8-15), it's pretty much fait accompli he's the ml favorite, prolly at a generous 2/1 or 5/2.  

i think he's Justy. or Big Brown, if they hang him in an outside post.  

i've seen enough to know. 

 

What a great call! Man that was impressive. To go from 6 furlongs to 1 1/8 and close against good horses? Not many do that. Skies the limit. You’re right about Smith, but he’s in a good one here. If he trains well at Churchill he’ll be on all my tickets. I like Cox’s horse and the FG horses figure. Don’t like any others yet

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Posted (edited)

TOP 15 Career Best BSF:

Taiba 103

Mess 103

Epicenter 102

______________________________

Zandy/Zozos/Simplification 98

White Abby 97

Mo D/Morello/Early Voting 96

Tiz Bomb/Smile Happy 94

Charge It 93

Cyberknife/In Due Time 92

 

DEERBY WINNERS OF RECENT VINTAGE have all had at least one 100+ BSF fig, and finished no worse than show in their final prep. 

if you believe in form holding, then that really pares this crop down to but 3 to consider on top. 

 

Edited by otb_lifer
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Posted (edited)

Final Prep Race - Last Panel, Last 3 Furlongs:

Mo Donegal  11.9, 35.5

Epicenter**  12.1, 36.3

Zandon  12.3, 36.6

Zozos**  12.3, 37.0

Early Voting  12.4, 36.3

Taiba 12.4, 37.8

Tiz the Bomb***  12.7, 37.0

Barber Road 12.9, 39.2

Smile Happy  13.0, 37.8

Tawny Port***  13.1, 37.2

Messier  13.1, 37.8

Cyberknife 13.2. 39.2

Slow Down Andy 13.2, 40.6

Un Ojo 13.4, 39.4

Ethereal Road 13.6, 39.2

Morello 13.8, 39.5

In Due Time* 13.9, 38.7

Charge It 13.9, 39.7

White Abarrio 14.1, 39.7

Simplification 14.5, 40.4

Crown Pride** 14.5, 41.0

Summer Is Tomorrow** 15.0, 41.8

   *Last prep 1 1/16 mi.  

  **Last prep 1 3/16 mi.  

***Synthetic track. 

 

as i said last weekend, Mo D ran THE monster back end of the prep season at the Wood ... these numbers bear that out in spades, and should be putting plenty of punters on this cat as the livest underneath key in the gig ... i am still iffy on him taking this thing down and wearing the Roses, but he is one game sum##### ... remarkable rally. 

Zandy ran similar, but a full second slower ... what i love is the Chad/Flav connection knowing that this one needs one button push and he can eat up a ton of dead horse flesh - he cannot come from the clouds with the heavy hitters up front, imo, he's gonna have to be closer - especially with three speed demons dropping out, so he will not be getting suicidal pace to chew into ... but Flav did bring Country Home in as the winner (albeit by DQ) coming very hard, very late. 

looking at Taiba ... Smiff tapped him a few times, then just went to hand ride once they put Mess away in the stretch.  he didn't need any more horse than he rationed out. it really was a terrific pilot job by Mikey. 

White Abby illustrates how weak the Fl. circuit was, and i can't wait to toss his ### ... that's as uninspiring a Fl. Derby win as i can recall ... ol' Classic Causeway blazed out then faded like Rob Schneider's career ... a very poor prep. 

... meanwhile, Epicenter just keeps punching the clock - 3 wins in last 4 starts, with a 2nd in the Risen Star.

SOLID.

 

Edited by otb_lifer
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On 4/5/2022 at 2:30 AM, Judge Smails said:

Will be there Tuesday-Sunday of Derby week. All set for Oaks and Derby. Can’t wait!

 

first time? notebook is failing me. 

have you ever been to Keeneland?  that's the track i'm most interested in road tripping to - outside of hitting a Derby, of course. 

 

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G3 Lexington at Keeneland 

1: Midnight Chrome, 20-1
2: In Due Time, 3-1
3: We All See It, 15-1
4: Ethereal Road, 10-1
5: Howling Time, 15-1
6: Skate to Heaven, 30-1
7: Major General, 4-1
8: Strava, 20-1
9: Tawny Port, 5-2
10: Dash Attack, 10-1
11: Call Me Midnight, 6-1

last call for alcohol, as this officially wraps up the Prep season. 

not the snazziest late prep by any stretch, as evidenced by the paltry 20/8/4/2 points distribution to the top finishers

In Due Time  (20 points), Ethereal Road  (20), Call Me Midnight  (10), Dash Attack  (10), and Major General  (10) already have points, and are racing today because they will definitely need more to travel in state a bits over to Churchill in three weeks time. 

#9 Tawny Port already has bagged enough to secure a gate, but needs a good showing today on the dirt ... his second in the Jeff Ruby (tapeta) a couple weeks ago pretty much punched his ticket, and all of his good outings have been on the synth - his lone dirt start saw him finishing fifth in the Risen Star, behind big guns Epicenter/Zandon/Smile Happy, so no shame in that also-ran game - Geroux up for Cox - dunno how hard they will press this one if he encountets trouble, what with the big dance in only three weeks, especially after wheeling him back so quick after the Ruby - think he needs to break clean and have the smoothest of trips, lest i think they ease up if he gets compromised in any way early on ... but he's here for a reason, and unless he is a late scratch, he's gotta be reckoned with. 

and, speaking of wheeling back quick, ol' D Wayne is treating this as a "throwback Saturday", what with saddling #4 Ethereal Road here just one week after his seventh place finish in that hotly contested Blue Grass. 

jock switch to Espinoza, and i gotta think Lukas sees enough in this cat to labor him today to get his ### to Churchill - and i would not be shocked one bit if he took this mutha down. 

Pletcher/Irad for the #7 Major General, who finished tenth! last out in what has turned out to be a VERY unflattering Tampa Bay Derby ... but, again, he already has 10 points, so slotting him in here, away from all the top cats, is their way of stealing a date for the first Saturday in May. the TBD was his first start of his three yr old campaign, so maybe he needed that just to get the engine souped ... leave off at your own peril.

the #11 Call Me Midnight has done what nobody else in this year's crop has done as a three yr old - he beat Epicenter (in the LeComte), which is the (very) good news ... bad news is he came back for the La. Derby, in much the same company, and finished a very uninspired sixth.  he's another who will be balls out for that 20 points, as it will likely advance him. the outside post is pause for concern, but am i the only one who believes in Keith Desormeaux?  this is a cat who is most comfortable making up late ground, so perhaps he picks his 'settle in' spot from that 11 hole and then lets the race dictate when to make his move. 

#2 In Due Time can prolly advance with show dough outing today, sitting at 20 points.  ran second in the FoY, but found his way there through demolition derby-esque means, which resulted in a 14 day sit for Paco. 

#1 Midnight Chrome ran a beauty third behind top Derby contenders Mo D and Zandon in the Remsen  - live underneath cat who has the chops to steal this baby - gotta give him a yuuuge look here at those odds. 

tri key box

4/1,7,9,11

 

:deadhorse:

 

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Posted (edited)

9/7/2/4

#4 Ethereal Road, my key, needed another half furlong to bottom the tri ...

very solid effort from #9 Tawny Port off the 2 week ask. 

ETA: just finished the replay ... man, Geroux kept that #9 outta early potential trouble, sat a beauty rating trip ... navigated into clear 4 path turning home, then uncorked a ginchy stretch run.  

confident ride on a very capable colt. 

 

Prep Szn - DONE!

 

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Field as of 4/19/22, in order of prep points accumulated:

 1. Epicenter, Steve Asmussen  

 2. Zandon, Chad Brown   

 3. White Abarrio, Saffie Joseph Jr. 

  4. Mo Donegal, Todd Pletcher

  5. Tiz the Bomb, Kenny McPeek

  6. Cyberknife, Brad Cox 

  7. Crown Pride, Koichi Shintani (Japan)

  8. Taiba, Tim Yakteen (Baffert Beard)

  9. Simplification, Antonio Sano  

10. Smile Happy, Kenny McPeek  

11. Tawny Port, Brad Cox  

12. Barber Road, John Ortiz 

13. Un Ojo, Ricky Courville  

14. Early Voting, Chad Brown  

15. Morello, Steve Asmussen   

16. Messier, Tim Yakteen (Baffert Beard)

17. Zozos, Brad Cox 

18. Summer Is Tomorrow, Bhupat Seemar  

19. Charge It, Todd Pletcher  

20. Happy Jack, Doug O'Neill

 

cutoff this year was 30 points, got a handful waiting in the wings hovering in the 20-25 range for the inevitable defections ... we should see at least 2 - field will look different come 5/7. 

very early look would have me tossing half of the top 10, with White Abby leading the charge off the tix ... i don't care how good he works at Churchill, he's gone - want no part.  Tiz/Cyber/Japan/Simp can all join him. 

Mess/Zozos/Charge It from the lower end of the board are more attractive options to bottom out wagers, all the way up to exacta. 

pending post draw, i would expect Battaglia to slot Epicenter at 5/2 and Taiba at 3/1 ... they will be his top two ml picks, no question - public may pound Taiba down to favorite, but Epicenter deserves it - anything over 3/1 at post time for either is worth something i rarely suggest: a hefty WIN bet. 

the way i see it is -

all things being equal, good posts, good trips: Taiba takes it. 

most likely to hit the board: Epicenter, no doubt. 

basically, if Taiba gets his trip, he takes care of business ... i think he's the top horse in here - though i wouldn't be shocked if he didn't board due to peripherals, and that will have a lot to do with his draw - but make no mistake, he can wire this lot easily. 

conversely, i think only a freak occurrence on the track would prevent Epicenter from not hitting at least show dough ... cannot see him getting totally run off the track by this lot - safest bet to be there in the stretch with a chance. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Mattress Mike will be plunking his usual bet down this year on Epicenter to the tune of  $3m. 

Top 10, looking at the Vegas futures as of this morning, using Bill Hill book -

Epi/Mess at 5-1.

Taiba at 6-1

Zandy at 7-1

Cyber/Charge/W.Abby at 10-1

Mo D/Smile Happy at 12-1

Simplification at 16-1

- not surprised by Mess at all - he was KD co-fave with Epi prior to the Taiba exhibition in the S.A. Derby, where he still ran a workman 99, despite easing up a bit once the beast made it futile.  ran the same final 1/3 (37.8) while putting away Forbidden Kingdom, before the tsunami. 

- as i mentioned upthread, the 2 point criteria for recent vintage:

1. at least one 100+ bsf on record.

2. no worse than show in last prep. 

 🐎 Epi/Taib/Mess 🐎

 

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On 4/15/2022 at 5:12 AM, otb_lifer said:

 

first time? notebook is failing me. 

have you ever been to Keeneland?  that's the track i'm most interested in road tripping to - outside of hitting a Derby, of course. 

 

First time to the Derby. I've been to Churchill Downs on a non race day and spent hours at the Kentucky Derby Museum.  Watched replays of all my winners the past 30 years!  Best ones for my lifetime were Sunday Silence, Street Sense, Orb, Always Dreaming, Barbaro, Winning Colors, California Chrome, etc.

We have a great week planned.  3 couples, great friends.  3rd floor Clubhouse seating, covered, full hospitality with food and drinks, both Oaks and Derby Days.  Going to Fillies and Lilies party Friday night.  Horse farm and bourbon tasting tour on Wednesday, Muhammad Ali Museum and Louisville Slugger on Thursday.  Great restaurants all week including getting a Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel on Thursday for lunch.  Jeff Ruby's, Repeal and others for dinner.  Hoping for good weather and landing on the right horse!

If any other FBGs are going let me know.  Staying downtown.  I also have 2 extra hotel rooms reserved a little outside of town that I got for dirt cheap if anybody is interested.

Never been to Keeneland.  Heard I want to do that on a weekend when Univ of Kentucky is playing a football game....

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5 hours ago, otb_lifer said:

Mattress Mike will be plunking his usual bet down this year on Epicenter to the tune of  $3m. 

Top 10, looking at the Vegas futures as of this morning, using Bill Hill book -

Epi/Mess at 5-1.

Taiba at 6-1

Zandy at 7-1

Cyber/Charge/W.Abby at 10-1

Mo D/Smile Happy at 12-1

Simplification at 16-1

- not surprised by Mess at all - he was KD co-fave with Epi prior to the Taiba exhibition in the S.A. Derby, where he still ran a workman 99, despite easing up a bit once the beast made it futile.  ran the same final 1/3 (37.8) while putting away Forbidden Kingdom, before the tsunami. 

- as i mentioned upthread, the 2 point criteria for recent vintage:

1. at least one 100+ bsf on record.

2. no worse than show in last prep. 

 🐎 Epi/Taib/Mess 🐎

 

Good stuff.  I'll have to look at Mess again.  I like your qualifiers.  The one that I have gone to is a horse had to make up ground in the stretch at 1 1/8 to have any chance at 1 1/4.  That's only failed me on 2 horses who I tossed that ended up running well (Bluegrass Cat and Medina Spirit).  Don't know why Mess would turn the tables on Taib after what I saw the final furlong in the SA Derby.  I agree with you on throwing out horses from the FL Derby, and man I have loathed any horse coming out of the Wood for the last 15 years.  I don't count I'll Have Another as he was a CA horse.  I think it's going to come down to the SA, Oaklawn and FG horses again.  Epicenter, Taib and Cyber are the one's I'm most interested in.  Mess will be there but don't see him winning.

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18 hours ago, Judge Smails said:

Good stuff.  I'll have to look at Mess again.  I like your qualifiers.  The one that I have gone to is a horse had to make up ground in the stretch at 1 1/8 to have any chance at 1 1/4.  That's only failed me on 2 horses who I tossed that ended up running well (Bluegrass Cat and Medina Spirit).  Don't know why Mess would turn the tables on Taib after what I saw the final furlong in the SA Derby.  I agree with you on throwing out horses from the FL Derby, and man I have loathed any horse coming out of the Wood for the last 15 years.  I don't count I'll Have Another as he was a CA horse.  I think it's going to come down to the SA, Oaklawn and FG horses again.  Epicenter, Taib and Cyber are the one's I'm most interested in.  Mess will be there but don't see him winning.

 

Mess getting respect from Vegas, but i don't see him being a top 5 betting choice come post time (Epi/Taib/Zandy/Mo/Whitey) - think the public falls in love with those late moves from Mo and Zandy, gets seduced by the grey Fl. Derby winner (Whitey) ... and Epi/Taib are deserved top choices, imo. 

i expect Mess to be a very popular toss in plenty of circles ... he may actually present value come Derby day, especially if folks are buying into the "this year's Medina Spirit" angle. 

speaking to your criteria of making up late ground, one who has not been mentioned yet is Charge It ... i was greatly underwhelmed by the final #s at Gulpstream, but he had Whitey lined straight up, and would've taken him at the KD distance ... he's one i have to use as a clunk up, to round out my tri's and super's - which may not make much sense, seeing as how loathed the race & the winner ... but Charge It is a much better gamble underneath than Whitey, imo. 

FG has proven to be quite fertile recently, and Epi is undoubtedly this year's Hot Rod Charlie - not the most talented, nor the flashiest, but the most consistent trier in the crop - as i said yesterday, cannot see him not being there with a chance to board or win as we hit deep stretch in Churchill - the ONE must use who i think is airtight in that regard.

and if Epi is HRC, is Zozos this year's Mandaloun? i like his progress, ramping up the figs from 82 to 90 to 94 in his three career starts - love Cox/Geroux connection, and the maturity seems evident. 

some early class speed has dropped, so it looks like, once again, the class of this field will be forwardly placed - cats like Mo D and Zandy ain't coming from the clouds ... there will be pace, but not the suicidal ticks those two need to sit as far back as we've seen - they are gonna need to play up in the top 10 pack. 

taking the next week to pore over more info, refresh myself on the preps, etc - my goal is a suitcase wager, and i need to pluck a live one to to key my ticket, and find a few other long #s to lump in with the five i think cannot be tossed (Epi/Taib/Mo/Zandy/Mess).

 

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4 hours ago, otb_lifer said:

 

Mess getting respect from Vegas, but i don't see him being a top 5 betting choice come post time (Epi/Taib/Zandy/Mo/Whitey) - think the public falls in love with those late moves from Mo and Zandy, gets seduced by the grey Fl. Derby winner (Whitey) ... and Epi/Taib are deserved top choices, imo. 

i expect Mess to be a very popular toss in plenty of circles ... he may actually present value come Derby day, especially if folks are buying into the "this year's Medina Spirit" angle. 

speaking to your criteria of making up late ground, one who has not been mentioned yet is Charge It ... i was greatly underwhelmed by the final #s at Gulpstream, but he had Whitey lined straight up, and would've taken him at the KD distance ... he's one i have to use as a clunk up, to round out my tri's and super's - which may not make much sense, seeing as how loathed the race & the winner ... but Charge It is a much better gamble underneath than Whitey, imo. 

FG has proven to be quite fertile recently, and Epi is undoubtedly this year's Hot Rod Charlie - not the most talented, nor the flashiest, but the most consistent trier in the crop - as i said yesterday, cannot see him not being there with a chance to board or win as we hit deep stretch in Churchill - the ONE must use who i think is airtight in that regard.

and if Epi is HRC, is Zozos this year's Mandaloun? i like his progress, ramping up the figs from 82 to 90 to 94 in his three career starts - love Cox/Geroux connection, and the maturity seems evident. 

some early class speed has dropped, so it looks like, once again, the class of this field will be forwardly placed - cats like Mo D and Zandy ain't coming from the clouds ... there will be pace, but not the suicidal ticks those two need to sit as far back as we've seen - they are gonna need to play up in the top 10 pack. 

taking the next week to pore over more info, refresh myself on the preps, etc - my goal is a suitcase wager, and i need to pluck a live one to to key my ticket, and find a few other long #s to lump in with the five i think cannot be tossed (Epi/Taib/Mo/Zandy/Mess).

 

Good stuff.  I rewatched the SA Derby last night and I'm not throwing Messier out.  He made the winning move and looked like a short horse the last 1/16th.  Now if he hadn't missed works or a prep I would toss him.  But he had every right to need the race and he did the hard work of battling up front.  If he moves forward, which he should, he should get a forwardly placed trip in the first flight and I would expect him to have stamina down the lane.  I think he'll be one of the ones at the top of the lane.  May not win but I think he's in the tri/super.  But he can't miss a day and I'll have to see him working great at CD.  I take great stock in Mike Welsch's Derby workout reports.  Looks like Epi already loves it there. Taib and Mess both figure - if they like it there they are on my tickets.  I think Cyberknife has talent but really didn't love the early move in the last.  You are absolutely right about Charge It.  He was so green but you can tell when he puts it together he will be very good.  Question is does he figure it out this quickly to have an impact in the Derby? Have to look at Zozo and Zandy more.

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24 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

Good stuff.  I rewatched the SA Derby last night and I'm not throwing Messier out.  He made the winning move and looked like a short horse the last 1/16th.  Now if he hadn't missed works or a prep I would toss him.  But he had every right to need the race and he did the hard work of battling up front.  If he moves forward, which he should, he should get a forwardly placed trip in the first flight and I would expect him to have stamina down the lane.  I think he'll be one of the ones at the top of the lane.  May not win but I think he's in the tri/super.  But he can't miss a day and I'll have to see him working great at CD.

 

yeah, as i said earlier, Mess still ran the 2nd (99) fastest prep ... just that the Taiba tsunami rendered that moot for that particular race - but they both came home in 37.8, with Taib 7/10th faster in the final panel.   was ballyhooed by many as a match between Mess & FK (both were even money-ish, with Taib at 4/1), and Mess sent FK straight to the freshening barn. 

 

28 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

I think Cyberknife has talent but really didn't love the early move in the last.  

 

man, i loved Cyb in the Arky - had ZERO respect for Un Ojo's freak Rebel score ... was kinda down year for Oaklawn, imo - but he's one i need to take a better look at. 

 

31 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

 You are absolutely right about Charge It.  He was so green but you can tell when he puts it together he will be very good.  Question is does he figure it out this quickly to have an impact in the Derby?

 

i'll tell ya what ... that might depend on another Fl. Derby refugee in Simplification - he's a legit wildcard if he hits the KD gate - a real box of friggin' chocolates down there in Gulfstream - they ran him from every possible strategic point, and he popped his maiden planted firmly in front and wiring a vastly overmatched field ... i think Sano has no choice but to SEND again at Churchill, and he is capable of ripping off sub :23/:45 ... think that sets up well for the class horses we all mentioned, as their cruising speed is more than enough to attend without losing contact ... Simp is cheap speed, imo, and wouldn't last past the 1/2. 

that will waste a bunch of also-rans, and the deeper late runners will have easy pickins for the more minor exotic fill outs. 

Charge It was lugging and off lead, iirc - but big boy wanted that extra furlong ... he is a dynamite clunk up, and i will sidecar him as beating both other FD runners if they all hit the gate on 5/7.

 

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Can Zozos rate? If not I don't think he stands a chance with the other speed in here.  Mess and Taiba will hook him at the top with Epicenter right there.  Think he folds.  Prat is a big threat with Zandy.  Really think it's those 4.  I hate the Wood as a prep but Mo may come late if traffic trouble doesn't kill him.  Now let's see how they train and hopefully they all stay healthy.

Question - will the masses let Mess and Taiba off higher than they should because Baffert's name isn't on the program?

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7 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

Can Zozos rate? If not I don't think he stands a chance with the other speed in here.  Mess and Taiba will hook him at the top with Epicenter right there.  Think he folds.

 

i'm banking on him stepping forward, yet again ... slim chance of winning this thing, agreed - but he's gonna be hard to leave off the underneath for me - he came home in very respectable form, and looked fresh on the gallop out.  dunno.  he won't be my key, but he's likely gonna be in the mix.  they will have little choice than to sit chilly off the lead. 

10 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

  Prat is a big threat with Zandy.  

 

it was a monster Blue Grass for them ... unlike Mo, who legit came out the clouds, Zandy was closer, and the button was pushed at the 3/4 pole, and he hit a gear very few that i've seen this year have. 

Prat may be riding best in the gig these days. 

13 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

   I hate the Wood as a prep but Mo may come late if traffic trouble doesn't kill him. 

 

it can't keep producing nags, the tables have to turn eventually, and Mo's 11.9/35.5 is flat out filthy. 

nobody's run that lights out coming home at the Big A, and heading to Kentucky, in quite some time.

Early Voting gonna be a pace factor, too - and he can hang around a bit longer than a Walmart Card Table like Simplification  ... i think with Gulpstream & Oaklawn having down years, it's time to look NorthEast.  

hooo, boy - am i buying this #### i'm selling? 😁

 

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32 minutes ago, Judge Smails said:

Question - will the masses let Mess and Taiba off higher than they should because Baffert's name isn't on the program?

 

Mess will be the overlay, no question - Taiba will go off no higher than 5/2 by post time, imo ... Epi at 2/1. 

the casuals will fall in love with the prep winners (Taiba's romp, White Abby being a grey, and the Barbados connections which will get hammered to death on NBC, Mo & Zandy eating up horse flesh like nobody's biz, Epi just being a machine) - to them, Baffert is a cheater, so that money may be negligible in the final analysis. 

so, i think they (Epi/Tab) will be followed by Zandy, Whitey, Mo ... all in the 5 to 7/1 range.

i think Mess takes a ton of sharp money, but still may sit at the best value of the lot, and might be no better than 6th win pool once the tote is locked. 

 

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34 minutes ago, otb_lifer said:

 

Mess will be the overlay, no question - Taiba will go off no higher than 5/2 by post time, imo ... Epi at 2/1. 

the casuals will fall in love with the prep winners (Taiba's romp, White Abby being a grey, and the Barbados connections which will get hammered to death on NBC, Mo & Zandy eating up horse flesh like nobody's biz, Epi just being a machine) - to them, Baffert is a cheater, so that money may be negligible in the final analysis. 

so, i think they (Epi/Tab) will be followed by Zandy, Whitey, Mo ... all in the 5 to 7/1 range.

i think Mess takes a ton of sharp money, but still may sit at the best value of the lot, and might be no better than 6th win pool once the tote is locked. 

 

I got a futures bet down last week on Taiba at +650.    Epicenter was +400.   

I re-watched every prep over the last couple days.   Zandon will be in all of my tickets.   I think he's a better fit for the Derby than Mo, and Prat is on fire.  Smile Happy is a fine horse and he blew by him.  

I could see Charge It hitting the board at a nice price to fill out a trifecta or superfecta.   Luis had him all over the track.   Now with that race behind him he's going to be more dangerous, and he'll get a nice price.

Taiba seemed to have problems changing leads in the SA Derby, but once he got organized....wow.

Epicenter doesn't seem to have any flaws.   Just a solid horse all around.

Now to figure out how to bet it. 

 

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26 minutes ago, -fish- said:

I got a futures bet down last week on Taiba at +650.  

 

 

if ya listened to me prior to the SA Derby, you would've gotten triple that 😁

... i knew watching that maiden romp that he was not Preakness bound, they were aiming for Churchill from JUMP - that race just blew the doors off anything i had seen from the crop thus far, 6 horse sprint field or not - this cat's a special animal. 

31 minutes ago, -fish- said:

 

Epicenter doesn't seem to have any flaws.   Just a solid horse all around.

 

 

i said Hot Rod Charlie before ... but he may be more Essential Quality when it's all said and done ... he's the crop's honest engine, no denying that. 

33 minutes ago, -fish- said:

I could see Charge It hitting the board at a nice price to fill out a trifecta or superfecta.   Luis had him all over the track.   Now with that race behind him he's going to be more dangerous, and he'll get a nice price. 

 

he's my clunk up, nice price darling as of now ... gonna be a ton of horses backing up come the stretch he'll be picking up, maybe all the way to exacta if things get silly on the front - but a win is never gonna happen, and i'd say 5% chance at exacta ... but he's a banger in tri/super/hi five. 

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  • otb_lifer changed the title to 🐎 *OFFICIAL 2022 Horse Racing Extravaganza Traveling Road Show Thread - Life Gettin' Better At Big Sandy* 🐎

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