Horse Racing: Preview of the 2014 Derby Trial Stakes; Zenyatta Foals First Daughter

With the 2014 Kentucky Derby now just about a week away, it’s a relatively quiet weekend in the sport of Horse Racing. That being said, we’ll be taking a look at the 2014 Derby Trial at Churchill Downs for three year olds going a flat mile for $150,000. The speedy Bayern, from the Bob Baffert barn, has been installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite.

The speedy Bayern, who is currently on the outside looking in with 23 Kentucky Derby points, still needs four more defections from the Derby in order for him to run in it..

Other then the Derby Trial, I saw a pair of $250,000 races out at Santa Anita that you might want to watch.

The ninth race on the card is the Melair Stakes for Cal-Bred three year old fillies going 1 1/16th miles. Swiss Lake Yodeler, who won three of four races last year but is winless this year including being beaten a country mile in her last start, and Rovenna, who showed wicked early speed to go wire to wire in her last two races, will both probably take some money at the betting windows.

The very next race on Santa Anita’s Saturday card is the Snow Chief Stakes for three year old males going nine furlongs on the turf. Alert Bay, who comes into this off three straight wins and has never been worse than second in six career starts, Patriots Rule, who was a very impressive come from behind winner in his turf debut last time out and Awesome Returns, who is clearly a better grass horse that dirt, all look like they might go well in this race.

However, the clear standout is Tamarando, who has beaten better fields that what he’s facing on Saturday. The Bertrando colt, who sports a solid record of 11-4-2-3 coming into this, will be trying the grass for the first time, but who’s mom has thrown three other grass winners. That and this horse goes very well over the synthetic surface, signaling he might take to the grass like his siblings did.


Saturday- April 26, 2014

Churchill Downs

Race: 8

10:01 pm

The Derby Trial Stakes

Purse $150,000.

For Three Year Olds

One Mile


P# PP Horse A/S Med Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 1 Bayern 3/C L R Napravnik 118 B Baffert 2/1
2 2 Chitu 3/C L J Rosario 123 B Baffert 2/1
3 3 Big Sugar Soda 3/C L R Santana, Jr. 118 S M Asmussen 15/1
4 4 Friendswith K Mill 3/C L K J Desormeaux 118 D F O’Neill 5/1
5 5 Matador 3/C L J R Leparoux 118 M E Casse 9/2
6 6 Embellishing Bob 3/C L B J Hernandez, Jr. 118 S Margolis 8/1
7 7 Laddie Boy 3/C L S Elliott 118 C Peery 20/1
8 8 Bitters ‘n Bourbon 3/C L C J Lanerie 118 R Moquett 30/1
9 9 Spot 3/G L J R Velazquez 120 N P Zito 4/1
10 10 Myositis Dan 3/C L J Rocco, Jr. 118 T F Proctor 5/1


Analysis: (Note:  Chitu was an early scratch and will head straight to the Derby)


1) Bayern– is clearly the best horse in this race and should be a rock solid favorite at post-time.

This speedster colt by Offlee Wild won his first two career races by a combined 18 ¼ lengths immediately catapulting him into the Kentucky Derby picture.

He hit a speed bump in his last race (April 12, Arkansas Derby) when was allowed to set a moderate pace yet shortened stride and came home a well beaten third.

“He needed that race….bad” trainer Bob Baffert said this past week.

The Arkansas Derby, along with a big :47.3 half mile work last Monday, should set him very well for this race. Now add on to that fact that he’s got the number one post,  he’s the “speed of the speed” in this race and he’s cutting back a furlong from his last race, and you should come up with this horse making every pole a winning one on Saturday.



2) Big Sugar Soda- although this colt is just 1 for 7 lifetime, I believe he has a hint of ability.

This dark bay, by Ready’s Image, shows he has the ability to launch a big closing kick as demonstrated in his last race and the (Sept 2) Hopeful Stakes.

In the Hopeful, he came from last to finish fourth after passing six horses from just inside the three eighths pole to the wire and in his last (Gazebo Stakes, March 22), he was last early before swinging 5 wide on the turn for home and finished “full of run” to get second. (passing seven horses).

My only concern is both of those strong finishes came over wet surfaces….does he need a wet track to perform his best?….possibly.

But with the lack of depth in this field and the fact that he’s shows 5 on the board finishes in 7 career starts, makes me think he might run well at a square price too….15-1 on the morning line?



3) Spot- looked like a world beater in winning the Swale back on March 1 and, in the process, manhandling the highly touted No Nay Never …didn’t he?

Too bad he ran like an egg beater in his follow up race (Florida Derby, March 29) when he checked in a “faltering” seventh.

As I went back further in his PP’s I noticed another monster win (Oct 24, maiden breaker at Hawthorne) followed by another clunker in the Hutcheson Stakes (Feb 1) when he finished fifth, beaten eight lengths.

If you know me, you know I loath inconsistencies in horses when trying to find the winner and this gray gelding by Pulpit is plagued with them….would the real Spot please stand up?


Honorable Mention:

Myositis Dan shows a pair of good seconds vs. high priced optionals in his first two starts this year followed by a clear cut win vs. allowances NW1x foes in his last. But what caught my attention was that second second place finish (March 1). The speed figure he recorded in that race (which was just as good as anyone else in this race) and the final time of the race (7F- 1.21.3) both make me think he could be a surprise on Saturday even with the big class hike he’s taking…..bay colt by $3,500 stallion Istan merits betting consideration.


2014 Record: 7-23 = 30%


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Little Bets N Pieces

**** Two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, coming off his 2014 debut win in the April 11 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland, worked a half-mile in :47 3/5 this past Tuesday morning at that very track.

The flashy gelding went in fractions of :11 4/5, :23.4/5, and :47.3/5 with a gallop-out of 1:00 4/5 and 1:14 1/5.

“I just wanted to get a decent work in him,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said. “I was a little bit worried that I was short the last time I ran him (in the Maker’s 46 Mile) because of the winter (which affected Wise Dan’s training schedule). Now it’s exactly what I wanted. I just wanted a good workout for him just to keep him kicking over.”

LoPresti added that Wise Dan came out of the Maker’s 46 Mile “very good. We’re real happy with him. I think we’re right where we were last year with him.”

Like last year, the plan is for Wise Dan to make his next start in the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 3.

Wise Dan

Wise Dan


**** Champion sprinter Safely Kept was euthanized last Tuesday at Burleson Farms near Midway, Ky., due to old age. She was 28.

The fleet filly ran a total of four years compiling a record of 24 wins out of 31 starts with earnings of $2,194,206.

Her best year was 1989 (age: 3) when she won eight of her nine races to earn the Eclipse Award as champion sprinter. Among her wins were the Test Stakes, the Genuine Risk Handicap, and the Prioress Stakes

 At 4, she won eight of 10 races with an eye popping seven of those wins in stakes races.

As a broodmare, Safely Kept produced eight winners from 10 foals, including stakes winners Contrast (by Unbridled) and Peace Chant (by War Chant). Her last reported offspring is an unraced 4-year-old Empire Maker filly named Here to Stay.

With all her impressive accolades, I will always remember Safely Kept for her all out, blood and guts effort in the 1990 Breeders Cup Sprint where she and European sprint Dayjur, who was winning everything in sight overseas at the time, put on a stirring stretch drive with Safely Kept winning by the slightest of margins after Dayjur jumped two shadows down the stretch.




**** 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta produced her third foal when a War Front filly was born at Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky., early Easter Sunday near Versailles, Ky.

“The Queen has a princess! Zenyatta delivered a filly by War Front at 12:03 a.m. Easter Sunday” Team Zenyatta tweeted this past week.

The now 10-year-old, still owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, previously produced a Bernardini colt in 2012 and a colt by Tapit  in 2013.

Both mother and daughter are reportedly doing well.


Champion Zenyatta and her new daughter

Champion Zenyatta and her new daughter

**** 2014 Santa Anita Derby winnerand probable Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome worked four furlongs in :47.3 (with ears pricked) at his Los Alamitos home last Saturday

“(Regular rider) Victor (Espinosa) said he went great,” trainer Art Sherman said

“The track was immaculate,” Sherman added. “He’ll have his final workout next Saturday (April 26) and ship early Monday morning (April 28) for Kentucky. There were some 30 people here today to see him work. He galloped out (five furlongs) in 1:01. Everything went great.”

I saw this video on You Tube….this horse can run folks.




**** Four time Eclipse Award winner for best Steeplechase horse, Flatterer, died Thursday at owner Bill Pape’s My Way Farm near Unionville, Pa due to old age. He was an astonishing 35 years old, thats well over 100 in “human years:.

The Hall of Famer was also the oldest living Eclipse Award winner.The gelding had 52 starts in his career and compiled a record of 24 wins, eight seconds, and five thirds, for earnings of $534,854. His long list of wins include the Colonial Cup Invitational four times, the Iroquois, National Hunt Cup, and Temple Gwathmey.

For the past 25 years, Flatterer resided at Pape’s farm, where he did some dressage work.


**** Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin tweeted that Holy Bull Stakes winner Cairo Prince is schedule to undergo surgery for an ankle chip today (April 25) at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington and could return for a late summer/early autumn campaign.

“Cairo Price is scheduled for surgery tomorrow at Rood & Riddle to remove a small but very painful chip from his ankle,” McLaughlin said. “If all goes well, (he) should be back for a successful late summer/fall campaign.”



**** The enormously talented Social Inclusion, who would basically need a miracle to get into Kentucky Derby, ripped three furlongs yesterday (Thursday) morning in :34.2 and galloped out a half mile in an eye popping :45.3 at Gulfstream Park.

His connections appear to be pointing towards the May 17 Preakness

Owner Ron Sanchez was doubting that Social Inclusion, who currently ranks 24th on the Derby points list (top 20 make it), would draw into the classic race.

“At this moment, I don’t think we’ll ship to Kentucky. It doesn’t make sense to pay a $25,000 entry fee, plus all the other expenses, when you’re 24th and also-eligible,” Sanchez said. “He’s going to train here and then we hope to get a prep for the Preakness. We’ll make a final decision on Monday.”

Social Inclusion blitzed a half mile yeaterday

Social Inclusion blitzed a half mile yeaterday