Thursday, April 30, 2009


I really want to, form-wise, throw Desert Party in my top 5... but I can't trust a horse that Dettori did not follow over when they don't have a big horse for the 2000 Guineas. Right now, I think General Quarters and Friesan Fire have the perfect running style for this race. General Quarters outsprinting (last 3/8) all the synth horses in their last respective races (while also having awesome dirt form) is pretty enticing. I choose GQ over FF because of his post (to FF's outside) and his jockey, who is patient and will outsmart Saez & Talamo @ CD. I don't like Papa Clem to win, but he is too well-bred and ran in the most Derby-esque race, last out. He has the will, but I doubt he's fast enough. I worry that Talamo will be too confident (and drop him too far back) on I Want Revenge in his horse and won't be able to run down the top two from mid-pack. I cannot trust the closers in a race where I predict that the pace will not be too insanely fast. Of the two speed horses, they're side-by-side (which means they won't be rushing to clear from the outside), and Alan Garcia on Regal Ransom will be happy to take off the flank of Join in the Dance (I wouldn't be surprised if his running is being subsidized by Coolmore). Flying Private won't be hurt by the outside, because he has natural stalking speed and posts 15-18 will be drop-back closers. At least, that's what I believe. I think if the horse has any great talent AT ALL, it will be squeezed out of him by the same connections that shocked everyone with a brilliant 2nd place with Proud Citizen (who had a similar running style). The BIGGEST factor in this race, in my opinion, is whether or not Regal Ransom relaxes off Join in the Dance. If he does, which I doubt, he vaults to the #4 spot for me.

Current (often changing) top 5:
1. General Quarters
2. Friesan Fire
3. I Want Revenge
4. Papa Clem / (Regal Ransom)
5. Flying Private

Hating leaving these guys out... but you have to do it to someone...

6. Dunkirk (pace needs to be hot to outrun the top 3 late)
7. Hold Me Back (dirt doubts)
8. Chocolate Candy (unreliable jockey won't use his natural tractibility)
9. Desert Party (post position)
10. Poineerof the Nile (what running style will help him? is he that good?)

Big doubts
11. Musket Man (post position and endurance)
12. West Side Bernie (post position will kill him and drop him too far back)
13. Regal Ransom (not sure he can rate and relax)
14. Mr. Hot Stuff (will to win)
15. Summer Bird (believe he's brilliant, but in experienced and needs pace)

In need of wings
16. Atomic Rain (may be an AQU lover)
17. Nowhere to Hide (Just a Coincidence would have been a better entrant)
18. Join in the Dance (refer to #6)
19. Advice (synth runner)
20. Mine that Bird (a G3 horse)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Current Derby Top 10

Here are my top 10:

1. Friesan Fire
2. I Want Revenge
3. Desert Party
4. Dunkirk
5. Poineerof the Nile
6. General Quarters
7. Chocolate Candy
8. Flying Private
9. West Side Bernie
10. Regal Ransom

I think the difference will be pace in this race. There are two pace-setters, but both are trying to win it, not be rabbits. This sets up for stalkers, and the stalkers in this race are VERY good (Friesan Fire, I Want Revenge, Desert Party, General Quarters) and will get the jump on (perhaps just as good but half as lucky pace-wise) closers (Dunkirk, Pioneerof the Nile, Win Willy, West Side Bernie, Chocolate Candy). The wild cards are pace-setter Regal Ransom and peaking Lukas-colt Flying Private. The former can put away Join in the Dance and finish in the money, while the latter may run well with a savvy Albarado in the silks, and a pace scenario that sets up for his stalking style. But, I see neither outpacing Friesan Fire or I Want Revenge home. I last-second threw out Win Willy because I don't like a novice jockey on a closer in the Derby.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

looking back - initial Derby picks

It seems that my Original Kentucky Quatorze, from back in early winter (late November), has actually been holding form.
1. Flying Pegasus
2. Break Water Edison

3. Charitable Man

4. Skipadate

5. Old Fashioned

6. Regal Ransom

7. Indygo Mountain
8. Royal Vindication
9. Hello Broadway

10. Trinity Magic

11. Midshipman

12. Capt Candyman Can
13. Vineyard Haven

14. Well Positioned

And then, again, on January 6, as the year turned, here were my projections:

1. Charitable Man
2. Break Water Edison
3. Quality Road
4. Old Fashioned
5. I Want Revenge
6. Indygo Mountain
7. Flying Pegasus
8. Hello Broadway

9. Trinity Magic
10. Shafted
11. Silver City
12. Chocolate Candy
13. Square Eddie
14. Vineyard Haven

I stand by Break Water Edison, Vineyard Haven, and Well Positioned near the top. Something is amiss with them; hence him being out of action. I Want Revenge, Old Fashioned, Regal Ransom, Hello Broadway, Charitable Man, Quality Road and Flying Pegasus will all (or have already) proven their worth.

On a side note, I do think Charitable Man and Theregoesjojo (if they like the surface) are going to give the rest all they can handle in the Blue Grass. Charitable Man is still the most talented of this generation, until proven otherwise. Also, General Quarters is your best long-shot bet in that race. Time to enjoy racing!

My Current Ky Derby Quatorze (with Adolphson Speed Projection Rating)

1. I Want Revenge 111
2. Quality Road 110
3. Theregoesjojo 109
4. Charitable Man 107
5. Dunkirk 107
6. Freisan Fire 106
7. Flying Pegasus 105
8. Win Willy 104
9. Chocolate Candy 104
10. Old Fashioned 102

11. General Quarters 102
12. Pioneerof the Nile 101
13. Regal Ransom 101
14. Hold Me Back 99

Adolphson Thoroughbred Consulting

Washington, D.C.