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Churchill Downs for Saturday 3 May 2014………cost $31.50

Sure appreciate the good weather forecast for Saturday at Churchill Downs. It is quite rare not to have at least some rain or plenty of rain in the forecast for the first Saturday in May in Louisville. We are much more likely to get a fair racing surface. That makes my job as a handicapper easier to say the least.

A little added pressure this year for my special Derby Day publication for 2014 as my son's bachelor party is at Churchill Downs. Special hello to him and his bother and all his family and friends drinking tea at the Derby.


Race 1    average clarity

2  Upkeep   nothing but better since Phil Bauer claimed.......ran well versus better in latest.........handled CD well in his only race on it's dirt surface and it was at today's distance.......but more importantly he continues to work sharply at CD

7  Foolhardy   another improving since he was claimed........beat a decent bunch of 25K open claimers in his last.......closer seems to get ample pace up front to flatter his late kick........just hope it isn't foolhardy to run back in 9 days rest

8  Doctor Pete   just claimed and the claim might be timely as this four-year-old gelding has improved since learning to take back some.......good history on fast rated conventional dirt

1  Trace Creek    2 for 2 running in routes that were rated 'fast"..........sunny and 75 degrees today


Race 2    average clarity

1  No Surrender    Pletcher takes over the training duties for this three-year-old that just crushed in a 1 1/16th MSW race at Haw and the gelding did it off of a long layoff......astute trainer must like what he sees to accept the runner and has been able to put in 3 fast track drills into him at CD which with all the rain is no easy task

5  Demander   big win two back at GP in a one mile one turn affair......toss out last as many a horse doesn't care for the Kee synthetic......back to real dirt today.....two tightly spaced preparatory works for today and last is quite strong......should be tough if he handles the two turns

7  Rockford    works extremely well on conventional dirt (especially for Mott who doesn't push them too hard in the a.m).......but........did not run well on dirt in the p.m. in his only run are too good to ignore.......deserves another shot  

8  Unstoppable Colby    back to reality after two attempts versus much ever was his only start on the CD dirt.......and lone win came in his only start at today's 1 1/6th distance.....Lukas loves to win at CD on the "big" days


Race 3    average clarity

10  Boss Gone   29 to 1 in MSW debut has gimme written all over it for this nicely bred Wilkes runner........showed plenty of life after getting squeezed at the start......believe pointed for his 2nd start........owners/trainers love to win on Derby day at CD 

8  A Touch of Poetry   best ever by far was when this Nick Zito runner got the he smartly puts the blinkers on for today........classic gate to wire attempt here with blinkers on

1  Masochistic   A. C. Avila seems ever so do to snap out of the doldrums and he might here as his Cal-bred is training exceptionally well at SA and he bothers to ship a long way for this start......very dangerous sort

4  Swift Humor   trainer is very dangerous with MSW 1st timers and his colt is showing enough in the a.m. to possible be meant and ready in the p.m.


Race 4   slightly below average clarity

5  Night Song   done little wrong in two lifetime starts one of which was on the grass......trainer does extremely well with limited 7 weeks but ran well fresh in MSW debut.......and the drills suggest she is sharp

7  Flashy Gal    off since July but she ran great in her MSW debut at the tough Saratoga meet in 2012........would have won for fun if she hadn't had such a bad trip........1st extended layoff of her life and working as if she might be ready.....draws Rosario which is another hint that she might be ready fresh

4  Kimallosa   laid up since the 4th of July but shows a sharp work regiment.........tightly spaced drills and a couple of them are bullets......good rider/trainer combo in Leparoux and Kenneally

10  Kyriaki   last 4 of 5 efforts/figs fit fine here......mostly rated this low because of the 10 post.......filly has been up the track in the past from outside posts......Mike Smith needs to be clever


Race 5    slightly below  average clarity

9  Jessica's Star   has run well on three radically different surfaces in 3 lifetime starts.........should be legged up nicely for this 7F dirt race running off of the Kee Kee work since the grass race hints at that

1  Watery Moon   Graham Motion horse was bet hard at Kee and won for fun in his MSW debut......working well since and sure is bred well for CD's conventional dirt........most likely a nice horse if not now down the road

11  Sultry Cat   another who won for fun in his MSW at Kee............and he sure popped a solid 4F bullet work and did it 4 days when it

8  Ulanbator   plenty of experience in extended one turn win in a one turn mile at GP when last seen.......breakthrough kind of effort......good works since.......player here if his last wasn't a fluke and he runs similar

7  Thundergram   consistent nice horse is training well at CD as he did at OP.........but shows a tendency to hang  in the stretch


Race  6    average clarity

1  Tapicat   no works prior to her so so effort in last..........3 drills since.........and back to Rosario who owns all 4 wins for this Bill Mott filly.......not that meant in last......very 'meant" today.....good speed in a race that seems to set up for the front runners

6  I'm Already Sexy   brilliant grass work for this laid up Catalano filly and the work was on the CD our top pick seems pointed for today and has some early gas in a race lacking it

9  Centre Cut   most talented grass runner in the race........worst post in the race.........jock knows horse and racetrack well so he can still get the job done.......needs to break decently and find at least the 2 path.......likely winner in that occurs 

8  Effie Tower    consistent sort has been brought along slowly and is now a Graded race our 3rd choice she best find a slot and get on over by turn one or her chances will be greatly diminished


Race  7    slightly above average clarity

8  Midnight Lucky   for me nobody on the Derby day card is working better than this Baffert filly is...... and........ I love that she has won her two one turn races by an average of 6 3/4 at 6 1/2F and one at ought be be just fine

6  Iotapa   John Sadler always seems to have a nice filly or two that is very formidable at seven panels........Iotapa fits the bill here and in her case she can handle other distances just as well......nice drills at SA prior to shipping and a nice work at CD since arriving.......all systems go

3  Judy the Beauty   ultra consistent Wesley Ward sprinter seems at her very best when today's jockey John Velasquez is aboard.....also working as if she has held form

2  Heat Seaker   facing the biggest challenge of her 12 race career but seemingly has never been sharper and draws Mr. Rosario


Race  8   slightly below average clarity

5  Global View   Tom Proctor is often at his most dangerous 3rd out following a layoff and that is saying something........very sharp drills at turf and one muddy dirt........1st past one mile in a grass race but his pedigree screams: the farther he goes on the sod the better.....decent post and a stellar rider/trainer team

8  Storming Inti     seems to fire every time out for one heck of a good grass trainer in Chad Brown........and he is red hot when he teams up with Johnny V......6 for their last 18 the last 2 months....outside post but owns tactical speed and the jock is awfully good with speed types

3  Quotient   monster wake-up in last 1st time under the guidance of John Sadler........enough time and 5 works since to recover from such a strong run........good trip (from a good post) and the same effort and he has a shot

2  Chief Barker   GB invader rattled off 3 wins in his 1st 3 starts overseas............then he beat 5 of 10 foes in a very tough G1 that his race were respected by the Britts as he went off at 8 to 1........1st time Lasix to boot


Race  9    average clarity

10  Delaunay   rather simple here.....races lacks speed and Rosie Napravnik's horse has some and he is 4 for 4 at Churchill.......and 6 for 11 at today's distance

11  Shakin It Up   tossed a clunker in last at SA but the works were unimpressive prior to the are stellar now including an eye popping 59:1B at CD six days ago........rebound city.........has won a Grade 1 and a Grade 2 at 7F

4  Sahara Sky   another horse who is stout at seven panels.........reunites with Rosario who over the years sure has teamed up well with Hollendorfer with a high level of success

2  Clearly Now   seems likely to sit 2 or 3 lengths off the lead in good position..........and he seems to appreciate the somewhat specialty distance of 7 furlongs over any other distance


Race 10    slightly above average clarity

1  Wise Dan   back to back horse of the year is likely to sit pretty stalking our 3rd watching this fellow compete......sat next to the owner Mort Fink for quite a few years at Arlington Trackside and I could tell you the success of Wise Dan couldn't happen to a nicer guy

5  Kaigun    very dangerous horse right now as he came close to upsetting our top choice in his last.......not impossible if he can hold his form which is at a peak and gets more pace than anticipated in this affair

2  Bright Thoughts   trainer seldom ships but is dangerous when he does.......seems like the best speed in here and if he is viewed as the lead horse not to worry about he might slow it down and go all the way..........and he should be a handsome price

10  Seek Again   sure have had success with Bill Mott laid up horse's when they train well.......and that is the case here for this colt who won a Grade 1 in his lone start in the good old U S of A


Race 11    average clarity

5  California Chrome   little doubt in my mind who has the best credentials in the race coming in as Southern Cal is the racing circuit I cover and my personal fig work has him better than average numbers for a Ky Derby winner.........and he also visually has the most fluid way of traveling of anyone in the race.......if the trainer had joined the program as most Derby hopefuls do and come early to work a time or two over the track I would be more assured off my top selection..... I do like the post and like the fact that he can rate

4  Danza   when a horse vaults forward fig/effort wise when he a attempts something new and does it in a big way they often can repeat the effort or produce even more in their next start......1st ever around two turns sure led to a big run in his last......and....... I sure liked that he showed he can run inside of horses and save some ground

14  Medal Count   has been training and running great since mid March........and his 26 April 6F drill is stout.....can't believe how many Derby contenders/pretenders failed to drill any further than 4 furlongs.......Romans knows CD and if he believes this colt can take some dirt in his face that is good enough for me

13  Chitu    good 4F work followed but another solid work at 6 panels....and both were on dry tracks at CD....that was hard to accomplish this week.........bred to run all day long on mom's side of the equation.....Baffert knows what it takes to win the Derby

6  Samraat   the epitome of consistency and if I am wrong about his ability to finish the grueling 1 1/4 without flattening then I have probably selected him too low

18  Candy Boy   horse runs best when taken back and most likely has his best shot here taking back in this Derby field with plenty of early speed.........Gary Stevens is defying aging and riding guess is he will find a way to get on over and save some ground by turn 1 one way or another.......might come flying late if he does


Race 12    average clarity

7  Bulldozer   loves the 6 furlong distance carded here (9 for 21)........a tiger sprinting in opt 80K races at CD.........up for 62.5K today......barn means bizz and everybody loves to visit the winners circle on Derby day

4  Vanity Feature   trainer is 11 for 35 in 2014 and rather dangerous when he makes an equipment change.....blinkers off today most likely to slow him down in the early stages......all four lifetime sprints fit well here including one start at CD

9  Captain Genius   on the rebound since trainer Brad Cox snatched at the claiming box for 30K........seems best at 6F.......can take this if he brings his "A game" which is quite good

1  Sandbar   has hit the track weekly to work since 27 Feb........wound up like a top and ready to unwind this afternoon.......and it is a good sign that Rosario wants the mount back following the 2+ month layoff


Race 13    average clarity

1  Party Time  Baffert colt just keeps getting better.......and better.......and only needs to repeat his latest to be tough to overcome here.....and he might get even better this afternoon

5  Awesome Sky   best by far was 1 of his 2 races run at CD and ther other race was his 2nd best race in his  5 race at CD suggest he is happy to be back......positive form reversal likely today

2  C J's Awesome   both lifetime route races fit and today we get a major league jockey upgrade......1st at CD but he has handled two other conventional dirt surfaces well and he just worked a solid 5/8ths at CD

6  Silent Ruler   back to reality today following a Grade 3 race as a maiden.....what's the rush?......race two back and three back put him in the hunt here especially if something goes amiss for our top couple of picks.....jock has been bringing home some price shots over the past year or so


Posted on May 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm by richs · Permalink
In: Free Information, Selections