135th Kentucky Derby - Saturday NBC/ESPN - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 04-27-2009, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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PP / HORSE / TRAINER / JOCKEY / ODDS
1 West Side Bernie / Kelly Breen / Stewart Elliott / 30-1
2 Musket Man / Derek Ryan / Eibar Coa / 20-1
3 Mr. Hot Stuff / Eoin Harty / John Velazquez / 30-1
4 Advice / Todd Pletcher / Rene Douglas / 30-1
5 Hold Me Back / Bill Mott / Kent Desormeaux / 15-1
6 Friesan Fire / Larry Jones / Gabriel Saez / 5-1
7 Papa Clem / Gary Stute / Rafael Bejarano / 20-1
8 Mine That Bird / Bennie Woolley Calvin Borel 50-1
9 Join in the Dance / Todd Pletcher / Chris DeCarlo / 50-1
10 Regal Ransom / Saeed bin Suroor / Alan Garcia / 30-1
11 Chocolate Candy / Jerry Hollendorfer / Mike Smith / 20-1
12 General Quarters / Tom McCarthy / Julien Leparoux / 20-1
13 I Want Revenge / Jeff Mullins / Joe Talamo / 3-1 (favorite)
14 Atomic Rain / Kelly Breen / Joe Bravo / 50-1
15 Dunkirk / Todd Pletcher / Edgar Prado / 4-1
16 Pioneerof the Nile / Bob Baffert / Garrett Gomez / 4-1
17 Summer Bird / Tim Ice / Chris Rosier / 50-1
18 Nowhere to Hide / Nick Zito / Shaun Bridgmohan / 50-1
19 Desert Party / Saeed bin Suroor / Ramon Dominguez / 15-1
20 Flying Private / D. Wayne Lukas / Robby Albarado / 50-1
__________________________________________________

Friday:
5:00pm-6:00pm BRAVO - Kentucky Oaks - Hosted by: Bob Costas & Nancy O'Dell.

PP/Horse/Jockey/Trainer/Breeder/ODDS -
1 Tweeter (KY)
Miguel Mena
D. Wayne Lukas
Marylou Whitney Stables 30/1

2 Be Fair (FL)
Rafael Bejarano
D. Wayne Lukas
Milan Kosanovich 15/1

3 Stone Legacy (KY)
Kent J. Desormeaux
D. Wayne Lukas
Marylou Whitney Stables 30/1

4 Gabby's Golden Gal (KY)
Victor Espinoza
Bob Baffert
Arnold Zetcher LLC 10/1

5 Justwhistledixie (KY)
Julien R. Leparoux
Kiaran P. McLaughlin
Hermitage Farm LLC 5/2

6 Rachel Alexandra (KY)
Calvin H. Borel
Hal R. Wiggins
Dolphus C. Morrison 3/5 (favorite)

7 Nan (KY)
Corey S. Nakatani
Craig Dollase
De Savino Stable LLC 20/1

8 Flying Spur (KY)
Garrett K. Gomez
William I. Mott
Mike G. Rutherford 8/1
__________________________________________

Saturday:
Noon-3:00pm ESPN - Today at the Kentucky Derby.

3:00pm-5:00pm ESPN - Kentucky Derby Special (all the undercard stakes):
-Grade II Churchill Downs $250,000+, 7 furlongs, 4yo & up.
-Grade III La Troienne $150,000+, 7 furlongs, 3yo fillies.
-Grade III Distaff Turf Mile $150,000+, 1 mile, fillies & mares, 3yo & up.
-Grade I Distaff $300,000+, 7 furlongs, fillies & mares, 4yo & up.
-Grade I Turf Classic $500,000+, 1 1/8 mile, 3yo & up.

4:00pm-7:00pm NBC / Post Time: 6:24pm:
135th Kentucky Derby $2,180,000+, 1 1/4 mile, 3yo.

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post #2 of 58 Old 04-27-2009, 10:35 AM
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Wow, it's here already.
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post #3 of 58 Old 04-27-2009, 10:49 AM
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Great thread dcowboy7….

Here are some links to help folks pick the winner.…

http://www.kentuckyderby.com/2009/

http://www.churchilldowns.com/

http://www.drf.com/tc/kentuckyderby/2009/135.html

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post #4 of 58 Old 04-27-2009, 02:48 PM
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Anyone want to be bold enough to make some early picks?

I'll put my money down.

Out of the 19 horses out there, right now, I have it narrowed down to these favorites. The winner will be from this group. I have them in my preferred order:

Pioneerof the Nile
DunKirk
Friesan Fire
I Want Revenge
Hold Me Back
Chocolate Candy


You can put this in the bank

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post #5 of 58 Old 04-27-2009, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LL3HD View Post

Anyone want to be bold enough to make some early picks?

Im sticking with my Sig.

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post #6 of 58 Old 04-27-2009, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Im sticking with my Sig.

I didn't even see that.

Sounds like a sweet pick.... but will it turn out to be a 100 Grand Bar or a Milk Dud?

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post #7 of 58 Old 04-27-2009, 06:44 PM
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From Fredfa's "Hot Off The Press" thread at the top of the 'HDTV Programming' page:

TV Sports
Spectacle and synergy keys to NBC's Derby plan
By John Ourand, Sports Business Channel - April 27, 2009

NBC and Churchill Downs are repositioning the Kentucky Derby as a lifestyle brand in hopes of drawing higher television ratings for this Saturday's 135th Run for the Roses.

The Derby, the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, has dabbled in that lifestyle segment, using a red carpet for the last two years to highlight the entertainment spectacle surrounding the race.

But this year, NBC and Churchill Downs are trying to increase the appeal to casual fans more than ever.

If you look at the Derby historically, it's 90 percent about the race and 10 percent about the spectacle, said Churchill Downs Chief Marketing Officer Dave Tompkins. The spectacle now is much more important. If we can get people to watch the spectacle and stay for the race, it'll be a success.

The move to increase casual viewers also is helping NBC's ad sales efforts. Though the network's sales pace is down from last year's because of weakness in the auto and financial categories, NBC has made inroads with female-skewing brands, such as Procter & Gamble, Zales and GE Appliances.

Plus, Churchill signed licensing and sponsorship deals with Mattel for a Kentucky Derby Barbie and with actress Alyssa Milano for a Derby clothing line.

The network's plans to bring more casual fans to its Derby coverage will have started well before its prerace show kicks off. Much like it did with the Beijing Olympics and Super Bowl, NBC is making use of its varied television and online platforms. The move is part of what NBC calls its big event strategy, which relies on the breadth of NBC Universal to market sports events to more casual fans.

It's the very definition of what do, said Mike McCarley, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics' vice president of marketing, promotions and communications. It's BROAD-casting. We are supposed to be broad. We are supposed to be big.

NBC executives say the Derby is a natural event for this strategy. It is one of the few sporting events that attracts more women than men. Only the Olympics has a higher percentage of female viewers, NBC says.

NBC is promoting the Derby via its female-skewing brands, such as Bravo, Access Hollywood and the Today show.

Churchill Downs approached NBC about using this strategy for the Derby early last summer. The two sides hammered out the details during an all-day meeting in a Churchill Downs boardroom on Sept. 19, the first day of the Ryder Cup at the nearby Valhalla Golf Club. They decided that prerace promotion should focus on four pillars of the Derby: food, fashion, celebrity and entertainment. NBC pledged to promote those aspects of the Derby experience on its platforms.

Those elements are inherent to the Derby and always have been, so it's authentic to the event, McCarley said. It's the first official party of the summer.

On Saturday, NBC will add an extra 30 minutes to its Derby coverage, starting the prerace show at 4 p.m. ET. But NBC's presence at the racetrack will encompass much more than just the broadcast network.

On Friday, Bravo will present Ladies First: Bravo at the Kentucky Derby, a one-hour special that will include segments from Top Chef, a fashion show and advice on how to throw a Derby party (5-6 p.m. ET).

Bravo also will provide extensive coverage of Kentucky Oaks Day, a running of three-year-old fillies the day before the big race.

NBC will run Derby-related segments on the Today show and Access Hollywood. It will have Today's Al Roker and Amy Robach on-site Friday and will have Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell co-host the red carpet Saturday.

NBC will have financial news channel CNBC run a documentary Thursday called The Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby and the Business of Horse Racing.

And it will promote the race via its online sites, like iVillage, a Web site that reaches 14 million women each month.

NBC also is using social media outlets to help promote the race, with several personalities, including O'Dell, using Twitter to tweet from the event. Churchill Downs created a Derby Party page on Facebook.

The key is that we have to customize it to each event, McCarley said. It's not a cookie-cutter solution to fit each event.

http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/62324
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post #8 of 58 Old 04-29-2009, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Wood Memorial (G1) winner I WANT REVENGE (Stephen Got Even) has been installed as the 3-1 favorite on the morning line for Saturday's 135th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1). With first-time Derby rider Joe Talamo, the Jeff Mullins-trained colt will break from post 13 in the 20-horse field.

Florida Derby (G1) runner-up DUNKIRK (Unbridled's Song) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) hero PIONEEROF THE NILE (Empire Maker) are listed as the 4-1 co-second choices. Dunkirk will break from post 15 with jockey Edgar Prado. Pionnerof the Nile and Garrett Gomez are right next to them in post 16.

Louisiana Derby (G2) victor FRIESAN FIRE (Unbridled's Song), who will look to give trainer Larry Jones his first Derby win following two straight runner-up finishes, will start from post 6 under Gabriel Saez and comes next on the morning line at 5-1

No other horse is less than 15-1 on Churchill Downs' oddsmaker Mike Batttaglia's morning line. Godolphin's DESERT PARTY (Street Cry [Ire]) and Lane's End S. (G2) winner HOLD ME BACK (Giant's Causeway) are both 15-1. Four horses -- CHOCOLATE CANDY (Candy Ride [Arg]), GENERAL QUARTERS (Sky Mesa), MUSKET MAN (Yonaguska) and PAPA CLEM (Smart Strike) -- are all posted at 20-1.

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post #9 of 58 Old 04-29-2009, 11:38 AM
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Post Positions

1. West Side Bernie (30-1)

2. Musket Man (20-1)

3. Mr. Hot Stuff (30-1)

4. Advice (30-1)

5. Hold Me Back (15-1)

6. Friesan Fire (5-1)

7. Papa Clem (20-1)

8. Mine That Bird (50-1)

9. Join in the Dance (50-1)

10. Regal Ransom (30-1)

11. Chocolate Candy (20-1)

12. General Quarters (20-1)

13. I Want Revenge (3-1)

14. Atomic Bird (50-1)

15. Dunkirk (4-1)

16. Pioneerof the Nile (4-1)

17. Summer Bird (50-1)

18. Nowhere to Hide (50-1)

19. Desert Party (15-1)

20. Flying Private (50-1)

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post #10 of 58 Old 04-29-2009, 12:51 PM
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Add synthetic racing surface to Kentucky Derby handicappers' challenge

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Trying to figure out how 20 unpredictable three-year-old colts will fare in the Kentucky Derby is tough enough. Throw in the fact that some will be racing on dirt for the first time while others are coming off synthetic surfaces makes it a handicapping nightmare.

"I'm just glad I'm not a gambler," said trainer Jeff Mullins, who will saddle I Want Revenge on Saturday. "I had a hard time when it was just conventional dirt."

Questions abound every spring about the newest crop of three-year-olds. Can they handle running 1 1/4 miles? How will they fare in the calvary charge to the first turn? Will they contend with what's likely to be the largest and most talented field they'll ever run against?

The introduction of synthetic tracks in California and at Keeneland in Lexington three years ago turned handicapping the Kentucky Derby into an even bigger guessing game. This year's group of contenders prepped on a variety of surfaces, and even in California, the composition of synthetic tracks at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park varies.

Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia will set the Derby morning line at Wednesday's post position draw, giving bettors yet another opinion in a sport that thrives on debate.

Just a few years ago, handicappers and fans had their hands full comparing pedigrees and past performances of horses who came to the Derby after prepping at tracks from coast to coast.

"Now you throw synthetics into it, it's a mishmash," said David Lanzman, co-owner of I Want Revenge. "I know a lot of handicappers that try to throw out the form completely and they just handicap over what they see here the week or 10 days coming in.

"What I've seen from my horse, I'm willing to do that."

I Want Revenge was 1-of-6 on synthetic surfaces in California. Then Lanzman and Mullins sent the colt to New York's Aqueduct, where he won the Gotham Stakes by 8 1/2 lengths and rallied to win the Wood Memorial after a terrible start. Both of those races were on dirt.

The surface switch seemingly changed the colt's running style.

"On synthetic, he holds his head really low and his knees come real high, but on dirt he holds his head straight out and throws his feet straight out and is more fluid," Mullins said.

Another California horse, Pioneerof the Nile, will be racing on dirt for the first time Saturday. His first two career races were on the turf, then he switched to synthetics, and has gone 4-for-6 on the artificial stuff, including four consecutive victories since coming to Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert's barn late last year.

"They're all different, there's not one synthetic that's the same," Baffert said. "Horses can slip a little bit, they can stick.

"Some horses like it, some horses don't like it."

Santa Anita Derby winner Pioneerof the Nile beat I Want Revenge twice on synthetic.

"I'll be scared of him until we at least beat him once," Lanzman said, "but we've done it (run on dirt) and he hasn't. That's our advantage over him."

Also trying dirt for the first time will be Santa Anita Derby runner-up Chocolate Candy and third-place Mr. Hot Stuff. Last year's dirt rookies in the Derby finished no better than sixth.

"If Pioneerof the Nile can do what I Want Revenge did (on dirt), then it's a foregone conclusion that he's the horse to beat," said trainer Nick Zito, who doesn't have a Derby starter this year.

Just how well horses making the transition from synthetic adjust to having dirt kicked back in their faces is another question. During training, horses are timed running alone or with one other horse beside them, so kickback is not an issue.

Baffert is among those who believe conventional dirt will always be the best racing surface. He thinks the artificial mixture of fibre, rubber and sand is better suited for training.

"I don't think they've got the right one yet," Baffert said, referring to synthetic surfaces marketed under such names as Polytrack, Cushion Track and Pro-Ride.

Mullins agreed, saying, "I hope there's not very much future in it."

Both trainers are based in California, so they've been forced to adapt to synthetic, which was introduced and pitched as being safer for riders and animals and easier to maintain.

"The jury is still out," Zito said. "You need more data.

"Some groups have now said you see all these injuries in the hind (legs) and the soft tissue. There's plenty of evidence in that. Conventional dirt is good for horses."

Blue Grass winner General Quarters is one of the handful of Derby contenders who's won on dirt and synthetic.

Hold Me Back, runner-up in the Blue Grass, earned his three career victories on synthetic. The only time he finished out of the money - beaten by 14 lengths - came on dirt at Aqueduct.

"We're not about to say our horse can't run on the dirt just off one race," trainer Bill Mott said. "We're going to give him the chance Saturday and then we'll see."

Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved. http://www.google.com/hostednews/can...5rucNtw-fUqVqA

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post #11 of 58 Old 04-29-2009, 02:41 PM
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Daily Racing Form

Dunkirk gets his first gallop at Churchill

By Mike Welsch


All the important work is over, the post positions have been drawn, and now it's just a matter of keeping all 20 starters for this year's Kentucky Derby happy and healthy over the next 72 hours.

All the participants were on the grounds as of 2 a.m. Wednesday, with the arrival of Atomic Rain from Monmouth Park, and 19 of the 20 starters in this year's Derby field went to the racetrack during the course of the morning. The lone exception was I Want Revenge, who had worked four furlongs the previous day.

Churchill Downs
Cloudy, track sloppy, 68 degrees

With a wet track greeting horsemen when they arrived Wednesday, there were a variety of itineraries on display during the course of training hours. Some trainers opted just to jog their Derby contenders a la Regal Ransom and Desert Party, while several others sent their charges to the starting gate, where Friesan Fire and Chocolate Candy could be found schooling at the same time shortly after the renovation break.

The most important sighting on Wednesday was of Dunkirk, who arrived at Churchill Downs the previous afternoon after completing the majority of his Derby training at Palm Meadows in Florida. Dunkirk is a slightly built colt who does not carry a lot of weight, and there is some thinking that he could still be feeling the effects of his hard effort in the Florida Derby. But he did look healthy and appeared to gallop with good energy under regular exercise rider Patty Barry shortly before 7 a.m.

Mr. Hot Stuff also got in his first gallop over the local strip after merely jogging alongside a pony Tuesday. Unlike Dunkirk, Mr. Hot Stuff is a relatively imposing looking sort who made a very nice appearance Wednesday while putting in a strong gallop of his own.

I was eager to see how Friesan Fire bounced back out of his extremely fast and taxing workout Monday, and he passed the test with flying colors. He was on his toes and very happy during a busy morning that included the aforementioned visit to the gate and a brief trip to the paddock. He looked like he wanted to do much more than trainer Larry Jones had scheduled and actually seemed to come out of his work looking a bit more fluid than he went in.

Chocolate Candy spent several minutes in the gate before cantering around to the backstretch and got a bit hot, lathering up noticeably prior to leaving the track. He was the only Derby starter who showed a hint of neck sweat during the course of the morning.

Pioneerof the Nile also paid a visit to the starting gate before turning in another very relaxed, smooth-looking gallop.

Following two mornings of easy one-mile gallops coming out of Sunday's workout, Hold Me Back reverted to some serious work, making a couple of passes under the grandstand while continuing to look sharp. General Quarters, likewise, also received another high mark for his composure and willingness during his routine 1 1/2-mile gallop.

http://www.drf.com/news/article/103350.html

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post #12 of 58 Old 04-30-2009, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Kentucky Oaks: Friday 5:00 BRAVO - Hosted by: Bob Costas & Nancy O'Dell.

PP/Horse/Jockey/Trainer/Breeder/ODDS

1 Tweeter (KY)
Miguel Mena
D. Wayne Lukas
Marylou Whitney Stables 30/1

2 Be Fair (FL)
Rafael Bejarano
D. Wayne Lukas
Milan Kosanovich 15/1

3 Stone Legacy (KY)
Kent J. Desormeaux
D. Wayne Lukas
Marylou Whitney Stables 30/1

4 Gabby's Golden Gal (KY)
Victor Espinoza
Bob Baffert
Arnold Zetcher LLC 10/1

5 Justwhistledixie (KY)
Julien R. Leparoux
Kiaran P. McLaughlin
Hermitage Farm LLC 5/2

6 Rachel Alexandra (KY)
Calvin H. Borel
Hal R. Wiggins
Dolphus C. Morrison 3/5 (favorite)

7 Nan (KY)
Corey S. Nakatani
Craig Dollase
De Savino Stable LLC 20/1

8 Flying Spur (KY)
Garrett K. Gomez
William I. Mott
Mike G. Rutherford 8/1

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Newsday.com

Jones hopes to go out a winner with Friesan Fire

BY ED MCNAMARA

He's at the top of his game at age 52, and for the third consecutive year, Larry Jones has a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby. He ran second the past two years with Hard Spun and Eight Belles, and it would be no shock if his colt, Friesan Fire, wore the roses late Saturday afternoon.

It seems like an odd time to walk away, but that's what the likable cowboy from western Kentucky is doing. At the end of this racing season, Jones will give up the 24/7 grind of training thoroughbreds that has consumed him for 27 years. The constant travel and the need to please demanding owners has become too much, so Jones will reconnect with his family and wean himself from the horses and the road.

He regrets not spending more quality time with his four children when they were growing up, so he wants to be there for his grandchildren. Jones' wife, Cindy, is his assistant trainer, so togetherness wasn't an issue.

A typical winter weekend for Jones involved racing in Hot Springs, Ark., Sunday afternoon, then following a horse van down to New Orleans that night. After supervising workouts at the Fair Grounds Monday morning, he had to make a side trip to Oklahoma. Travel broadens you, but it also can burn you out. Jones admits the obsessive drive is no longer there.

"With those road trips, nothing's going to be good enough to make me not want to retire,'' he said. "We hope we can go out in style. I don't know how long it will take for me to go stone crazy. I think the odds in Las Vegas are somewhere around three months. But we are still looking forward to retiring.''

Friesan Fire, a son of A.P. Indy, is 3-for-3 this year and is 5-1 for the Derby. A month ago, it appeared as if Jones would have two entries in the race, but Old Fashioned suffered a career-ending knee injury April 11 in the Arkansas Derby.

Hard Spun was the runner-up to Street Sense in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, and last year Jones' filly Eight Belles beat everyone except Big Brown. Jones' euphoria lasted about two minutes, because she was euthanized after breaking her front ankles while galloping out after the race.

"You can't feel lower,'' Jones said. "She had strings tied to my heart. When she died, it just jerked a piece of my heart out. She still has it. There will always be a hole there that belongs to her.''

Jones became a target of animal-rights groups and got hate mail accusing him of running the filly to death.

"We have seen the best of it and the worst of it,'' he said. "It was just an accident, and I figured that no trainer should ever or will ever have to go through something like that. So I figured we have used up all of our bad-luck cards.''

Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. Besides the exit of Old Fashioned, a recent injury also took last year's Kentucky Oaks winner, Proud Spell, from Jones' barn. Jones hopes Friesan Fire can make up for those losses while breaking a few "Derby rules.'' He hasn't run since March 14, and the seven-week layoff defies history. Barbaro won the 2006 Derby off a five-week rest, and that hadn't been done since 1956. Friesan Fire also hasn't raced farther than 11/16 miles, another Derby no-no.

Going against the grain doesn't bother Jones, who knows he has a sharp horse who likes the track. Friesan Fire worked 5 furlongs in a blazing 57 4/5 seconds Monday morning at Churchill Downs.

"I think everybody agrees Friesan Fire has the pedigree for it,'' Jones said Tuesday night at the Derby trainers' dinner. "Hard Spun was coming off a six-week layoff, and that had never been done. Eight Belles was coming off a mile-and-a-sixteenth race, and they say that had never been done. So we're going to make Friesan Fire overcome both of those obstacles.''

Copyright © 2009, Newsday Inc.
http://www.newsday.com/sports/colleg...,7841388.story

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post #14 of 58 Old 04-30-2009, 08:32 AM
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NY POST
THE DUNKIRK DILEMMA

By RAY KERRISON

The big gest dilemma horse in the Kentucky Derby -- Dunkirk -- made his first appearance at Churchill Downs yesterday, galloped round the storied track and was pronounced battle-ready by his trainer.

Dunkirk is the classic's biggest question mark because he is at once considered the most gifted horse in the race, but having a foundation of only three races he appears to face an insurmountable task.

No horse has won the Derby with a resume like Dunkirk's in 127 years.

"We're up against a lot of history, and you've got to respect that," his trainer Todd Pletcher conceded yesterday. "But I feel that in his three races, he has had so much thrown at him -- dirt in his face, trips inside and outside, carried wide, covered in dirt -- that he will be able to handle what is thrown at him by a big field in the Derby."

Although he has been listed as joint second favorite at 4-1 on the morning line (a quote so low it surprised even Pletcher), he complicates the Derby's handicapping.

Dunkirk was bought at auction, a $3.7 million bon-bon. He did not race as a 2-year-old because of shin problems. He finally made his first start at Gulfstream Park in January, a maiden special over seven furlongs. He won by nearly six lengths.

He next won an allowance at nine furlongs by more than four lengths, then ran a splendid second to Quality Road in the nine-furlong Florida Derby.

That's it. Next stop: the big dipper, Churchill Downs.

Pletcher, the nation's leading trainer of this new century with five straight Eclipse Awards, observed Dunkirk's work yesterday and said, "I like what I saw. He has a very efficient stride.

"Everything has fallen into place. We could not be happier."

He said the first time he breezed Dunkirk last year, he knew the horse was special.

"We were flying under the radar with the public, but inside our organization, we knew we had something special," he said. "His three races were extremely impressive. He's a very talented horse."

Dunkirk's Derby chances were jolted slightly when his jockey, Garrett Gomez, gave him the flick, preferring to ride his other steady mount, Pioneerof the Nile.

"That was no surprise," Pletcher said. "The big surprise was that it took Garrett so long to figure it out. If you have had a horse that has won four stakes in a row, two of them Grade 1's (like Pioneerof the Nile), you'd have thought it would be a pretty straightforward decision.

"That it took Garrett so long to make the choice shows how much he respected Dunkirk."

Jockey Edgar Prado, who rode Dunkirk in his first winning race, gets back aboard Saturday.

Pletcher, who is 0 for 21 in the Derby, will saddle two other horses Saturday. One is Advice, who jumped up out of nowhere to come from last of 11 to win the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland 11 days ago at nearly 16-1.

Since then, the horse has worked nicely at the Downs, getting a half mile in :47.2 seconds. "I got him finishing up that work the last quarter in 23.1," Pletcher said. "It was a very good move for him."

Jockey Rene Douglas, who rode Advice to his first win last year, regains the mount for the Derby.

Pletcher's third chance is the speedy Join in the Dance, who has won only one race, a maiden special at Saratoga last summer, but led the fields for a good way in the Tampa Bay Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.

"We have realistic expectations with Join in the Dance," Pletcher said. "He's a nice horse, but he would need everything to go right, get loose on the lead, soft fractions, a speed-favoring track, etc., etc."

Chris DeCarlo will ride the speedball.

In the last analysis, horse players will have to take their chances with Dunkirk. Do they go with talent or history?

It's a dilemma, all right.
http://www.nypost.com/seven/04302009...mma_166927.htm

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post #15 of 58 Old 04-30-2009, 10:27 AM
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Former Winning Jockey likes 'Desert Party' in the Derby

By Sports Network
The Sports Network

Jean Cruguet, who rode Seattle Slew to thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown in 1977, is at the Kentucky Derby this week, serving as a celebrity handicapper for Churchill Downs official hospitality program, Derby Experiences (www.derbyexperiences.com).
A savvy handicapper who has a small horse farm at his home, Cruguet is part of a new initiative called Derby Legends (www.derbylegends.com), a marketing partnership among he and prominent former fellow jockeys Steve Cauthen, Pat Day, Laffit Pincay and Ron Turcotte. Derby Legends offers speaking engagements, endorsements and other opportunities around those renowned horse racing personalities. QuintEvents, Churchill Downs Official Hospitality Provider, engaged Cruguet's services through Derby Legends.

Thursday morning on the backside at Churchill Downs, Cruguet provided these late insights into the race, which locked in its post positions Wednesday.

"At this point, I like Desert Party to win the race. My Exacta pick is Desert Party with I Want Revenge, who is now the Morning Line favorite. I'm losing interest in Pioneerof The Nile, despite the winning record.

The way I Want Revenge won the Wood Memorial despite trouble throughout was very impressive. With a confident rider in the young and talented Joe Talamo, this horse deserves to be the early favorite.

Desert Party should have won his last race in Dubai. He was much the best horse and has. He is proven in the U.S. as a juvenile and overseas this year. Look for the 2009 Derby Party to be held in his honor.

The other horse to watch is Friesan Fire, a grandson of the great Seattle Slew. Obviously, I like the breeding. Training up to the Derby off a seven week layoff may concern some but not me. He looks like a hot horse and could be on fire Derby Day."

In 1976, with Cruguet aboard, Seattle Slew won the Champagne Stakes and earned the industry's two year-old champion award, before going on to achieve racing immortality. In the three year-old campaign, they won the Flamingo Stakes and the Wood Memorial Stakes en route to Louisville and emerged as a superstar duo with the 1977 Derby victory over Run Dusty Run. The Preakness and Belmont Stakes triumphs followed, giving the French-born Cruguet his place in history. Cruguet now resides in Versailles, KY, 64 miles from Louisville.

"The Kentucky Derby may be the top event in all of sports and entertainment," said Cruguet, whose final ride in The Derby came in 1984, when Play Fellow finished fourth behind Swale. "It's special to be involved in an official capacity with Churchill Downs and Derby Experiences."

He will be joined in the celebrity handicapper role by media personality Tom Leach of Lexington, KY, the radio and television voice of the University of Kentucky Wildcats football and basketball teams, who is also a thoroughbred horse racing expert. Leach worked with Churchill Downs and QuintEvents on the program in its debut last year, when Paul Pompa, Jr, the part owner of Big Brown, was one of the "Derby Experiences" guests.

"Derby Experiences has two major attributes," said Brian Learst of QuintEvents. "Elements that you can't get anywhere else, like Millionaire's row and interacting with Jean Cruguet, plus guaranteed, high-quality delivery, which you would expect from an iconic brand like Churchill Downs."


http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/ho...y/1025779.html

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post #16 of 58 Old 04-30-2009, 10:31 AM
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Washinton Post

'Revenge' Will Be Sweet in Kentucky Derby

Andrew Beyer
Thursday, April 30, 2009 11:08 AM



If synthetic tracks did not confuse the issue, an analysis of the Kentucky Derby could be reduced to a simple bit of deductive reasoning.

Pioneerof the Nile has won four straight stakes races in California. He has defeated such rivals as I Want Revenge (twice) and Papa Clem.

I Want Revenge subsequently went to Aqueduct and won two stakes impressively. Papa Clem shipped to Oaklawn Park and captured the $1 million Arkansas Derby.

In the past, the logical conclusion would have been obvious. The best 3-year-olds are in California, Pioneerof the Nile is the best of the bunch, and he figures to win the 135th Derby on Saturday.

However, such reasoning is not applicable since the southern California tracks replaced their traditional dirt ovals with synthetic surfaces. Few horses display the same ability on dirt and synthetics, and it is difficult to predict a horse's preferences until he has tried both. The California-based I Want Revenge had displayed very respectable form on synthetic surfaces, though he had managed to win only a maiden race in six starts. But when trainer Jeff Mullins shipped him to Aqueduct in order to try him on dirt, he was a different horse. I Want Revenge earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 113 in the Gotham Stakes, a number that was 21 points higher than his best effort in the West and was good enough to win any of the last six Kentucky Derbies.

However, the fact that I Want Revenge made this successful transition has absolutely no relevance to the chances of the other synthetic-track specialists in the Derby field. Perhaps one of them will improve on dirt, too, but the probabilities are against them. Last year four horses came into the Derby with solid credentials on synthetics and no proved dirt form; they finished sixth, ninth, 16th and 19th. I will bet against all of the synthetic specialists in Saturday's race -- Chocolate Candy, Advice, Hold Me Back, Mr. Hot Stuff and particularly Pioneerof the Nile.

As a 2-year-old Pioneerof the Nile was trained by the astute Bill Mott, who launched the colt's career by running him on the grass at Saratoga and never tried him on dirt. It is plausible to assume that Mott didn't think he was a good dirt runner. Under the care of Bob Baffert this year, Pioneerof the Nile has blossomed at Santa Anita, which favors horses with his stretch-running style, but he may be strictly a synthetic-track horse.

Synthetic tracks have only injected handicapping riddles into the Derby. They have changed the complexion of the field and the dynamics of the race. The Derby has usually been filled with speed horses whose owners and trainers are praying they can somehow hang on for 1 1/4 miles. Many of these horses earned their way into the field after successes on speed-favoring tracks at Santa Anita and Keeneland. Their presence often created a destructive early pace that set up the Derby for a stretch-runner. But since California and Keeneland have both converted to synthetics, fewer such speedsters enter the Derby. With a slower early pace, horses coming from far behind are compromised. That is an additional reason for bettors to avoid synthetic-track stretch-runners and to prefer horses who have shown speed on the dirt.

I Want Revenge is a standout in the Derby on the basis of his 2-for-2 dirt record. His losses in California are largely irrelevant. He has the necessary speed, which he displayed by dueling for the lead and winning the Gotham Stakes. But he showed other dimensions to his talent when he broke several lengths behind the field in the Wood Memorial, encountered traffic trouble in the stretch and still managed to win. He possesses the versatility and stamina that are important assets at Churchill Downs. After the formidable Quality Road was knocked out of the Derby by a hoof problem, there appear to be only two challengers with a plausible chance to beat the favorite: Friesan Fire and Dunkirk. The former won three straight stakes in Louisiana, and he showed his readiness for the Derby with a sizzling five-furlong workout this week. One possible knock against him is that he earned his only excellent speed figure on a sloppy track. Dunkirk definitely has the talent, based on his second-place finish behind Quality Road in the Florida Derby. He owns the second-best speed figure in the field. However, the $3.7 million yearling has raced three times and never started as a 2-year-old. He is bucking a formidable precedent: No horse unraced at 2 has won the Derby since Apollo in 1882.

Since these two rivals are anything but iron-clad propositions, bettors playing trifectas and superfectas can take a chance with longshots who have respectable dirt form. Papa Clem ran decently to win the Arkansas Derby. Desert Party and Regal Ransom both have enough speed and seasoning to fare better than the other shippers from Dubai who have flopped at Churchill Downs. But this much about the Derby seems clear (at least to me): I Want Revenge will win it, and none of the synthetic- track specialists will finish close to him.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...043001799.html

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post #17 of 58 Old 04-30-2009, 10:38 AM
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From Fredfa's "Hot Off The Press" thread at the top of the 'HDTV Programming' page:

TV Sports
Spectacle and synergy keys to NBC's Derby plan
By John Ourand, Sports Business Channel - April 27, 2009

NBC and Churchill Downs are repositioning the Kentucky Derby as a lifestyle brand in hopes of drawing higher television ratings for this Saturday's 135th Run for the Roses.

The Derby, the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, has dabbled in that lifestyle segment, using a red carpet for the last two years to highlight the entertainment spectacle surrounding the race.

But this year, NBC and Churchill Downs are trying to increase the appeal to casual fans more than ever.

===========

Churchill Downs approached NBC about using this strategy for the Derby early last summer. The two sides hammered out the details during an all-day meeting in a Churchill Downs boardroom on Sept. 19, the first day of the Ryder Cup at the nearby Valhalla Golf Club. They decided that prerace promotion should focus on four pillars of the Derby: food, fashion, celebrity and entertainment. NBC pledged to promote those aspects of the Derby experience on its platforms.

Those elements are inherent to the Derby and always have been, so it's authentic to the event, McCarley said. It's the first official party of the summer.

http://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/62324

While absolutely NOTHING in this thread relates to HDTV, I'll add to the drivel. The Kentucky Derby has always been about lifestyles -- two dramatically different ones. There is a world of difference between the crowd in the Rose Garden and the crowd in the infield (if they still allow an infield crowd these days...) Both get milked by Churchill Downs for all they are worth.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase View Post

While absolutely NOTHING in this thread relates to HDTV, I'll add to the drivel. The Kentucky Derby has always been about lifestyles -- two dramatically different ones. There is a world of difference between the crowd in the Rose Garden and the crowd in the infield (if they still allow an infield crowd these days...) Both get milked by Churchill Downs for all they are worth.

a) wow you sound fun at a party.

b) ok....Nancy O'Dell will look great in HD tomorrow.

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Originally Posted by hphase View Post

I'll add to the drivel.

If there is something to contribute regarding the HD broadcast, then post it. I am only offering folks some interesting reference material, to help them formulate their winning pick regarding the most exciting two minutes in sports.

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post #20 of 58 Old 04-30-2009, 10:54 AM
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a) wow you sound fun at a party.

b) ok....Nancy O'Dell will look great in HD tomorrow.

Have you been to the Derby? How do you know how much fun I have there?
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Originally Posted by LL3HD View Post

If there is something to contribute regarding the HD broadcast, then post it.

How wonderful of you to open up your forum for its original use!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LL3HD View Post

I am only offering folks some interesting reference material, to help them formulate their winning pick regarding the most exciting two minutes in sports.

I know from personal experience that it is also the most expensive two minutes in sports television.
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post #22 of 58 Old 04-30-2009, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by hphase View Post

How wonderful of you to open up your forum for its original use!

No "HD" blockin' from this patron.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hphase View Post

I know from personal experience that it is also the most expensive two minutes in sports television.

I'll say.

I'm assuming you are working the event. There are perks as a "worker" but being there as a fan is an altogether more enjoyable experience (IMO). Out of the countless races I've attended the vast majority has been as a fan. Twice, I believe, I was there in a professional capacity- with a network laminate.

Personally, I'm waiting for my buddy (trainer to remain nameless) to finally get a Derby worthy horse entered, and then I'll be there. I've been to the other Triple Crown races and most of the big stakes races. Haven't missed a Belmont Stakes or a trip to Saratoga in August for decades.

Now... enough of my drivel.. back to the real drivel...

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post #23 of 58 Old 04-30-2009, 05:51 PM
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There were years that ABC was at Churchill Downs for two whole weeks. Races were covered the weekend before the Derby. Some years Good Morning America originated from the Rose Garden, and some years there was even a live concert telecast from either Churchill Downs or a nearby venue on Friday night.

All in support of a two-minute horse race...
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post #24 of 58 Old 05-01-2009, 10:31 AM
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From Fred's HOTP thread....

TV Sports Notes
Scoreguide, Kentucky Derby and more

By Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News, May 1, 2009

If you get a chance, take a look at the new "Scoreguide" that DirecTV has put that gives viewers a chance to track scores and click over to events in progress. A small on-screen icon tells viewers about the free feature that's on the dish service's 200-plus sports channels. It shows games in progress, as well as what's coming up later in the day or in the week. It then has the DirecTV channel related to that event, which viewers can go to with their remotes.

NBC's Kentucky Derby crew: Bob Costas and Tom Hammond as the co-hosts, Gary Stevens jockeys for position as the analyst, Tom Durkin calls the race, Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier do the handicapping, Kenny Rice and Donna Brothers report on the track and, in the "red carpet" treatment that every major sporting event seems to need now, Al Roker, Nancy O'Dell and Tiki Barber do more schmoozing.

Neumeier's picks to win: "I only see three possible horses that can win the race. In order of preference: Dunkirk, Pioneerof the Nile and I Want Revenge. I'll be very surprised if someone else wins the race, because I think those three are head and shoulders above the rest of the field." Battaglia likes Pioneerof The Nile.

One other way to enjoy the race: For the first time, the race replays on iTunes.com for $1.99. A CNBC show called "Run for the Roses: The Kentucky Derby and the Business of Horse Racing," is also available.

The list of 2008 Sports Emmy Award winners (linked here) include the HBO documentary, "Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football"

David Wells, last seen in a big-league uniform pitching for the Dodgers, begins his broadcasting career with TBS on its coverage of the Boston-Tampa Bay contest (Sunday, 10:30 a.m.PT), with Chip Caray and Buck Martinez.

Do we read in too much that Eric Karros, not Tim McCarver, is with Joe Buck and Ken Rosenthal forming a formidable team on Fox's coverage of New York Mets-Philadelphia game (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., PT, Fox). Sixty-five percent of the country (including L.A.) get this broadcast, while the rest of the county has Houston-Atlanta (Kenny Albert and Mark Grace) and Cleveland at Detroit (Thom Brennaman and Rick Manning)

http://www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffar...n-54.html#more
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I'm going off the board and picking Sarah Jessica Parker to show.

Seriously, it's been raining all week and Friesan Fire runs well in mud.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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Too bad the pre-game on ESPN won't be in HD. The Belmont is much more enjoyable when you can watch the whole day in HD.
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I'm going off the board and picking Sarah Jessica Parker to show.

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NBC Sports to offer mobile Kentucky Derby feed
Business First of Louisville

NBC Sports has partnered with Emeryville, Calif.-based technology company MobiTV to provide live coverage of Saturday's running of Kentucky Derby 135 that can be accessed on wireless devices.

The service is being offered to millions of MobiTV subscribers who are customers of AT&T WIreless, Sprint, Alltel and other MobiTV-enabled carriers in the United States.

The coverage will begin at 4 p.m., MobiTV said in a news release.

More information about MobiTV can be found at www.mobitv.com.

http://www.bizjournals.com/louisvill...7/daily69.html

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post #28 of 58 Old 05-01-2009, 01:51 PM
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...it's been raining all week and Friesan Fire runs well in mud.

Kentucky Derby Contenders:

Friesan Fire Top Derby Pick

Written by Steve Hastings

If your looking for a strong bet to make tomorrow, take a look at Friesan Fire. Many of the horse racing experts that spoke to Point-Spreads.com feel Friesan Fire is one of the top Kentucky Derby contenders. Friesan Fire is listed at +500 odds (Bet $100 to win $500) to win the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby at Sportsbook.com.

One of the more intriguing entrants in Derby 135, stated VegasInsider.com Horse Racing Analyst Anthony Stabile when asked to comment on various Kentucky Derby Contenders including Friesan Fire. Emerged from the shadow of now-retired stable mate Old Fashioned the further we traveled down this years' Derby trail. His stalk and pounce style is one of the most successful in the Derby and in all of racing. He's drawn well and should be able to work out a nice trip..but he hasn't run in seven weeks!!! To put that in prospective, five of his Derby rivals have run TWICE since his last start. And, the fact that he doesn't have a 1 1/8 miles race under his belt bothers me as well.

Larry Jones trainer has run 2nd in the past two Kentucky Derby appearances including placing with Hard Spun in 2007 and last year with the ill-fated philly Eight Belles. Friesan Fire will be ridden out of the 6th post by 20-year-old jockey Gabriel Saez.

Friesan Fire is my choice, stated Horse Racing Expert James Scully when asked to comment on the various Kentucky Derby Contenders. I like his draw (post 6) and the way he's training for Larry "Cowboy" Jones, who has saddled the last two Derby runner-ups, and Friesan Fire should be able to afford traffic problems with his speed. There's not a lot of pace in the field. Sire A.P. Indy is long overdue for a Derby winner, and Friesan Fire is bred to run all day on his dam side. He also figures to move up on a wet track (rain is expected Friday and Saturday). The bay colt was a smashing 7 1/4-length winner of the Louisiana Derby (G2) in the slop, registering a 103 BRIS Speed and a 112 Late Pace rating. I'll look for a front-running score under Gabriel Saez.

Stabile continued: There is no doubting his talent, but he might have too much physically to overcome. Combine that with the scrutiny Jones and Saez will likely face in the 36 hours before the race concerning the tragic end Eight Belles faced last year and it complicates matters even more.

http://www.point-spreads.com/horses/...erby-pick.html

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...runs well in mud.


The Kentucky Derby - A Rainy Proposition

60 to 70 percent chance of rain from noon through the evening.
The Sports Network

The 20-horse field is set for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby, but the race will lose a ton of luster when Mother Nature rears her ugly head on Saturday afternoon.
The track is already muddy from Thursday's rain, and the early forecast for Derby Day calls for a 60 to 70 percent chance of rain from noon through the evening. With that as the backdrop, predicting the outcome of the 2009 Kentucky Derby is an extremely difficult task, more so than almost any other Derby of this decade. Friesan Fire and Desert Party are two horses that have won over a sloppy track, while only a handful of others have ever set foot on one.

Today's column will feature those two colts along with three others, beginning with Pioneerof the Nile.

The son of Empire Maker has done nothing wrong in his quest for Derby stardom, with four straight victories including a pair of Grade I triumphs. He also has the distinction of running against and defeating more horses in this race than any other member of the field. Not only has he beaten Chocolate Candy twice, he got the best of the morning line favorite I Want Revenge in both the Cash Call Futurity and the Robert B. Lewis. In the latter event, he also defeated Arkansas Derby winner Papa Clem. Only Musket Man has won as many races (five), and no other horse can claim as many stakes wins as Bob Baffert's colt.

There are some concerns, however, as Pioneerof the Nile has yet to race on conventional dirt, with seven of his nine lifetime starts on synthetics and his first two appearances coming on the Saratoga turf. It's true that he has beaten many of the top contenders in the Derby, but after taking a closer look at how he did so, the results do not seem as flattering.

Pioneerof the Nile defeated I Want Revenge in the Cash Call Futurity after already running in a pair of Grade I events, while I Want Revenge was coming into the race right off his maiden victory. The same scenario took place in the Robert B. Lewis as Pioneerof the Nile, now having run in three straight Grade I races, barely got past another recent maiden winner, Papa Clem.

Even though he's won four in a row, he was extremely rank in the early stages of his last two. One can forgive him for doing so against a weak field in the San Felipe, but the same thing happened again in the Santa Anita Derby, a race that left more questions than answers.

The head-on angle shows Pioneerof the Nile, under severe whipping from Gomez, bearing in and out through the stretch in his first attempt at nine furlongs. Will he be able to improve his poor habits running an extra furlong on a surface he has yet to see against 19 other horses? It's a risk too tough to take.

THE TWO PROBABLE FAVORITES

With Quality Road on the sidelines, I Want Revenge could be the post time favorite. In his first race on dirt in the Gotham Stakes, he dazzled the New York crowd with an 8 1/2-length win, earning a 113 Beyer figure. In a fascinating statistic, the last seven Kentucky Derby winners have all won a race by eight lengths or more prior to the first Saturday in May. (The only other horse in this field that can stake that claim is Advice.)

I Want Revenge followed up that effort with a devastating performance in the Wood Memorial, after three one-way trips across the country. The son of Stephen Got Even broke slow from the gate and still had enough energy to defeat a field of eight by 1 1/2-lengths, running his final three furlongs in 36 seconds flat under a hand-ride.

His talent cannot be questioned, but his energetic, high-strung personality might be his downfall. On April 13, just a day before his first scheduled local workout, he cast in his stall, which left scrapes all over his head and left knee. Imagine what might happen on Derby Day with over 140,000 fans in attendance at Churchill Downs.

Here's something else to remember. The reason I Want Revenge was moved off synthetics was due to his inability to properly grip the Pro-Ride surface out west. One has to wonder how he'll adjust to a projected sloppy racetrack in Kentucky. If he was spinning his wheels at Santa Anita, might he do the same on Saturday?

Trainer Larry Jones has finished second in each of the last two years with Hard Spun and Eight Belles. Is Friesan Fire the horse to take him to the Promised Land before he retires? If that happens, then a couple of longstanding Derby myths will be discarded.

Friesan Fire has yet to race beyond 1 1/16. The last Run for the Roses winner without the benefit of a nine-furlong race was Middleground in 1950.

In addition, Friesan Fire's last trip around the track was back on March 14 in the Louisiana Derby, a race he won by 7 1/4-lengths in the slop at Fair Grounds. No horse has won the Kentucky Derby off a six-week break since Needles grabbed the crown in 1956. Barbaro and Big Brown both proved victorious with a five-week layoff, but Friesan Fire enters the race with an unheard of seven-weeks of inactivity.

Nevertheless, if there's any trainer that can pull it off, it's Larry Jones. He came close to breaking the above trends the last two years, as Hard Spun ran second off a six-week layoff in '07 and Eight Belles did the same without a 1 1/8-mile prep just last year.

Friesan Fire has been training exactly as Hard Spun had prior to the '07 Derby, with a mile workout followed by a five-furlong blowout. The only difference is that Friesan Fire finished in 1:14 flat after five in 57 4/5, while Hard Spun galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 2/5 after five in 57 3/5.

Breaking from post six should set him up in a good spot right behind the early speed, and the wet track makes him a must-play. However, that's what most of the betting public will think, so look for the son of A.P. Indy to wind up as the favorite come post time.

TAKE YOUR PICK

Godolphin Racing has not had much of an impact in the Kentucky Derby with horses brought over from Dubai. The best finish of the five came in 2000 when China Visit, with only two lifetime starts, finished sixth to Fusaichi Pegasus. Curule, who ran seventh that year, didn't even start as a two-year- old. The next year, Express Tour ran just once at three prior to the Derby while Essence of Dubai only had two starts as a three-year-old before the 2002 Run for the Roses.

This year, the stable has gone about winning the Derby the right way. Its top candidate, Desert Party, has had three preps in '09, after winning two of three races, including the Sanford Stakes, as a two-year-old in the United States.

The son of Street Cry (Street Sense's sire) defeated Regal Ransom early this year in the Ford Flex by a half-length and then crushed that rival, along with Vineyard Haven, by almost five lengths in the UAE 2000 Guineas.

The track bias at Nad Al Sheba affected his performance in the UAE Derby as stablemate Regal Ransom finally got the best of him at nine furlongs. Speed was king in Dubai that day and Desert Party, despite sitting a couple of lengths off the lead, could not catch Regal Ransom, coming up a half-length short at the wire but 15 lengths ahead of the third-place finisher. Moreover, both trainer and jockey felt the horse wasn't at his peak heading into the race.

Desert Party has looked fabulous in morning workouts over the Churchill Downs strip and despite the lack of a two-turn race he should be on top of his game this Saturday, particularly if there's moisture on the track. The only negative might be the 19 post.

Never in the entire history of the Derby has a horse won from that position, but jockey Ramon Dominguez might be able to keep his horse from floating wide as the field hits the first turn, since most of the speed will be breaking from posts one through 10.

It's been over a century since a horse won the Kentucky Derby without a two- year-old start. That trend will end this year when Dunkirk crosses the wire first at Churchill Downs.

The $3.7 million yearling encountered as much trouble in his first two starts as most horses see over a full year of racing. Not many colts can overcome a slow start and win by almost six lengths in their debut, and then stretch out to 1 1/8-miles and win by almost five while being carried into the eight-path around the first turn.

Dunkirk completed his nine furlongs in 1:50 earning a 98 Beyer in that second start, running faster than grade-one older horses had in the Donn Handicap earlier in the meet. In addition, he already has dealt with bulky fields, as 12 horses ran in his debut and 10 hit the track in his next outing. To put that into perspective, Friesan Fire has only encountered one double-digit field in his seven career outings.

In his most recent event, the Florida Derby, Quality Road took advantage of a speed-favoring Gulfstream Park surface and outran Dunkirk through the stretch to win by 1 3/4-lengths. It was a gap of six back to the third-place horse. There's no shame in losing to Quality Road as that colt would have vied for favoritism with Friesan Fire and I Want Revenge if two quarter cracks had not forced him to miss the Derby.

Todd Pletcher's decade long 0-21 Derby slump will end, as the best horse will win the most important three-year-old race in the county provided he can handle the sloppy racecourse.

HOW TO BET THE DERBY

The most important factor in regard to handicapping this year's Derby is the track condition. Speed has been the answer the last three times the race was run on muddy or sloppy tracks.

Smarty Jones galloped to victory sitting right behind Lion Heart, who held second, in the 2004 Derby, while both Go For Gin and Sunday Silence proved best on the lead in 1994 and 1989, respectively.

That doesn't mean a horse can't run well from off the pace. Strodes Creek rallied for second to Go For Gin, and Easy Goer, who disliked the off-going, still managed to nail the place spot behind Sunday Silence.

Given the expected track conditions, Desert Party and Friesan Fire must be used along with Dunkirk.

Given a $100 bankroll, this is how I would handle the wager. Throw $25 on an exacta box with Dunkirk and Desert Party for $50. Then bet $15 on each horse to win for $30, leaving $20.

Finally, take the two horses that have won on the slop - Friesan Fire and Desert Party - and box them in a $5 exacta for a total of $10, and do the same with Friesan Fire and Dunkirk for another $10.

For those with larger bankrolls, Hold Me Back, Chocolate Candy and Regal Ransom are other horses that should be used in trifectas and superfectas.

THE FINAL JEFF FRANK TOP 10

1) Dunkirk; 2) Desert Party; 3) Friesan Fire; 4) I Want Revenge; 5) Hold Me Back; 6) Chocolate Candy; 7) Pioneerof the Nile; 8) Regal Ransom; 9) Summer Bird; 10) Papa Clem.
http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/ho...y/1027811.html

Larry

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post #30 of 58 Old 05-01-2009, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Kentucky Oaks:

Can Nancys hat be any bigger ?

Track is FAST.

1-5 on Rachel Alexandra.

20 1/4 length WIN....that was easy.

W $2.60
P $2.20
S $2.10

thats gotta be some minus pool.

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