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Races of Interest *Detailed* Discussion of Races – Screen shots, decisions, post-mortems

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Old 04-17-2018, 11:30 AM   #1
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Ky Derby PP's & Analysis

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Old 04-17-2018, 03:49 PM   #2
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Early Kentucky Derby Analysis

Mitch44 asked me to post this, as he had other obligations this afternoon.

2018 Kentucky Derby
Good Magic: Pace 99 93 = 192 + -6. SR 98 I gave this horse a plus on pace because in his last he really was never challenged and only did what he had to in an easy prep. His real potential as a 3 yr. old is somewhat a mystery at this point. He remains an unknown factor as he only did what he had to do in his final prep for this. For his 3 yr. debut in the FntnOYth, he had missed training due to a foot problem and then followed up with a win in the Blue Grass. Won easily without being extended or challenged in stretch. That won’t happen in the Derby. It’s unknown how much gas was left in the tank. Top ability remains a mystery verses others with a very capable trainer who can get him ready off more workouts and training. Will also get a faster pace today for the challenge. I prefer more seasoned and proven better at this point to a very positive unknown factor. Has to make up 6 to 9 lengths on several others in here, not impossible but they may also improve. A tall task but still a better choice with more upside than many in here. I don’t believe his odds will justify the risk of true unknown ability and will play against at this point for the win and downgrade him at this time. Contender expected to improve with unknown 3 yr. ability not yet exposed, upside.

Audible: Pace 105 104= 209 -1. SR 107 Has won 4 of 5 while going up in class, with increasing Speed Ratings and distance increases. Overcame a much faster pace in last with hardly any deceleration while easily overcoming competition. Only additional races will determine his bottom. Increased SR against a faster pace of race and at a longer distance. Love that. No knocks and solid contender.

Noble Indy: Pace 109 86 = 195 – 23. SR 100 This horse shows tremendous ability while still racing green with gate issues. After being headed in stretch and gutted from early pace, proved to be a fighter to come back for the win against a closer. Added blinkers in last and had to chase a fast early pace to stay in touch. Not sure if his much faster pace was from the pace of race or the blinkers, however has rated before. Has a lot of upside while still learning but an unknown factor. Increased SR against a faster pace of race and at a longer distances. Love that too. I don’t like his -23 deceleration. These horses can change dramatically in just a week or so when the light goes off and they put it all together. Comes into it fresh off a 6-week layoff and I would bet that time was spent gate training, getting use to blinkers and controlling speed by a very capable trainer. Odds will be or should be huge on this one. No slouch. A positive unknown factor.

Vino Rosso: Pace 102 98 = 200 -4. SR 102 Should he have been DQed in last? What difference does it make at this point? He still ran his best race to date which we should expect from any 3 yr. old. He did prove to be a fighter in that exchange of bumps and it’ll serve him well in this large field. With blinkers added and maturity he put it all together in last. Also increased SR against a faster pace of race and at a longer distance. An unknown factor whose top still is unknown. Against this field his odds should go up. Contender.

Bold d’ Oro: Pace 102 114 = 216 + 12. SR 110 Forced to change style in last to prevent winner from getting away and still ran his best race ever. There should be a more honest pace against Justify in the Derby which will better set up for his stalking style. Was gutted in late stretch. Not fully cranked up for debut as a 3 yr. old and improved big in last and as a 3 yr. old. Probably not much upside but not having to keep Justify honest he can save energy for the 1 ¼ distance. Increased SR’s against a faster pace of race and at a longer distance. Definitely not a throw-out.

Enticed: Pace 104 90 = 194 - 14 SR 99 Even with interference in last at 1/8 pole he wasn’t going to beat winner. From chart he appears to be too fast early and shows deceleration in all races. His best distance may be shorter. Has to prove both class and distance against this bunch but while he could improve, appears up against it with this bunch. Probably better in a smaller field where will encounter less traffic and a shorter distance? Has won over track. Regardless, toss!

Mendelssohn: Pace 88 103.25= 191.25 + 15.25+ SR 108 Was given a 106 Beyer, Bris SR’s tend to run a few more than Beyer ratings so I adjusted him 2 points. Note: this pace is my own rating which includes a conservative adjustment of 6 lengths for the track but may be actually 9 and no track to track adjustment which could add several lengths to TPR. Amount? Unsure. His performance was as good as the older Thunder Snow who won the $ 10,000,000 race on same card. Also numbers as good as Gun Runner. Time Form rating gave Thunder Snow a 123 and Mendelssohn a 122. Every indication that this horse is a monster and a freak. Could he bounce? Sure, just as can some others in here, but we have to use what we have to work with. Has won on 3 different surfaces so CD shouldn’t be an issue as it may be with others. Also has proved shipping by winning BCJvTf at Dmr. Don’t like the fact that jock didn’t save something for the horse’s future and won off by 18 lengths for the $ 2 million purse. He let up the last furlong and the horse was looking at the infield and not concentrating, so ratings again are much better for TPR and an actual pace rating is impossible. I expect he’ll run again with Blinkers on and Lasix as he did in BC race at Dmr, it should correct his looking around especially with the infield crowd at CD. Trainer very capable. Sooner or later the Derby will be won by a foreign horse and he is the best to ever come over for the Derby. Trainer won’t come unless ready. He wasn’t challenged for the lead nor was Thunder Snow but that could have been the track, regardless a proven class horse. He is actually an unknown factor as he isn’t really comparable to all the US horses but definably proven better than most in here, very few can win multiple Gr 1’s with million dollar purses. His gate-to-wire win is deceptive as he doesn’t have the speed to do it again against these. They need to keep him about 10 lengths back to be effective or he won’t run his 3rd fraction. The word is out on him now but his odds should go up and be decent as they’ll go with the Americans.

Justify: Pace 105 117 = 222 + 12. SR 114 Undefeated as is Magnum Moon but at least one is sure to lose or both as there will be 19 losers in the Derby. There is always cheap speed in the Derby and more horses to keep him honest. So a different set up or match up, has never raced out of Cal. or other than SA. Must prove he can handle shipping, CD track and not bounce. Did drift out in stretch so was all out. Therefore no shoo-in at a low price. Must have had a problem as a 2 yr. old as never raced and so is bucking percentages as far as having a foundation. If we knew the reason a better judgement could be made. Probably with last race and trainer will be the favorite. Hard to ignore but also would have to take a low price in a field like this says not worth the risk with several reasons to lose.

Flameaway: Pace 100 89= 189 – 11. SR 97 Even though he has 5 wins they were mainly against much slower pace of races. In his two tries at a faster POR he had no answer in the stretch even though he failed to change leads in last. He appears best on dirt but perhaps in a G3 or Stake races and not Gr 1 or 2’s. He is a fighter but ambitiously placed then again he did have problems in last two races so who knows with a clean trip. A negative unknown factor, so toss.

Bravazo: Pace 93 100= 193 + 7 SR 98. Had to use L 2 on this one as L 1 is a throw out as he lugged out badly in stretch which he has done before. Until last race was progressing nicely. 3 yr. olds are known to throw in a bad race and then bounce back for no apparent reason. Has what I call a very sneaky trainer who loves a price and is very capable. Simply may need an equipment change such as Blinkers, stronger rider, run out bit or have a physical problem that may be correctable. Trainer has proven ability with young horses, we’ll see if there are any changes. Should be a toss but this trainer has burned me several times before so for now will leave in, plus his odds based on PP’s should be extremely very high. I may do something out of the ordinary with him such as key for a .50 cent trifecta. It’s cheap insurance. I’m a wait and see on this one. We always hope for a few scratches to strengthen our picks. For now I’ll leave him in.

Promises Fulfilled: Pace 101 102= 203 + 1 SR 104. Had to use L 2 at 1 1/16 as L 1 is a throw-out because he stopped and was washy before the race, perhaps the training and fast turnaround. May have a physical issue as he added front bandages in last two. Another big issue with him is that visually he appears to be a need-to-lead horse (NTL). Doesn’t appear to rate when on lead or when challenged. I’m looking forward to RDSS PP’s to see his energy distribution and or % Med. I don’t believe he can go gate-to-wire against these closers but may effect pace. Non contender.

Magnum Moon: Pace 98 98 = 196 0 SR 100 Won 4 for 4 and is undefeated. Used L 2 as I believe it’s more reflective of what he can do as he was not challenged in the Ark Derby and was allowed to set a slow pace. L 2 is more reflective of the Derby pace. Has increasing SR while up in class and going longer. Never been really tested but will get tested today, true ability is really unknown at this point. Won over 3 different tracks and increasing distance. Rates and likes being near pace with a very capable trainer. What’s not to like about him? Well he’s been traveling the B circuit and beating up on weaker foes for one. There is much irrational enthusiasm (overhype) due to being undefeated which does not Justify his actual performance and especially odds as most likely will be the favorite or co-favorite. His actual ability has not been undisclosed so an unknown, however still a contender with upside but reward verses risk not there.

Quip: Pace 84 109= 193 + 25 SR 98 Used L 2 to give this horse every chance. Was progressing nicely till last race where he was no match for the winner and didn’t really improve with the added distance. He did beat the rest of the field but winner was also not fully extended. He had no workout over the track, were the connections looking forward to the big one? With what’s available I have to conclude his best distance is 8 to 8.5 F. Non contender for win and a cut below these. Non contender.

Free Drop Billy: Pace 93 102= 195 + 9 SR 99 Used L 3. L 2 had minor trouble but not good to use an 8 F for this race. Also prefer to use a 9F line but L 1 had much worse trouble and late in race while he was moved up to show. It definitely effected his LPR rating and I don’t think it cost him the win. Lost 4 in a row and has never won against a fast pace. Toss!

Lone Sailor: Pace 101 94= 195 – 7 SR 100. Improved big in last and is getting good at the right time. It appears in his chart he doesn’t like to be rated and prefers to just run from the start. Probably will continue to improve. Style not good for match up and distance but his true ability is unknown, some can carry their speed and be effective. Even in next to last seemed disinterested and may be spitting bit with too much control. Very much to prove against this field, he’ll just have to beat me. We have to take make a stand somewhere and make decisions. Toss!

Hofburg: Pace 102 101= 203 -1 SR 104. Greatly improved as a 3 yr. old. Ran a big race against a top horse in last and may have needed race and beat the rest easily. Very capable trainer. Limited data with only 3 races and a good unknown factor with great potential going forward until he proves otherwise. “For only 3 starts he takes dirt kickback well said trainer Bill Mott, it should serve him well in the Derby as he lacks great early speed.” Odds should be big on this one however still has much to prove. Not impossible task with 3 yr. olds. Could even make for a good EX. or Tri. Improving SR while up in class and increasing distances. Few can go from a Mdn. to run big in a GR 1, not a fluke at all or a Rodney Dangerfield. Deserves some respect and could be anything.

Firenze Fire: Pace 104 76= 180 – 28 SR 92. Used L 3.Has lost 3 in a row and was better as a 2 yr. old. Appears racing sound but may have peaked as a 2 yr. old. Trainer better with cheaper and may be problem or hasn’t found this one’s whole card. Toss!

Solomini: Pace 97 92 = 189 -5 SR 96 A disappointing race in last, perhaps doesn’t like the distance. Declining Speed ratings not a good sign. While near the pace couldn’t match winner after a slow pace. His style is more speed early and may have been choked down in last against his style and also against Baffert‘s style as he trains for speed. I expect a change in instructions to the jockey and to let this horse roll, also would set it up for stablemate, get away from the 19 horse mob and let him run his race. I’m sure Baffert has trained him for more. His last two races as a 3 yr. old could be thrown out, 17 Mar as not being fully cranked up and needing race and 14 Apr could be thrown out as against his style. A bit of an unknown but somewhat positive as true 3 yr. true ability a bit of a puzzle. He has been beaten 4 times by other horses in here and I just don’t see a tandem reversal in here. BTW Baffert has a habit of running horses that aren’t coupled and the worse one frequently run better at much greater odds. I still don’t see him as a win contender. Toss!

Gronkowski: No pace or speed figures available. Gets into this race with an automatic berth from best in Europe however it looks more like the best from England only to me. Has won last 4 races but against what? His last 4 wins however all were on all weather tracks and only at a mile. Must prove dirt and ability to handle kickback, trainer said; “We have to find out if he goes on the dirt or not. I'm pretty confident he'll handle it well. They either do or they don't, no matter how much you train them.” Not really an encouraging statement plus has to prove distance and shipping. Finally his wins were against Allowance types mostly and hasn’t won a Graded race. Mendelssohn has proven all those and has beaten the best from the world twice in big time races, notably BC Juvenile for 2 yr. olds and his last while not graded yet a $2,000,000 race for the best in the world for 3 yr. olds which is at least as good as our G1 preps. Has potential but not in the league of others. Toss!

My Boy Jack: Pace 88 106 = 194 + 18 SR 99 Used L 2 better race and longer distance. His style fits well with the TC races and should improve with distance. Flashed ability as a 2 yr. old on turf but much better on dirt and going longer as a 3 yr. old. He does take a big step up in class with this bunch and will get tested in here. Odds will reward the step up. The jockey is known to blow big races then again this a family affair.

Combatant: Pace 92 97= 189 + 5 SR 96 Used L 2 on this one, in last he was too far back to be effective and taken away from his normal running style. He did handle the distance and the longer he goes the more effective he’ll be as he is a one pace type horse. He’s the # 1 on also eligible list and will probably get in. He just may pass many horses in the stretch. Very consistent hard knocking horse that needs more distance. He’ll be most effective at 1 ½ (12f) and more suited for the Belmont, stake races and BC at that distance. After this I would skip the Preakness and run him fresh in the Belmont.

This year’s Derby has come up very strong compared to other years. It still has its normal problems; cheap speed, a NTL, legit speed, several off the pace horses that are legit and a full 20-horse field again. A 3 yr. old race with normal unknown factors, questions and none that have proven the distance. All we can do is make judgments based on the evidence presented. The field should be limited to 14 as in BC races, however, it’s about squeezing every dollar they can from entry fees, etc., often at the cost of the best horse getting interfered with, especially the Calvary charge from the gate to the first turn. I guess a major catastrophe will be needed for any real change.
While the field is set there may still be some scratches and the post-position draw will have an effect on the field due to their running style, plus we have no morning line or actual odds for consideration However true class and the best horses win. We can’t deal with what are unforeseen events before the finish line and only to the facts at hand and we must play the hand dealt here or one can skip the race.
Then again who doesn’t want a bet on the Derby and to accept the challenge at hand? We go into this with much greater knowledge than over 100,000 ill-informed, once-a-year players at the track and numerous more around the world who’ll just bet the hype. Also there’s a great possibly of a good price horse winning.
This analysis is all based on Bris PP’s and data. I will definitely download RDSS when available, probably a couple weeks away. I’m interested in the % Med. running styles, too much or too little % Med., adjustments to equalize the distances, Preceptor numbers for lines, normal FPS pattern for horse, Total Energy, deceleration. etc.

Note: 1. I used line one for all horses except where noted in horses comments.
2. I used TPR from Bris for two reasons; in research I have found little difference in adding the first FR for a somewhat Bris Total Energy, what appears to be a 2nd FR. in Bris pace numbers is actually the Second Call which already accounts for the 1st FR plus deceleration to the Second Call. Now for RDSS that’s not the case and Total Energy actually measures the three fractions without any deceleration in the raw Total Energy.
3. The Mitch Dis. Rating is my own number, done by rating each race to see the progression or improvement of the rating in their charts as they increased distances of races and improved or didn’t improve as a 3 year old, culminating and taken from only the chosen line to ascertain how it handled the distance ran, his ability to accept longer races or stretch out to todays 1 ¼ distance ability. Just another tool to get a handle on stretch outs which can also be determined by others means.
Horse Pace # for TPR SR Mitch Dis. Rat.
Justify 105 117 = 222 + 12 114 99 Big numbers repeat, ship, like trk. & diff. match up?
Bold d’ Oro 102 114 = 216 + 12 110 94 Met challenge, receives help today.
Audible 105 104 = 209 - 1 107 88 Top unknown, keeps progressing.
Hofburg 102 101 = 203 - 1 104 82 Up and comer that will be heard from.
Vino Rosso 102 98 = 200 – 4 102 80 Green and putting it all together, top?
Magnum Moon 98 98 = 196 0 100 75 Has to step up, risk reward poor, true ability unknown.
Mendelssohn Unk. / Competitive 108 89 Don’t underestimate, positive unknown factor.
Good Magic 99 93 = 192 + - 6 98 73 True 3 yr. ability undisclosed.

If the race were held today, I like Audible, Mendelssohn and Bold d’ Oro. Of these contenders I prefer something around 8-1 which will be available.

I think Bravazo, Vino Rosso, Noble Indy and Hofburg are big-odds horses that can surprise as part of Exacta, or Trifecta, so I may use them for a key bet for a big payoff. Will have to see final changes to equipment, scratches, odds, etc.

These are my decisions at this time.
Best of skill,

"Profitably wagering on a stochastic event (one governed by variables) is possible only when the person doing the wagering is not one of the variables."
- Howard Sartin

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Old 04-17-2018, 05:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting Mick, I greatly appreciate it.
Best of luck,
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:17 PM   #4
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Extensive Analysis

Great in depth analysis ......

I'm very impressed...

Very appreciative ....thanks for sharing your extensive analysis

Good skills
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:45 AM   #5
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04/18/2018 11:46 AM

Kentucky Derby: Who's hot, who's not for April 18, 2018

By Jay Privman

Coady Photography
Magnum Moon wins the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby last Saturday.

Magnum Moon, the winner of the Arkansas Derby on Saturday, is now the co-second choice on the Kentucky Derby line set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper. After being 10-1 last week, he is now down to 6-1, the same price as Mendelssohn. The favorite remains Justify, whose price was lowered a tick by Watchmaker to 7-2 after being 4-1 last week. The lone newcomer to the Derby Watch top 20 is Firenze Fire, who made the list owing to the defection of Runaway Ghost. Firenze Fire is 50-1 on Watchmaker’s line, one of five horses at that price, the longest price quoted by Watchmaker on this field.
:: Kentucky Derby advance PPs are now available!
The injury to Runaway Ghost in a workout on Saturday removed him from Derby consideration and opened up a spot for Firenze Fire on a top-20 list that is now completely beholden to rankings on Churchill Downs’s points list. Owing to the odds drop on both Justify and Magnum Moon, Watchmaker raised the prices on several runners. Good Magic is now 12-1 after being 10-1 a week ago, Vino Rosso is up to 15-1 from 12-1, and Enticed, Hofburg, and Solomini are all up to 30-1 from last week’s 20-1.
:: DERBY WATCH: Top 20 list | Derby Watch: Apollo remains exception to rule
The points list tells all. Combatant is on the bubble and would have the opportunity to make the field if there is a defection from the top 20. Blended Citizen would run in the Derby if there are enough withdrawals to get him in.
:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays, and analysis


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