Kentucky Derby or Bust!
by Jay Kassa
Tons of racing action the past two weeks! Happy to say we have had Friesan Fire #1. In fact, the Top-3 Contenders remain rock solid. The goal here is to bring the HANA reader an informative Derby list, and comments or questions are welcome.
I evaluate the Derby Contenders by watching the video, examining the race data, and looking at the pedigree. Ideally the horse looks great, came home fast, and he has a pedigree to suggest that 10 furlongs is well within his range. The list looks for horses who are possible win contenders for Kentucky Derby 135. The updated Derby Contenders graphic is packed with info. Ranking, gate-to-wire times, closing times, and a new category, - Stamina Index. These are something that has helped me eliminate non-contenders, and nail the last two Kentucky Derby exactas. Bill Lathrop, creator of Modern Conduit Mare Profiles shares his Stamina Index rating for the HANA derby Contenders.
Thank you for sharing your S.I. with the HANA Derby Contenders List, How do we read a Stamina Index? The lower the S.I., the greater potential for stamina in the pedigree.
What is a Conduit Mare? Focusing on the more recent representatives of the female families and tracing over 20,000 races, I established racing aptitudes that might be traceable through these mares.
How can your service help Breeders and Owners? It offers a method designed to assist the breeder in stallion selection and deriving surface and aptitudinal ranges for projected matings.
Friesan Fire maintained his #1 ranking with a strong effort in the Louisiana Derby. Stalking west-coast invader Papa Clem over a sloppy track, he moved to even-terms approaching the turn, and proved much the best in the stretch coming home in 30 seconds for the final 3/8ths.
Dunkirk the #2 ranked contender, will race next in the Florida Derby. He likely needs to win to qualify for graded earnings. Dunkirk had a big work March 14th, going 5 furlongs and being asked at the end, finishing in less than 24 for his final timed quarter.
#3 Desert Party will race next in the nine furlong UAE Derby in Dubai, on World Cup day. The improving son of Street Cry will be reevaluated after that contest.
Quality Road moves up to #4 with Old Fashioned and Pioneerof The Nile failing to impress. Quality Road's Fountain of Youth was a strong effort. He ran on after a hard pace and dusted a decent closing-miler in Theregoesjojo. Quality Road's stamina a question.
Old Fashioned drops to #5 with his disappointing loss in The Rebel Stakes. After going too fast while dueling with a good sprinter (Silver City), he had nothing left late, plodding home in over 33 seconds for the final 3/8ths. Appears subject to the pace scenario.
I Want Revenge makes the list for the first time at #6. Dueling outside a moderate pace, while well within himself, he flew home in less than 30 seconds crushing his Gotham rivals. The only question is whether 10 furlongs is in his scope, and we'll find out more in The Wood Memorial.
Toss Outs(for now): The Pamplemousse -popular horse would shock getting 10f dirt, Pioneerof the Nile -a huge effort in the S.A.Derby could renew hope, Imperial Council -stride conformation a question. Must run big in Wood, Theregoesjojo-miler, Musket Man-pedigree says "NO!", Beethoven-no.,West Side Bernie-no, Chocolate Candy-must run BIG in SA Derby.
Close eye on: Take The Points, Square Eddie, Nicanor, Close Alliance, Affirmatif
Good call on FF a couple of weeks ago. He totally looks like the real deal.
Nicanor??? Are you kidding me???
This obsession with Nicanor is simply amazing, particularly when one starts to think of this maiden as a candidate for the 2009 Derby. One needs to get a life.
Kinda funny. When I see a guy who had Friesan Fire as his number one contender before anyone in North America, and he mentions Nicanor on his watchlist, I do not want to make fun of him, I would much rather take another look at Nicanor.
But maybe that is just me.
Nicanor is certainly a horse that carries a lot of emotion with him, being a full brother to Barbaro.
His disappointing debut race was part of my biggest day of the year, where I tossed him and did a $4 box of 6 others to score the Warrior's Reward / All rights Reserved exacta twice.
However, his second career race did impress.
Nicanor ran the 7f in 1:23.41. He set solid fractions, and after being headed on the turn, switched out and continued on, finishing well.
His pedigree says that he should be just as good going 10 furlongs - while most of the 3yos will probably decline with added ground.(His stamina index is extremely good).
Nicanor is not on the Derby Contenders List now, and is a real longshot to garner enough graded earnings and show enough improvement to make the Contenders List.
Also worth noting - Close Alliance (also on the watch list) did not win the Kempton Kentucky Derby Challange race. He is a contender overseas with a solid American pedigree. Cross him off the list.
Mafaaz did win that race, and won an entry in the Kentucky Derby. He will prep in the Blue Grass.
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