Sunday, January 15, 2017

Smarty Jones Stakes Racing Roundup

©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

Monday, the Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas where Uncontested will go to the starting gate as the 2-1 morning-line favorite in what appears to be a wide open 10th running of the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes. Most of the horses have yet to live up to their full potential and they come into this race off of lackluster performances last time out.
With a 1-0-0 record in two starts for trainer Wayne Catalano, Uncontested comes into this race off of a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs last November. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

UNCONTESTED set the pace early, shifted into the three path in the far turn and faltered late in the stretch run.

Uncontested has a low Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score but his Behavior Index makes him competitive and the drop in distance to a mile should be more to his liking.
Tiz Wonderful, the sire of Uncontested, was a multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 3-1-0 record in five starts with $254,672 in career earnings.
As a two year old, Tiz Wonderful was undefeated in three starts including wins in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2).
Early in his racing season as a three year old, Tiz Wonderful suffered a minor tendon injury and he was taken out of contention for the Derby. After his recovery, Tiz Wonderful resumed racing and finished sixth in the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and second in the More Than Ready Stakes.
Uncontested should be competitive in this race but I’m not too keen on him for the win.
Two long shots I like are Unbridled Eagle (8-1) and Love That Lute (20-1). Both have yet to live up to their potential but if they stake a step forward as a three year old they could, perhaps, be factors in this race.
Unbridled Eagle struggled as a two year old compiling a 1-0-1 record in seven starts and he debuts as a three year old for new trainer Steve Asmussen. With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Unbridled Eagle is the best bred horse in this race and, perhaps, the switch to Asmussen will help him run closer to his profile score.
Here’s the video of his last race last November. To date, his best race was in a seven furlong sprint at Saratoga Racecourse last November. Here’s the video of that race and here’s a video of his third-place finish on the turf race at Saratoga.
Mineshaft, the sire of Unbridled Eagle, was an outstanding route racer who compiled a 10-3-1 record in 18 lifetime starts. He began his racing career in England at the age of three, winning a maiden weight for age race at Newmarket. In November, Mineshaft was shipped to America where he won two more races to close out the season with a 3-1-1 record in nine starts.
As a four year old, Mineshaft really proved himself as a champion and compiled a 7-2-0 record in route to earning Horse of the Year and Champion Older Horse honors. In nine starts, Mineshaft won the New Orleans Handicap (G2), Ben Ali Stakes (G3), Pimlico Special Handicap (G1), Suburban Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1) and the Jockey Club Gold Club Stakes (G1).
Unbridled Eagle has room to improve in his first start as a three year old and if he runs close to his profile score he should be competitive in this race.
Love That Lute comes into this race with a 1-0-0 record in two starts for trainer Jack Van Berg. Here’s the video and chart call of his last race:

LOVE THAT LUTE sent clear to dictate terms, dug in to meet the bid of MOUNTAIN WARRIOR a furlong out and kicked away.

The chart call pretty much tells the story of Love That Lute who set fast fractions to “dictate terms” and lead from gate to wire.
Midnight Lute, the sire of Midnight Hawk, was an Eclipse champion male sprinter and two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). During his career, Midnight Lute compiled a 6-3-1 record with $2,690,600 in earnings.
Because of breathing problems, Midnight Lute was raced mostly in sprint races and it is unknown if he could have had any classic potential.
Love That Lute has been training well at Oaklawn Park and he’s the only horse in this race with a win last out. A repeat of his maiden win performance will make him competitive in the Smarty Jones Stakes.
Honorable mention goes to Warrior’s Club (7-2) and Petrov (5-2) who look like they could be factors in this race.
Warrior’s Club comes into this race with a 1-1-3 record in seven starts for trainer D. Wayne Lukas including a third-place finish in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2). With a sixteenth left in that race, Warrior’s Club eased past Uncontested and beat him by a head at the wire. Here’s the video of the Jockey Club.
Petrov comes into this race with a 1-1-0 record in two starts for trainer Ron Moquett including a second-place finish in the Kings Swan Stakes. Here’s the video of that race.


*****
Under the points system implemented by Churchill Downs to determine which horses will qualify to enter the Kentucky Derby starting gate, the winner of the Smarty Jones will receive 10 points, the second-place finisher will receive 4 points, the third-place finisher will receive 2 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive one point. Here’s a look at the current top twenty Derby qualifiers:

2017 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Classic Empire, 30, Mark Casse, $1,459,520
2. Gormley, 20, John Sherriffs, $260,000
3. Practical Joke, 14, Chad Brown, $690,000
4. Gunnevera, 10, Antonio Sano, $738,600
5. Lookin At Lee, 10, Steve Asmussen, $275,600
6. Mastery, 10, Bob Baffert, $240,000
7. Mo Town, 10, Tony Dutrow, $180,000
8. McCraken, 10, Ian Wilkes, $165,048
9. El Areeb, 10, Cathal Lynch, $150,000
10. Wild Shot, 6, Rusty Arnold, II, $87,200
11. No Dozing, 5, Arnaud Delacour, $85,000
12. Klimt, 4, Art Sherman, $380,000
13. Hot Sean, 4, Bob Baffert, $180,000
14. Dangerfield, 2, Doug O’Neill, $168,500
15. Syndergaard, 4, Todd Pletcher, $160,000
16. Irap, 4, Doug O’Neill, $60,000
17. Bonus Points, 4, Todd Pletcher, $40,000
18. American Anthem, 4, Bob Baffert, $20,000
19. Straight Fire, 2, Keith Desormeaux, $96,000
20. Favorable Outcome, 2, Chad Brown, $50,345
x-Not This Time, retired to stud at Taylor Made Farm.


In addition to the current top 20, Churchill Downs has partnered with the Japan Racing Association to feature the Cattleya Sho Stakes and Hayacinth Stakes as two qualifying races in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. The horse with the most points from those races will receive an invitation to compete in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.


2017 JAPAN ROAD TO KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Mont Saint Legame (JPN), 40, Koji Maki, $90,154
2. Caucus (JPN), 16, Hideaki Fujiwara, $35,850
3. Blane Eclat, 8, Ryo Takei, $22,340
4. Lavapies (JPN), 4, Ryuji Okub, $52,163

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sham Stakes Wrapup: Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® Picks Sweep Sham Stakes Exotics

©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The Sham Stakes continues to show that the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® software is a powerful handicapping tool, and Dallas and I are excited about the results made since it was debuted in the 2015 Kentucky Derby.
Congratulations to all who may have used my selections in the Sham Stakes – Gormley, American Anthem, Big Hit and Bird Is the Word – as a two dollar wager on the exotics netted them $10.80 for the Exacta, $40.20 for the Trifecta and $343.40 for the Superfecta.
Here’s a look at how the horses finished in the Sham Stakes (G3) and their Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® ranking:


Rank                              Race Finish                   
1. Gormley                      1
2. Big Hit                        3
3. American Anthem        2
4. Bird Is the Word          4
5. Bablimir                      7
6. Term of Art                  5
7. Colonel Samsen           6


The Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score of the top four finishers was very close and all have an A profile grade rating. Biblimir has a B profile while the other two horses have low profile scores.
Our research, which is documented in my numerous blogs and on my website, shows that a majority of horses run close to their Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score which is a measurement of the breeding influences found in the five-generation pedigree.
Gormley was my long shot pick in the FrontRunner Stakes (G1) and I was curious to see if he would rebound off of his poor performance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). Here’s the video of his win in the Sham and video of his win in the FrontRunner. Here’s the video of his finish in the Juvenile.
In addition, the profile score of Big Hit was slightly higher than the score of American Anthem. But an analysis of Big Hit’s previous races showed that he had yet to live up to his full potential.
When horses like Gormley (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) and Big Hit (Sham) fail to run close to their profile score, then the issue[s] preventing them from reaching their full potential needs to be investigated. And there can be many contributing factors for a horse not running to his profile – Effinex is a good example of that.
How a horse is handled can prevent him from performing his best. A trainer or jockey can also upgrade or downgrade the performance of a racehorse. A physical issue or impairment can also be a big problem preventing a horse from running to his full potential.
Uncomfortable equipment can cause discomfort for a horse and it can also be an issue preventing him from running his best race. Or, maybe a horse will run his best in minor stakes races or in sprints instead of graded stakes and route races.
The empirical data of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® shows which horses, like Gormley, may have the potential to be a top-quality stakes winner while a select few will have a profile score that indicates they could be a winner of a classic race like the Kentucky Derby.
In addition to being an exceptional handicapping tool the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® software is also a proven analytical tool for picking top horses at auction. To see the results of the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, please click here.
Also, American Dubai trainer Rodney Richards has joined our team scouting horses at auction and his keen eye can help you select the best horses with the highest profile score (See his top picks at the Fasig-Tipton Fall Yearlings October Sale).
Some unique features of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® are:

  • It unlocks the secret of the Ancestral Herd influence.

  • Is a valuable handicapping tool that shows in the profile score which horses have the potential to be top-quality stakes winners or a classic winner of races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

  • Is a valuable breeding analytical tool that shows horse owners and breeders how a mare can upgrade or downgrade a stallion she is bred to through the profile score of the foal from that mating.

  • Shows if the foal has the potential to be a quality stakes horse or classic champion.

  • Shows horse owners how their entire bloodstock can be upgraded by using the profile score to help them make the best breeding decisions resulting in less overbreeding and fewer potential equine welfare issues.

  • Is a valuable Thoroughbred sales analytical tool that shows buyers how to make the best decisions and investments when buying horses at auction.

  • Shows which horses purchased at auction may have the potential to be a top-quality stakes winner while a select few will have a profile score that indicates they could be a winner of a classic race like the Kentucky Derby.

If you are planning to breed, or purchase at auction, a potential classic-winning Thoroughbred, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® is the analytical tool you need to take the guesswork out of buying and breeding champion racehorses.
The profile will give you the important information necessary to make the best decisions and investments when breeding or buying horses at auction. For a free consultation, please contact us at my website Classic Champion Thoroughbreds, LLC.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Sham Stakes Racing Roundup

©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to California, Saturday, where Gormley will go to the starting gate as the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the $100,000 Sham Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Gormley comes into this race for trainer John Sherriffs with a 2-0-0 record in three starts, including a three length win in the FrontRunner Stakes (G1) and a seventh-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1), both at Santa Anita Park. Here’s the video and chart call of the FrontRunner.  Here’s the video and chart call of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1):

GORMLEY bobbled at the break, recovered to move up four wide, continued four wide stalking the pace, remained a factor to the quarter pole then dropped back.

It’s hard to say why Gormley ran so poorly. With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® Gormley was one of the best bred colts in the Juvenile and his performance in the FrontRunner indicates that he can do better.
When horses like Gormley fail to run close to their Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score, then the issue[s] preventing them from reaching their full potential needs to be investigated. And there can be many contributing factors for a horse not running to his profile score – Effinex is a good example of that.
Malibu Moon, the sire of Gormley, made only two starts as a two year old, compiling a 1-1-0 record, before a slab fracture ended his racing career.
At stud, Malibu Moon sired the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. In addition, he’s sired several horses that have been competitive on the Derby trail such as Danzig Moon, Mr. Z and Stanford. Other nice runners sired by Malibu Moon include Life At Ten, Devil May Care, Declan’s Moon, Ask the Moon, Prospective, Kauai Katie, Moon Catcher and Malibu Mint.
With a two month break, Gormley might be ready to start anew and he’s been training well at Santa Anita. If he lives up to his breeding, he has the potential to be competitive as a three year old and I look for him to run a good race in the Sham Stakes (G3).
With only a maiden win to his credit, American Anthem (9-5) has yet to run in a route race and he’s stepping up in class for Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert. Here’s the video and chart call of his maiden win:

AMERICAN ANTHEM stalked three deep on the backstretch and turn, continued outside a rival until the stretch, drifted in some then was straightened and rallied under urging to get up on the line.

Baffert must have a lot of faith in this young son of Bodemeister to earn graded stakes honors in just his second start. Baffert also trained Bodemeister, however, he raced twice in the maiden ranks before finishing second in his third start, the San Felipe Stakes (G2).
In his fourth start, Baffert shipped Bodemeister to Oaklawn Park where he was my pick to win the Arkansas Derby (G1). Bodemeister trounced the field, winning by an outstanding 9½ lengths. He then went on to finish second in both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).
American Anthem has room to improve in his second start and I look for him to run a good race.
Big Hit (4-1) and Bird is the Word (20-1) also has good breeding and look good in this race. In his last race, Big Hit easily defeated Little Juanito who finished second by a neck to American Anthem. Here’s the video of Big Hit’s last race.
Bird is the Word is a talented son of Birdstone but he’ll need to pick up the pace in order to score the win. Here’s the video of his last race.


*****
Under the points system implemented by Churchill Downs to determine which horses will qualify to enter the Kentucky Derby starting gate, the winner of the Sham Stakes (G3) will receive 10 points, the second-place finisher will receive 4 points, the third-place finisher will receive 2 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive one point. Here’s a look at the current top twenty Derby qualifiers:

2017 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Classic Empire, 30, Mark Casse, $1,459,520
2. Practical Joke, 14, Chad Brown, $690,000
3. Gunnevera, 10, Antonio Sano, $738,600
4. Lookin At Lee, 10, Steve Asmussen, $275,600
5. Mastery, 10, Bob Baffert, $240,000
6. Gormley, 10, John Sherriffs, $200,000
7. Mo Town, 10, Tony Dutrow, $180,000
8. McCraken, 10, Ian Wilkes, $165,048
9. El Areeb, 10, Cathal Lynch, $150,000
10. Wild Shot, 6, Rusty Arnold, II, $87,200
11. No Dozing, 5, Arnaud Delacour, $85,000
12. Klimt, 4, Bob Baffert, $380,000
13. Hot Sean, 4, Bob Baffert, $180,000
14. Dangerfield, 2, Doug O’Neill, $168,500
15. Syndergaard, 4, Todd Pletcher, $160,000
16. Irap, 4, Doug O’Neill, $60,000
17. Bonus Points, 4, Todd Pletcher, $40,000
18. Straight Fire, 2, Keith Desormeaux, $96,000
19. Favorable Outcome, 2, Chad Brown, $50,345
20. Recruiting Ready, 2, Horacio DePaz, $43,750
x-Not This Time, retired to stud at Taylor Made Farm.


In addition to the current top 20, Churchill Downs has partnered with the Japan Racing Association to feature the Cattleya Sho Stakes and Hayacinth Stakes as two qualifying races in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. The horse with the most points from those races will receive an invitation to compete in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.


2017 JAPAN ROAD TO KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer

1. Mont Saint Legame (JPN), 40, Koji Maki
2. Caucus (JPN), 16, Hideaki Fujiwara
3. Blane Eclat, 8, Ryo Takei

4. Lavapies (JPN), 4, Ryuji Okub

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Jerome Stakes Racing Roundup

©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The first qualifying race of the season for three year old Thoroughbreds on the Road to the Kentucky Derby takes us to the Empire State, Monday, January 2, where Takaful will go the starting gate as the even money, morning-line favorite in the 147th running of the $150,000 Jerome Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack. Post time for the race will be 3:50 p.m. ET.
Takaful comes into this race with a 1-0-1 record in two starts for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin including a third-place finish in the Remsen Stakes (G2) last November. Here’s the video and chart call of the Remsen:

TAKAFUL spurted away from the competition after the start, cut over to the rail, held his largest advantage between calls on the backstretch, was joined up by the top one at midpoint, continued to be rated along showing the way, with the winner in attendance two wide, had that rival close in after more than halfway around the second bend, made a stern bid shortly after stepping into the stretch, succumbed then weakened into the show slot.

 Despite his third-place finish, Takaful ran pretty good in just his second start, leading all rivals almost to the eighth pole until giving way for the show. With an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® he should get better during his three year old racing season.
Bernardini, the sire of Takaful, did not race as a 2-year-old but at the age of three, he was a fast colt that won races from a mile to 10-furlongs.
He broke his maiden on his second start running a mile at Gulfstream Park in 1:35.57. That’s the kind of time I like to see a young colt run in a mile. Bernardini went on to become a Classic Champion Thoroughbred, compiling a 6-1-0 record in eight starts with $3,060,480 in career earnings.
Notable races won by Bernardini in route to becoming the 2006 Eclipse Champion Three-Year-Old Male include: Withers Stakes (G3, 8-furlongs), Preakness Stakes (G1, 9½-furlongs), Jim Dandy Stakes (G2, 8½ furlongs), Travers Stakes (G1, 10 furlongs), Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1, 10 furlongs) and he finished second, a length behind Invasor, winner of the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1, 10 furlongs).
Takaful has room to improve in just his third start. He’s been training well at Belmont Park since the Remsen and a recent bullet work could have him ready to earn graded stakes honors.
Win With Pride (6-1) is one of two young colts trainer Todd Pletcher has in this race. Pletcher also trains Bonus Points. Win With Pride also has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and he comes into this race with a 1-0-1 record in three starts including a fourth-place in the Remsen. Here’s the video and chart call of the Remsen:

WIN WITH PRIDE, raced three wide on both turns, altered course towards the center of the strip in mid-lane, made no headway.

Win With Pride was in the race until the stretch and he may not have been ready for the increased nine furlong distance. The cut back in distance may help him in his effort to earn black type.
Distorted Humor, the sire of Win With Pride, made his first start in February of his three-year-old racing season and he did not run in the Kentucky Derby. Overall, he compiled an 8-5-3 record in 23 starts and his most notable stakes wins were in the Amsterdam Stakes (G2), Salvator Mile Handicap (G3), Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup Stakes (G3), Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) and the Ack Ack Handicap (G3).
As a stallion, Distorted Humor has sired numerous graded stakes winners, including the classic champions Funny Cide, winner of the 2003 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) and Drosselmeyer, winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes (G1). Distorted Humor also is the grandsire of I’ll Have Another, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1).
Another step forward can make Win With Pride competitive in this race.
A long shot I like is Everybodyluvsrudy (8-1) who broke his maiden in his last race and comes into the Jerome with a 1-3-0 record in five starts for trainer Rudy Rodriquez. Here’s the video and chart call of his maiden win:

EVERYBODYLUVSRUDY broke out at the start and was corrected, chased three to four wide down the backstretch in mid pack, advanced into the turn stacking out five wide between foes moving into contention, ranged up under light coaxing to take command near the quarter pole and swung three wide at that station, edged away under a drive shying out a bit under a near side stick inside the eighth pole and held clear kept to task to the wire.

Union Rags, the sire of Everybodyluvsrudy, was a competitive colt on the trail to the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1), compiling an overall 5-1-1 record in eight career starts with $1,798,800 in earnings.
As a two year old, he won the Three Chimneys Saratoga Special (G2) and Champagne (G1) stakes and finished second in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) stakes.
At the age of three, Union Rags won the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) stakes and finished third in the Florida Derby (G1) en route to a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He finished his career with a narrow win by a neck over Paynter in the Belmont (G1) stakes.
Everybodyluvsrudy has room to improve as a three year old and I look for him to be competitive.
Honorable mention goes to El Areeb (3-1) who’s stepping up in class and has yet to run in route race. Here’s the video of his last race, the James F Lewis III Stakes. With an A profile, he has the potential to be a factor in the exotics.


*****
The Jerome Stakes (G3) is the first qualifying race of the 2017 racing season. Under the points system implemented by Churchill Downs to determine which horses will qualify to enter the Kentucky Derby starting gate, the winner of the Jerome Stakes (G3) will receive 10 points, the second-place finisher will receive 4 points, the third-place finisher will receive 2 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive one point. Here’s a look at the current top twenty Derby qualifiers:

2017 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Classic Empire, 30, Mark Casse, $1,459,520
2. Practical Joke, 14, Chad Brown, $690,000
3. Gunnevera, 10, Antonio Sano, $738,600
4. Lookin At Lee, 10, Steve Asmussen, $275,600
5. Mastery, 10, Bob Baffert, $240,000
6. Gormley, 10, John Sherriffs, $200,000
7. Mo Town, 10, Tony Dutrow, $180,000
8. McCraken, 10, Ian Wilkes, $165,048
9. Wild Shot, 6, Rusty Arnold, II, $87,200
10. No Dozing, 5, Arnaud Delacour, $85,000
11. Klimt, 4, Bob Baffert, $380,000
12. Hot Sean, 4, Bob Baffert, $180,000
13. Dangerfield, 2, Doug O’Neill, $168,500
14. Syndergaard, 4, Todd Pletcher, $160,000
15. Irap, 4, Doug O’Neill, $60,000
16. Straight Fire, 2, Keith Desormeaux, $96,000
17. Favorable Outcome, 2, Chad Brown, $50,345
18. Recruiting Ready, 2, Horacio DePaz, $43,750
19. Takaful, 2, Kiaran McLaughlin, $30,000
20. Warrior’s Club, 2, D. Wayne Lukas, $18,600
x-Not This Time, retired to stud at Taylor Made Farm.


In addition to the current top 20, Churchill Downs has partnered with the Japan Racing Association to feature the Cattleya Sho Stakes and Hayacinth Stakes as two qualifying races in the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby. The horse with the most points from those races will receive an invitation to compete in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.


2017 JAPAN ROAD TO KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Ranking, total points, Trainer

1. Mont Saint Legame (JPN), 40, Koji Maki
2. Caucus (JPN), 16, Hideaki Fujiwara
3. Blane Eclat, 8, Ryo Takei

4. Lavapies (JPN), 4, Ryuji Okub