Saturday, February 13, 2010

Derby Trail Stakes Racing Roundup

Uptowncharlybrown will get his first serious class test today when he faces off with 8-5 morning line favorite Rule in the $225,000 Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.

So far Uptowncharlybrown, the 2-1 morning line second-choice, has done everything right in his previous two starts at Tampa Bay.

In December, Uptowncharlybrown broke his maiden in a 6 ½ -furlong spint, winning by an impressive nine lengths and earning a 98 Brisnet Speed Figure for that effort. Last month, Uptowncharlybrown powered home to win the 7-furlong Pasco Stakes by another impressive six-length margin.

In the negative column, Uptowncharlybrown has yet to run in a route race and he has the least experience of the seven horses entered in the race. I don’t know if he can win this race but I expect him to be competitive.

Rule’s win in the Delta Jackpot (G3) has given him enough graded stakes earnings to run in the Kentucky Derby and trainer Todd Pletcher said that he looking for Rule to put in a good effort.

"What we're looking for here is a good comeback without him overdoing it while gradually building him up for a peak performance, hopefully, on Derby Day," said Pletcher in a Mike Welsch Daily Racing Form news story.

In his last three starts, Rule won going gate-to-wire, but I would not be surprised to see jockey Johnny Velazquez place Rule in the second or third spot to see if he can win from off the pace. In five starts, Rule has never been out of the money and I look for him to repeat that performance here today.

Schoolyard Dreams (6-1) comes into the race with two wins and a third-place finish in three starts for trainer Derek Ryan. Schoolyard Dreams speed figures have improved with each race and he adds blinkers for today’s contest. Schoolyard Dreams has been working out good and his bullet work on February 7 suggests that he should be ready to put in a good effort.

Robert B. Lewis

Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has the opportunity today to win his fourth Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) and tie the record currently held by Charles Whittingham and Ron McAnally. Baffert’s chances look pretty good too as he sends 6-5 morning line favorite Tiz Chrome to the starting gate of the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.

Tiz Chrome has yet to run two turns and makes his graded-stakes debut. But he’s bred to go the distance and if he lives up to his breeding, I believe that Tiz Chrome is the most likely winner. Undefeated in two starts, Tiz Chrome comes into the race with 3 ¼ -length maiden win in a 6-furlong sprint at Churchill Downs last November. In December, Tiz Chrome powered home to a 4-length victory in the 6 ½ -furlong Stuka Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Caracortado (4-1) looks like an interesting long shot. Undefeated in four starts, Caracortado is also making his graded-stakes debut and comes into the race with a 1 ¾ -length win last December in the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes at Santa Anita.

American Lion (9-5) has not raced in two months and will be stretching out in his first route race. He comes into the Lewis with a half-length win last November in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) at Hollywood Park. Last October, American Lion broke his maiden in a 7-furlong sprint at Keeneland Park by an impressive 6 ¾ -lengths.


  1. nice writeup...the derby picture will be that much clearer after this weekend.

    with a big win, headline writers would be all over American Lion 'roaring' into the derby.

    Hotep had a bullet work this morning at FG and Giant's Tomb is entered on Monday.

  2. Keith,

    It is good to hear from you. The roaring Lion would make a good headline.

    I'm looking forward to Hotep's next race and your profile of contenders on the trail of the Canadian Triple Crown.

  3. Hi Calvin, Rule was the class of the race and will move forward many lengths off the outing. Todd looks for a grade 1 race for the colt. I believe New York or California would be next.

    Todd who sent several horses last year to contest the Santa Anita Derby, may elect the West Coast.

    Speaking of the West Coast the Cal bred Caracortado remains undefeated with an impressive win.

    But must improve off outing to match Lookin at Lucky.
    Chart 2-3 length off the champ.

    The Possible Santa Anita Derby line up.

    Lookin at Lucky - Champ until beaten

    Noble Promise - relocated to Florida for the FOY, may return, but highly unlikely if runs well.

    Dave and Dixie - will love the added ground. Something tells me the horse may head to New York and follow "I Want Revenge" prep. He looks the DIRT type and would move forward with his style of running. Doesn't move to well over the synthetic and there is plenty of speed in the New line up with Eightyfiveinafifty to run after. Just what the doctor order.

    Rule - Santa Anita would be my first preference for his initial Grade 1 outing. Santa Anita track could fit his racing style to race with Caracortado and Lookin at Lucky.

    Both would have to catch the Rule, who appears to have a big heart on the front end.

    RTTR Contest is now available. Maybe post a feature on your top 10 and why. Deadline for 1st race is 2/20/10.

    My stable will be known as "Gate to Wire" Good Luck!

  4. Barry,

    I agree that Rule was the class of the Sam F. Davis. I have him in my top ten and I will post that on my blog after this upcoming weekend of races.

    My stable name is Nearco Racing. The Santa Anita lineup looks like it will be tough.

  5. Calvin are you in a league yet ? I heard from Justin, he is not sure what his role will be this year with RTTR.

    Also, maybe you might have the answer to the below commentary from the rules at RTTR,

    I'm certainly in the OBYSS with this one!

    Thus, before I pick another two stables, the following questions require addressing.

    Question: in reading the rules, there appears to be the same overlapping as last year for doubled counted stake races concerning the weekly scoring system. If so, does anyone know if these race point are awarded doubled toward the overall contest points to win all the MONEY?

    All races except these below appear in the following overlapping weeks based on the Tuesday through Monday, from 12:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday through 12:00 p.m. ET on Monday periods.

    Fountain of Youth
    Turf Paradise Derby
    El Camino Real Derby
    Risen Star
    The Cliff's Edge Derby Trial
    Kentucky Derby

    Question: How do these statement of rules read concerning selection of stable or stables ?

    Having a problem with the term electronic registration form being used TWICE. Do they carry the same meaning as your sign in name ? or they are implied as a overall internet form (name registration form or stable selection form), finally the term UNIQUE, which implies, separate name registration or separate stables ?

    Maybe each stable must consist of "NO REPEATED SELECTIONS" ? example Lookin at Lucky can not be chosen in more then one stable you own ? or selected during the same race week by both stables ? thus, are all the stables to have 30 different selected horses and different add-ons and different jockeys' and trainers ?


    To enter the contest, go to and complete the "electronic registration form."
    All registrations must be received by Churchill Downs Incorporated by 11:59 p.m. ET, April 23, 2010. No faxed, mailed, electronically mailed, or phoned-in entries are allowed; this is an Internet-based game only.

    Up to three stables per person; the information you enter into each of the fields of the electronic registration form must be unique. Duplicate entries are cause for disqualification of all involved entrants and stables, and are made at the sole discretion of Churchill Downs Incorporated.

  6. Barry,

    I'm in the DRF Blue Boxers and Thongs league. It was created by a person that posts on the Daily Racing Formblog and you are welcome to join.

    In regard to the Stable question, I'm not sure what the answer is. I've been busy and decided that one stable would be enough.

    Last year, I had two stables and if the rules are the same this year, you will need to have a separate email address, stable name, login and password for each stable.

    I don't know if that helps any.

  7. Barry,

    Of course you are not obligated but if you want to join the DRF league, here is the information:

    LEAGUE NUMBER: 862055249

    ACTIVATION CODE: 93715401

  8. Thanks Calvin, the information is greatly appreciated. You just help me advert a huge mistake.