Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Looking Backward, Looking Forward

Today marks the one-year anniversary of when I made my first blog post and I thought it would be a good opportunity to review this past year and look forward to the upcoming year.

This blog is dedicated to all topics of interest about the Classic Champion Thoroughbred and the primary focus has been following 2- and 3-year-old thoroughbreds on the Triple Crown trail.

However, as often as possible, I endeavor to write about a wide variety of topics related to the Classic Champion Thoroughbred. I especially liked the blog about Burchard Von Oettingen, and his views about horse care. Oettingen was a world-renowned expert on Thorougbreds and breeding and Director of the Royal Stud of Trakehnen Germany.

Thomas Herding Technique founder Kerry M. Thomas has also been the subject of several blogs. Thomas is an investigator and researcher who studies the psychology and emergent properties of the horse. His views on breeding, Emotional Conformation and Behavorial Overcompensation are cutting edge and could have a big impact on the horse racing industy.

Sea The Stars and the 2009 Prix de l’Arc de Triompe is also one of my favorite blogs but the one I like most was the article I wrote for Horseplayer Magazine profiling the key Classic sire lines that have had an impact on the Triple Crown trail.

Writing those blogs is a lot of fun but the focus is always on the juveniles on the Triple Crown trail. In the future, I'd also like to write some blogs about breeding and European racing.

The pedigree is the most important piece of information available for racing fans and handicappers following the juveniles and a good understanding of pedigrees is especially important if you like to pick the next Classic Champion Thoroughbred.

Eskendereya, Winslow Homer and Super Saver were the top three horses on my watch list last January as I especially liked their pedigrees. Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby but, unfortunately, my top pick, Eskendereya, was retired after a career-ending injury and Winslow Homer was sidelined with an injury.

However, Winslow Homer is returning to racing this Saturday in the $250,000 Iowa Derby (G3) at Prairie Meadows. If Winslow Homer runs well, trainer Tony Dutrow said he could be considered for the Jim Dandy (G2) and Travers Stakes (G1).

Summer Bird was my 2009 Kentucky Derby favorite. He finished a respectable sixth, and he later won the Belmont (G1), Travers (G1), and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) en route to earning an Eclipse Award for Champion 3-Year-Old Male.

On the whole, this was a pretty decent year for my first attempt at following the juveniles. From the handicapping perspective, unless you wagered a lot of money on the races I wrote about, you would not have become rich but you potentially could have pocketed $5,048.80 if you used the horses in profiled. That's not too bad for a few hours of weekend work.

All in all, I profiled 60 stakes races and I usually profile three to four horses to cover all of the wagering possibilities. If you wagered on all of the races I profiled, you would have cashed in on 27 exactas, 10 trifectas and three superfectas. Of the horses I profiled, there were 41 winners, 36 place finishers and 23 show horses.

The Summer Stakes (G3) was the best overall race. The $2 Exactor paid $77.40. $2 Triactor paid $321.30 and $2 Superfecta paid $1,907.90 for a total of $2,306.60.

The best exacta payoff was $161.50 in the Whirlaway Stakes.

And there were several long shots: Noble's Promise (Dixiana Breeders' Futurity); Laus Deo (Count Fleet Stakes); A Little Warm (Spectacular Bid Stakes); Deputy Daney i(Jimmy Winkfield Stakes); Peppi Knows (Whirlaway Stakes); Mission Impazible (Louisiana Derby G2); Dean's Kitten (Lane's End Stakes G2); Endorsement (Sunland Derby); Setsuko (Santa Anita Derby G1); Super Saver (Kentucky Derby G1); Drosselmeyer (Belmont Stakes G1).

My favorite angle of all is to try to find the potential long shot that will win. Of course, I did not make anywhere near the previouly mentioned sums of money but hopefully that will change this year.

Some things I learned: I do better at route races than sprints; California racing is not my best venue; it's always nice to pick the exact order of finish but the best way to cash tickets is play a three-horse exacta and trifecta box.

I hope, dear reader, that you have enjoyed the blogs and maybe made some money as well. Here's hoping that this next year will be even better.

Here's a look at the races I profiled:

Bashford Manor Stakes (G3): 1st – Backtalk. 2nd – Flatter Than Me. 3rd – Brassy Boy. 4th – Grand Slam Andre.

Colin Stakes: 3rd – Always Wildcatin’.

Graduation Stakes at Del Mar: 3rd – Daylight Storm.

Sanford Stakes (G2): 1st – Backtalk.

Best Pal Stakes (G2): 1st – Lookin at Lucky. 3rd – Smiling Tiger.

Vandal Stakes: 1st – Ghost Fleet. 2nd – Takiddin.

Saratoga Special (G2): 2nd – Zip Quick.

Sapling Stakes: 1st – Western Smoke.

Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3): 1st – Dixie Band. 3rd – Piscitelli.

Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (G1): 1st – Dublin.

Del Mar Futurity (G1): 1st – Lookin At Lucky. 2nd – Make Music For Me.

Belmont Futurity (G2): 1st – D’Funnybone. 2nd Discreetly Mine.

Summer Stakes (G3): 1st – Bridgetown. 2nd – Becky’s Kitten. 3rd – Fantastico Roberto. 4th – Mobil Unit.

Norfolk Stakes (G1): 1st – Lookin At Lucky.

Pilgrim Stakes: The race was taken off the turf and three of my profile horses scratched. 1st – Eskendereya.

Dixiana Breeders Futurity (G1): 1st – Noble’s Promise.

Champagne Stakes (G1): 2nd – Discreetly Mine, 3rd – Aspire, 4th – Super Saver, 5th – Dublin.

Bourbon Stakes (G3): 1st – Interactif. 2nd – Codoy.

Grey Stakes (G3): 1st – Bear Tough Guy. 4th – Ghost Fleet.

Iroquois Stakes (G3): 2nd – Uh Oh Bango. 3rd – Soaring Empire.

Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3): 1st – American Lion. 4th – Macias.

The holidays put me behind and I did not profile any races in December.

Tropical Park Derby (G3): 2nd – Lost Aptitude. 4th – Our Champion.

Count Fleet Stakes: 1st – Laus Deo. 3rd – Turbo Speed . 4th – Ibboyee.

Turfway Prevue: 2nd – Fish. 4th – Lucky Chuck.

Spectacular Bid Stakes: 1st – A Little Warm. 2nd – Wildcat Frankie. 3rd – Westover Wildcat. 4th – Discreetly Mine.

San Rafael Stakes (G3): 1st – Conveyance.

Pasco Stakes: 1st – Uptowncharlybrown. 2nd – Big Looie. 4th – Silver Craft.

California Derby: 1st – Ranger Heartley. 2nd – Connemara . 3rd – Thomas Baines.

Smarty Jones Stakes: 1st – Dryfly. 2nd – Pleasant Storm. 4th – Crider.

Jimmy Winkfield Stakes: 1st – Deputy Daney. 2nd – Red Bengal.

Holy Bull Stakes (G3): 1st – Winslow Homer. 2nd – Jackson Bend.

Lecomte Stakes (G3): 2nd – Maximus Ruler.

WEBN Stakes: All my selections finished out of the money.

Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2): 1st – Caracacortado. 3rd – American Lion. 4th – Tiz Chrome.

Whirlaway Stakes:
1st – Peppi Knows. 2nd Afleet Again. 4th – Papa’s Nice Cat.

Sam F. Davis: 1st – Rule. 2nd – Schoolyard Dreams. Uptowncharlybrown.

San Vicente Stakes (G2): All of my selections finished out of the money.

Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2): 1st – Eskendereya.

Southwest Stakes (G3): 1st – Conveyance. 2nd – Dublin. 4th – Mission Impazible.

Risen Star Stakes (G2): 2nd – Tempted to Tapit.

El Camino Real Derby (G3): 1st – Connemara. 2nd - Haimish Hy. 3rd – Posse Power.

Hutcheson Stakes (G2): 1st – D’Funnybone. 2nd – A Little Warm.

Sham Stakes (G3): 2nd – Setsuko. 4th – Outlaw Man.

Borderland Derby: 1st – Storming Saint. 2nd – Raise The Bridle.

Gotham Stakes (G3): 1st – Awesome Act. 2nd – Yawanna Twist.

Rebel Stakes (G2): 1st – Lookin At Lucky. 2nd – Noble’s Promise. 3rd – Dublin.

San Felipe Stakes (G2): 2nd – Interactif. 3rd – Caracortado. 4th – American Lion.

Tampa Bay Derby: 1st – Odysseus. 2nd – Schoolyard Dreams. 3rd – Super Saver.

Florida Derby (G1): 3rd – Rule. 4th – Lentenor.

Louisiana Derby (G2): 1st – Mission Impazible. 3rd – Drosselmeyer.

Lane’s End Stakes (G2): 1st – Dean’s Kitten. 2nd – Northern Giant.

Sunland Derby (G3): 1st – Endorsement. 2nd – Conveyance. 3rd – Tempted To Tapit.

Wood Memorial Stakes (G1): 1st – Eskendereya. 2nd – Jackson Bend. 3rd – Awesome Act. 4th – Schoolyard Dreams.

Santa Anita Derby (G1): 2nd – Setsuko. 3rd – Lookin At Lucky.

Illinois Derby (G1): 1st – American Lion. 2nd – Yawanna Twist. 3rd – Backtalk.

Bluegrass Stakes (G1): 2nd – Paddy O’Prado. 4th – Interactif.

Arkansas Derby (G1): 2nd Super Saver. 3rd – Dublin.

Kentucky Derby (G1): 1st – Super Saver. 2nd – Ice Box..

Preakness Stakes (G1): 1st – Lookin At Lucky.

Belmont Stakes (G1): 1st – Drosselmeyer. 2nd – Fly Down.


  1. Sharon ScarpelloJune 22, 2010 at 6:32 PM

    I always took note that you were usually on the mark with your race analysis, but looking at a complete summary of all those races, all I can say is Wow!I'm really impressed!

  2. Sharon,

    Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you like the blog.

  3. Oh Sharon, is on the ball these days. She tunneling deeper into the world of horse racing.

    Move over Calvin, Sharon is coming through.

    Calvin you know how I feel about your commentary. Can't live without the knowledge my friend.

  4. Thank you Calvin, for me it has been a great pleasure to know you and work with you as well on those ocassions where your detailed and intimate knowledge of Classic Champions, was/is vital. I appreciate too your very kind vocal support of Thomas Herding Technique. It isn't always easy being a new pebble in an old pond, making your words of support and encouragement meaningful to me. Thanks!

  5. Barry,

    Thank you for the compliment my friend.

  6. Kerry,

    I believe your work is important. It is a pleasure and honor to know you and call you my friend.

  7. Calvin
    Your last year has been remarkable indeed. Here's to the next! Thanks for linking your Horseplayer Magazine article. 'print copy' is a wonderful function :)

  8. SR Vegas,

    Thank you for the compliment and thank you for being a faithful follower of my blog. Here's hoping for an outstanding new year.

  9. I just found your blog today, it's wonderful! It's always nice to find new blogs related to thoroughbred horse racing and yours seems very diverting in subject choices which is great.
    Congrats on being up and running for a year, I'm not quite there yet.
    Great blog, keep up the nice work.

  10. railrunner,

    Thanks for compliment and checking out the blog - I'm glad you like it.

    It's always nice to meet another blogger. I added a link to your blog on my blog list.

    Thanks for following the blog.