Friday, March 8, 2013

San Felipe Stakes Racing Roundup

The “Road To The Kentucky Derby” has been easy going for trainer Bob Baffert who leads all trainers with five horses in the Churchill Downs top 20 leaderboard, and Saturday, he’s looking to add two more colts to his stable of Derby qualifiers when he sends Flashback, the prohibitive 8-5 morning-line favorite, and Carving (15-1) to the starting gate in the 76th running of the $300,000 San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

Under the new scoring system implemented by Churchill Downs to determine eligibility for horses to enter the Derby starting gate, the winner of the San Felipe Stakes (G2) will receive 50 points while second-place will yield 20 points, the third-place finisher will receive 10 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive 5 points.

This year’s edition of the San Felipe looks like a two-horse race with Flashback and Goldencents as the 9-5 morning-line second choice heading the eight-horse field.

Flashback comes into the race undefeated in two starts, and in his last race he was an easy 6¼-length winner of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park on February 2.

Trainer Doug O’Neill’s Goldencents only loss in four starts was last October in the Champagne Stakes (G1) to Shanghai Bobby who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) en route to being crowned the Eclipse Champion Two-Year-Old Male. Victories by Goldencents in stakes competition include the 8½-furlong Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) and the one mile Sham Stakes (G3).

The form of Flashback is similar to that of his sire Tapit who was also a lightly raced colt. As a 2-year-old, Tapit easily won his maiden debut by 7¾-lengths, and closed out the season with a 4¾-length win in the Laurel Futurity. In his debut as a 3-year-old, Tapit finished sixth in the Florida Derby (G1) and followed that with a win in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) en route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.

Into Mischief, the sire of Goldencents, won his maiden debut, finished second in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G3) and closed out his racing season as a 2-year-old with a win in the 8½-furlong CashCall Futurity (G1) in a time of 1:40.82 – just a few ticks off of the record time of 1:40.74 set by Afternoon Deelites and the second fastest time of 1:40.78 set by Valiant Nature.

As a 3-year-old, Into Mischief did not compete in a classic race but he finished second in the San Vicente Stakes (G2), won the Damascus Stakes, and closed out the season with a second-place finish in the Malibu Stakes (G1).

Both Flashback and Goldencents have been firing bullets in their workouts at Santa Anta, so this looks like it could be an exciting matchup. Both like to be on or near the lead so it will boil down to which is the most physically fit and, most important, which one has the will to win.

A long shot I like in this race is Omega Star (8-1), who’s compiled a 1-2-0 record in three starts. In his debut as a 3-year-old, Omega Star finished second on a wet, fast track to Tiz A Minister (12-1). His Brisnet Speed Figure of 96 for that race makes him competitive and in all of his previous races, he’s received a speed figure in the 90’s which is on par with Flashback and Goldencents.

Candy Ride, the sire of Omega Star, was a precocious colt who was undefeated in six starts during his racing career. As a 2-year-old, Candy Ride was a champion miler in Argentina before coming to America for his 3-year-old racing season. Candy Ride won his U.S. debut in an 8½-furlong Optional Allowance Claiming race by 3-lengths. In his next race, Candy Ride won the 9-furlong American Handicap (G2) by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:46.20. He finished the season undefeated winning the 10-furlong Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) by 3¾-lengths in a track record time of 1:59.11.

At stud, Candy Ride is the sire of the 2010 San Felipe Stakes winner Sidney’s Candy. Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, the damsire of Omega Star, sired Premier Pegasus, winner of the 2011 San Felipe Stakes (G2).

Omega Star has been working well for trainer John Shirreffs and he has room to improve in his second start of the season. If he continues to move forward, Omega Star could be competitive in the San Felipe.


Here’s a look at the current top 20 list:

Kentucky Derby 2013 Leaderboard

(Updated March 2, 2013)

Individual Leaders ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1 = Ive Struck a Nerve, 51, Keith Desormeaux, $268,000

2 = Vyjack, 50, Rudy Rodriguez, $405,000

3 = Orb, 50, Shug McGaughey III, $240,000

4 = Shanghai Bobby, 24, Todd Pletcher, $1,731,000

5 = Goldencents, 24, Doug O’Neill, $740,000

6 = West Hills Giant, 20, John Terranova II, $89,000

7 = Code West, 20, Bob Baffert, $80,000

8 = Oxbow, 16, D. Wayne Lukas, $196,000

9 = Speak Logistics, 11, Eddie Pleasa, Jr., $52,500

10 = Itsmyluckyday, 10, Eddie Plesa, Jr., $393,600

11 = Overanalyze, 10, Todd Pletcher, $308,381

12 = Uncaptured, 10, Mark Casse, $292,374

13 = Den’s Legacy, 10, Bob Baffert, $265,000

14 = Power Broker, 10, Bob Baffert, $210,000

15 = Super Ninety Nine, 10, Bob Baffert, $200,000

16 = Will Take Charge, 10, D. Wayne Lukas, $152,971

17 = Falling Sky, 10, John Terranova II, $122,500

18 = Flashback, 10, Bob Baffert, $120,000

18 = Revolutionary, 10, Todd Pletcher, $120,000

20 = Elnaawi, 10, Kiaran McLaughlin, $40,000

20 = Palace Malice, 10, Todd Pletcher, $40,000

Kentucky Derby 2013 Leaderboard
(Updated March 9, 2013)

Individual Leaders ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1 = Vyjack, 50, Rudy Rodriguez, $405,000
2 = Orb, 50, Shug McGaughey III, $240,000
3 = Verrazano, 50, Todd Pletcher, $210,000
4 = Hear The Ghost, 50, Jerry Hollendorfer, $195,400
5 = Flashback, 30, Bob Baffert, $180,000
6 = Goldencents, 29, Doug O’Neill, $758,000
7 = Shanghai Bobby, 24, Todd Pletcher, $1,731,000
8 = Java’s War, 22, Ken McPeek, $201,772
9 = Falling Sky, 20, John Terranova II, $157,500
10 = West Hills Giant, 20, John Terranova II, $89,000
11 = Code West, 20, Bob Baffert, $80,000
12 = Oxbow, 16, D. Wayne Lukas, $196,000
13 = Dynamic Sky, 13, Mark Casse, $289,168
14 = Speak Logistics, 11, Eddie Pleasa, Jr., $52,500
15 = Itsmyluckyday, 10, Eddie Plesa, Jr., $393,600
16 = Overanalyze, 10, Todd Pletcher, $308,381
17 = Uncaptured, 10, Mark Casse, $292,374
18 = Den’s Legacy, 10, Bob Baffert, $265,000
19 = Power Broker, 10, Bob Baffert, $210,000
20 = Super Ninety Nine, 10, Bob Baffert, $200,000

Tampa Bay Derby (G2), Tampa Bay Downs, March 9, 2013
1. Verrazano, 50
2. Java’s War, 20
3. Falling Sky, 10
4. Dynamic Sky, 5

San Felipe Stakes (G2), Santa Anita Park, March 9, 2013
1. Hear The Ghost, 50
2. Flashback, 20
3. Tiz A Minister, 10
4. Goldencents, 5


For Derby fans that like statistics, here’s a look at current list of Kentucky Derby qualifiers, their sire line and damsire line.

Mr. Prospector Sire Line, Damsire Line

Elnaawi, Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer

Will Take Charge, Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer

Palace Malice, Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer

Code West, Mr. Prospector/Royal Charger

Since 1990, the Mr. Prospector sire line has produced the most Derby winners with a total of 11. Of those 11, the Fappiano branch has produced the most with a total of 4 winners. The Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer nick has been the most successful with 3 winners. The Mr. Prospector/Royal Charger nick produced one Derby winner. Of the current qualifiers, Will Take Charge is the only descendant of Fappiano.

Northern Dancer Sire Line, Damsire Line

Itsmyluckyday, Northern Dancer/Bold Ruler

Shanghai Bobby, Northern Dancer/Nasrullah

Speak Logistics, Northern Dancer/Northern Dancer

Falling Sky, Northern Dancer/Northern Dancer

Vyjack, Northern Dancer/Northern Dancer

Den’s Legacy, Northern Dancer/Northern Dancer

Goldencents, Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector

Ive Struck a Nerve, Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector

Uncaptured, Northern Dancer/Royal Charger

West Hills Giant, Northern Dancer/Royal Charger

Oxbow, Northern Dancer/Man O’ War

Overanalyze, Northern Dancer/Damascus

Since 1990, the Northern Dancer sire line has produced 3 Derby winners with the damsire line of those winners descending from Northern Dancer, Royal Charger and Ribot. Broodmare descendants of Northern Dancer have produced 5 Derby winners.

Bold Ruler Sire Line, Damsire Line

Dynamic Sky, Bold Ruler/Mr. Prospector

Orb, Bold Ruler/Mr. Prospector

Super Ninety Nine, Bold Ruler/Mr. Prospector

Flashback, Bold Ruler/Mr. Prospector

Since 1990, the Bold Ruler sire line has produced no Derby winners.

Nasrullah Sire Line, Damsire Line

Revolutionary, Nasrullah/Bold Ruler

Since 1990, the Blushing Groom, Nasrullah sire line has produced one Derby winner and that was Animal Kingdom in 2011.


Since 1990, 413 horses have entered the Derby starting gate.

Of those 413, 111 (27 %) were descendants of the Mr. Prospector sire line. Of those 111, 29 (26%) finished in the top four.

Of those 413, 104 (25%) were descendants of the Northern Dancer sire line. Of those 104, 21 (20%) finished in the top four.

Of those 413, 75 (18%) were descendants of the Nasrullah sire line. Of those 75, 15 (20%) finished in the top four.

Of those 413, 37 (9%) were descendants of the Royal Charger sire line. Of those 37, 12 (32% finished in the top four.

Royal Charger sire line descendants have a better percentage of finishing in the top four and the colt on this year’s trail that is a descendant of Royal Charger is Verrazano.

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