Saturday, April 6, 2013

Santa Anita Derby Racing Roundup

Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert owns the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Since 1996, He’s won six Derbies making him the trainer with the most wins in the coveted $750,000 graded-stakes race at Santa Anita Park. Today, Baffert will try to extend his win margin when he sends Flashback, the 9-5 morning-line favorite, Power Broker (5-1) and Super Ninety Nine (6-1) to the starting gate in the 76th running of the Derby.
Far be it for me, to question the wisdom of the Master.
But, of the trio, I like Flashback the best. He comes into today’s race with a 2-1-0 record in three starts, including a win in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2), and a second-place finish in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) where he lost by a half-length to Hear The Ghost who was scratched from today’s race.
In his last race, Flashback got caught in a speed duel with Goldencents (6-1) for the lead in the San Felipe Stakes (G2). The fractions were swift and that could have cost Flashback – who appears to have good speed for a short distance – the win that day.
Since that race, jockey Garret Gomez has picked up the mount on Flashback and I look for him to settle Flashback off the pace of the early leaders.
The form of Flashback is similar to that of his sire Tapit who also was 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.
A chilly ride just off the leaders and Flashback could, perhaps, bring home victory number seven for the Hall of Famer, Baffert.
This is the time of year I look for big improvement in 3-year-old colts. Since finishing second in his 3-year-old debut, the well-seasoned Tiz a Minister (6-1), with 10 career starts, has finished in the money, compiling a 1-1-1 record in his last three races.
In his last start, after trailing at the back of the herd, Tiz a Minister made a four-wide move in the final turn of the San Felipe and rallied in the stretch to finish third, one length shy of victory.
Another improvement in the performance of his last race, and a recent bullet workout at Betfair Hollywood Park, could have Tiz a Minister ready to run a good race in the stretch out to 9-furlongs in the Santa Anita Derby.
Super Ninety Nine is a talented colt and he comes into today’s race with a 3-1-0 record in six starts, including a romping 11¼-length win at Oaklawn Park in the Southwest Stakes (G3) and an off-the-board, fifth-place finish in the Rebel Stakes (G2).
Super Ninety Nine could, perhaps, rebound off of his dismal finish in the Rebel Stakes. With Pulpit as his sire and Unbridled’s Song as the damsire, Super Ninety Nine should be competitive. But, I’m not so sure that 9-furlongs will be his best distance.
Honorable mention goes to Power Broker (5-1) and the long shot bomb, Dirty Swagg (50-1), who have the pedigree to be competitive, but they have yet to live up to their breeding.
Power Broker has not raced since last November and he comes into today’s race with a 1-1-1 record in five starts. His 6½-length romp in the Frontrunner Stakes (1) last September was visually impressive. But a month later, Power Broker flopped in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). 
The Derby is a tough spot for Power Broker to make his debut as a 3-year-old. A return to his previous form could, perhaps, make him competitive in today's race.
Dirty Swagg comes into this race with a 1-0-1 in eight starts. He’s yet to have a real impact in any his races and if he’s going to be competitive, the stretch out to 9-furlongs could be what he needs.
Street Hero, the sire of Dirty Swagg, won the 2008 running of the Norfolk Stakes (G1) and he’s also a descendant of the Mr. Prospector sire line. Dirty Swagg’s damsire, Tabasco Cat, and Conquistador Cielo, the sire of the second dam, were both Classic Champion Thoroughbreds.
Dirty Swagg has been working good and a recent bullet workout could have him ready to run a good race. If he looks good in the paddock and post parade, I may have a small wager on Dirty Swagg in the exotics with the favorite, Flashback, and Tiz a Minister.


The winner of the Santa Anita Derby (G1) will receive 100 points while second-place will yield 40 points, the third-place finisher will receive 20 points and the fourth-place finisher will receive 10 points. Here’s a look at the current top 20 list:

Kentucky Derby 2013 Leaderboard
(Updated March 30, 2013)

Individual Leaders ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1 = Orb, 150, Shug McGaughey III, $840,000
2 = Revolutionary, 110, Todd Pletcher, $720,000
3 = Lines of Battle, 100, Aidan O’Brien, $1,261,089
4 = Will Take Charge, 60, D. Wayne Lukas, $512,971
5 = Itsmyluckyday, 50, Eddie Plesa, Jr., $593,600
6 = Vyjack, 50, Rudy Rodriguez, $405,000
7 = Govenor Charlie, 50, Bob Baffert, $400,000
8 = Black Onyx, 50, Kelly Breen, $317,130
9 = Verrazano, 50, Todd Pletcher, $210,000
10 = Hear the Ghost, 50, Jerry Hollendorfer, $195,400
11 = Mylute, 42, Tom Amoss, $363,365
12 = Oxbow, 36, D. Wayne Lukas, $316,000
13 = Uncaptured, 30, Mark Casse, $394,674
14 = Flashback, 30, Bob Baffert, $180,000
15 = Goldencents, 29, Doug O’Neill, $758,000
16 = Shanghai Bobby, 24, Todd Pletcher, $1,731,000
17 = Java’s War, 22, Ken McPeek, $201,772
18 = Merit Man, 20, Bob Hess Jr., $357,500
19 = Den’s Legacy, 20, Bob Baffert, $325,000
20 = Falling Sky, 20, John Terranova II, $157,500


  1. Hi Calvin:

    Excellent analysis as usual. Hope you don't mind me trying to contact Mr. Seabass on your blog...


    You have a list of BSB 1's in this year's three-year-old crop, which includes Itsmyluckyday, Vyjack, Revolutionary, West Hills Giant, and Oxbow (1, 10, 26 TT).

    Now, as you surely know, traditionally Revolutionary is 1-x because his tail line goes back to Tregonwell's Natural Barb Mare via La Troienne. Vyjack is a traditional 1-n because he traces back via Chelandry. West Hills Giant is 1-l because it goes through Paraffin, &c.

    However, Itsmyluckyday goes back to Piping Peg's Dam via Turk Mare and is thus a traditional 23-b. Oxbow goes back to the Merlin Mare and is thus a 26.

    What I'm wondering is how these two are classified differently in your system, if that is something you are willing to share. Also, Itsmyluckyday is a BSB 1 despite being a traditional 23-b, while Oxbow has the three numbers in parenthesis, with 26 being one of them. What is the significance of the additional numbering?

    I know you have said something about the sides being flipped in the past, but looking at IMLD, for example: he is by Lawyer Ron, a traditional 3, from the line of ND, a 2. Damsire Doneraile Court is from American Family 29, who is by Slew a 13. Where does the flip occur?

    I understand if you want to keep your secret to yourself, too. I've just been doing a good deal of pedigree research these days and you know every little bit helps...

  2. Alex,

    Calvin likes it when people come to his blog, even me ;)

    Oxbow is a bsb 1,10,26 Tied Top number . He has 5 mares from each of those. ( a tidbit is that all the derby winning bsb 1s had at least 6 1s )I'm thinking Dialed In looked something like Oxbow with a tied top and only 5 1s and he ran 4th ??? So anyway to finish the answer Oxbow keeps the 26 because his 26s are equal to his 1s & 10s. IMLD is TF 23b . He has 6 1s in there (3 branches) and only 5 23s. he has 5 -2s as well.

    Like let me think... Giacomo was a TF 2 I think. Okay but he had just as many 1s in there as he had 2s. Maybe 7 of each ? He was a tied top 1,2. When I count them up statistically I count him as a 1 & a 2 . Like Ferdinand . 3,8,13,14 TT. He's the only BSB 3 ,BSB 13 & BSB 14 thats won the derby in a coons age. In fact he's the only BSB 13 to ever win the derby. Street Sense was a 1,2,4,22 TT. 6 of each. For betting purposes he's a 1. The only other TT derby winner since '70 was Foolish Pleasure he was an 8,14 TT.

    So when a TF number is surpassed by another number in the pedigree he gets flipped. Like Sunday Silence ,Silver Charm TF 3s Seattle Slew TF 13. They all flipped to BSB 1s. Silver had 6-3s and 12 -1s. Slew had 11-1s 6-4s & 6-13s They were mostly 1s.

    It makes a difference.

    For example Calvin made a post with the number of Derby winners since '80 from each TF family number (10) 1s (4) 1-x some TF 3s etc . Nice post Calvin.

    The same time period had 16 BSB 1s . No BSB 3s etc. So what it is, is a different way to count them that produces a different set of statistics. Both Calvin and myself are giving you the straight stats and we're both telling you the truth.

    Calvin and I have discussed *loadingup* a pedigree because we both think we see anecdotyl evidence that loading with any number produces a lot of the very best horses.

    BSB numbers are supposed to be about the females and they are ,buttZ... the stallions have a family too.

    One reason why BSB 1s dominate the Top Level is because Phalaris, Pharamond II Sickle , Nearco, Nasrullah,Rough n Tumble, Princequillo, ChallengerII, BlenheimII, Turn-to, AP Indy, Seattle Slew, Sunday Silence, Forty Niner, Unbridled etc ,etc ,are BSB 1s.

    Montjue was a BSB 1. Drone was a BSB 1 . If you're The Tetrarch Alex then check out Drone on Pedigree querry. Now that's a horse of a different color !!

    Governator Charlie is a BSB 1 and a TF 1-c .

    The BSB 1s didn't do it today . They ran 2,3,4. That helps keep VerraZano the favorite.


  3. Calvin , there was a horse named Seabass in the Grand National today . I laughed when I saw that. Hopefully he didn't try to swim away down Beecher's brook.

  4. The Tetrarch AlexApril 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    Drone certainly is a horse of a different color.

    So, you flip it when the tail female number is X, but number(s) Y and/or Z, &c. appear more often. I guess I am still wondering where in the pedigree the other numbers come from. For example, you say Oxbow has 5 mares from families 1, 10, & 26. So, I know where the one 26 comes from: straight down the tail line.

    I am guessing the following: Oxbow is by Awesome Again, whose dam is in FF 1. Deputy Minister's dam is a 10. Vice Regent's dam is a 10. But then Natalma is a 2. This is the point where I become confused. :-)

    And I am also glad that Verrazano will be going to the gate an undefeated Pletcher favorite. Should bring a lot of money to the pool that won't be going to V's ticketholders...

  5. Hi Calvin,

    I've done the BSB numbers for every derby starter from 1980 to 1991 the last two days. I'm going to do the rest of the 90's today.

    My question is do you want me to share it with you or would it take up to much space here ? It is a lot of data.

    Keep up the good work.


    1. BSB,

      Do you have my email? If not, get it from Laura and send me the data. I'll write her also.

      I'd like to see the data. Maybe you can be a guest blogger?

  6. Hi Calvin,

    I've been finding out some interesting stuff.

    My son told me to keep it *Real Quiet* until I write the book :)

    Compiling the data is a lot of work ! I've got a 3 ring binder thats about 3-4 inches thick. (Binders full of horses:) hehehe. Arranging it into a cogent book is even more so.

    When I feel it's worthy I'd love to be a guest blogger to discuss it. Possibly by next years trail I will have a completed product.

    Until then I'll give you a few tidbits.

    Between 1980 & 1999, 100 BSB 1s ran in the derby. 28 of those had a tied top number. 10 of those TT's had only 5-1s.Of those 10 they managed one 2nd (Desert Wine).The other 18 TT 1s went 1-0-1-1.
    The 72 plain 1s went 10-4-3-5.

    There were 63 BSB 4s . They were 2-6-5-2.

    There were 8 BSB 23s .They were 2-0-0-0.

    There were 48 BSB 9s.They were 2-3-2-3.

    There were 46 BSB 8s.They were 1-3-4-1.

    The 1981 derby won by Pleasant Colony BSB 5,had 12 BSB 1s including 3 TTs from the 21 starters . They could only manage 2nd,3rd & 4th :)

    I know that many of the 1s that missed the board were bred along similar lines, but I haven't completely dissected that to get solid info.

    A fair number of them were foreign racers that were taking a wild shot at the derby without proper derby preparation. A number of others were off form like Silver of Silver who could be eliminated on form.

    The 100 BSB 1s in 20 years implies that lots of BSB 1s were winning and running well along the trail.

    Including ties, counted more than once, there were 412 number possibilities.

    24% were BSB 1s and they won 55% of those 20 races.

    Laura doesn't like me too much :) I don't think I want to have anything to do with her.

    Keep up the good work and I'll push to be ready for that guest spot by next year. If the offer still stands by then :)

    Thanks for all you do to make the TC an enjoyable intellectual exercise.

    Good luck

  7. Hi Calvin , I have some numbers updated for 1980-2012 . 33 races.

    721 possible Top numbers including ties.

    176 BSB 1s = 17-15-6-10

    20 TT 1s with only 5- 1s = 0-1-0-1

    27 TT 1s with 6 or more 1s = 3-2-1-1

    129 plain ol' 1s = 14-12-5-8
    80 BSB 2s = 3-8-4-6 ... Two of the wins were TT BSB 1,2s... Giacomo & Street Sense

    49 BSB 3s = 1-0-3-3 ... Ferdinand TT 3,8,13,14 is the one winner.
    108 BSB 4s = 6-6-8-3 ... Street Sense TT 1,2,4,22 and IHA TT 4,23
    35 BSB 5s = 2-0-3-2 ... All stand alone 5s
    3 BSB 6s = 1-0-0-0 ... I do remember rumors of a buZZer because of the photo on the cover of the form :) Nah there wasn't any buZZer Funny cide was an okay horse.
    3 BSB 7s = 0-0-1-0.. AraZi was a 7
    81 BSB 8s = 2-5-5-4 ... one of the wins was Ferdinand FuPeg was the other.

    65 BSB 9s = 2-4-2-4 ...
    19 BSB 10s = 0-0-1-1 .. Gemologist was a 10
    1 BSB 11 = 0-0-0-0
    5 BSB 12s = 0-1-0-0
    15 BSB 13s = 1-0-0-2 ... Ferdinand is the one winner.
    17 BSB 14s = 2-0-1-0 ... Gato del Sol TT 1,14 & the ever present Ferdinand TT 3,8,13,14 are the two winners.
    1 BSB 15 = 0-0-0-0
    22 BSB 16s = 0-2-1-3
    4 BSB 17s = 0-0-0-0
    1 BSB 18 = 0-0-0-0
    4 BSB 19s = 0-0-1-0
    6 BSB 20s = 0-1-0-0 Casual Lies TT 4,20 is the placer
    4 BSB 21s = 0-0-0-0
    5 BSB 22s = 1-0-0-0 ... The winner is Street Sense TT 1,2,4,22
    13 BSB 23s = 4-0-1-0 ..IHA TT 4,23
    2 BSB 24s = 0-0-0-0
    1 BSB 29 = 0-0-0-0
    1 BSB 37 = 0-0-0-0

    *** I couldn't find Pioneer of the Nile (2nd)
    or Atswhatimtalkinbout (4th) for some reason. I want to say POTN was a 5 or 9 but I'm not sure.

    Regards BSB

    PS . Ill be back with the numbers for this year Calvin.

  8. Thanks BSB,

    Looking forward to the report for this year's competitors.