Friday, May 20, 2016

Undefeated Nyquist Makes Bid To Win Preakness Stakes, Second Jewel Of Triple Crown

©2016 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

This Saturday, the classic trail to Triple Crown glory takes us to Pimlico Race Couse in Baltimore, Maryland, where Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist will attempt to win the second jewel of the crown as the prohibitive 3-5 morning-line favorite in the 141st running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1).
Prerace television coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network with race coverage beginning at 5 p.m. on NBC.
Undefeated in eight starts, Nyquist is the deserving favorite and the horse to beat. He’s the second classic winner for the connections of trainer Doug O’Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam who led I’ll Have Another to wins in the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).
In addition to Nyquist, Exaggerator (3-1) and Lani (30-1) also ran in the Derby and they are two horses that should be solid in this race. Other horses that could, perhaps, be factors are Stradivari (8-1) and Collected (10-1).
Knowing as much as possible about the Thoroughbred and what it takes to produce a classic champion has been a passion of mine since the early 1990s and my research and study led to the creation of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®  which is an analytical tool I use to measure the graded stakes and classic potential of young horses.
In 2014, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® was developed into a software program by my brother, Dallas, and it assigns each horse a numerical score which is the indicator of that horse’s potential. The higher the score, the more potential that horse has to become a quality stakes horse or classic champion.
Let’s take a look at the profiles of the horses in Preakness 141:
















In the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile chart, Lani is the only horse with an A+ profile and he’s a much better horse than his performance in the Derby would indicate. However, one never knows if a young Thoroughbred with a high profile score like Lani will live up to his breeding. And, there can be many contributing factors for a horse not running to his profile score – Effinex is a good example of that.
Stradivari has a B profile grade rating while Awesome Speed (30-1) and Exaggerator have a C profile. All the others have low profile scores.
Our research which is documented in my numerous blogs and 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. If horses like Lani are not running close to their profile score, then the issue[s] preventing them from reaching their full potential needs to be investigated.
Horse behavior is also vitally important for an Equine athlete to have success on the racetrack and one of the biggest changes that have been made to the software is the addition of the Behavior Index which I wrote about in my wrap up for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2).
The Behavior Index is proving to be a very valuable analytical tool, and, with its addition to the software, Dallas and I are now able to add behavioral analysis to the final equation of what it takes to produce a Classic Champion Thoroughbred or top quality graded stakes competitor.
For example, in the Behavior Index chart above, of all the horses with low profile scores, Nyquist is the only one that pops into the top four when you factor in behavioral analysis. Uncle Mo, the sire of Nyquist, also sired Abiding Star (30-1), Uncle Lino (20-1) and Laoban (30-1). However, their profile scores are higher than Uncle Mo’s score and that makes them upgrades to the Ancestral Herd.
In the Behavior Index chart and Data Mining chart, I’ve noted that Collected is a wildcard horse and that he could, perhaps, finish in two separate spots. If he runs to his previous form, Collected should be competitive. However, I’m curious to see just have far he really wants to run. Also, in the Data Mining chart, when you factor in data mining analysis, Nyquist and Exaggerator are now ranked as the top two.
There’s been some recent buzz about Uncle Lino and I had thought about listing him as a horse that could, potentially, have been ranked fifth in the Behavior Index and Data Mining charts. But, I did not add any data mining to him.
Some horses that have low profile scores, like Nyquist and Uncle Lino, can be moved up because their Behavior Index makes them competitive, enabling them to sometimes win races that are shorter than the classic 10 furlong distance. However, only a few horses with low profile scores, like Nyquist, can go on to win races at the classic distance.
Let’s take a look at the horses I like in Preakness Stakes (G1) 141.


LANI is a sire-line descendant of the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® he has the potential to run better than what he ran in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Here’s a look at the chart call and video of the Derby and an interactive race sequence from the Blood Horse.

LANI broke slow and was bumped when DESTIN came in, settled off the inside, improved slightly into the far turn, was forced extremely wide approaching the stretch, recovered and kept on willingly.

I’m willing to overlook his run in the Kentucky Derby and time will tell if Lani has any classic potential.
In the UAE Derby (G2), Lani and Polar River were the two horses I liked and his victory in that race earned him a spot in the starting gate of Kentucky Derby 142. Here’s the video and Racing Post chart call of his run in the UAE Derby:

[LANI] broke awkwardly, chased leaders 4f out, led 110 yds out, ran on well.

Lani recovered well after the horrible start to get up and secure the win over a very good Polar River who was undefeated in four starts going into that race.
To date, Lani has compiled a 3-1-0 record in seven starts for trainer Mikio Matsunaga. His other significant races include a win in the Cattleya Sho Stakes and a fifth-place finish in the one mile Hyacinth Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse. Here’s the video of Hyacinth Stakes.
Despite the fifth-place finish in the Hyacinth Stakes, Lani only lost by 2¾ lengths and the final time of 1:35.40 is what I like to see colts run on the Derby Trail.
Tapit, the sire of Lani, was undefeated in two starts as a 2-year-old including a win in the Laurel Futurity (G3). As a 3-year-old, Tapit was troubled by a lung infection for much of the season but did win the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Much was made about the quirky behavior of Lani leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Here’s what Bloodstock agent and clocker Gary Young had to say about Lani in his last work out on May 3:

The “Iron Horse” with a mind and a will of his own entered the building at 8:35 a.m. He had the same look on him as Russell Crowe in “Gladiator” as he entered the Coliseum. The plan was to break off at the 3/4 pole if the beast so desired. He declined. This is a prime case of the inmates running the prison but by the time he saw the 5/8 pole he decided to work. He went smoothly throughout in :24.40 and :36.60 and got to the wire under light coaxing in 1.01. He may lose the Derby but it won’t be because he’s undertrained. After he pulled up from his work, he came to a walk and was asked to walk another lap around the main track. I’m starting to believe his toughness and attitude is the stuff Godzilla was made of.

Despite his behavior and lackluster works at Churchill Downs leading up to the Derby, Lani has the best breeding of all the horses in this race and room to improve off of his ninth-place finish in Kentucky Derby 142.
If Lani returns to his previous form in the UAE Derby and presses the pace, I look for him to be competitive and, perhaps, upset at a nice price.


NYQUIST (3-5) is a sire-line descendant of the Grey Sovereign, Nasrullah Ancestral Herd and Nasrullah sired Bold Ruler. As such, Nasrullah is the sire-line foundation stallion for many of the horses running in this race.
Since breaking his maiden last June, Nyquist has won two G2 races and five G1’s including a 3¼ length victory in the Florida Derby (G1) and a 1¼ length win in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Here’s a look at the chart call and video of the Derby and an interactive race sequence from the Blood Horse.

NYQUIST came away in good order, was content to track the pace three deep, took closer order under confident handling leaving the three-eighths pole, overpowered GUN RUNNER soon into the lane, spurted clear while shifting towards the rail in midstretch, kept on under a downturned right handed stick and held EXAGGERATOR at bay.

Nyquist is one of several colts on this year’s Triple Crown trail that were sired by Uncle Mo and like his sire he has a low Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score. However, Nyquist’s profile score is higher than Uncle Mo’s score and that makes him an upgrade to the Ancestral Herd.
Uncle Mo was undefeated in three starts as a two year old with wins in the Champagne Stakes (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) and he was picked as the 2010 Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Colt.
As a three year old, Uncle Mo won the Timely Writer Stakes and finished third in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1). The Friday before the Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo was scratched from the race with a mysterious ailment which was later diagnosed as a liver disease called cholangiohepatitis.
The best Uncle Mo could run nine furlongs was third in the Wood Memorial Stakes and it will be interesting to see if Nyquist can extend his competitiveness to 10 furlongs.
If Nyquist runs to his previous form, he’ll be tough be beat in the Preakness.


EXAGGERATOR (3-1) is a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd which has been a powerful influence in American classic racing. Since 1990 descendants of that herd have sired 30 Classic Champion Thoroughbreds who have won 41 of the past 78 Triple Crown races for a 53% strike rate.
Exaggerator comes into this race with a 4-3-1 record in 10 starts for trainer Keith Desormeaux including a fast closing second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Here’s a look at the chart call and video of the Derby and an interactive race sequence from the Blood Horse.

EXAGGERATOR drafted back off the early pace saving ground, picked up steam into the far turn, angled out and aggressively knifed his way between foes nearing the quarter pole, swung out before being straightened into the stretch, then closed strongly to narrow the gap.

With a C grade rating, Exaggerator is ranked fourth in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart, but his Behavior Index and Data Mining variables make him competitive in this field. Also, Jockey Kent Desormeaux’s decision to bring Exaggerator from off the pace has been a big plus in that he has closed with authority in his last two races winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and finishing second in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Curlin, the sire of Exaggerator, was an outstanding racehorse that compiled an 11-2-2 record in 16 career starts with $10,501,800 in earnings. Curlin won the 2007 Preakness Stakes (G1), finished second in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and third in the Kentucky Derby (G1). In addition, Curlin won the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), twice, Dubai World Cup (G1), Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1), and the UAE Jaguar Trophy Handicap.
It remains to be seen if Exaggerator can turn the tables on Nyquist who’s beat him four times in previous races. However, I look for Exaggerator to be competitive in Preakness Stakes (G1) 141.


STRADIVARI (8-1) is a sire-line descendant of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd and he comes into the Preakness Stakes (G1) with a 2-0-0 record in three starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. Despite his light seasoning, Stradivari’s won his last two races by a combined 25¾ lengths including a 14-length romp in a nine furlong allowance race at Keeneland on April 17. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

STRADIVARI settled in hand off of the pace, popped the question with three furlongs to run, took over at will on the second turn, swiftly drew away to score with panache.

The ease in which Stradivari won shows the promise of things to come from this talented colt, despite the fact that many of the horses in that race have low profile scores.
Medaglia d’Oro, the sire of Stradivari, was a good middle-distance runner that compiled an 8-7-0 record in 17 starts with $5,754,720 in career earnings. Overall, he had seven wins and five second-place finishes in 14 route races.
Medaglia d’Oro finished second in his only start as a two year old but as a three year old he won the San Felipe Stakes (G2) and finished second in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to the 2002 Derby where he finished in fourth place.
In the Preakness Stakes (G1), Medaglia d’Oro finished eighth but rebounded from that run to finish second in the Belmont Stakes (G1). He went on to complete his racing season as a three year old with wins in the nine furlong Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and the 10 furlong Travers Stakes (G1).
As a four year old, Medaglia d’Oro won the nine furlong Strub Stakes (G2), Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Whitney Handicap (G1). In addition, he finished second in the 10 furlong Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
At the age of five, Medaglia d’Oro won the nine furlong Donn Handicap (G1) and finished second in the 10 furlong Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (G1).
With a B grade rating, Stradivari’s ranked second in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart and I would not be surprised if he ran close that ranking. Also, in the Behavior Index and Data Mining charts, Stradivari moves up into the top four if Collected fails to run to his high ranking.
Despite his light seasoning, Stadivari has room to improve in his second start of the season. A recent bullet work out could have him primed to run the best race of his career and, perhaps, classic glory.


COLLECTED (10-1) is also a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd and he comes into this race with a 4-1-0 record in six starts for Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert including wins in the Sham Stakes (G3), Sunland Festival of Racing Stakes and Lexington Stakes (G3). Here’s the video and chart call of his win in the nine-furlong Sunland Festival of Race:

COLLECTED set the early pace drawing quickly clear, held a safe advantage throughout and proved best.

Collected is ranked sixth in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart and I would not be surprised if he ran close that ranking. When you factor in analysis for the Behavior Index and Data Mining he moves up into the top four. However, time will tell if that ranking is justified.
City Zip, the sire of Collected, ran mostly in sprint races, compiling a 9-5-4 record in 31 starts with $818,225 in career earnings.
As a two year old, City Zip won the Tremont Stakes (G3), Sanford Stakes (G2), Saratoga Special (G2) and the Hopeful Stakes (G1). However, as a three year old on the 2001 Kentucky Derby Trail, his best finish was a third place to Songandaprayer in the 8½-furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G1).
Despite his propensity for sprinting, at stud City Zip has sired his share of numerous, good, sprinters as well as several middle-distance runners such as Acting Zippy, Dayatthespa, With a City and Personal Diary.
Collected is a talented colt and a proven competitor. However, I’m not keen on him for the win and I’m curious to see just how far he wants to run.








Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kentucky Derby 142 Wrap Up: Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® Shows Pedigree Is Only True Measure Of Stakes, Classic Potential In The Thoroughbred Racehorse



By Calvin L. Carter and Dallas Carter
©2016 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

Kentucky Derby 142 is in the history book.
Overall, Dallas, and I are pleased and excited that for a second year in a row, the empirical evidence gathered through the robust power of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® software shows that the pedigree is the only true standard, indicator of horse performance, especially of their classic potential.
Along the Derby trail, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® proved to be a valuable handicapping tool. And while the profile did not identify any of the exotics in this year’s Kentucky Derby, the Data Mining chart correctly picked Nyquist as the winner and Gun Runner to finish third while 65% of the Derby field was eliminated from wagering consideration. Here’s a look at the video of the Derby and an interactive race sequence from the Blood Horse.
The ability to know how a horse may perform on the racetrack is a valuable resource not only for handicappers but it also is a valuable tool for breeders who want to know how to make the best breeding decisions and for buyers at auction who want to make the wisest investments.
Like an intricate puzzle, the pedigree contains many secrets of what champions are made of and everything one needs to know about the horse, from the physical conformational characteristics to the emotional and behavioral traits, can be found in the pedigree if one knows the families, Ancestral Herd that formed the foal.
The Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® software unlocks the secret of the pedigree and Ancestral Herd to identify which horses have the potential to be top-quality stakes winners or, perhaps, a classic champion.
In the first chart below is a look at the original Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® software analysis of this year’s Derby. In the chart below that is the wrap up analysis of Derby 142.


















 All three charts had good results but the Data Mining chart was the best, by far. In addition to correctly picking Nyquist and Gun Runner, I had also applied Data Mining variables to Creator, Exaggerator, Mor Spirit, Whitmore and Mo Tom. However, the variables added to Creator and Whitmore proved to be unjustified and when those variables are removed, they finish much closer to their true ranking indicated by their Behavior Index chart profile ranking.
In addition, it appears that Data Mining variables should have been applied to Tom’s Ready and when they are added he’s ranked much closer to his actual finish. However, Tom’s Ready, Mo Tom, Mor Spirit, Creator and Whitmore had no chance at finishing in the money as was indicated by their ranking in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and Behavior Index charts.
Also, in my original Behavior Index and Data Mining analysis, I noted that Trojan Nation and Oscar Nominated had the potential to finish in two separate spots. When you adjust those charts to reflect where they actually finished, Trojan Nation finished 16th (ranked 17th) and Oscar Nominated finished 17th (ranked 18th). Also, I had downgraded Mohaymen below his profile ranking and when that is corrected, he finishes much closer to his ranking noted in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart.
Overall, the Data Mining chart (with the adjustment for Mohaymen) correctly identified six of the top seven finishers while the Behavior Index Chart picked five of the top eight finishers and the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart picked four of the top seven finishers. In addition, after the adjustments have been made to the final Data Mining chart, Mor Spirit, Danzing Candy and Whitmore finished exactly where they were ranked and many of the other horses finish very close to their profile ranking.
Only three of the horses with an A+ profile ranking – Suddenbreakningnews, Brody’s Cause and Destin – finished in the top seven in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart and Behavior Index chart. With an A+ profile ranking, they should have run much better. However, there can be many contributing factors for a horse not running to his profile score – Effinex is a good example of that.
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. If horses like Suddenbreakingnews, Lani, Brody’s Cause, Trojan Nation and Destin are not running close to their Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score, then the issue[s] preventing them from reaching their full potential needs to be investigated.
Horse behavior is also vitally important for an Equine athlete to have success on the racetrack and one of the biggest changes that have been made to the software is the addition of the Behavior Index which I wrote about in my wrap up for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2).
The Behavior Index is proving to be a very valuable analytical tool, and, with its addition to the software, Dallas and I are now able to add behavioral analysis to the final equation of what it takes to produce a Classic Champion Thoroughbred or top quality graded stakes competitor.
For example, in the original Behavior Index chart, of all the horses with low profile scores, Nyquist is the only one that pops into the top four. Nyquist and Outwork (now ranked ninth) were sired by Uncle Mo and like their sire they both have low profile scores. However, their profile scores are higher than Uncle Mo’s score and that makes them upgrades to the Ancestral Herd.
In addition, Gun Runner is now ranked eighth in the Behavior Index chart while Danzing Candy is ranked eleventh and My Man Sam is ranked thirteenth.
Some horses that have low profile scores, like Nyquist, Outwork, Gun Runner, Danzing Candy and My Man Sam can be moved up because their Behavior Index makes them competitive, enabling them to sometimes win races that are shorter than the classic 10 furlong distance.
In my blog about the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1), I noted that Outwork was a horse I liked because his Behavior Index showed me he had the potential to be competitive, and, indeed, he went on to win the race. However, only a few horses with low profile scores, like Nyquist, can go on to win races at the classic 10-furlong distance.
As previously noted, both Outwork and Danzing Candy have low profile scores and in the Blood Horse interactive Derby race sequence, Danzing Candy is right there with Gun Runner and Nyquist going into the far turn while Outwork is about two lengths off the leaders. From this race sequence and also validated by their profile score, it’s clear to see that 10 furlongs is not the best racing distance of Danzing Candy and Outwork. And, they probably would be most competitive in sprints and races up to 8½ or nine furlongs.
The Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® can help horse owners know how best to place their Equine athletes, like Danzing Candy and Outwork, in key races so that they can be successful and live up to their full potential.
Indeed, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® is a valuable, proven handicapping tool. But, perhaps its greatest long term strength is as a breeding and sales analytical tool. For the first time in the lengthy history of the Thoroughbred, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® is the only tool that takes the guesswork out of breeding and buying horses at auction.
The profile shows horse owners and breeders how a mare can upgrade or downgrade the stallion from the profile score of the foal from that mating. The foal should, at the least, have a score equal to the stallion and ideally higher which would be an upgrade to the Ancestral Herd.
Horse owners and breeders can upgrade their entire bloodstock by using the profile score to make the best breeding decisions resulting in less overbreeding and fewer potential equine welfare issues.
In addition, the profile shows buyers at auction how to make the best decisions and investments when buying horses. The profile shows buyers which horses 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.
Dallas and I hope that the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® will equip people with the important information they need in order to make the best decisions about the horses in their care so they can reach their full potential and be successful as a Thoroughbred racehorse.
If you own horses and are planning to breed them, or if you would like to purchase horses at auction, the empirical data of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® will give you the important information you need to make the best decisions and investments when breeding bloodstock or buying horses at auction.
For a confidential consultation, please contact us at our website Classic Champion Thoroughbreds.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® Unlocks Secret Of Ancestral Herd, Pedigree, To Determine Outcome Of Kentucky Derby 142



By Calvin L. Carter and Dallas Carter
©2016 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

          For the past eight months, we’ve travelled down the Road to the Kentucky Derby which, now, brings us to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky where this Saturday a field of 20 young Thoroughbreds will enter the starting gate in Kentucky Derby 142.
Knowing as much as possible about the Thoroughbred and what it takes to produce a classic champion has been a passion of mine since the early 1990s and my research and study led to the creation of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®  which is an analytical tool I use to measure the graded stakes and classic potential of young horses.
In 2014, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® was developed into a software program by my brother, Dallas, and it assigns each horse a numerical score which is the indicator of that horse’s potential. The higher the score, the more potential that horse has to become a quality stakes horse or classic champion.
Since the debut of the software in last year’s Derby, Dallas and I have continued to refine the profile, and, this is the first time that I’ve been able to use it to track the progress of horses in the prep races leading up to the 2016 Derby.
Along the trail, we’ve had good success beginning with the Derby, Preakness and, especially, in the Belmont Stakes (G1) where blog readers that used my picks cashed in on the Exacta ($13.60), Trifecta ($109.50) and Superfecta ($570.00).
The Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) also proved profitable as a two dollar wager on the exotics netted handicappers the Exacta ($37.80), Trifecta ($320.20) and Superfecta ($1,474.00). My Smarty Jones Stakes selections netted handicappers the Exacta ($264.20) and Trifecta ($1,003.20). The UAE Derby (G2) selections netted $13.60 for the win and $42.20 for the Exacta. And, my Wood Memorial (G1) selections Outwork ($6.80, 4.80, 3.90) and Trojan Nation ($40.60, 13.40) netted handicappers $319.50 for the Exacta.
One of the biggest changes that have been made to the software is the addition of the Behavior Index which I wrote about in my wrap up for the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2).
The Behavior Index is proving to be a very valuable analytical tool, and, with its addition to the software, Dallas and I are now able to add behavioral analysis to the final equation of what it takes to produce a Classic Champion Thoroughbred or top quality graded stakes competitor.
Like an intricate puzzle, the pedigree contains many secrets of what champions are made of and everything one needs to know about the horse, from the physical conformational characteristics to the emotional and behavioral traits, can be found in the pedigree if one knows the families, Ancestral Herd that formed the foal.
For the first time in the history of the Thoroughbred, the empirical evidence gathered through the robust power of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® software shows that the pedigree is the only true standard, indicator of horse performance, especially of their classic potential.
In this year’s Derby, there are three horses with high profile scores that should be solid competitors if they life up to their breeding. And there are three horses with low profile scores that could, perhaps, be competitive because their Behavior Index and Data Mining variables move them up into contention.
Let’s take a look at the profiles for the horses in Kentucky Derby 142.




As you can see in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart above, there are five horses with an A+ grade ranking. Three of those – Suddenbreakingnews, Lani and Brody’s Cause – should be solid competitors if they live up to their breeding. Trojan Nation and Destin also have an A+ ranking but they have yet to show the same competitiveness as the other three.
Shagaf has an A ranking while Mohaymen and Creator have B profile rankings. Oscar Nominated, Exaggerator, Tom’s Ready and Mor Spirit have C profile rankings while the rest of the herd has low profile scores.
In the Behavior Index chart, of all the horses with low profile scores, Nyquist is the only one that pops into the top four. Nyquist and Outwork (now ranked ninth) were sired by Uncle Mo and like their sire they both have low profile scores. However, their profile scores are higher than Uncle Mo’s score and that makes them upgrades to the Ancestral Herd.
In addition, Gun Runner is now ranked eighth in the Behavior Index chart while Danzing Candy is ranked eleventh and My Man Sam is ranked thirteenth.
Some horses that have low profile scores, like Nyquist, Outwork, Gun Runner, Danzing Candy and My Man Sam can be moved up because their Behavior Index makes them competitive, enabling them to sometimes win races that are shorter than the classic 10 furlong distance.
For example, in my blog about the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1), I noted that Outwork was a horse I liked because his Behavior Index showed me he had the potential to be competitive, and, indeed, he went on to win the race.
In the Data Mining chart, Nyquist, Gun Runner and Creator are ranked in the top four when you add data mining to them and they, perhaps, have the best potential to run good races, in addition to the other three I like with an A+ ranking. However, in most of his races Gun Runner has had good trips and, for the most part, he’s not been tested on the same level as some of the other horses that I like in this race.
Other horses that are moved up when you add data mining to them include: Exaggerator, Mor Spirit, Whitmore and Mo Tom. Time will tell if it was justifiable to add data mining to any of these horses.
Also, in two of the charts I’ve noted that Trojan Nation and Oscar Nominated may have the potential to finish in two separate spots. If either of them finishes high up like they’re listed in the Behavior Index, they could, perhaps, be a factor in the High Five wager.
To recap, the three that are potentially solid include Suddenbreakingnews, Lani and Brody’s Cause while the three that could, perhaps, run good races because their Behavior Index and data mining variables makes them competitive are Nyquist, Creator and Gun Runner.
Others that receive honorable mention and should be considered for a few exotic wagers because they have high profile scores include Trojan Nation and Destin. Of those two, Trojan Nation has the best breeding and in addition to exotic wagers, I’ll also use him for a win and place wager because he’s going to have high odds.
Let’s take a look at the horses I like in this year’s Derby field:


SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS is sire-line descendant of the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® he’s the best-bred horse in this race.
I’ve liked Suddenbreakingnews since last fall and I wrote about in my 2016 Kentucky Derby Outlook. At that time, he was ranked number one on my list of horses that had yet to qualify for the Derby.
To date, Suddenbreakingnews has compiled a 3-4-0 record in eight starts including a troubled trip in the Rebel Stakes (G2) where he finished a disappointing fifth to Cupid. Suddenbreakingnews improved off of that run to finish second in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS also outrun for five furlongs, six wide into the lane, shifted out further to be widest for the drive, closed well to be clear for the place.

Suddenbreakingnews was running in “race horse” time at the end of the Arkansas Derby (G1) and he will like the added distance of 10-furlongs in Kentucky Derby (G1).
Mineshaft, the sire of Suddenbreakingnews, 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).
Suddenbreakingnews is bred on the nick of the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd over the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd which is the same nick as Nehro who finished second in the 2011 Kentucky Derby (G1) to Animal Kingdom.
However, Suddenbreakinnews has much better breeding than Nehro and he also has the potential to wear the “Roses in May.”


LANI is also a sire-line descendant of the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® he has the potential to run better than what some people might think.
Lani and Polar River were the two horses I liked in the UAE Derby (G2) and his victory in that race earned him a spot in the starting gate of Kentucky Derby 142. Here’s the video and Racing Post chart call of his run in the UAE Derby:

[LANI] broke awkwardly, chased leaders 4f out, led 110yds out, ran on well.

Lani recovered well after the horrible start to get up and secure the win over a very good Polar River who was undefeated in four starts going into that race.
To date, Lani has compiled a 3-1-0 record in six starts for trainer Mikio Matsunaga. His other significant races include a win in the Cattleya Sho Stakes and a fifth-place finish in the one mile Hyacinth Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse. Here’s the video of Hyacinth Stakes.
Despite the fifth-place finish in the Hyacinth Stakes, Lani only lost by 2¾ lengths and the final time of 1:35.40 is what I like to see colts run on the Derby Trail.
Tapit, the sire of Lani, was undefeated in two starts as a 2-year-old including a win in the Laurel Futurity (G3). As a 3-year-old, Tapit was troubled by a lung infection for much of the season but did win the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Despite his lackluster works at Churchill Downs the past couple of weeks, Lani has room to improve in his third start of the season and he should like the added distance in the Kentucky Derby.
I look for him to be competitive.


BRODY’S CAUSE  is a sire-line descendant of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd and with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® he also is one of the best-bred horses in this race.
In six starts, Brody’s Cause has compiled a 3-0-1 record for trainer Dale Romans and he comes into this race off of 1¾ length victory in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

BRODY'S CAUSE was reserved early, swung into the six path entering the lane, made a bid in the stretch, took over command swiftly and cleared the field in the final stages.

Except for his maiden debut and the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), Brody’s Cause is battle tested and he knows how to fight through a herd of horses to score the win or finish in the money. That’s what I like to see in young colt on the Derby Trail.
Giant’s Causeway, the sire of Brody’s Cause, was undefeated in three starts as a 2-year-old, including wins in the Group 3 Futurity Stakes and the Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre Stakes, all at 7-furlongs.
As a three year old, Giant’s Causeway raced 10 times and won five Group One races including the Irish Champion Stakes, International Stakes, Sussex Stakes, St. James’s Palace Stakes, Eclipse Stakes and he won the Group 3 Gladness Stakes. He also finished second in four races: Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, 2,000 Guineas Stakes, Irish 2,000 Guineas and he finished second by a narrow neck to Tiznow in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Overall, Giant’s Causeway compiled a 9-4-0 record in 13 starts, winning from 7- to 10-furlongs, and he was the 2000 Cartier Racing Awards European Horse of the Year.
Brody’s Cause has been training well at Churchill Downs and he has room to improve in his third start of the season.


NYQUIST is a sire-line descendant of the Grey Sovereign, Nasrullah Ancestral Herd and Nasrullah sired Bold Ruler. As such, Nasrullah is the sire-line foundation stallion for many of the horses running in Kentucky Derby 142.
Undefeated in seven starts for trainer Doug O’Neill, Nyquist is the deserving morning-line favorite. Since breaking his maiden last June, Nyquist has won two G2 races and four G1’s including a 3¼ length victory in the Florida Derby (G1). Here’s a look at the video and chart call of that race:

NYQUIST broke well at the start then raced two wide in the first turn, had a slight lead entering the backstretch and continued on top under pressure from both sides, vied for the lead racing along the outside of TAKEITTOTHEEDGE throughout the backstretch, took slight lead three furlongs out then took on the challenge of MOHAYMEN midway in the far turn, drifted out five wide in the final turn, carried out aforementioned rival, vied with rival in upper stretch then roused for more, responded gamely, took over then drifted out but remained clear and proved best.

Nyquist is one of several colts on this year’s Derby trail that were sired by Uncle Mo and, like his sire, he has a low Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score. However, Nyquist’s profile score is higher than Uncle Mo’s score and that makes him an upgrade to the Ancestral Herd.
In addition, the Behavior Index of some horses with a low profile score, like Nyquist, can move them up and make them competitive, enabling them to win races that are shorter than the classic 10 furlong distance.
Uncle Mo was undefeated in three starts as a two year old with wins in the Champagne Stakes (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1) and he was picked as the 2010 Eclipse Champion Two Year Old Colt.
As a three year old, Uncle Mo won the Timely Writer Stakes and finished third in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1). The Friday before the Kentucky Derby, Uncle Mo was scratched from the race with a mysterious ailment which was later diagnosed as a liver disease called cholangiohepatitis.
The best Uncle Mo could run nine furlongs was third in the Wood Memorial Stakes and it will be interesting to see if Nyquist can extend his competitiveness to 10 furlongs.
Another interesting tidbit is that, historically, horses like Nyquist that have won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) or other major end-of-year prep stakes races do not usually go on to win the Kentucky Derby (G1).
In my December 26, 2014 blog, I took a look at the major end-of-year prep races going back to 2000: the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Hollywood Futurity (G1), Remsen (G2), Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) and Boyd Gaming’s Delta Jackpot (G3).
Analysis of those prep races showed that only a few runners from those races went on to compete in the Kentucky Derby. And only four horses that competed in those prep races went on to win the Kentucky Derby.
Street Sense won the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the 2007 Kentucky Derby; Super Saver won the 2009 Kentucky Jockey Club and the 2010 Kentucky Derby.
Giacomo finished second in the 2004 Hollywood Futurity and won the 2005 Kentucky Derby. Mine That Bird finished 12th (dead last) in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and won the 2009 Kentucky Derby.
Since 2000, there have been no winners of the Remsen Stakes (G2) that went on to win the Kentucky Derby and the same is true for the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) which began racing in 2002.
So, it will be interesting to see if Nyquist can break that historical trend.


CREATOR is a sire line descendant of the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and he appears to be improving at the right time of year for trainer Steve Asmussen. He comes into this race with a 2-4-1 record in eight starts including a win in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

CREATOR completely devoid of speed, began to move into the far turn, strong gain through traffic into the lane, brushed, bit of some tight quarters past the furlong marker, powered clear.

Creator is one of several sons sired by Tapit that are competing in this race. I like the energy and determination that he shows in his races and another move forward will make him very competitive in Kentucky Derby 142.


GUN RUNNER is a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd. He has a low profile score but his Behavior Index has made him competitive in the prep races leading up to the Kentucky Derby (G1). He comes into this race with a 4-0-0 record in five starts for trainer Steve Asmussen including a 4½ length win in the Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby (G2). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

GUN RUNNER was well placed on the inside, came off the rail early on the far turn, advanced to make a bid at the five-sixteenths, edged clear under a left-handed whip in upper stretch, switched to a right-handed whip while racing a bit greenly outside the sixteenth-pole and drew away under steady urging.

Candy Ride, the sire of Gun Runner, was bred in Argentina and during his racing career he was undefeated in six starts.
In his maiden debut as a three year old, Candy Ride won the Premio El Quimico, a six furlong sprint, by 12 lengths. He went on to finish the season with a win in the one mile Gran Premio San Isidro (G1) by eight lengths and another win by eight lengths in the one mile Joaquin S de Anchorena (G1).
As a four year old, Candy Ride was shipped to America where won his U.S. debut in an 8 ½ furlong Allowance Optional Claiming race at Hollywood Park on June 7, 2003. A month later, he ran on the turf winning the 9 furlong American Handicap (G2) and in August, Candy Ride was able to carry his speed to a 3¼-length victory in the 10 furlong Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) in a record time of 1:59.11.
Since 1990, descendants of the Mr. Prospector herd have produced 30 Classic Champion Thoroughbreds who have won 41 of the past 78 Triple Crown races for a 53% strike rate. Of those champions, 21 of them won the Kentucky Derby.


TROJAN NATION is also a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd and he was my long shot pick to win the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

TROJAN NATION cut over to the rail soon after the start, was devoid of early speed, picked up the pace after entering the far turn, cut the corner into the stretch and maintained the momentum, gained enough real estate to loom boldly with an eighth to go, got put in tight from pressure originating by the winner in mid-stretch, eventually brushing with MATT KING COAL, forged on ahead with good courage to draw directly alongside the top one, fought valiantly to the end but fell short.

I like the way that Trojan Nation fought his way along the rail and if he had just a little bit more squeeze room, he might have got up for the win.
Street Cry, the sire of Trojan Nation, was an outstanding, multiple graded stakes winner who finished in the money in all 12 of his lifetime starts, compiling a 5-6-1 record with $5,150,837 in career earnings.
As a two year old, Street Cry lost out on graded stakes honors by the narrowest of margins with second-place finishes in both the Del Mar Futurity (G2) and Norfolk Stakes (G2) and a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1).
As a three year old, Street Cry won the UAE 2,000 Guineas and finished second in both the UAE Derby (G2) and Discovery Handicap (G3).
Street Cry’s best season was as a four year old when he compiled a 3-1-0 record in four starts with victories in the Maktoum Challenge-Round 3 (G2), Dubai World Cup (G1) and Stephen Foster Handicap (G1). Street Cry finished his racing career with a second-place finish in the Whitney Handicap (G1).
One never knows if a young Thoroughbred like Trojan Nation, who has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, will live up to his breeding. And, there can be many contributing factors for a horse not running to his profile score – Effinex is a good example of that.
Trojan Nation is one of the best bred horses in this herd, but with a 0-1-3 record in six starts for trainer Patrick Gallagher he’s yet to break his maiden.
Despite his record, I like what his owner, Aaron Sones, said in a recent Blood Horse article about Trojan Nation’s run in the Wood Memorial Stakes (G1):
“Since he got back from New York, he’s been a different horse. It’s Incredible. Trojan Nation thinks that he won the Wood, so as far as I’m concerned, he’s not a maiden anymore.”
Indeed, a good mental attitude is the key to success and maybe Trojan Nation is getting good at the right time of year to be competitive in Kentucky Derby 142 and, perhaps, pull off the upset at a nice price.


DESTIN is a sire-line descendant of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd and with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® he also has good breeding. Like Brody’s Cause, Destin was also sired by Giant’s Causeway and he’s and a full brother to Creative Cause who finished fifth in the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1).
I also liked Destin last fall and I wrote about him in my 2016 Kentucky Derby Outlook, ranking him fifth on my list of horses that had yet to qualify for the Derby.
To date, Destin has compiled a 3-1-0 record in five starts for trainer Todd Pletcher including a first-place finish in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

DESTIN was bumped at the start, stalked three wide, bid three wide on the turn, gained a short lead in upper stretch and inched away, driving.

This win was a good move forward for the young Giant’s Causeway colt. However, I don’t like it that he has not raced since March and Pletcher has not ran him in a nine furlong prep race.
The last time that was tried was in 2013 when D. Wayne Lukas sent Will Take Charge into the Kentucky Derby off of a win in the Rebel Stakes (G2) and he finished in eighth place. Prior to that, Larry Jones took Friesan Fire to the 2009 Derby off of a win in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and he finished in eighteenth place.
 Despite the long layoff and not prepping in a nine furlong race, Destin has good breeding and I will use him in one of my wagers.


*****
Here’s a look at the final point standings of the horses entered in Kentucky Derby 142:

2016 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Rank, Horse, Points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Gun Runner, 151, Steve Asmussen, $849,200
2. Nyquist, 130, Doug O’Neill, $2,289,000
3. Exaggerator, 126, Keith Desormeaux, $1,628,000
4. Outwork, 120, Todd Pletcher, $600,000
5. Brody’s Cause, 114, Dale Romans, $1,100,000
6. Creator, 110, Steve Asmussen, $690,000
7. Lani, 100, Mikio Matsunaga, $1,300,119
8. Mor Spirit, 84, Bob Baffert, $616,800
9. Mohaymen, 80, Kiaran McLaughlin, $807,850
10. Danzing Candy, 60, Cliff Sise, Jr., $290,000
11. Destin, 51, Todd Pletcher, $338,000
12. Suddenbreakingnews, 50, Donnie Von Hemel, $637,000
13. *Oscar Nominated, 50, Mike Maker, $321,360
14. Shagaf, 50, Chad Brown, $270,000
15. Whitmore, 44, Ron Moquett, $400,000
16. Tom’s Ready, 44, Dallas Stewart, $270,670
17. My Man Sam, 40, Chad Brown, $200,000
18. Majesto, 40, Gustavo Delgado, $190,000
19. Trojan Nation, 40, Paddy Gallagher, $190,000
20. Mo Tom, 32, Tom Amoss $328,326
*Will be supplemented to Derby.