Saturday, September 23, 2017

Juddmonte Beresford Stakes Racing Roundup

©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

This Sunday the European road to the 2017-2018 Kentucky Derby takes us across the pond to Naas Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland, where Saxon Warrior has been tabbed as the 9-5 Twinspires.com morning line favorite in the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes (Group 2).
Post time is noon EDT. An original field of 10 had been pre-entered in the Beresford but with the expected soft to heavy going only five horses will enter the starting gate.
Saxon Warrior comes into this race off of a win in his maiden debut for trainer Aidan O’Brien. Here’s the video and chart call:

Held up in rear, still towards rear and plenty to do 2 furlongs out, soon taken to outer and pushed along, strong run to lead 100 yards out, soon clear, comfortably.

Saxon Warrior showed a good burst of speed in the final strides to easily win by 3¼ lengths.
Deep Impact, the sire of Saxon Warrior, was a talented Thoroughbred selected twice as Horse of the Year in Japan at the age of three and four. During his racing career, he compiled a 12-1-0 record in 14 starts with $12,825,285 in earnings including numerous graded stakes victories and Japan’s prestigious Thoroughbred Triple Crown.
At stud, Deep Impact is the current leading stallion in Japan, an honor he’s held since 2012. He’s sired numerous graded stakes winners including the champions Deep Brilliante, Kizuna, and Makahiki, winners of the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby); Santono Diamond, winner of the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger) and Dee Majesty and Al Ain winners of the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas).
Like most of the horses in this race, Saxon Warrior has an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and I look for him to run a good race.
Rounding out the field are Delano Roosevelt (3-1), Kew Gardens (7-2), Riyazan (5-1) and Warm the Voice (7-1).


*****

This is the sixth consecutive year for Churchill Downs to use a point system to determine eligibility to get into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. A total of 36 races comprise the Road to the Kentucky Derby and a significant change to the schedule is the addition of the Springboard Mile at Remington Park on December 17.

In addition to the Japan road to the Derby which features the Cattleya Sho Stakes (November 25), Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushan Stakes (December 13) and Hayacinth Stakes (February 2018), Churchill Downs has added a European road to Derby glory consisting of seven races: Juddmonte Beresford (September 24), Juddmonte Royal Lodge (September 30), Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (October 1), Racing Post Trophy (October 28, Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (March 1), Patton (March 2) and the Burradon (March 30).

Friday, September 15, 2017

Iroquois Stakes Racing Roundup

©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The much anticipated journey on the 2017-2018 Road to the Kentucky Derby begins Saturday at Churchill Downs with the 36th running of the $150,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3). In addition to the Japan road to the Derby, Churchill Downs has also added a European road to Derby glory.
Post time for the Iroquois is 5:20 p.m. ET., and Hollywood Star, a Thoroughbred Daily News Rising Star, has been tabbed as the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Owned by Albaugh Family Stables, LLC and trained by Dale Romans, Hollywood Star comes into this race with a 1-1-0 record in two starts including a second-place finish in the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on August 13. Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

HOLLYWOOD STAR off a step slow albeit without incident, chased two to three wide from near the rear, began to advance into the turn and came under coaxing three furlongs from home, spun just off the inside into upper stretch, rallied with good energy to chase the winner home proving no match for that one on this day while along clear for the place honors second best.

Hollywood Star looked good earning his second-place finish in graded stakes competition and I look for him to improve as the races get longer.
 Malibu Moon, the sire of Hollywood Star, made only two starts as a two year old, compiling a 1-1-0 record, before a slab fracture ended his racing career.
At stud, Malibu Moon sired the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. In addition, he’s sired several horses that have been competitive on the Derby trail such as Gormley, Danzig Moon, Mr. Z and Stanford.
With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Hollywood Star was a yearling (Hip 395) I liked in session two at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and if he lives up to his breeding he could be a factor on the Kentucky Derby Trail.
Undefeated in two starts, The Tabulator (6-1) comes into this race for trainer Larry Rivelli off of a 2¼ length win in the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows on July 28. Here’s the video and chart call:

THE TABULATOR forwardly placed while four wide early, moved closer on the turn, responded when given his cue nearing the furlong marker and was gradually going away at the finish.

The Tabulator showed good speed chasing blistering fractions before taking the lead in the stretch. If he can carry that speed to a route of ground, then he could be a factor in this race.
In his only start as a two year old, The Tabulator’s sire, Dialed In, won a 6½-furlong maiden special weight by a half a length at Churchill Downs in November 2010. As a three year old, Dialed In won the one mile Holy Bull Stakes, finished second in a 9-furlong Allowance Optional Claiming race at Gulfstream Park, and won the Florida Derby (G1) by a head over Shackleford en route to an eighth place-finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
On the Derby Trail, Dialed In’s best runner to date is Gunnevera who won the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2), Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (G3), Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and the Tangelo Stakes. In addition, Gunnevera finished second in the Lambholm South Holy Bull Stakes (G2), third in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1) and second in the Travers Stakes (G1).
The Tabulator, like Gunnevera, has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and I look for him to be competitive.
A long shot I like in this race is Big Gemmy (15-1) who broke his maiden by 3¾ lengths in his second start at Saratoga on August 28. Here’s the video and chart call:

BIG GEMMY broke out at the start bumping GOLDEN SEAL solidly, chased two to three wide just off the pace coming under coaxing seven-sixteenths from home, angled out five wide into upper stretch, rallied to issue a challenge inside the final eighth taking command just outside the eighth pole, edged clear under a drive to the finish.

Big Gemmy recovered from the start, chased fast fractions, and showed good determination to rally for the win.
Gemologist, the sire of Big Gemmy, was a multiple graded stakes winner who compiled a 5-0-0 record in seven starts with $794,855 in career earnings.
Undefeated in his first five starts, Gemologist won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) as a two year old and the Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) at the age of three en route to a 16th place finish in the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1).
A leading first-crop sire in 2016, Gemologist’s best stakes runners to date include Golden Diamond, Mind Reader, Rose to Fame, Xerxes Avenue, Yellow Agate and Theory.
Big Gemmy also has a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and I look for him to be competitive.
Flameaway (4-1) is also undefeated in two starts and he comes into this race for trainer Mark Casse off of a victory in the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga on August 18. Here’s the video and chart call:

FLAMEAWAY bumped lightly with a rival at the start then dropped back, was urged along off the pace, went around most of the turn in the two path, dropped to the rail late on that bend, steadied behind a rival outside the quarter pole, cut the corner into the stretch, was roused while moving to the two path at the three-sixteenths, rallied under a right-handed whip, closed well to make a bid at the sixteenth pole and proved best under good handling.

Flameaway has a D Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® score so I’ll be watching to see how well he handles the stretch out in distance.
Scat Daddy, the sire of Flameaway, was a multiple graded stakes winner who compiled a 5-1-1 record in nine starts with $1,334,300 in career earnings.
As a two year old, Scat Daddy was 3-0-1 in five starts with wins in the Sanford Stakes (G2) and Champagne Stakes (G1), and he finished second in the Hopeful Stakes (G1).
In his season debut as a 3-year-old, Scat Daddy finished third in the one mile Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and followed up with wins in the 9 furlong Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) in route to a eighteenth-place finish in the Derby.
His best runners on the Derby Trail include Daddy Long Legs, Daddy Nose Best, El Kabeir, Frac Daddy, Azar and Dice Flavor who was my long shot pick to win the 2013 El Camino Real Derby (G3).
In the overall Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® ranking, Flameaway has a low score and is ranked fifth but his Behavior Index potentially moves him into the top four and makes him competitive in this race.
Honorable mention goes to Ten City (3-1), who I’m not too keen on for the win but could figure in the bottom exotics.


*****

This is the sixth consecutive year for Churchill Downs to use a point system to determine eligibility to get into the Kentucky Derby starting gate. A total of 36 races comprise the Road to the Kentucky Derby and a significant change to the schedule is the addition of the Springboard Mile at Remington Park on December 17.

In addition to the Japan road to the Derby which features the Cattleya Sho Stakes (November 25), Zen-Nippon Nisai Yushan Stakes (December 13) and Hayacinth Stakes (February 2018), Churchill Downs has added a European road to Derby glory consisting of seven races: Juddmonte Beresford (September 24), Juddmonte Royal Lodge (September 30), Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère (October 1), Racing Post Trophy (October 28, Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes (March 1), Patton (March 2) and the Burradon (March 30).

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Welcome To The 21st Century Thoroughbred

By Calvin L. Carter and Dallas Carter
©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

Welcome to Classic Champion Thoroughbreds, LLC: a new vision, standard of excellence for an old industry.
Owned and operated by Calvin L. Carter, Classic Champion Thoroughbreds is an innovative bloodstock consulting firm and leader in cutting-edge software analysis of Thoroughbred breeding and race potential.
With over 20 years of experience studying Thoroughbreds, Calvin is the creator of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® which was developed into a software program by his brother, Dallas, in 2014. The profile software is a powerful analytical tool that evaluates the graded stakes and classic potential of horses at auction, in breeding selections and handicapping races.
In 2015, we made this video about the software program:




The ability to know the potential of a horse before he goes to the race track is of utmost importance. The empirical data gathered by the robust power of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® software easily shows which horses have the potential to be quality stakes winners or classic champions.
The profile assigns each horse a numerical score and grade ranking 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.
In addition, some unique features of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® include:

● It unlocks the secret of the Ancestral Herd influence.

● Is a valuable Thoroughbred sales analytical tool that shows buyers how make the best decisions and investments when buying horses at auction.

● Is a valuable breeding analytical tool that shows horse owners and breeders how a mare can upgrade or downgrade a stallion she is bred to through the profile score of the foal from that mating.

● Shows if the foal has the potential to be a quality stakes horse or classic champion.

● Shows horse owners how their entire herd of bloodstock can be upgraded by using the profile score to help them make the best breeding decisions resulting in less over-breeding and fewer potential equine welfare issues.
● Is a valuable handicapping tool that shows which horses have the potential to be top-quality stakes winners or a classic winner of races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

If you are planning to breed, or purchase horses at auction, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® is the analytical tool you need to take the guesswork out of breeding and buying champion racehorses.
The profile will give you the important information necessary to make the best decisions and investments when breeding or buying horses at auction.
For a free consultation, please contact us at my website Classic Champion Thoroughbreds, LLC.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® Picks Belmont Stakes Exacta, Trifecta; Shows Power As Handicapping, Breeding, Sales Analytical Tool

©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

Once more, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® shows that it is a powerful handicapping tool. Congratulations to all who may have used my Belmont Stakes (G1) picks as a $2 dollar wager on the exotics could have netted them $45.20 (Exacta), $624.00 (trifecta) and, perhaps, $4,486.00 (superfecta) if they used Gormley in their superfecta wagers.
The Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® is an analytical tool I use to measure the graded stakes and classic potential of young horses. The profile assigns each horse a numerical score and grade ranking 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.
In addition to Irish War Cry, who was favored in this race, Patch, Lookin at Lee and Tapwrit were horses I liked and wrote about on my blog. Honorable mention was given to Gormley, J Boys Echo and Twisted Tom who I thought could, perhaps, be factors in the exotics.
Here’s a look at the profile grade ranking and finish of the horses in Belmont Stakes 149:


 


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.
As you can see in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, J Boys Echo has the best breeding in this herd but he has not yet fully lived up to his breeding. That’s why in the Data Mining chart (see chart below) he was ranked seventh and finished ninth. In addition, Gormley is ranked third in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and ranked fifth in the Data Mining chart. He ultimately finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
When horses like Gormley and J Boys Echo fail to run close to their profile score, then the issue[s] preventing them from reaching their full potential needs to be investigated. And there can be many contributing factors for a horse not running to his profile score – Effinex is a good example of that.
Data Mining variables are another tool for analyzing classic potential and when added to the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and Behavior Index, they can also move some horse up like Lookin at Lee who’s a proven competitor on the classic trail.
In the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® Lookin at Lee is ranked sixth and in the Data Mining chart he was ranked second but finished seventh.
The Data Mining Chart is a subjective analysis based on other variables, and it was also correct in many of the selections:




In addition to being an exceptional handicapping tool and predictor of classic races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® is also a valuable tool for horse owners and breeders helping them to take the guesswork out of breeding and purchasing horses at auction.
The ability to know the potential of a horse before he goes to the race track is of utmost importance and the empirical data of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® will easily show you which horses have the potential to be quality stakes winners or classic champions.
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.
Some unique features of the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®:

  • It unlocks the secret of the Ancestral Herd influence.

  • Is a valuable handicapping tool that shows in the profile score which horses have the potential to be top-quality stakes winners or a classic winner of races like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

  • Is a valuable breeding analytical tool that shows horse owners and breeders how a mare can upgrade or downgrade a stallion she is bred to through the profile score of the foal from that mating.

  • Shows if the foal has the potential to be a quality stakes horse or classic champion.

  • Shows horse owners how their entire bloodstock can be upgraded by using the profile score to help them make the best breeding decisions resulting in less overbreeding and fewer potential equine welfare issues.

  • Is a valuable Thoroughbred sales analytical tool that shows buyers how to make the best decisions and investments when buying horses at auction.

  • Shows which horses purchased at auction 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.

If you are planning to breed, or purchase horses at auction, the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® is the analytical tool you need to take the guesswork out of buying and breeding champion racehorses.
The profile will give you the important information necessary to make the best decisions and investments when breeding or buying horses at auction. For a free consultation, please contact us at my website Classic Champion Thoroughbreds, LLC.
























Friday, June 9, 2017

Irish War Cry Favored In Bid To Win Belmont 149

©2017 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

This Saturday, the trail to classic glory takes us to Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, where Irish War Cry will go the starting gate as the lukewarm 7-2 morning line favorite in the 149th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) which is the last jewel of the prestigious American horseracing Triple Crown.
Prerace television coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network with race coverage switching to NBC at 5 p.m.
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 Belmont Stakes 149:


 


In addition to Irish War Cry, Patch, Lookin at Lee, Tapwrit and Epicharis are horses that I like in this race.
Classic Empire probably would have been favored in Belmont 149 but he was removed from contention due to a foot abscess. Also, a recent Bloodhorse story reports that the status of Epicharis is also in question as he was treated on June 7 for lameness in his “right front, possible hoof” and did not train on June 8 (see write up below).
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. In addition to the profile score, the Behavior Index and Data Mining are important tools I use to determine horse potential.
As you can see in the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® chart above, 75 percent of the horses in Belmont 149 have a profile grade rating of C or better.
In the Behavior Index chart, some horses that have a B or C profile grade rating like Epicharis, Irish War Cry, Lookin at Lee and Twisted Tom 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 2016 Wood Memorial Stakes (G1), I noted that Outwork, who had an E grade rating, was a horse I liked because his Behavior Index showed me he had the potential to be competitive. Indeed, he went on to win the Wood. However, in the Kentucky Derby (G1) Outwork’s grade rating had him ranked sixteenth and he finished fourteenth.
In addition to moving some horses up, the Behavior Index can also move some horses down like J Boys Echo, Gormley and Tapwrit. I’ve liked Gormley since last fall and he was my upset pick in the FrontRunner Stakes (G1). Since then, he’s had issues and he’s not fully lived up to his breeding.
When horses like Gormley, J Boys Echo and Tapwrit fail to run close to their profile score, then the issue[s] preventing them from reaching their full potential needs to be investigated. And there can be many contributing factors for a horse not running to his profile score – Effinex is a good example of that.
Data Mining variables are another tool for analyzing classic potential and when added to the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® and Behavior Index, they can also move some horse up like Lookin at Lee who’s a proven competitor on the classic trail. He’s the only horse in this race that has been moved up with Data Mining and time will tell if that was justified.
In addition to the top five horses listed in the Data Mining chart honorable mention goes to Gormley, J Boys Echo and Twisted Tom who could, perhaps, be factors in the exotics.
In the final analysis, the Behavior Index and Data Mining variables are applied to a select few horses while the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® is the standard of measurement for the rest of the horses in the race.
Let’s take a look at the horses I like in Belmont 149:


PATCH (12-1) is a sire-line descendant of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd and he comes into this race for trainer Todd Pletcher with 1-2-0 record in four starts including a nice second-place finish to Girvin in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and a fourteenth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1).  Here’s the video and chart call of his Derby finish:

PATCH chased off the rail, edged up between rivals leaving the far turn, was checked and bounced around with GIRVIN near the five sixteenths causing him to lose any chance and came up empty.

Patch was my long shot pick in both the Louisiana and Kentucky Derbies and, despite his poor showing last out, I’m willing to overlook that race.
Union Rags, the sire of Patch, was a competitive colt on the trail to the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1), compiling an overall 5-1-1 record in eight career starts with $1,798,800 in earnings.
As a two year old, he won the Three Chimneys Saratoga Special (G2) and Champagne (G1) stakes and finished second in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) stakes.
At the age of three, Union Rags won the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2) stakes and finished third in the Florida Derby (G1) en route to a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He finished his career with a narrow win by a neck over Paynter in the Belmont (G1) stakes.
I like it that veteran and classic-winning jockey John Velazquez picks up the mount on Patch. I look for him to have Patch more engaged early on in the race and with an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® ranking Patch has the breeding to win.
Another move forward could make Patch very competitive and, perhaps, upset at a nice price.


LOOKIN AT LEE (5-1) is a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd and he comes into this race for trainer Steve Asmussen with a 2-3-2 record in eleven starts including a second-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and a fourth-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (G1). Here’s video and chart call of the Preakness:

LOOKIN AT LEE leaned in causing an awkward break, dropped in early and lagged well back, was under pressure near the far turn, angled five wide for the drive and kept trying to the wire.

Lookin at Lee is proven competitor on the classic trail. He likes to run at the back of the herd and that running style has enabled him to close with good energy to finish second in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and fourth in the Preakness Stakes (G1). And it could bode well for him in the Belmont, too.
Lookin at Lucky, the sire of Lookin at Lee, was an exceptional two year old who was undefeated in four starts, including victories in the Best Pal Stakes (G2), Del Mar Futurity (G1) and Norfolk Stakes (G1), before suffering his first loss by a neck to Vale of York in the 2009 Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1).
As a three year old, Lookin at Lucky won the CashCall Futurity (G1), Rebel Stakes (G2) and he finished third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Lookin at Lucky finished sixth in the Kentucky Derby and he earned the title Classic Champion Thoroughbred with a three-quarter length victory in the Preakness Stakes (G1).
Jockey Irad Ortiz rode Creator to victory in the 2016 Belmont Stakes (G1) and he picks up the mount on Lookin at Lee.
I look for the pair to run a good race.


IRISH WAR CRY (7-2) is a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector herd and he’s compiled a 4-0-0 record in six starts for trainer Graham Motion with wins in the Marylander Stakes, the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and the Wood Memorial Stakes (G2). He comes into the Belmont off of a tenth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

IRISH WAR CRY bore in at the break initiating a chain reaction of trouble, straightened and relaxed four wide stalking the pace, edged closer nearing the half, was a daunting presence three deep to the quarter pole, failed to go on with the winner and weakened in the final three sixteenths.

Irish War Cry, like Gormley, has been disappointing on the classic trail and I thought he would be among the top finishers in the Derby. Despite his good breeding, he’ll need to improve his game considerably in order to make it into the winner’s circle.
Curlin, the sire of Irish War Cry, was an outstanding racehorse that compiled an 11-2-2 record in 16 career starts with $10,501,800 in career earnings.
Curlin did not start as a two year old. But, at the age of three, Curlin was 6-1-2 in nine starts with $5,102,800 in earnings including wins in the Rebel Stakes (G3) and Arkansas Derby (G2) en route to a third-place finish in the 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1). He went on to win the Preakness Stakes (G1) and he finished second in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Other important stakes wins include 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.
With a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® Irish War Cry has the breeding to be competitive in this race. It remains to be seen if he can rebound off of his poor Derby finish to take another step forward and earn classic stakes honors.


TAPWRIT (6-1) is a sire-line descendant of the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd. He’s compiled a 3-1-0 record in seven starts for trainer Todd Pletcher with a second-place finish in the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) and wins in the Pulpit Stakes, and Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2). He comes into this race off of a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Here’s the video and chart call of that race:

TAPWRIT was forced into tight quarters by IRISH WAR CRY at the break, steadied off heels in the opening furlong, gained while being brushed between foes near the five sixteenths, altered to the fence in the lane and kept trying.

Tapwrit finished a respectable sixth in this race and was improving his position at the end.
Tapit, the sire of Tapwrit, was a multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 3-0-0 record in six starts with $557,300 in career earnings.
As a two year old, Tapit was undefeated in two starts including a win in the Laurel Futurity (G3).  Tapit was troubled by a lung infection for much of his three year old season but he did win the nine-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) in route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
At stud, Tapit has been America’s leading sire for the past three years and he’s the sire of the Belmont Stakes (G1) winners Tonalist and Creator.
With an A Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® rating Tapwrit is one of the best bred colts in this race but he’s yet to fully live up to his breeding. Another move forward could make him very competitive in the Belmont Stakes (G1).


EPICHARIS (4-1) is a sire line descendant of the Sunday Silence Ancestral Herd and he comes into this race with a 4-1-0 record in five starts for trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara.
Epicharis is one of the most accomplished runners in this race. As two year old, he won his first three races by a combined 25 lengths and I especially like the way he won with ease by 12 lengths in the nine-furlong Hokkaido Nisai Yushan.
As a three year old, his victory in the Hyacinth Stakes and second-place finish in the UAE Derby (G2) qualified him to run in the Kentucky Derby (G1) but his connections passed on that race. Here’s the video of the UAE Derby.
Epicharis broke alertly and led for most of the race until Thunder Snow beat him by a head at the wire.
Gold Allure, the sire of Epicharis, was a multiple graded stakes winner in Japan that compiled an 8-1-1 record in 16 starts. As a two year old, he was 1-1-0 in three starts with a fourth-place finish in the Hopeful Stakes.
As a three year old, Gold Allure was 5-0-1 in 10 starts with wins in the Tango Stakes, Japan Dirt Derby (G1), Derby Grand Prix (G1), Japan Cup Dirt (G1), Tokyo Daishoten (G1) and he finished fifth in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby).
At the age of four, Gold Allure was 1-1-0 in three starts with wins in the February Stakes (G1) and Antares Stakes (G1).
As a stallion, Gold Allure is currently ranked ninth in the Japan Racing Association Sire Ranking.
Christophe LeMaire has ridden Epicharis in all of his previous starts and he’s the leading jockey in the Japan Racing Association Jockeys Ranking.
With a B Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile® rating, Epicharis has the breeding to win this race. However, with the recent treatment for lameness a lot will depend on if he goes to the track to train on Friday.
"He looked a little different favoring his right front [Wednesday] afternoon, so we treated his hoof and gave him Bute," said trainer Kiyoshi Hagiwara in a Jay Privman news story. "It looks like it is getting better and I think there is no problem with him running in the race. We still have time, so we will give him the best care we can."
On Friday, a Jay Privman story noted that Epicharis was fitted with a glue-on horseshoe and that he would not go to the track but would walk at the barn.
Currently, Epicharis is ranked first in the Data Mining chart and I really liked his chances in this race. However, due to the events of the past couple of days his status is questionable and I’ll watch him closely leading up to the race.