With the plethora of horses that only seem comfortable on the early lead, I really would feel more comfortable with a closer. Say all you want about easy fractions, but to me most of this bunch wants to be at or close to the lead. When you have more than 5 horses with that propensity, killer fractions seem the likely outcome, especially with Conveyance in the field. Some of the pinheads will FORCE their horses to rate and the horses will not be comfortable with it, taking additional horses out of the race.
That leaves me wanting a stone cold closer. There are 2 choices, among this bunch. Awesome Act is the standout to me based upon a combination of the following
a) two year old foundation
b) Gotham turn of foot that has Kentucky Derby champ written all over it
c) Wood is excusable due to the shoe, the perfect setup for Esky (short field, soft fractions) and possible regression from strong Gotham
d) 3rd race off layoff, following a small excusable regression spells new top
e) Nice work yesterday
f) Too many horses wanting a part of the early pace
The other logical contender for me is Ice Box. I rate him a little lower than AA due to the six weeks, and frankly I don't know as much about him as AA. I do like the fact that he has raced 1 1/8 three times.
The only other horse I have a sneaking suspicioun about is MISSION IMPAZIBLE, but need more Derby week info before deciding.
Can't bet Esky too hard because of the following:
a) The outside possibility of Pletcher Juice with a history of Derby failure
b) Ridiculously short price
c) May have already run his best race this year
d) Has not had to look at any horse eye ball to eye ball when it matters.
e) This is a 20 horse Derby field. Why bet a 5/2? I would give 5/2 action that any particular horse gets thrashed coming out of the gate.
(I fully recognize that if he runs back to either of his two races this year, he probably wins by 5 lengths.)
As for SC, even my love of Candy Ride is not enough to break another of my Derby rules. A poly horse with no dirt race in the Derby, especially at less than 10-1 is a toss.
LUCKY just has not progressed enough to eat short odds.
hey Jason--don't forget that AWESOME ACT is owned by Flaxman(Niarchos--my friend arranged the pedigree) and trained by Noseda. These are Europeans who want the Derby win and aren't that concerned about the Wood or lesser stakes.
These people are very capable and win major races world-wide. They have a top rider with extensive CD experience.
Seems the colt took to the track(any comments on his 6f work?). All of the pieces seem to be in place IF the runner is good enough and gets a good/lucky draw and trip.
Plus I have a $200 future on him.
This message has been edited by spiderjohn on Apr 22, 2010 2:18 PM
SJ, glad you are down on a futures bet for him. The main thing that makes me nervous is that I have the exact same feeling for this guy that I did for TEN MOST WANTED, and that one had no luck at all in the Derby before exploding in the Belmont for a solid second and having a great summer.
Very solid analysis Jason. AA is one I am considering, i'm a little biased because his sire came through for me more than once, most notably in the Classic. You make a persuasive case for him. What do you think he'll go off at?
As far as Pletcher goes I've had the same concerns but somebody (Crist, I think) just had a column or blog that showed that his derby horses had run at or slightly ahead of heir post time odds, so maybe that's not such a negative.
If Esky does go at 5-2 (I think he'll be shorter than that), I probably will go ahead and bet him. I have to keep remembering racing precept #1- The race goes to the swift (providing they aren't distance challenged).
I thought he was poised to give Eskendereya an argument in the Wood before he came up empty. Was it the shoe, or the pace or an eyewash race on a fluky inner track or none or all of the above. As of now I see him as a solid "B" on pick three/four tickets and a must use in the underneath spots.
Great analysis Jason. AA definitely deserves a look imo with what appears to be a nice setup in front of him and coming off an excuse in the Wood. Not sure if he can beat Esky, but a nice backup horse at hopefully a fair price. I'm thinking about playing a couple of one way exactas with ESKY and AA and then some triples with AA in both the 2 and 3 holes with a spread in the remaining hole.
One thing about the short price on Esky. As out there as it may sound, he arguably offers the most value in the win pool. I'm going off the assumption that he'll be 2/1 and maybe 5/2 at the highest. Being that his last 2 races are faster than what anyone else has ever run, I'd say it's fair to put him at 50% to win all things being equal (as equal as they can be in the Kentucky Derby.) 50% to win = even money. 2/1 to 5/2 would equal a 100% - 150% overlay. I'm not sure there's another horse in the race that you can say that about. See what happens when it's 70 and I'm daydreaming about the Giants trading up tonight to grab CJ Spiller? Nuttiness.
Again, great read Jason and best of luck with him. Great job Spider on that future as well.
3rd off the lay makes him a player to be considered as well. The thing I try to keep in mind more than anything else is that this is The Kentucky Derby. Not a regional final, but the Grandaddy Of Them All. This is more about fortitude than talent(a pre-requesite nonetheless). So many things can go wrong and very few things go right, which is why I like my horse to have dealt with some adversity prior to the first SAT in May. T-9 People.
"what kind of adversity has Sidney encountered to date? Seems like he's in for about all the adversity he can handle."
That kind of thinking killed me with Smarty, Barbaro and Big Brown. I told myself that they'd never had a straw in their paths in their prep races, and surely the bumper-car nature of the Derby would be their undoing. Sometimes the really good, athletic horses are just able to avoid/overcome trouble because of their superior athleticism. It's worth noting that Sidney stumbled badly at the start of the Santa Anita Derby but then recovered in a split second.
I hear you. But tell that to first-time-on-dirters Gayego, American Lion, Papa Clem, Lion of David, Lookin' at Lucky, etc., all of whom won graded stakes the first time they tried the real stuff. To my eye, Sidney looks more like a natural dirter than any of them.
Lance I hear you too. But I don't see any Ky Derby winners on that list!
Gayego, Papa Clem- couldn't repeat- though the surface cannot necessarily be to blame. What about Pioneerofthenile Col John, Mr. Hot Stuff and any other prominent CA runners of late? They also failed to get the roses. Again, I think Sidney's a legit horse-unlike G'bob's statement- but agree he's 'fraudulent' to contend for the win here. I've been wrong before- I'll be wrong again, but have confidently tossed short-odds in past Derbies. I live with my decisions- you have to live with yours. AND I'll even add that I used Pioneer last year- and WILL use LaL this year- but Sadler is not Baffert- and keep in mind esp w/the speed and chaos- this IS Talamo's virgin voyage. Simply too many question marks for me with SC at 5/1 ish? Triple that price and I have a different take. Quadruple that and I still put him underneath Eske.
How does SC keep taking over every other thread? There are two SC thread, and a LAL thread about SC, now a AA thead about SC. This horse has to win, he's everywhere....
Here are the numbers I have for the Candy Ride's who have run on pro-ride and dirt.
Horse - dirt top / pro-ride top Chocolate Candy - 86/100 Evita Argentina - 90/89 Indy Ride - 74/74 Misremembered - 102/102 Spaniard - 75/81 Wynning Ride 85/73
I'd say about even on beyers, the overall data a big drop, but Candy Ride is in CA, so the are getting a lot more starts on pro-ride. If you're expecting a big beyer jump on dirt, I don't think it's going to happen, he's also going to lose ground which hasn't been doing....
As I stated all along, Sindney's Candy is without question the X-Factor in this year's Kentucky Derby. My pick to click is Lookin At Lucky, but I'll be damned if I ignore a talented horse like SC because of his lack of racing on dirt or because he was quicker & faster than his comp in the preps.
It's funny how we wanna be selective for argumentative expedience. In all my years of handicapping grass races, the first thing I've always done with a first time grasser is ask, "Are they bred for it". However it appears that I'm supposed to not apply the same principle with SC in his transition from synths to dirt.
Well it's like this ya'll. Candy Ride I believe is the track record holder at 10F, which I believe is the distance of The Big One, at Del Mar, so I think it's alright to say that SC might be bred for the dirt. Wait, his dam's sire is Storm Cat. I think it's OK to say Storm Cat progeny liked the main. He's fast and rateable and I'm using him. As a matter of fact he'll be the reason why Eskendereya WILL NOT WIN THE KENTUCKY DERBY.
You heard it here first folks. And Dudley, you of all people know the CroixBoy, aka De Desperado from Santa Cruz. When all of the Empire Maker Haters joined the Funny Cide bandwagon leading up to 2003 Belmont, you know who called you out on a daily basis big guy. Yes Bucho, it was me Manuel, El Mariachi telling you, big brother Cesar that I got the requisite fortitude. It's on with you and my main man BluntBobby.
The hating of Sidney's Candy will be confronted head on. LAL-SC exacta box is the first bet. The defense rests. For Now.
This message has been edited by CroixBoy on Apr 22, 2010 4:48 PM
What about Pioneerofthenile Col John, Mr. Hot Stuff and any other prominent CA runners of late?
Well, if Mine That Bird doesnt freak, Pioneer wears the roses. Col John reportedly took a bad step in the Derby; he came back to win the Travers in his next dirt try. Mr. Hot Stuff was never much to begin with. My point was simply that the first-time-poly-to-dirt angle actually seems rather strong with improving 3-year-olds in the springtime. That said, I totally hear you about trying to eliminate shorter-priced horses. We all have to take our stands somewhere. Me, I think Sidneys Candy is a special horse, but Im wrong more times than Im right. Just ask my wife.
I really like Awesome Act. In a field full of ugly pace lines, Awesome Act's Gotham stands out as a rare example of a Derby contender who has run fast early AND late. I know he beat nothing and it was only 1 1/16 on the inner at Aqu, but he's the only horse I've seen who's made the classic Derby run -- big middle move + stout finish.
I'm going to see him work Monday. I hear he has a high knee action generally better suited to turf. But they said the same thing about Barbaro and Sakhee. Not that AA is comparable to that pair, but I would like to see how he gets over the dirt in high gear. If he looks OK to people who know what they're looking at, I'm all over him. He's got enough early zip to run midpack, covered up, and be among those who take first aim at the frontrunners.
No comparison Cesar. BB ran against a bunch of dog 3YO's whereas SC is confronted with talented competition all the way around. My point is you called SC a need-the-lead type and BB appeared to be that going into the Big One and that freak rated from the 20-hole and won going away. Just keeping you Illini type in Crucian-check. Capiche, Bucho?
C'mon de Desperado, tell me you're not saying this group is better than the crew Brownski ran against? If anything, it's almost exactly par, maybe a little worse.
Esky lays over this field just like Big Brown did. There aren't any fast horses in this race (going off of speed figures alone). Three horses have shown the ability to crack the 100 BSF - Sidney, Esky, and Endorsement.
Jason, it's not even close how much better this crop of 3YO's are compared to 2008. Need I remind you a filly, the late Eight Belles, was a clear second behind a runaway BB. I believe we have 6 quality horses in this year's Big One. Our problem, unlike pre-2007, is the synthetic angle has creates so many unknowns. I mean Da' Tara won the 2008 Belmont and I don't believe he ever won another race. No Doubt, this crop is a better bunch going in. The namesake of this thread, Awesome Act, could be all that for all we know. And do we really know how Endorsement might progress? Time will tell.
This message has been edited by CroixBoy on Apr 22, 2010 6:06 PM
We can agree to disagree here then...Looking at what those horses did after the derby I just can't completely discredit the field BB ran against. Gayego went on to win a G1 sprinting, Cowboy Cal won some graded stakes in SoCal, Bob Black Jack won a few stakes sprinting, Smooth Air was G1 placed (maybe won a graded stakes also), Colonel John won the Travers, Visionare won a sprint stakes, and Cool Coal Man has posted some decent speed figures here and there. They weren't all slugs!
I wouldn't use Eight Belles as leverage to how bad the field was, it's very possible that she was just that good - too bad we never got to see. Who knows, a filly could quite possibly run second in Devil May Care this year!
This message has been edited by JMAN667 on Apr 22, 2010 6:39 PM This message has been edited by JMAN667 on Apr 22, 2010 6:38 PM
Lance & Shoes- I personally think the early line of 12-1 is fair but I truly expect 15-1 or better. If we get it, I am playing him with both fists with small hedges on Esky.
Mike- Esky is so appealing here on a past performance level. 5/2 seems right, 2-1 would not surprise me but 9/5 or less would be surprising in a 20 horse field.
Elk- the intrigue of SC should bleed over to the tote board. Just the way thedebate rages here makes me think he will have big support. 6-1 does not seem out of the question. Then there is the broad appeal of Lucky both because of Baffert and his name, which has great Derby appeal. These three horses should be overbet leaving juicy overlays if you like anyone else.
Vagrant- please post your observations regarding the workout. I would love to hear what you think.
Greg- I knew you were high on AA. I am slightly concerned that he cannot handle both of us on his shoulders
It's no secret that this is my Goocher pick, when I had the #1 overall selection this year.
I'm afraid that he has not been allowed to mature just yet, but has shown ability in his 3 year old campaign. He was strangled in the Wood, so he was not acting relaxed at all, and strikes me as the type that may not be able to handle the heat of the big show.
Something about losing a shoe at the gate, and still running on pretty strong (though green) in the Wood makes me feel good about his "puncher's chance".
Personally, I think any runner from the Wood needs to be on your exotics.
Not to be argumentitively expedient but as always there are two distinctly different questions. It's one thing to believe that a horse you like might improve over a new surface, prove to be suited to a faster contentious pace and suddenly turn into a closer when previously only a frontrunner. The second thing is of course do you want to bet on all those things occurring. As Dudley said if he was three times the likely price, perhaps and five times, definitely. But not as one of the choices.
But I agree with Reggie's terse assessment. No reason for me to think he needs to be considered in the first four.
Clearly you like my English Bobby, so I do possess at least one redeeming quality. Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if Sidney's Candy folded up like a cheap suit and finishes up the track. It's happened to many a contender in the history of this prestigious event. I just happen to think that he will take to the dirt and that he can rate comfortably behind the confirmed frontrunners, i.e. Rule, Line of David and Conveyance. If American Lion can go from synth to dirt and earn his ticket into the Big One, then Sidney's Candy, he who can gimme an 1/8 of a mile in 11 and chnge at any juncture in the race, can go from synth to dirt and be competitive enough to win the Big One.
As for that blunt talk of 20 years ago, my name is Bennett and I ain't in it.
AWESOME ACT: For months now, I've wondered aloud in this space if this guy really was a true classics-distance horse. Turns out, I have company. Good company. Read this: "The other question-mark -- and it will only be answered on May 1 -- is if he is capable of staying a mile and a quarter. He could just be an ideal American one-turn dirt miler." That's from the "other" Jeremy, trainer Jeremy Noseda, and published directly on his own Web site, not a flippant comment to a reporter. When have you ever heard a trainer in the U.S. say something so specifically and potentially limiting about their Derby hopeful? Noseda didn't just say "maybe a sprinter," "maybe a turf horse," he said a "ONE-TURN DIRT MILER." You don't throw that specific of a statement out there willy-nilly, off the top of your head, without it being somewhere in the back of your mind as to what you really think the horse is. If it's OK for Jeremy Noseda to think it a real possibility, it's more than OK for this Jeremy to keep his wallet closed on the first Saturday in May for AWESOME ACT.
I see AA at about 10-1 or maybe less, depending on the late buzz and steam.
I latched on to this one for a future based on his late run in his shorter prep two back. I thought that he finished strongly and enthusiastically, with obviously more in the tank. The look of a horse that was moving forward, with the connections and pedigree to move forward.
Then came the Wood. Not the best trip, and supposedly a lost shoe. Still---I was not impressed with his finish into the slower pace, and was seriously bummed that he did not pass JACKSON BEND while under mild urging. This concern was magnified by trainer Noseda's statement rating AA as possibly a better miler. If so--this might explain his lackluster finish in the Wood, and would pretty much eliminate him from consideration at 10 furlongs.
Still--milers in Europe oftern stretch out longer over here on the flat, speed-inducing surfaces as opposed to the up/down turf courses usually full of give.
To these high-end connections, the Wood means very little in the big picture. A tune-up for a month later would not be a surprise, and I wait to get the opinions from the horsemen on-site as far as appearance, demeanor and taking to the surface.
I like him less than I did a month ago, but he is my only future. So--no real need to play him on top since I am covered there.
I made a great score in the pik 3 last year by using the ALL button in the Derby to end the play, and surviving the first two legs. 20 runners means a good payoff regardless of the earlier races. Will probably try that angle again, and MAYBE with a couple of mid-priced Oaks runners IF the Friday feature is not an obvious chalk.
Watched the Wood several more times last night, with stop action etc. I was again struck by how hard Julian seemed to be restraining him down the backstretch, that could not have helped. Maybe the horse wanted to go faster early without the shoe to get it over with (just kidding). That pace was as dawdling as The Santa Anita which could not have been in his favor especially the way Julian was riding him.
SJ- I am a bit puzzled by the comments the connections made regarding being a miler. I hope that is some sort of gamesmanship. Seems silly to run him if they truly think he is a miler.
Shoes- I too watched the Wood replay several times and was a bit disappointed Julian did not let him run. If he was truly bothered by the shoe then he ran a nice race. If not, it was a below average if not even performance by a horse that sensed he was at most second best.
Still, something about the explosive Gotham move makes me think with the right trip, this one will get it done.
William Pietschman (Login bpiets) UpInClass Member
Re: Awesome Act
April 27 2010, 10:22 AM
...Howdy...with so many of the top notch contenders out this will allow many a trainer will be wanting to really push thier 'nag''S' to 'force' an all out 'try'...lol..so this means PLETCHER will have even more advantage in this race....lol....
Funny. Last night --this was before reading Noseda's comments this morning -- I watched a replay of the Gotham, and I came away from the race thinking this horse is a top-class miler. His turn of foot is impressive, but he doesn't look to me like a horse with a long, sustained run in him.
ACting as if i just got in at the "quarter pole" i just don't see it on Awesome Act. Yes i have heard him touted since the Breeders cup and yes Jeremy Noseda is a sharp trainer who pulled off that Juvy Bcup winner a few years ago, but........
I see the gotham as the lone standout race on this horse's resume. He has a lot of turf experience at sprint distances. The Gotham, boasts such august winners as Romano Gucci. Alright i skipped over Easy Goer and SEcretariat just for a laugh, but really, it is not the strongest prep, its a mile and 1/16th and this years cast does not include a single other Kentucky Derby entrant. Shrimp Dancer, Peppis KNows etc.
So what is it about Awesome that makes you oooh and ahhhh about this horse? I just don't see it. he has nice breeding, has the right running style but i don't see any awesome bursts of speed in his past perfs. the most he has come from off the pace is to catch up 5 lengths.
Dam - I've been on the band waggon since before the BC, but with only two preps the non-effort last time is a little unsettling. I love the breeding and he does have a quick burst. He may have to make 2 moves like the one in the gotham and then sustain a good clip. I don't know if he can do that, Wood should have been the place to see, but all we got was cinderella in a choke hold.
Wish they would have gotten a race into him before shipping, or gotten a clean trip in the wood. Not sure he's gotten enough out of those 2 races to be able to pull off a win. Probably still my top choice by defalt, but if he's going to be 6 or 8-1 I'm going to have to start really looking for plan B.
"all we got was cinderella in a choke hold" now that is very funny!!!
Thanks for the insight. I am afraid to leave him off my exotics but based on the lack of evidence from the Wood i will not have him in the top slot. I have seen too many Euroshippers to the west coast that were "can't miss" horses destined for greatness that just never made the transition. I am starting to think this might be one.