I always toss front runners in the Derby, figuring they will never hold on with a hard pace & longer distances.....so established, quality horses like the Hard Spuns & Peace Rules of the world get tossed from my exotics (forget War Emblem, I drew a line through him in milliseconds) without a second thought........
So Hansen poses a problem, because Mrs. T-Bolt is getting tired of losing.....am I looking at Hard Spun or Balto Star?
You won't find any proof in the replays of hansen's races that he is going to collapse. He settles into a one paced gallop in the stretch and pretty much just keeps going. It sure looks like the field will swallow him in the Juvy, but they don't. His stride doesn't noticably shorten in the end, although in my mind he is a bit too eager on the backstretch. He rated in the Gotham behind some cheap speed, but I think he goes to the front in the Derby. My guess is that he is Hard Spun, that no one will soften him up for the first mile even as he sets a fast pace, and it will take a very good closer to get past him in the stretch as he gallops on the rail. Dismiss him from the top three at your own risk.
For what it's worth, here the link to Harp Spun's derby prep in 2007.
the race starts at the 2:20 mark. Hard Spun is eager but not crazy, and makes his move before the final turn. His last eighth was powerful. Hard Spun also had a sensational workout (57.3?) at Churchill before the derby. I'm too young for Balto Star.
Also, I think the key to the race is whether Bodemeister is Big Brown or Bellamy Road.
I think it depends on whether Triniberg runs. I read earlier on DRF that he's supposed to work tomorrow morning and then a final decision will be made as to whether to run him in the Derby or Derby Trial. I read yesterday that they were 85% to go the Derby Trial/Preakness route but we'll see. If he does indeed go in the Derby, I think he collapses the front end and I'm probably looking for someone at a minimum of 8-10 lengths off the lead. If he doesn't go, I could definitely see Hansen as a Hard Spun type.
Hard Spun took over the lead first time past the grandstand and he was allowed an uncontested lead through quick fractions of 22.96, 46.26, 1:11.13, and 1:37.04 while as many as 3 lengths clear of the rest of the field. 45-1 longshot Stormello stalked the pace for the first half mile before dropping out of contention, eventually finishing 19th. Down the backstretch, as Hard Spun continued to lead the pack, a tightly bunched pack formed behind him including 52-1 Teuflesberg, 59-1 Sedgefield, and 20-1 Cowtown Cat closest to the pace. Favorite Street Sense allowed the field to bunch up in front of him while jockey Calvin Borel angled him over to the rail for a ground-saving trip the whole distance. On the far turn, Hard Spun was 3 lengths clear of the pack and Street Sense was moving up along the rail. A narrow opening on the inside allowed Street Sense to squeeze through, and at the 3/16 pole, he went through the gap between Hard Spun and Sedgefield and powered past to get the lead. He drew off in the final furlong to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Hard Spun in a time of 2:02.17 over the fast track. It was a long 5 3/4 lengths back to late-running Curlin in third, who was 1/2 a length ahead of Imawildandcrazyguy in fourth. Scat Daddy stalked the pace for 6 furlongs then faded badly in the stretch, finishing 18th.
Trinniberg can't run with Hansen any more than his pappy, Teuflesberg, could run with Hard Spun.
Hansen is now the horse to beat -- insofar as you'll have to pass him to reach the wire first. In the Blue Grass, Hansen scorched the first half-mile going 11 lengths faster than the Derby's early pace par ...
and was still standing at the end. If he can slow it down a beat or two, he's a threat to take it to the house.
I disagree about Triniberg. If he runs and they don't attempt to rate him, he's your early leader. At the very worst, he's head bobbing with someone else on the front end for the opening 1/2 or 3/4, completely taking apart the front end flow of the race imo. This is a very talented sprinter who hopefully is kept doing what he does best - sprinting.
As far as the Blue Grass pace, keep in mind that synthetic, like turf, is an inherently faster surface than dirt. I'd be more comfortable using Hansen's dirt figs as a gauge for the typical Derby pace.
This message has been edited by Boozer_1 on Apr 19, 2012 5:38 PM
In my opinion for Hansen to go all the way only means alot of horses will have to run flat the day of the Derby for him to win. If he slows his pace down stalkers like Gemologist, Take Charge Indy,Alpha and I'll Have Another won't be that far behind before they make "that move". I imagine at least one of them will strike and keep on going. Finally I didn't even mention Bodemeister whose "crosshair" will be the closest of all unless he comes up completely flat ala Holy Bull. His best bet actually might be hoping that the track is playing like a speed highway and he runs them as far as he can go.
Starting to see a lot of comparisons of these two in various places, favorable and unfavorable to Bode. One thing that is substantially different, IMO, is the quality of the competition. I guess you never know until they run the 10f, but this year's group seems more accomplished than the 2008 lot. That makes it harder to win, in any case, but I wonder how it affects the pace scenario? BB was able to lay off the pace (or had to, given his post), but it's not like he had a lot of world class talent in front of him. Bode/Hansen and what they'll do is the most interesting scenario to figure out that I can remember--maybe since Silver Charm/Free House?
Not sure what this means, as usual.
This message has been edited by frangooch on Apr 19, 2012 6:43 PM
Synth, dirt -- it doesn't matter. Hansen is a bullet train.
Except for his maiden debut, Hansen has exceeded the Derby's early pace pars in every start of his career. It's extraordinary. And despite running like a scalded dog early, he's had enough stamina to finish 1st or 2nd every time. (So far anyway.) That's really extraordinary.
He clearly has to mete out his energy more efficiently to have a chance in the Derby. With Secret Circle gone, I don't see anyone capable (or willing) to push Hansen out of his comfort zone. Unless it's Hansen himself. He practically ran off in the Blue Grass.
This message has been edited by vagrant2 on Apr 19, 2012 6:50 PM
with SECRET CIRCLE out, there is no one to push HANSEN says Vagrant.
Well--BODEMEISTER pretty much sent SECRET CIRCLE back to the bush leagues last Saturday, pretty much running off from him like he was not even there. Gave one heck of a run vs.CREATIVE CAUSE also. DULLAHAN was very hard-used to get up late, and may struggle to produce that same form going an extra furlong on dirt. Not so sure that the Bluegrass form will be the measuring stick for winning this Derby, caveat being that HANSEN ran very well at CD last fall, to hold off UNION RAGS in the BC Juvy.
Should be a very interesting race next Saturday, where most of us will be very wrong, and a few will be extremely accurate and lucky.
If Trinniberg goes, he can run with Hansen and any of the front runners early. Whether it's for a half mile, 3/4 of a mile, or a full mile is the question, but he can run with any of these Derby horses early. His two wire jobs going 7f would make him fresh enough to cause some serious damage up front if not completely run off and force suicidal fractions for anyone going head to head.
The Hansen team seems pretty adamant that their horse is capable of rating. I think he more or less fell into a stalking trip against much, much weaker in the Gotham. He was wide and the turn came on the field real quick, so his hand was forced. I tend to think he's more comfortable on the lead rather than behind horses. If he was to get a clear lead with reasonable fractions I think that would be his best shot at taking them coast to coast. Any pressure and I think he's done approaching the far turn.
I'll be at Calder on Saturday morning and will try and get the inside scoop on Trinniberg. Trinniberg is one of my favourites - he came within 3/4 of a length of me going back to back in the Saratoga Classic - but no way does he get a mile and a quarter.On the subject of Hard Spun, Imawildandcrazyguy was a Calder horse and he finished 4th in 2007 so you never know in Derby week - even Ken Rudulph of TVG picked a Derby winner once.
"Starting to see a lot of comparisons of these two in various places, favorable and unfavorable to Bode. One thing that is substantially different, IMO, is the quality of the competition."
'Gooch, you sort of beat me to it. I've seen the comparisons too, and your opinion coincides with mine. This year's crop, while certainly not registering with big numbers on the Beyer scale, just seems overall to be a lot scrappier and a little more hickory than the crowd that Big Brown faced 4 years ago (4 years already? Ugh!)
I pulled up the 2008 Derby chart just to refresh my memory on who Big Brown faced in that race. Hindsight doesn't help us much in dealing with this year's bunch, but I thought I'd take a look at the horses coming out of that Derby for success afterwards. I just used pedigreequery.com, and I didn't look at everybody, so I might have missed somebody.
I counted 7 horses (out of the 20 that ran) to come out of that 2008 Derby to go on and win at least 1 GI race before they retired. Here they are in order of their Derby finish, and my apologies to anyone I missed:
Big Brown - Preakness and Haskell
Tale Of Ekati - Cigar Mile
Colonel John - Travers
Pyro - Forego
Visionaire - King's Bishop
Court Vision - Hollywood Derby, Shadwell, Gulfstream Park Turf, Woodbine Mile, and Breeders Cup Mile
Gayego - Ancient Title
The interesting thing to me with this is that 3 of the 7 horses won their post-Derby GI's in sprints, 1 was victorious in a one-turn mile, and another amassed FIVE GI wins all on turf! After Big Brown, that leaves Colonel John, who nosed his post-Derby GI in one of the weakest Travers fields ever assembled.
The point is that Big Brown faced nothing that could compare to him in talent racing at 9 furlongs or more over dirt. Dutrow was arrogant and brilliant in selecting the 20-hole for him because he knew that the Derby was at Big Brown's mercy if he didn't stumble out of the gate. He didn't, and the rest is history.
Hansen has proven himself to be the real deal, Dullahan's finish in the Bluegrass was a thing of beauty, Gemologist is undefeated and invoked his sire with his Wood Memorial win, and maybe the forgotten one is Union Rags. Take Charge Indy could be a little scary here, and if El Padrino gets in, he can't be completely overlooked.
Bodemeister faces a much deeper crowd than Big Brown faced. Comparison of the two is probably misguided.