Shackled

There are few automatic bets in the Backstretch world. There are the Cats and Kittens, of course, and sometimes horses or trainers I’ve recently profiled, and often the longest price in a short field. But perhaps the most inviolable of these is the “If you pet the horse, bet the horse” maxim…which I ignored on…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Florida Derby

Gulfstream Park: The Grade I, $1 million Florida Derby at 1 1/8 miles #1 Soldat (9-5 ML): Enters off two powerful local wins at today’s distance, including a romp in the GII Fountain of Youth (FOY) where he answered both the class question and the one that said that he couldn’t put in a big…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Sunland Derby

Sunland Park: The Grade III, $800,000 Sunland Derby at 1 1/8 miles. The speedy SINAI took the blinkers off and showed little from a stalking position in the Grade II San Vicente behind The Factor, Sway Away and Premier Pegasus, so the hood goes back on today; he gets to stretch his legs for the first…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Vinery Spiral

For those who have been following/engaging in the conversation about how to fund Thoroughbred retirement, you might find interesting a comment left by Rick Violette, head of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, on Jessica’s Chapel’s site, where a similar conversation to the one here has been taking place. Today is Dubai World Cup day,…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Louisiana Derby

Fair Grounds: The Grade II, $1 Million Louisiana Derby at 1 1/8 miles #1 Nacho Business (10-1 ML): Solid second in his first route attempt and first start versus winners in a decent Gulfstream Park N1X, but while he does have room for improvement, that run isn’t scaring anyone in here. Drew well and has…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Rebel

Oaklawn Park: The Grade II, $300,000 Rebel at 1 1/16 miles #1 Archarcharch (ML unavailable): Upset winner of a rough renewal of the local GIII Southwest is back for more today and drew extremely well in this deep and competitive spot. Love his stalk-and-pounce style and he’s the lone entrant in here with a graded…

Derby Preps: Starts and Starters

Numbers. They’re only numbers. The variables are too many, the sample too idiosyncratic to be meaningful.  But for the heck of it, following Uncle Mo’s breeze on Saturday afternoon, the value of which I questioned, I went back and looked at a bunch of Derby winners and examined their roads to Louisville, just to see…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The San Felipe

Santa Anita: The Grade II, $250,000 San Felipe at 1 1/16 miles #1 Albergatti (6-1): Sped off to an extremely fast maiden win going 7F’s over the track last time in his second career start and now steps up to tackle winners, stakes foes and two turns all for the first time. Certainly bred to…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Tampa Bay Derby

Tampa Bay Downs: The Grade II, $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby at 1 1/6 miles #1 Striding Ahead (10-1 ML): Exits a resounding gate-to-wire maiden win over the track and distance, and that was also his first start of the year, so it looks like he’s really grown up since disappointing in his lone start last…