Inaugural Graded Weekend

This weekend marks the first graded races for 2-year-old colts of the season.  The Bashford Manor (G3) kicks things off at Churchill Downs on Saturday followed by The Futurity (G2) at Belmont on Sunday.  Entry into the Kentucky Derby is based on graded earnings, and both storied races have produced multiple Derby entries and winners.

The Bashford Manor offers the most intriguing field with 11 entries opposed to just 6 in the Futurity (note: Tarpy’s Goal is entered in both and will run in the Futurity). 

Good luck handicapping as the colts are basically babies and rapidly maturing.  Check out entries, PPs, video and articles on the upcoming page here

Notable Performer & Week In Review: 6/20- 6/26

This week’s notable performer has some similar traits to the ever-popular Barbaro.  Also, check back often this week for updated info on the upcoming graded 2-year-old stakes at Churchill and Belmont, which offer the first chances for 2012 Kentucky Derby earnings.

6/25/11 Calder Race Course Maiden Special Weight: chart / video / Beyer: 77 / BRIS: 95
Trainer: Martin D. Wolfson
Jockey: Luis Saez

Boltzapper was mentioned two weeks ago in a maiden special weight in which he was heavily favored yet beaten by CTD Notable Performer Hello Prince in what turned out to be the fastest 4.5 furlong time of the Calder meet. Stretching out (if you can call it that) to 5.5 furlongs, Boltzapper was able to catch up to his buzz last Saturday.  He handled his second test with authority in a 7-length victory in which he was mildly pressed.  Due to timing he’ll bypass this weekend’s Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes at Calder, but look for him to be pointed to a stakes in the near future.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Boltzapper’s sire, Holy Ground, is that he is a half-brother to popular Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.  They not only share the same dam, but along the sire line share the same great grandsire Hail To Reason.  Boltzapper’s interestingly named dam J Lo On The Go, is by Swedaus who excelled at distances under a mile.

2YO Stakes Results:
6/25/11- Minstrel Stakes- Louisiana Downs- Winner: Worthington chart
6/26/11- Mountain Top Futurity (New Mexico Bred)- Ruidoso- My Homey chart

2YO Stakes Entries:
7/2/11 Bashford Manor S.(G3)- Churchill Downs- entries, PPs, articles, picks here
7/2/11 Frank Gomez Memorial S.- Calder- (Includes CTD NP Hello Prince)- entries
7/2/11 Totah Stakes (Restricted)- Sunray Park- entries
7/3/11 The Futurity (G2)- Belmont Park: entries, PPs, articles, picks (coming soon) here

6/25/11 Hello Prince CRC- 5F- 1.01:80- B- 2/22
6/26/11 Scorpion Warrior HOL- 5F-
59:60- H-
6/26/11 Tarpy's Goal CD- 5F- 1.00:80- B- 2/21 (Sloppy)
6/26/11 Exfactor CD- 4F- 48:80- B- 4/27 (Sloppy)
6/27/11 Sum of the Parts CD- 5F- 1.00:60- B- 6/37

2YO Speed Figures*:
Top winning 2yo BRIS figs last week: Boltzapper-95; Gal Has to Like It-92; Black Rhino-89; Singing My Way-85; Threefiftysevenmag-85

Winning 2yo Beyers last week: Boltzapper-77; Gal Has to Like It-63; Black Rhino-74; Singing My Way-54; Threefiftysevenmag-65

*Source: DerbyContenders Twitter

Notable Performances & Week In Review: 6/13- 6/19

A new 2-year-old Beyer top, Baffert’s first juvenile winner, and another Churchill maiden breaker make this week’s Notable Performers:

6/16/11 Lone Star Park Maiden Special Weight (S): chart / video / Beyer: 96 / BRIS: N/A
Trainer: W. Bret Calhoun
Jockey: M. Clifton Berry

Bret Calhoun had quite a day on Thursday with seven straight winners at Lone Star.  Most notable was Canigotoo who won his debut by over 12 lengths and scored the highest Beyer speed rating of any 2-year-old this year.  Calhoun suggested the new Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint is on the radar, which is a little surprising considering that negates the more lucrative graded Breeders Cup Juvenile.  He may well prove to have distance limitations, but his pedigree does show some positives and it’s awfully early to limit his potential.

A son of Menhal, an unglamorous runner who only mustered a 6 furlong maiden win in five career starts, you have to look further back to see potential.  Menhal is a son of the ultra successful stallion Danzig, who was responsible for winners in the Preakness, Belmont, and multiple Breeders Cup winners.  On the dam side, Canigotoo is out of Bella Selene, a seven-time winner in an unbelievable 72 starts. She is a half sister to Captain Bodgit who won the Florida Derby and Wood Memorial and finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby and 3rd in the Preakness.  The dam sire Fight Over was an also-ran in the 1984 Kentucky Derby and 3rd in the Preakness.

Night Tide
6/19/11 Hollywood Park Maiden Special Weight: chart / video / Beyer: 75 / BRIS: 102
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Martin Garcia

Bob Baffert alluded earlier in the month to having some nice 2-year-olds in the barn.  He was anxious to unleash them and the time finally came last Sunday with Night Tide.  As the heavy favorite he sat just off the pacesetter in the early stages, which is somewhat unusual compared to our recent short distance Notable Performers.  Into the final turn he was still a ways from the leader A Toe by Three but with urging from Martin Garcia was able hit the wire a half-length ahead.  His final time for the 4 1/2 furlongs was less than a second off the track record.  Baffert was pleased with his performance and said the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (G3) would be next which could pit him against Notable Performer Majestic City.

A $150,000 yearling purchase, Night Tide’s breeding is top notch.  Malibu Moon only won a maiden race, but has proven to be AP Indy’s leading son in producing stakes winners.  His runners have succeeded at many distances, including the 10-furlong Derby distance.  Night Tide is out of Yo Ali who was also only a maiden winner.  Quiet American is the dam sire whose illustrious career in the breeding shed includes producing Kentucky Derby winner Real Quiet among other champions and stakes winners.

Article: Night Tide moving up to stakes [bottom of article] (DRF)

Brown Eyed Jozi
6/18/11 Churchill Downs Maiden Winner: chart / video / Beyer: 77 / BRIS: 100
Trainer: Cecil Borel
Jockey: Calvin Borel

In his second start, Brown Eyed Jozi was able to put it all together and beat an impressive field by over 8 lengths.  The track was listed as sloppy and Calvin Borel was able to get the colt out quickly and stay on the conveyor belt.  Heavily favored Whinston, a $625,000 2-year-old in training purchase from the Stonestreet Stables operation, loomed at the top of the stretch but showed no desire to duel.  Considering his connections and breeding he’s still one to keep an eye on, and may improve on a dry track.  

Johannesburg, Breeders Cup Juvenile champion and Kentucky Derby runner, sired the winner.  Brown Eyed Jozi’s dam, Brown Eyed Beauty is a stakes winner but only at sprint distances.  Her sire Miswaki, was a successful sire and broodmare sire of many versatile runners.

2YO Stakes Results:
6/18/11- Victoria Stakes- Lone Star Park- Winner: Banner Bill chart

6/20/11 Tarpy’s Goal: CD- 4F- 49:20- B- 23/78
6/20/11 Sum of the Parts: CD- 5F- 1.01:00- B- 8/39
6/21/11 Scorpion Warrior: HOL- 5F- 1.01:80- H- 10/12

2YO Speed Figures*:
Top winning 2yo BRIS figs last week: Night Tide - 102; Brown Eyed Jozi - 100; Pryce's Posse - 97; Darker Moon - 96; Banner Bill - 93.

Winning 2yo Beyers last week: Night Tide - 75; Brown Eyed Jozi - 77; Pryce's Posse - 70; Darker Moon - 65; Banner Bill - 70.

*Source: DerbyContenders Twitter

Notable Performances & Week In Review: 6/6- 6/12

This week’s Notable Performers are not an overly flashy group as far as breeding and connections, but proved themselves with quick sprint wins.  They also held off promising challengers that we may be hearing about further on down the road….

Hello Prince
6/11/11 Calder Maiden Special Weight: chart / video / Beyer: 82 / BRIS: 101
Trainer: Daniel Pita
Jockey: Jesus Rios

Hello Prince ran the fastest 4.5 furlongs of any 2-year-old at Calder this spring.  He led at every call and was able to fend off heavily favored Boltzapper.  He could possibly show up in three weeks at the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes at Calder.

Hello Prince is sired by the now deceased Halo’s Image, a multiple G3 winner who also finished 3rd in the Florida Derby (G1) behind the great Holy Bull.  He sired multiple graded winners, including Southern Image who won the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) at 1 1/4 miles along with the Pimlico Special (G1).  Out of a non-winning mare, Hello Prince’s dam sire Doneraile Court also participated on the Derby Trail by winning the Nashua (G3), finishing 2nd in the Holy Bull (G3), and 3rd in the Tampa Bay Derby.

6/9/11 Churchill Downs Maiden Winner: chart / video / Beyer: 79 / BRIS: 96
Trainer: Bernie Flint
Jockey: Calvin Borel

As has been the case with these short distance maidens, the winner Exfactor took the field in gate-to-wire fashion.  3rd place finisher Dullahan is a half brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby upset winner Mine That Bird. Although Dullahan was 8.5 lengths behind the winner, he is worth keeping an eye on given he was very green and never switched leads. Take nothing away from the winner however, as he improved in his second race dramatically under Calvin Borel.

Exfactor is a son of Exchange Rate, who was a Kentucky Derby entry, won the Risen Star Stakes, and placed in the Best Pal (G3) and Hollywood Juvenile (G3).  His most notable victory came in the 7-furlong Tom Fool (G2) as a 4-year-old.  Exfactor is out of a stakes winning mare by the versatile stallion Prized.

Article: “In The News” (Three Chimneys)

2YO Stakes Results:
6/11/11- TTA Sales Futurity- Lone Star Park- Winner: Lil Cherokee chart
6/11/11- Lost in the Fog S.- Golden Gate Park- Winner: City Route (Filly) chart
6/12/11- Willard Proctor Memorial- Hollywood Park- Winner: Majestic City (CTD NP) more info

6/9/11: Stark Ravin Mad: AP- 3F- 35:00- B- 1/25
6/13/11: Sum of the Parts: CD- 4F- 47:40- B- 1/54

2YO Speed Figures*:
Top winning 2yo BRIS figs last week: Hogy-104; Hello Prince- 101; Galex-101; Sherman Bartlebort-99; A Toast to You-98; Exfactor-96.

Winning 2yo Beyers last week: Hogy-72; Hello Prince-82; Galex-74; Sherman Bartlebort-69; A Toast to You-79; Exfactor-79

*Source: DerbyContenders Twitter

Walk in the park for Majestic City in Willard Proctor Memorial

Confidence was so high for two-year old and inaugural "Notable Performer" Majestic City that one bridge jumper placed $70,000 on him to show in Sunday’s Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes at Hollywood.  His jockey David Flores even admitted, “the field was very weak”.  He was right, as the competition included two first-time starters and a maiden also-ran.  After a few bumps out of the gate, Majestic City set the pace and cruised to a 3 1/2 length victory.  One would assume the Hollywood Juvenile (G3) on July 17 is up next as long as he comes out of Sunday's race in good shape.

Chart / Video


Notable Performances & Week In Review: 5/30 - 6/5

6/3/11 Belmont Park Maiden Winner: chart / video / Beyer: 79 / BRIS: 98
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano

It didn’t take long for a juvenile trained by Todd Pletcher to make the notable list.  Algorithms has all the markings of an exciting stakes prospect.  Andy Serling, NYRA’s TV analyst and handicapper, described his maiden win as “very professional”, and when watching the video you’ll probably agree.  Jockey Javier Castellano sat chilly as Algorithms was a neck off the pacesetter in the beginning stages of the short running.  A mere shake of the reins at the top of the stretch and it was all over as the colt extended his stride with very little further urging.  The overall time was a sharp 57.55.

A stretch out in distance should only help.  A son of the brilliant Preakness, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Bernardini, there is little doubt his connections are hoping for route races in the future.  Algorithms is also a half brother to 2006 Derby entrant Keyed Entry and recent Derby Trail participant Justin Phillip, though their best distances seem to be under a mile.  More info on their graded stakes placed dam and Bernardini can be found on Algorithms’s sales sheet here.  He was purchased at the Keeneland yearling sale last September for $170,000.

5/30/11 Scorpion Warrior: HOL- 4F- 47:20- H- 2/39
6/6/11 Majestic City: HOL- 4F- 47:80- H- 9/63
6/7/11 Sum Of The Parts: CD- 3F- 37:40- B- 7/15

2YO Speed Figures:
Top Winning 2yo Beyers last week: Algorithms - 79; God Willing - 76; De Shivers - 63; Lord Chelsie – 45

Top winning 2yo BRIS figs last week: Algorithms - 98; God Willing - 98; De Shivers - 90; Lord Chelsie - 89.

Source: DerbyContenders Twitter