Week In Review & Notable Performers 11/29-12/5

The earlier-than-usual start to the Gulfstream meet started off with a bang, where buzz horse Discreet Dancer set a new track record and Ancient Rome captured the Spectacular Bid Stakes by a whisker// The American Graded Stakes Committee’s latest upgrade/downgrade decisions won’t have much impact on the Derby trail.  While the Hopeful at Saratoga was downgraded to G2 status, it still remains graded, which is all that matters in the earnings chase.  All other 2-year-old and 3-year old graded events held their grade with no new additions.  There is the complex matter of 2012 graded events for 2-year-olds losing their grade if any of the entries are allowed to run on medication on race days.  Whether that will actually be enforced remains to be seen// Although it’s extremely early, Calvin Borel seems to already be in a better spot on the Derby Trail than last year.  Instead of begging for a last minute mount, he may have to choose between three strong colts.  Timely Tally, Motor City, and Brown Eyed Jozi have all been impressive in the Fall// Glad to see Algorithms returning to a steady workout routine.  Of all the promising Pletcher juveniles, he possesses one of the better pedigrees for truly stretching out// The rich CashCall Futurity (G1) is the next scheduled graded contest, where Baffert could have as many as four starters.  His headliner, Secret Circle, will have to navigate around two turns for the first time in his career// Union Rags still takes favoritism in the latest Wynn Las Vegas Future Wager at 10-1.  Some enticing prices include Il Vilano (175-1), Algorithms (150-1), Brown Eyed Jozi (300-1), and Basmati (100-1).

Notable Performer:

Discreet Dancer
12/3/11 Gulfstream Maiden Special Weight
Jockey: Javier Castellano
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Chart: Equibase
Video: YouTube
Beyer/BRIS: 100/99
Articles: TTimes / Bloodhorse

Notes and Thoughts:

-Track record time of 1:02.34 in 5.5 furlongs

-Third juvenile colt to earn triple-digit Beyer in 2011

-As exciting and flashy as his debut was, his running style and immediate pedigree don’t shout Derby contender.

-Mile was best distance for sire Discreet Cat

-Half brother to Travelin Man, a winner at 7 furlongs

-Hard to judge competition in a maiden special, but 2nd place horse finished 6th in a maiden claiming last out and the others don’t appear promising

Ancient Rome

12/3/11 Gulfstream Park Spectacular Bid Stakes
Jockey: Joe Rocco
Trainer: Anthony Dutrow
Video: YouTube
Beyer/BRIS: 92/97
Articles: DRF / Brisnet

News and Thoughts:

-Good stalking tactic on backstretch and nice acceleration when in engaged by For Oby in the stretch

-$35K Keeneland yearling purchase, who didn’t meet his $62,000 reserve as a 2-year-old. Catalog page can be viewed here

-Son of Roman Ruler, a grade 1 winner at 9 furlongs and sire of Belmont winner Ruler On Ice

-Out of a stakes winning mare at 6 furlongs

-For Oby lost by just a whisker, but pedigree doesn’t suggest he should stretch out.

Non-Graded Stakes:
12/3/11 Spectacular Bid S.- GP- Winner: Ancient Rome (more above)
12/4/11 Damon Runyon S.- AQU- Winner: Swag Daddy chart
12/4/11 New Mexico Eddy County S.- ZIA- Winner: E Bar Way chart

11/26/11 Vexor- GOLDMARK- 48:40- B- 1/5
12/3/11 Twelve Hundred HAW- 5F- 1.03:40- B- 8/14
12/3/11 Prospective OTC- 5F- 1.01:60- B- 3/7
12/3/11 Secret Circle HOL- 6F- 1.12:40- H- 2/12
12/3/11 Shkspeare Shaliyah BEL- 4F- 54:07- B- 33/33
12/3/11 Burning Time CRC- 5F- 1.02:60- B- 9/23
12/3/11 Jack's in the Deck LRL- 4F- 48:60- H- 8/58
12/3/11 Alpha PMM- 3F- 39:04- B- 21/21
12/3/11 Thursby PMM- 3F- 36:98- B- 4/21
12/4/11 Brother Francis SA- 5F- 1.00:80- H- 37/87
12/4/11 Empire Way HOL-5F- 1.00:40- H- 9/46
12/4/11 Hierro SA- 4F- 51:00- H- 45/50
12/4/11 Algorithms PMM- 5F- 1.00:14- B- 1/19
12/5/11 Finale PMM- 4F- 48:72- B- 8/14
12/5/11 Casual Trick PMM- 4F- 47:00- B- 1/23
12/5/11 Sabercat FG- 5F- 1.01:80- B- 4/15
12/5/11 Rousing Sermon HOL- 6F- 1.13:00- H- 3/6
12/5/11 Night Tide SA- 3F- 37:60- H- 4/7
12/5/11 Stoney Fleece SA- 4F- 48:60- H- 13/31
12/5/11 Drill SA- 4F- 47:00- H- 9/51
12/5/11 Sweet Swap SA- 4F- 46:40- H- 2/51
12/5/11 So Brilliant SA- 5F- 1.00:80- H- 21/52
12/5/11 Seeker RP- 4F- 49:47- B- 3/9
12/6/11 Speightscity BEL- 4F- 49:54- B- 2/11

Wilkes has two to watch for (Bloodhorse Blog)
2-year-olds to watch 12/6 (In The Money Blog)


Speed Figures:
Winning 2yo BRIS: Discreet Dancer-99; Ancient Rome-97; Martini Madness-95; Atta Boy Pete-93; Politicallycorrect/Whistleblower-92

Winning 2yo Beyers last wk: Discreet Dancer-100; Ancient Rome-92; Martini Madness-78; Atta Boy Pete/Whistleblower-73; Politicallycorrect-79.

*Source: DerbyContenders Twitter