Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nine Bullish Colts on the Derby Trail

The Holy Bull Stakes (G-3) has been run consecutively since 1993 for Kentucky Derby hopefuls. Two who succeeded in the Holy Bull/ Kentucky Derby double are Go For Gin (1994) and Barbaro(2006). Editor’s Note, second in the 1996 Holy Bull went on to win that year’s Belmont Stakes.
Gourmet Dinner - Photo: Coady
#1 GOURMET DINNER (Trippi - Potluck Dinner, Pentelicus) was the surprise winner of the Delta Jackpot (G-3) in November, but had no answer against an overpowering Comma To The Top in the Cash Call Futurity (G-1) Gourmet Dinner has speed top and bottom in his pedigree. Gourmet Dinner’s dam Potluck Dinner was unplaced in her only start, but has shined as a broodmare. All six of her foals to race are durable, sound winners. Her first foal, I’mroyalymecke’d, raced 55 times and was stakes placed. She also produced stakes winner Gaston A. Potluck Dinner is a half-sister to the sprint stakes winners Lady Gin and Sea Of Green. Another half-sister, Almost Aprom Queen, is the dam of 2010 Oak Leaf Stakes (G-1) winner Rigoletta. Gourmet Dinner has breezed strongly, including a recent bullet work over the Gulfstream surface.
Major Gain - Photo: Four Footed Fotos
#2 MAJOR GAIN (More Than Ready – Dream Lady, by Old Trieste) won the Arlington Washington Futurity, and was ½ a length third in a strong Santiva in the Kentucky Club Juvenile (G-2). Major Gain is the first foal from the graded stakes placed turf mare Dream Lady. He’s been working steadily at Gulfstream
#3 PRINTING PRESS (Tapit – Wonderstar, by Mountain Cat) won his debut by a neck and it was the last time that he’s visited the winner’s circle. He chased Black N Beauty around the Gulfstream oval in his 2011 debut, then had a strong work leading up to the Holy Bull. Printing Press’ dam is a full sister to the dam of San Raphael (G-3) winner El Gato Malo. The Pompay barn is 0-5 is in graded stakes competition.
#4 BLACK N BEAUTY (Devil His Due – Harbor Girl, by Boston Harbor) has won his last two races by a combined five lengths and takes on a stronger group here. He has a miler oriented pedigree and will likely be best up to 1 1/16 miles. His sire’s best known offspring is the multiple Grade 1 winner Roses in May. As a broodmare sire, Boston Harbor gets mainly sprinters, however, he is the damsire of West Virginia Derby (G-2) hero Concord Point who stretched his speed to 1 1/8 miles. Black N Beauty’s dam raced eight times and was successful once in a dirt sprint and she’s a half-sister to the multiple stakes winning turf mare Dynamite Lass. Second dam Lismore Lass was a stakes winner and a half-sister to the aforementioned Roses in May. Black N Beauty had an easy last work. The Romans barn gets 9% winner with horses making their second start in a route race.
#5 RIBO BOBO (Louis Quatorze – Private Prom Party, by Private Terms) was away last then widest of all on the last turn in the Pasco Stakes at Tampa. He has a stamina oriented dirt pedigree. Ribo Bobo’s sire has a handful of stakes winners, including Repent, Second of June and the FL Champion Three Year Old Filly, Bushfire. Ribo Bobo has a modest distaff family. His second dam was a listed stakes winner. Ribo Bobo had a nice work for this race, but the Azpurua barn is 0 for 14 in graded stakes contests this year.
#6 LEAVE OF ABSENCE (Harlan’s Holiday – Danseur Chaud, by Joyeux Danseur) is lightly raced and was a gaining second last time out in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream. His dam went 0 for six, but finished second once routing over the turf. She’s a half-sister to the Grade 2 winner Belle of Perintown. Leave of Absence has a couple of good breezes under his girth and should appreciate the extra distance. He has plenty of turf influences in his pedigree and may find a future on the turf if he shows nothing here.
Mucho Macho Man -Photo: Coglianese
#7 MUCHO MACHO MAN (Macho Uno – Ponche De Leona, by Ponche) was no match for To Honor And Serve in both of their meetings last year. Mucho Macho Man probably won’t want to go farther than 1 1/16 miles. His sire has a few winners at 1 1/8 miles, but produces mostly miler types. Mucho Macho Man’s dam and damsire are stakes winning sprinters. Mucho Macho Man has been working very strongly for his 2011 debut, but the Ritvo barn is 0 for 13 with shippers.
#8 SWEET DUCKY (Pulpit – Storm’s Darling, by Storm Boot) won consecutive stakes races over Monmouth’s speed-favoring surface last fall, but faltered in the 1 1/16 mile Delta Jackpot. Sweet Ducky’s dam was a multiple stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles and she’s a half-sister to a couple of stakes winning sprinters. Sweet Ducky will likely be at his best as a sprinter/miler. He’s recorded a string of lively works at Palm Meadows and his trainer Kelly Breen is on a roll at Gulfstream.
Dialed In - Photo: Reed Palmer
#9 DIALED IN (Mineshaft - Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat) stormed from last place to win a sprint race at Churchill Downs last year, which is rare for the progeny of Mineshaft. He may take after his more precocious female family as he’s a half-brother to Astoria Stakes (5F) winner Broadway Gold and turf stakes placed runner Mambo Meister. His dam was third in the Schuylerville Stakes (G-3) and Eliza, the second dam won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and was second in the Kentucky Oaks. Dialed In has blazed three consecutive bullet works for the hot Zito barn and he should be on his toes here.
How the track is playing: 36% of the pace pressers have won going a mile this meet, with front runners scoring 28% of the time. The track should be fast.
The Holy Bull sets up with a ton of speed, as five of the nine entrants are pace setter/presser types, a speed duel could develop, setting it up for the closers. BLACK N BEAUTY has improving BRIS speed figures, but he was basically unchallenged last time out. He won’t get an easy lead today and may decide to sit second or third. SWEET DUCKY does his best work on the lead and will likely gun for the front. He has a string of bullet works, indicating that he’s fit and sharp. MUCHO MACHO MAN has been running well against one of the top early contenders for the Derby and has the class to beat this group. LEAVE OF ABSENCE and DIALED IN are stalkers who both show good works and will come running at the end.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE - longshot pick