Monday, November 19, 2012

Hollywood Prevue a Baffert Brigade

The Hollywood Prevue Stakes (G-3) hasn't produced a legitimate Triple Crown contestant since 2003, when the aptly named Lion Heart out-performed his pedigree to place second in the Kentucky Derby. As to be expected, the winners of the seven furlong Prevue Stakes are sprinter/miler types.

This year, Bob Baffert will have a profitable Thanksgiving since he entered four of the five contestants. All four are coming off of maiden victories and all four have at one point beaten each other.

ShakinItUpReminiscent of his sire, Champion Sprinter Midnight Lute, SHAKIN IT UP (Midnight Lute - Silver Bullet Moon, by Vindication) likes to sit behind horses and unleash an explosive move in the stretch. Come to think of it, his second dam, Champion Silverbulletday used to do the same thing. Shakin It Up was beaten 1 ¼ lengths by Super Ninety Nine in his debut.

Breeders' CupSUPER NINETY NINE (Pulpit - Exogenetic, by Unbridled's Song) has the pedigree to become a nice middle distance horse. His half sister is a stakes winner in Washington State while their dam is a ¾ sister to the ill-fated Exogenous, heroine of the Beldame and Gazelle, and runner -up in the Alabama and CCA Oaks.

Z BIG APPLE (Malibu Moon - Stormy Monday, by Storm Cat) is a full brother to the stakes winning sprinter Pinkarella. CashCall Futurity (G-1) hero Liaison is descended from the same female family. Z Big Apple beat Really Mr Greely by 3 ½ lengths in their debut.

Rounding out the Prevue field is the aforementioned REALLY MR GREELY (Horse Greeley - Mattie Camp, by Forest Camp). There isn't much blacktype in the first two generations of his female family, however, his third dam is the grand-dam of HOY/Sire Ghostzapper and his half brother City Zip.

HEIRKITTYThe fifth contestant, trained by Peter Miller is the filly HEIR KITTY. She's the most experienced horse in the race and was second in the Best Pal Stakes (G-2) in her second start. The daughter of Wildcat Heir was off slow and never got involved in the Del Mar Debutante against Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies duo Executiveprivilege and Beholder.


Frontrunners have won four of the last ten editions of the Prevue Stakes, while the rest were divided evenly between pace-pressers/stalkers.

One of two scenarios can happen. Baffert won't want to cook his horses on the lead against each other, so whomever is fastest out of the gate may just slow the pace to a crawl and cruise on home.

However, HEIR KITTY will have to punch it from the one hole if she's to keep from being boxed in by the Baffert brigade. She could bring a speed duel to the two faster horses, REALLY MR. GREELEY or SUPER NINETY NINE. If the speed duel develops, SHAKIN IT UP'S late pace speed figures outclass the rest of the field. He can sit back and let the others sort it out up front and pass at will.

I'll go with the second scenario.




Friday, November 16, 2012



In the nine years that the Delta Jackpot (G-3) has been contested, only one winner, Big Drama, has gone on to a career as a Grade 1 winner. Only one horse that finished in the money has made an impact on the Triple Crown races. That was 2005 Kentucky Derby runner-up Closing Argument.
Traditionally, horses that ran in the Breeders' Cup haven't fared well in the Delta Jackpot. Only Z Humor, fifth in the BC Juvenile, has won the Jackpot. Last year, Drill was unplaced in the BC Juvenile and Delta Jackpot after finishing second in the Norfolk Stakes. In 2008, Skipadate was unplaced in both the BC Juvenile Turf and Jackpot. Colts from Florida have done very well in the Delta Jackpot. Big Drama and Gourmet Dinner both won the Jackpot after winning the In Reality Stakes and last year Decisive Moment was a runner up in the In Reality and Jackpot.
This year's Delta Jackpot field is loaded with stakes winners, including Breeders' Cup Sprint champ Hightail. As in previous years, the majority of the field is loaded with sprinter/miler pedigrees that will be challenged at classic distances.
HightailLeading the field is Breeders' Cup Sprint Champ HIGHTAIL. The Wayne Lukas trainee surprised in the Sprint with a nose victory to win his maiden race. The son of Mineshaft has the pedigree to improve with maturity. He's coming off of the highest speed figure of his career.
Bern_Identity_Sanford_StakesBERN IDENTITY won the Sanford Stakes (G-2), but like every other two year old this year, was no match for Shanghai Bobby when he tangled with that rival in the Hopeful (G-1). Bern Identity easily won the Jean Lafitte Stakes, the prep race for the Jackpot by three lengths over Mylute. Read more about Bern Identity.
Mylute photo steveQueenMYLUTE came from off of the pace and went five wide around the turn in the Jean Lafitte Stakes, he made up some ground, but wasn't going to catch Bern Identity. Mylute descends from a precocious female family. His half brother She Digs Me won the Sapling (G-3) and Tyro. Their dam and second dam are both stakes winners.
Know_More_Two colts ship in from California for trainer Doug O'Neil. KNOW MORE won his maiden in the Best Pal (G-2). He wound up in a speed duel in the Frontrunner Stakes and finished a distant second to Power Broker. Experimenting with turf for the first time in the BC Juvenile Turf, Know More was wide the whole way and wasn't in the same zip code as the winner.
GoldencentsKnow More's stablemate GOLDENCENTS wowed in his 7 ¼ length winning debut. Then he was tossed in against the monster known as Shanghai Bobby in the Champagne Stakes. Making his first start on dirt, shipping to a new track and adding 2 ½ furlongs, Goldencents did very well to place second, five lengths behind the winner.
itsmyluckydayITSMYLUCKYDAY is the Florida representative in the Jackpot field. He crushed them in his last two races by over nine lengths, including a paid workout in the Foolish Pleasure Stakes. Itsmyluckyday hails from the female family of Florida Derby winner Vicar.
CentralBankerCENTRAL BANKER beat Hightail by a head in a maiden race and then finished second in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes. Both contests were over the lawn. Trying dirt for the first time, the son of Speightstown demolished a group of Churchill allowance runners by five lengths. Central Banker's half brother Gantry is a Grade 2 wining sprinter. Their dam is a stakes winner over the lawn. She's a half sister to Arkansas Derby winner Private Emblem. This is the female family of Met Mile hero Dixie Brass.
HEAVEN'S RUNWAY showed some ability on Presque Isle Downs Tapeta when he speed dueled his way to a ½ length win in the Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial. Switching barns, the son of Run Away and Hide tired badly to finish over 10 lengths behind the winner in the Iroquois in his first try over dirt.
Rounding out the Jackpot field is SHOW SOME MAGIC. After winning his maiden at Saratoga, he's been totally outclassed in both the Hopeful Stakes, and most recently, he was embarrassed by over 15 lengths by Bern Identity in the Jean Lafitte Stakes.


Track bias: Since the Delta Jackpot was held over a resurfaced track in 2006, two one run closers and two pace pressers have won. One mid-pack runner and one pace setter have also won.
Bern Identity is the obvious pick. His easy win in the Jean Lafitte earned him the highest late pace speed figure of his career and the second highest in the field. The son of Bernstein worked a bullet over the Delta Downs dirt in his latest breeze for the Jackpot. His trainer Kelly Breen is 17% with next out winners.
Hightail owns the highest late pace speed figure in the field. Is the well-bred colt living up to his pedigree or was his win in the Juvie Sprint a fluke? Trainer Wayne Lukas is 3% with graded stakes winners, and 13% with last out winners.
Mylute has shown improving speed figures in every race. He has the same late kick that his sire Midnight Lute did and the extra distance could be to his benefit. His trainer Tom Amoss wins with 30% two year olds.
Goldencents is fast, but he'll have to clear the field and may get into a fight with Heaven's Runway or Itsmyluckyday. The later doesn't need the lead to win and Heaven's Runway needs to show greater improvement over dirt.
#1 BERN IDENTITY-             $3.00   $2.60  
#9 GOLDENCENTS  - $7.20  $3.60   $3.40

$2  EXACTA        $26.60
$2 TRIFECTA   $175.40