Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

31 January 2011

Kentucky Derby Failure Five




Almost every racing website has a columnist or two that ranks the Derby hopefuls leading up to the event. This is our attempt to capitalize on the trend not by saying the ranked horses are the best of the group, but by saying they will somehow defect out of the Kentucky Derby or fall short of expectations.

1. Uncle Mo

The champion juvenile and winter book favorite for the big race. Pletcher is waiting until March to start this one in the Tampa Bay Derby, the last two year old champ to do that was War Pass. There are other parallels with War Pass and Uncle Mo as well, both completed the Champagne-Juvenile sweep and both seem to have the same career trajectory. War Pass was lightly raced at two with only four starts on his record and Uncle Mo went to post three times last year. More good news for Uncle Mo’s backers too, the last three Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winners did not make it to the Derby.

2. To Honor and Serve

The Remsen to Kentucky path has not been one of success since Thunder Gulch pulled off the trick in 1994. Old Fashioned, Rockport Harbor, and Buddy’s Saint went into their three year old campaigns as hot horses for the Derby only to be sidelined before the main event took place. The runner-up in the Remsen, Mucho Macho Man returned to service in the Holy Bull only to gets his doors blown off by Dialed In as well.

3. Boys At Tosconova

This horse was intended to make his debut this weekend in the Holy Bull, but that was called off because Dutrow did not like how his horse looked going into the race. Probably a wise move on the part of Dutrow, not a good sign for a three year old early in the season though. The pedigree on this one seems to be a bit of a wash, Officer is the sire which probably means that nine furlongs is his limit and Coronado’s Quest is on the dam’s side of the pedigree, which is a decent stamina influence. This horse is a question mark with four legs. Also of note on this horse:


At Horse Racing Nation they are advertising Uncle Mo merchandise on the page of Boys At Toscanova, not a lot of respect being doled out for this horse.

4. Dialed In

A Kentucky Derby prep season without Zito is something that doesn’t happen often. His whole stable is centered on having horses entered in the three year old classics and when that doesn’t happen his year is kind of shot. Had fun losing money on Ice Box in the Derby and Belmont last year? Well this is your chance to get more of the same punishment, this horse has the same type of running style as Ice Box and got a win earlier in the season at Gulfstream than Ice Box did. Andrew Beyer also penned that if this horse won the Holy Bull that it would make the prep season much more interesting. Beyer was right on something, that may be a sign of the apocalypse.

5. Tapizar

Not only included here to defeat all claims of having an east coast bias, but also because this is the first three year old in a long time that I think may turn into something special. Twice now he has outrun other stakes horses on final time, on November 27 his maiden victory was faster than the two mile and a sixteenth stakes races that took place and his win last out was faster than a stakes race for four year olds on the same day.

So you may be asking me why is he on a list filled with horses that you think may be flops and fizzle out of the picture for the Kentucky Derby? Because the last horse I had this type of notion on was Repent, he got injured after finishing second to War Emblem in the 2002 Illinois Derby and lost subsequent starts in the Travers and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

4 comments:

G. Calabrese said...

Thanks for the breakdown. Check out a horse named Inglorious- just go ahead and right down his name. 2011 derby winner- you heard it here first.

Andrew said...

Inglorious is a she.

Fun article but I find it hard to believe all five of the early favourites will fizzle.

Brian Appleton said...

Interesting list, very unique for sure!
I sincerely hope Uncle Mo can continue his domination of the division this year. I don't like how little he is being prepped up to the Derby, it would be nice to see him get some more foundation under his belt.

Gregory C. said...

2 down 3 to go.