• Cupid (2-5) holds off Curlin Rules in the Harry F. Brubaker.Posted 7 hours ago
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  • Cracksman (Frankel) cruises to a big victory in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.Posted 18 hours ago
  • Diversify (1-2) rolls home a big winner in the Evan Shipman.Posted 2 days ago
  • Blackjackcat (8-1) holds off Vyjack to win the Del Mar Mile.Posted 3 days ago
  • Dak Attack (2-1) is an impressive winner of the Ellis Park Juvenile.Posted 3 days ago
  • Channel Maker (8-5) wins the photo and survives multiple objections to win the Breeders' Stakes.Posted 3 days ago
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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

HRN Original Blog:

2011 3 Yr Olds--Girls Rule; Boys Drool...Uncle Mo's the Man!

Well, what to make of the G1 Florida Derby.  Here are some interesting observations and insights:

1. Dialed In did close against a front-running bias that prevailed all day so he does deserve some credit for overcoming the disadvantage.

2. As if we needed any more evidence that the 3 year-old male division is one of the weakest in years, check out the final times of the 1 1/8 mile races run by the ladies on Saturday versus the boys in the Florida Derby on Sunday:

·       G3 Rampart         = 149.09

·       G2 Oaks               = 149.27

·       G1 Florida Derby = 150.07


And… the internal fractions of all three races were nearly identical.  I can hear Uncle Mo laughing in his stall.


3. Dialed In earned the following BRIS pace and speed ratings in the Florida Derby           

1st Call = 80;  2nd Call = 98; Late Pace = 99; Final Speed Rating = 101


As subscribers to our soon-to-be-released Kentucky Derby Super Screener will learn, Dialed In would be just a marginal win contender and a better bottom of exotics threat in the Derby off this effort.  However, once we take the entire Derby field through the Super Screener criteria, that evaluation could change.  Stay tuned.


4. Shackleford unexpectedly led the field throughout, in what was clearly his own, personal Kentucky Derby.  This was a top effort by a good horse.  However, I believe this will be his best race of the year, plus, he may not even get into the Derby field due to insufficient graded stakes earnings.

5. Soldat did not like getting dirt kicked in his face…hmmm, wonder how he’ll like the dirt at Churchill Downs on May 7th?

6. Connections of To Honor and Serve say they are heading to the Derby.  On what basis?...two fading 3rd place finishes?  Well, I am all for getting any horse in that can help ensure an honest early Derby pace.

7. Flashpoint—great sprinter.  Stay Thirsty—good workmate for Uncle Mo.

8. The Arkansas Derby may now prove to be the best of the remaining marquee preps.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the Florida Derby compared to other preps run thus far and see how we graded this race after the fact.

Gulfstream ParkG1 Florida Derby 1 1/8 miles


Beyer Speed Rating: 93 (Preliminary…will probably go to 96 as the final)

BRIS Pace/Final Pars:  First Call = 96; Second Call = 107; Final = 107

Actual Pace/Final:         First Call = 102; Second Call = 112;  Final = 100

Track Bias: Decidedly favoring front runners

Tough Trips: None

Impressive Effort: Dialed In

HRN Pre-Race Grade = A

HRN Post-Race Grade = A-

Notes: Pace was sizzling as expected but what was not expected is that Shackleford would lead the charge.  Really was hoping Dialed In would have won going away to confirm the A rating of this prep.  That and the fact the Oaks contenders ran faster the day before, we are dropping the HRN Quality Rating to an A-.

You have to see the amazing offer that DISH is offering to Horse Racing Nation fans.  Check out the ad on our home page.  Get 80 tracks in your living room, NOW!  It's like having your own simulcast center without ever leaving your house ! Incredible!!!  Don’t miss all the final Derby preps action.

Check back on Friday when we preview the biggest Derby prep weekend of the year!  Uncle Mo will go in the Wood and the Santa Anita Derby is coming up huge as well.  Don’t overlook the Illinois Derby which has tossed a few Derby winners in the past.  Coming soon, you’ll get your chance to order this year’s Kentucky Derby Super Screener only from your friends at Horse Racing Nation.




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Older Comments about 2011 3 Yr Olds--Girls Rule; Boys Drool...Uncle Mo's the Man!...

Since this writing, the case for Zazu as an option for the Derby gets even stronger.
Turbulent Descent is going to pointing to mid distance routes like the Acorn Stakes. Zazu would be an interesting candidate. Sure could get the distance. WIth Uncle Mo in the Derby, connections may not want to settle for 2nd place as Eight Belles accomplished in 2008 when favorite Big Brown one. We all know that story didn't end too well.

About Me

Mike has been a passionate horseracing fan for over 30 years. He received his “handicapping education” through countless hours of deciphering the mystery that is embedded in every race. It was the tough beats at the window, however, that propelled him to never make the same mistake twice (well, maybe three times).

As Managing Partner of Horse Racing Nation, Mike serves as investor, business advisor, staff handicapper and developer of handicapping content.

Handicapping the Derby has always been one of Mike's favorite endeavors.  He spends weeks compiling notes, speed figures and analysis in preparation for the big race.  In 2010, his HRN pals pushed him into packaging his time-tested methods into what became the 2010 Kentucky Derby Super Screener, an e-book that became extremely popular with HRN readers and was downloaded over 3,000 times.   

In preparation for the 2011 Derby, Mike will be "Rating the Preps" each weekend on the Derby trail.  The goal will be to build a good picture for which prep races are most likely to produce the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner.   

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