results, charts and pace/speed figures are in for what was an exciting weekend
of Derby prep performances. Fields were
deep with talent for both the San Vincente and Risen Star. However, it wasn’t the winners that
necessarily impressed the most. Read on
to learn which Derby trail horses HRN tabs as horses to watch in the coming
2/19/11 to 2/21/11
President’s Day Weekend Derby Prep Evaluations
the opportunity to head out to the Arlington Park OTB on Saturday and join what
turned out to be a big crowd as Derby fever begins to set in. It had been sometime since I felt the
electricity of the crowd at an OTB but the room erupted into an enthusiastic
roar as Santiva and Mucho Macho Man engaged in battle down
the long Fair Grounds stretch. Great to
see that much interest in an early Derby prep race.
the Risen Star and San Vincente lived up to their hype as
exciting Derby preps to watch and bet.
After a thorough review of biases, trips, race shapes and pace/speed
ratings, we are making no changes to our HRN
Super Screener Quality Ratings.
While The Factor dazzled us with his
incredible, raw speed and Mucho Macho
Man was redeemed in his RISEN STAR victory,
it was other horses in these races that may get overlooked by these memorable
Sunday, when the SAN VICENTE was
run, the Santa Anita track condition was listed as Wet-Fast. If you look at the charts that day, nearly
every race was won wire-to-wire, so speed dominated and even cheap horses were
running sub 1:10 six furlong times. The Factor certainly benefited from the
bias but take nothing away from this horse.
The internal fractions he cut of 43.4 for the half and 107.3 for 6
furlongs is big time horse racing regardless of track conditions. However, Sway
Away and Premier Pegasus
impressed me as well. Was Sway Away aided by speed falling apart
late or did he overcome a prevalent speed bias? His internal BRIS pace ratings
were impressive as he posted BRIS second call rating of 94 and a powerful late
pace figure of 107 on his way to a final speed rating of 103 so I would
conclude it was a strong showing. Premier Pegasus ran a deceivingly good race in that he was involved in the
early fray, appeared finished but dug in gamely to hold third. One to watch as they stretch out next out.
RISEN STAR, Mucho Macho Man benefited from his Holy Bull race and while a win
is a win, he was worked hard for the victory and was all over the track late
after being part of some soft early fractions. Santiva and, even more so, Rogue Romance served notice that they
are back and firmly on the trail. Both
were coming off long lay offs and I think they each ran terrific come back
races here and can see each moving forward, big time, next out.
didn’t cover the SOUTHWEST STAKES on
Friday but it does deserve some mention.
Oaklawn Park routes that day were decidedly kind to off the pace and
closer types and the Southwest was no exception. JP’s Gusto looked like he
should have won that race after getting involved in some traffic problems.
Elite Alex went 5 wide and then 6 wide so not the best trip on the
day and Caleb’s Posse was hopelessly
bottled up before finding room and ran well thereafter. Two three year olds to tab in their next
Derby prep. The HRN Super Screener
Quality Rating for the SOUTHWEST STAKES
was a C.
our post-race evaluation for the RISEN
STAR and SAN VICENTE
Fair Grounds G2 Risen Star Stakes 1
Mucho Macho Man (RANKED #6 - DERBY)
Speed Rating: 94
Pace/Final Pars: First Call = 94; Second Call = 104; Final = 104
Pace/Final: First Call = 74; Second Call = 84; Final = 97
Trips: Rogue Romance encountered some
slight traffic problems
Effort: Both Santiva and Rogue Romance looked strong first off the lay off and
will move forward in their next starts.
Machen ran well but was compromised by the slow early pace
HRN Pre-Race Grade = B
HRN Post-Race Grade = B
Notes: The early pace was extremely
slow. This race didn’t get started until
they entered the final turn and then it was a sprint from the top of the
stretch. Rogue Romance and Machen were
most compromised by the soft early pace.
Santa Anita G2 San Vincente Stakes 7
Winner: The Factor (RANK #18 – DERBY)
Beyer Speed Rating: 102
Pace/Final Pars: First Call = 98; Second Call = 108; Final = 104
Pace/Final: First Call = 91; Second Call = 109; Final = 104
Bias: Speed favoring
The Factor and his amazing show of raw speed off the lay off.
Sway Away for his late run against the track bias and Premier Pegasus for participating in
the hot pace but then resurging to secure third place.
HRN Pre-Race Grade = B+
HRN Post-Race Grade = B+
Notes: Will have to see how the Wet-Fast conditions aided The Factor. Sway Away and Premier Pegasus deserve to move forward
on the trail given their performances
[With a ranking of only 18
are the HRN fans wary of The Factor’s Kentucky Derby prospects? Check out
the 2011 Kentucky Derby contender rankings and put in your vote today!]
back on Friday as we’ll preview the Fountain of Youth and Hutcheson Kentucky