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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Let’s Go to the Videotape!

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 44

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? Borrowing the catchphrase of one of my favorite sportscasters, Warner Wolf, “Let’s go the videotape!”

We knew The Factor was fast, what we did not know was whether he could carry his speed effectively at two-turns. The answer was a resounding yes, making him a legitimate factor in Louisville. Playing devil's advocate for a moment ... The Rebel was set up beautifully for him with little pressure early and the 8 1/2 furlong distance is nothing like he will face in the Kentucky Derby.

Easy is as easy does. Team Uncle Mo decided to slowly wade into the 2011 season with their unbeaten champion, and the result was as expected. Rider John Velazquez held Mo back for much of the 8 furlongs, yet only the promising Rattlesnake Bridge could offer any competition at all. Sort of. Uncle Mo cruised impressively. Easy is as easy does, but things will only get tougher for the chosen one.

Talk about explosive, Premier Pegasus took advantage of a suicidal pace set by a few of his competitors and rolled home like a world beater in the San Felipe. Is this a flash in the pan performance or a strong signal that this horse is becoming a force. Watching it, I had a flashback to the 1989 Santa Anita Derby won by Sunday Silence.

Proving that he can get it done on a fast dirt track, Soldat led the Fountain of Youth field on a merry chase, while To Honor and Serve struggled. I need to see this happen one more time before I completely buy into the result. He will get his chance in the Florida Derby.

A big, late developing colt makes good. Mucho Macho Man was not born until June, and he now stands at a towering 17 hands. And he can run, evidenced by a strong performance over a solid field in New Orleans. It still looks like he is learning, so I am very eager to see what the big boy will do in this Saturday's Louisiana Derby. Any more improvement spells trouble for his Derby foes.

Did you read my column yesterday? If you did, you know my number one longshot for Louisville is none other than Anthony's Cross. A big part of why can be seen in the gameness he showed in winning the nine furlong Robert Lewis Stakes, with first-time blinkers. PrePeg will be tough to beat in the Santa Anita Derby, but this colt is on the improve.

With all the speed apparently lining up for the Kentucky Derby, perhaps it is smart to be looking for the explosive stretch runner that can mow them all down late. Judging from his performance in the Holy Bull, Dialed In deservedly rates the best of the bunch. A strong performance in the Florida Derby will send him to Louisville as a major threat.

Follow all the replays on the 2011 Kentucky Derby trail with the video replay wall on Horse Racing Nation!


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Older Comments about Let’s Go to the Videotape!...

Uncle Mo didn't break a sweat getting an 89 Beyer in the TW. Most of this year's Derby contenders are going all out to earn in the 90s. I think we'll see Mo run a low 100s in the Wood and Johnny V won't even use the whip. The key to winning the Derby is having your horse peak at the right time. I think Mo is a lock, just like Big Brown was.
Ann, you're dead on! The BC Juvenile isn't a good predictor of Derby success, in that one one- Street Sense has been successful in 25 previous champions. Also, although the last four Derby winners had two 3YO starts - that REALLY bucks history in that less than ten KY Derby winners have won on two 3 YO starts in 136 tries, and some really good horses: Point Given, Curlin, Afeet Alex, Lucking at Lucky weren't fit. I don't see a triple crown winner this year. Based on Uncle Mo's 89 Beyers in his only 3YO start- he'll have to be a super-improved horse in a twenty horse field at a mile & a quarter. I'm looking else-where.
I can't disagree with anything you said, Ann, however in regards to Uncle Mo ... remember he was certainly not the most untested last year. What a BC Juvenile he ran!
Ya got 'em all in there, Brian! The most untested in the field is Uncle Mo...to me, he's going to go into the Derby stone cold (the Wood??!!) With the likes of PrePeg and The Factor, Soldat, Mucho Macho Man (Sat. LA Derby tells the tale on him), he may not know what hit him!! I really like Mo, but I almost resent the lack of exposure he has had....not his fault....we will see if this type of conditioning works for the TC...it might work for the Derby, but what about the other two races and all three over a grueling 6+ weeks! I almost hope he loses embarrassingly so trainers will move away from such a short prep season for a major contender! I don't see this as good for racing, either!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 

Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
As Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also consults for leading contest site Derby Wars, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.  

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