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Breeders' Cup 2017

Can Garrett Gomez win the Derby?

4/25/2013 9:38 AM
Amount Bet:
Amount Cashed:


Though it's 9 days until the Derby, the selections will be presented today.  There are 17 that have been evaluated, with the UAE Derby entrant excluded, due to lack of enough info.  Here is the presentation:




BLACK ONYX – Trained by Kelly Breen, this colt broke his maiden at second asking, last year at Aqueduct.  He then awaited his 3-year-old campaign, debuting with a 4th place finish at Gulfstream.  His last two efforts were a win at Gulfstream on the turf, and winning the Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park.  Joe Bravo was aboard on both occasions, and retains the mount for the Derby.  He’s taking the same path as 2011 Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who won the 2011 Spiral.  Career record:  5-3-1-0; and all his races have been of the two-turn variety sans one, a mile race at Aqueduct.  Sire is Rock Hard Ten.

GOLDENCENTS – Doug O’Neill is following up last year’s Kentucky Derby victory with this charge, who last won the Santa Anita Derby.  He hasn’t done much to hurt his racing ability.  He seems to answer the bell each time.  His lone off-the-board finish was in the San Felipe Stakes(Gr. II) where he took the worse for battling on the front end.  Kevin Krigger has had the privilege of riding this one in all six of his races.  Sire is Into Mischief, and his career record:  6-4-1-0.

GOVERNOR CHARLIE – This lightly-raced Midnight Lute colt is taking the unorthodox route through Sunland Park(Sunland Park Derby, having won that race).  Trainer Bob Baffert looks to have few bullets in his arsenal for this year’s Derby campaign, but might have a good one in Charlie.  Only has a career record of 3-2-1-0.  Jockey Martin Garcia will be back to ride him a fourth time.

ITSMYLUCKYDAY – Began his career, going 3-for-5.  Trained by Edward Plesa, Jr., the Lawyer Ron colt dabbed a tad with the turf races, but resumed his dirt experience at Gulfstream Park.  He won by 6 ¾ lengths in the Gulfstream Park Derby, and followed that up with a track record in the Holy Bull Stakes(Gr. III).  Though he was defeated in the Florida Derby in his last outing, he ran admirably.  Elvis Trujillo will stick around to ride him on Derby day.  Career record:  10-5-2-1.

FALLING SKY – Ventured out of Florida for the first time, to run in the Arkansas Derby.  This colt shows signs of his dad, Lion Heart, by leading into the stretch of the Arkansas Derby, only to fade to 4th, beaten 5 lengths.  Trained by John Terranova II, Falling Sky had won the Stephen F Davis Stakes(Grade III) at Tampa Bay Downs.  To be ridden by Luis Saez, who won on him back in December at Gulfstream.  If you could attribute his loss in Arkansas as one in which he was acclimating to shipping, maybe the second time would be more to his liking?  Career record:  6-3-0-1.

FRAC DADDY - Son of Scat Daddy had a decent 2-year-old campaign(2 seconds and a first in 3 outings), but was shipped to Florida, where he did not fare well, running 6th and 7th in two graded races.  His last outing had him going in the Arkansas Derby, where he ran runner-up.  Trained by Kenneth McPeek, and ridden by Victor Lebron, his trip to Louisville might be a good one, if you can say that he didn’t have an affinity for Gulfstream?  Career record:  6-1-3-0.

 JAVA’S WAR – Julien Leparoux guided this War Pass colt to victory in his last out, the Blue Grass Stakes, in Leparoux’s first effort.  He’s back to ride this late-closing charge for Kenneth McPeek.  Has yet to win in two efforts on dirt, but the additional 1/8 of a mile should be to his liking.  Has a bullet work.  Career record:  7-3-1-1.

MYLUTE – Late charger came a close second to Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby.  Rosie Napravnik picks up the mount, and she has some familiarity with this one, winning an open claimer three back on this one.  Trained by Thomas Amoss, this Midnight Lute colt has yet to post a win in four graded race efforts.  Career record:  9-2-3-2.

NORMANDY INVASION – Other than maiden win, this son of Tapit has yet to win a race, but the longer the distance, it seems the closer he gets.  Ridden by Javier Castellano for the first time, in his last out, the Wood Memorial, he came charging late, to just miss against most-likely Derby favorite, Verrazano.  Castellano opted to ride this one back, versus Revolutionary, who has won three straight.  Quite an endorsement for this Chad Brown-trained colt.  Career record:  5-1-2-0.

ORB – Florida Derby winner comes into the Derby off of a 4-race win streak.  Joel Rosario gets this mount back on this Malibu Moon colt, after surrendering it for two races to John Velazquez.  He’s travelled well for trainer Shug McGaughey; has avenged his opening race loss to Violence; turned back Itsmyluckyday(who set a track record in previous race).  Looks like he doesn’t miss many beats.  Career record:  7-4-0-1.

OVERANALYZE – Retains the services of Rafael Bejarano, who guided him to victory in the Arkansas Derby in his inaugural ride.  This son of Dixie Union is trained by Todd Pletcher(who should have a few in this race).  Has a tendency to win every other race, so, if that’s the case, he’s on the downside for the Derby.  Career record:  7-4-0-1.

OXBOW – Always seems to be around, but never wants to be on top.  This son of Awesome Again gets some famous notoriety with trainer D. Wayne Lukas and new(but old) jockey Gary Stevens.  He won the Grade III LeComte Stakes at Fair Grounds back on 1/19, but has since failed to win, prepping at Oaklawn Park.  Career record:  9-2-1-1.

PALACE MALICE – Another Pletcher colt has nothing to show for himself other than his maiden win.  Couldn’t keep the lead in last in the Blue Grass Stakes.  Acquires the services of Mike Smith for the Derby.  This Curlin colt has a career record of 6-1-3-1.

REVOLUTIONARY – War Pass son had just won the Louisiana Derby, and is coming into the Derby with three consecutive wins.  Has a 5 week layoff, and regular rider Javier Castellano has opted to ride Normandy Invasion. Trainer Todd Pletcher has  acquired the services of 3-time Derby winner Calvin Borel, who happened to be aboard Super Saver, Pletcher’s only Derby win.  Career record:  6-3-1-2.

VERRAZANO - Undefeated Pletcher charge(4-for-4) comes into the Derby as the favorite.  John Velazquez, who is rebounding from an injury, will be in the irons.  More Than Ready colt has recorded a bullet work.  Can he keep the unbeaten mark unblemished?

VYJACK - Had his streak of four wins snapped in his last race, the Wood Memorial, by Verrazano, but still finished a respectable third.  If the Into Mischief gelding can be rewarded a “bounce”, then maybe he can be a major contender.  Trainer Rudy Rodriguez is taking him out of New York for the first time.  If you jump on this one’s bandwagon, then you’re banking on him being a good shipper.  Career record:  5-4-0-1.

WILL TAKE CHARGE – This son of Unbridled’s Song fared decently most recently at Oaklawn, winning 2-of-3, with his only bad effort attributed to the off going.  D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Jon Court will team up again, in hopes of wearing the roses the first Saturday in May.  Career record:  7-3-1-0.


This part will analyze the contenders, based on their past performances, using the Track Equalization Chart.  It will cover races over the last four months, and break down their races from the first half mile, the middle number(4-6 furlongs), the first six furlongs, the closing half mile, the closing six furlongs, and the final time.  We will take the top six(or more, if they happen to be within .07 of a second of the sixth horse) in each category, to see if there is any consistency with any one horse.  And now, the breakdown:

                                                First ½ mile                                                                        First ¾ mile

Governor Charlie(Sun, 1 1/8)      :46.37                    Governor Charlie(Sun, 1 1/8)                      1:10.00

Goldencents(SA, 1 1/16)               :46.39                    Orb(GP, 1 1/16)                                                                1:10.16

Will Take Charge(OP, 1M)            :46.52                    Goldencents(SA, 1 1/16)                               1:10.68

Goldencents(SA, 1 M)                   :46.75                    Goldencents(SA, 1 1/8)                                 1:11.07

Goldencents(SA, 1 1/8)                 :46.87                    Will Take Charge(OP, 1M)                            1:11.37

Verrazano(GP, 1M)                         :46.92                    Itsmyluckyday(GP, 1 1/16)                           1:11.42

                                                Middle                                                                                 Last ¾ mile

Orb(GP, 1 1/16)                                                :23.29                    Normandy Invasion(Aqu, 1 1/8)                                1:11.60

Black Onyx(GP, 1 1/16)T                                :23.38                    Black Onyx(GP, 1 1/16)T                                                1:11.62

Verrazano(Aqu, 1 1/8)                   :23.47                    Vyjack(Aqu, 1 1/8)                                           1:11.75

Vyjack(Aqu, 1 1/8)                           :23.54                    Verrazano(Aqu, 1 1/8)                                   1:11.78

Java’s War(Tam, 1 1/16)                                :23.58                    Vyjack((Aqu), 1 1/16)                                     1:12.63

Governor Charlie(Sun, 1 1/8)      :23.63                    Java’s War(Kee, 1 1/8)*****                      1:13.73

                                                Last ½ mile                                                                         Final Time

Normandy Invasion(Aqu, 1 1/8)                :47.77                    Black Onyx(GP, 1 1/16)T                                                1:59.95

Vyjack(Aqu, 1 1/8)                           :48.21                    Governor Charlie(Sun, 1 1/8)                      2:00.27

Black Onyx(GP, 1 1/16)T                :48.24                    Normandy Invasion(Aqu, 1 1/8)                                2:01.15

Verrazano(Aqu, 1 1/8)                   :48.31                    Verrazano(Aqu, 1 1/8)                                   2:01.18

Vyjack((Aqu), 1 1/16)                     :48.69                    Vyjack(Aqu, 1 1/8)                                           2:01.30

Java’s War(Kee, 1 1/8)*****      :48.97                    Vyjack((Aqu), 1-70)                                         2:01.55

T= Turf                  *****= Synthetic surface

NOTE:  Turf races do not have a track equalization chart.  Therefore, the lack of adjustment can enhance their numbers(i.e. Black Onyx)           

This next item would be a fictitious chart, based on their best numbers for the first ½ mile; the middle number; and the last ½ mile.  So, here goes:






4-4 1/2

1-3 1/2



5-2 1/4





3-1 3/4



2-1 1/2

4-5 1/2




5-3 1/4






7-1 1/4


7-4 1/4







9-1 3/4

9-2 1/4


15-3 1/2

16-6 1/4

10-1 3/8










10-1 3/8




3-2 1/2






15-2 1/2


16-5 1/2


16-4 1/4





TIME:  :46.37  1:10.00  1:58.70



We’ll put emphasis on the closers, since this will be the longest distance they will ever run.  Seems that the Wood Memorial is the best indicator, so we’ll do a $5 exacta box with Verrazano, Vyjack and Normandy Invasion, and throw in front-runner Governor Charlie.  We’ll do a $1 Trifecta box, and throw in Orb with the exacta selections.  For a .50 cent Superfecta box, the prior selections.  Lastly, we’ll throw a 5-10-20 WPS on Vyjack.  Total Bet - $215.

Hope to see ya’ In the Winner’s Circle!!!!!!

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Older Comments about Can Garrett Gomez win the Derby?...

the BORWN one won from 20 ON THE LEAD with a pronouned advantage over all the other colts in the race,,It was his to lose and beyond that, not a single colt in the race Satruday is anything like him. and that include being the franken-bred
  • ruffian75 · You are right, tv. I am not saying that his running style is in line with Big Brown's. He was in a league of his own that day. What my point is, a lot of people think that there hasn't been much success from that far out. Fact is, there's not many 20-horse Ky Derby fields, so you can't get a fair win pct. Fact is, you have a 5% chance of winning. If you win 1 out of 20 races from the PP 20, you're even, as far as track variant. With Big Brown's recent win, I would say that PP 20 is above the norm. Anyhow, good luck to you. · 1631 days ago
great analysis as always,i would would pay for your picks at the track.Horseracing nation fans should thank you for for getting your picks for free.my picks and plays are different, but i love reading your work......ACE
  • ruffian75 · Thanks for the acknowledgement. Your compliment is greatly appreciated. It would be nice(if I was close in proximity) to rap the pro's and con's of a race with you, for I like reading your picks, as well. Whatever the outcome, I hope to see you, and everyone, at the Cashier's window!!!! · 1631 days ago
funny thing but Black Onyx, to my surprise, has a very outside shot as a contender, OUTSIDE meaing not in the top 5.
I am not dissuaded since the post position draw. The fact that Vyjack has drawn PP 20 is not a deterrent, if it's a fast track. Big Brown won from PP 20 in '08. Last year, I'll Have Another won from PP 19. And, in '11, the top four were from PP 13 out. No problem. I had mentioned a .50 cent Superfecta, which I now realize is non-existent(I guess that would cause extra stress on the tellers, so this will make it less complex for them since they're anticipating a large volume). So, we'll up the ante to $1 Superfecta, since this race only happens once a year. And, one more stipulation. If the track comes up to be off-going, the WPS bet is off on Vyjack. The last two sloppy Derbies had a 4-2-10-9 & 8-16-2-7 Superfecta, which seems to indicate the inside post positions for the off track. In conclusion, if the track is fast, total investment is $275; off going would be an investment of $240. It is just over 60 hours until The Greatest Two Minutes of Sports!!!!!
Since word has it that Governor Charlie is a no-go in the Kentucky Derby, the substitute in the Picks, will be Goldencents in place of Governor Charlie.