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Thursday, April 02, 2009

He Wants Revenge

I Want Revenge drew the rail for the Wood Memorial, and was made the 4-5 morning line favorite. Man, that is one impressive collection of past performance lines. Sometimes, a horse exudes class to me just from looking at him in the Form, and this one looks dynamic....on paper, anyway. Never out of the money in seven starts; big time improvement since stretching out to two turns, with two close losses to Pioneerof the Nile followed by his breakout performance in the Wood Gotham.

Anyone who manages their Derby campaign according to the Sheets would be feeling good here. Perfect time for a little bounce off the 113 Beyer. Monarchos and the late Genuine Risk are two horses on whom I scored big time in the Derby after they lost in the Wood.

However, breeder-owner half-owner David Lanzman told the Form (and anyone else on the conference call): "It's almost scary for us; we think he's better now than he was going into the Gotham." Doesn't sound like he's looking for a bounce.

I have to laugh thinking about Michael Iavarone's desperate quest to buy belatedly into a piece of the Derby action, which I surmise started just hours after Patena's disappointing Louisiana Derby run with an offer to the connections of Win Willy, and perhaps included placing some ads on Craigslist Millions offered for Derby hopeful. Just seems to me that it gets to a point where one should just give it up. We all know that Iavarone is a fine judge of equine talent; and there's nothing wrong with not having a Derby horse (though I think he has one, running at Keeneland on Saturday[first-time Dutrow]). It was Lanzman (and good for him for cashing out in what he called "a life-changing score", AND retaining a piece of the action AND getting a piece of Stardom Bound!! Dude!!!) who bred this colt out of a mare, by Roy (Fappiano), with a two for 15 career record, and descending tail-female from an obscure Argentinian family with a decidedly modest background. I Want Revenge, by Stephen Got Even, is a complete outcross through five generations, which seems to be a relative rarity these days. The thought of Iavarone high-fiving in the winner's circle just seems so phony and contrived. But I guess it's just business.

Imperial Council is second choice at 2-1. I wouldn't be surprised if he's bet even lower, coming off his close for second in his first two-turn try for Shug. People around here love horses like that. Serling has this horse as #1 on his Paulick top ten list, so he'll probably be touting him at the track. So he could be an underlay here; I thought his two-turn debut was inconclusive with his late run after a ground saving trip. I'd look to leave him out of the exacta to try and get some value. But it's not a deep Wood field and I haven't come up with anything yet.

The main track opened - finally! - on Wednesday, with a parade of front-running winners. The highest win price on the day however was $8.30. So was it a speed bias? Or a case of mostly short-field races running to form?


onecalicocat said...

Alysheba was euthanized last week after a fall in his stall brought on by a degenerative spinal condition. Alysheba was one of my all-time favorites.
An animal with real personality, with charisma the equal of Dr. Fager, John Henry, Kelso, Secretariat and Smarty Jones.
He got up off his knees to win the Derby, which was widely recalled when Afleet Alex performed a similar athletic feat after being low-bridged by Scrappy T.
Like to see more like him but they usually don't race long enough these days to reach that stature.

Handride said...

breakout performance in the Wood.

are you seeing the future already?

Anonymous said...

My Derby Top Five:

1) I Want Revenge
2) I Want Revenge
3) I Want Revenge
4) Pioneer of the Nile
5) Friesan Fire

Forget the rest.

El Angelo said...

If you want a sleeper horse, I like West Side Bernie, who had no shot in both of his two races this year between a bad post and synthetic. His price is probably going to be depressed a little because he's coupled with Atomic Rain, but he may be ~15-1.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about anything Pletcher says lately, he thinks he will be controlling speed in the Wood? Beginning to wonder if the Toddster has let the pressure of his repeated failure get to him?

There is plenty of pace in this race, his colts usual 24-48 will have him forwardly placed but certainly not controlling by any means. In fact, there is less pace in the Illinois Derby where he is cross entered.

Justice will have to contend with the rabbit Atomic Rain, the overrated Imperial Council who Shug has promised will be close the front this time and Zitos entrant Du Jour.

Unless this unusual main track speed bias continues a few more days this should result in a perfect inside stalking trip for Talamo, who will pounce at the quarter poll, race over.

That leaves a clunk up contest between likely second choice West Side Bernie, turf to dirt Line Rickey and 50-1 Cellar Dweller, whose last alw try was better than it looks on paper.

I will key IWR over those three in the TRI and SF and stand at the 1/16th poll to wait and watch a future champion emerge on the national scene live and in person at my favorite track, the Big A.

And to think I am live at 56-1 thanks to the future pool.

Anonymous said...

..."We all know that Iavarone is a fine judge of equine talent;...."

I'd be a fine judge too, just give me a big bankroll and a bunch of proven Grade I winners to buy.

alan said...

>>breakout performance in the Wood.

are you seeing the future already?

OH, so do you want to be my full-time editor too as long as you're commandeering my blog and posting photos of Martin Brodeur (six losses in a row) when I'm away? :)

alan said...

>>And to think I am live at 56-1 thanks to the future pool.


Anonymous said...

I think IWR will probably win this race but forget about the Derby. You can't trust a Steven Got Even. That horse was a pop and bounce type of horse and I'd expect the same out of his projeny. Of course, IWR is trained by Mr. Juicehead himself, Jeff Mullins. So perhaps I'm biased. -JP from SD.

Anonymous said...

SGE horse plus Jeff mullins does not equal a Derby horse to me. I just don't see it. Even if he wins the Wood I am looking elsewhere. Right now I still think whatever Dettori rides for the Dubai Dudes is where my money will go.

Valerie said...

The Sheikh's Derby curse is about as strong as Pletcher's...sorry, I wouldn't bet a dime on Desert Party or Regal Ransom, bless their American-bred hearts.

Anonymous said...

I like Dessert Party as well. There was nothing wrong with the race he ran in the UAE Derby. Just because he lost at 1-5 means some people assume he flopped but he ran well and I think the race tightens him up nicely for the Derby. That all said, he's a tough horse to key. Also, I think he will get some play. It's pure guesswork to figure out how much money he takes at this time with the field less than settled, but my guess is in the 10-1 range. -JP from SD.

Anonymous said...

Also, don't waste too much time thinking about a Derby "curse" Val. It's all in your head. The Sheikh buys the best horses in the world with his bottomless pit of $. He hasn't had that many tries at the Derby. Pletch will win sooner or later as well. Remember, nobody ever thought a favorite would win. Then Fupeg came along and since then we've had Smarty Jones, Street Sense, and Big Brown. Nobody thought a BC Juvenile winner could win, and presto, here comes Street Sense. Nobody thought Big Brown had the seasoning and he mocked the field from the 20-hole. Stats are largely meaningless in this race. Hell, remember when dosage was all the rage? Then Real Quiet put an end to that one.

Anonymous said...

Another Derby myth that has been shattered is the "quality sire" rules, the only remaining rule about Derby winning pedigrees is there are no rules.

Why is Steven Got Even any less likely to sire a Derby winner than Elusive Quality (12.5k fee at the time,out of a Smile mare no less),Boundary (5k stud fee) or Machiavellian (turf sire)?

And why is alleged "juicehead" Mullins any less likely or worthy to win a Derby than Dutrow or Assumussen or Pletcher.

If you want a truly clean horse root for the Sheikhs or the English horse, although all of them will likely be on something on the first Saturday in May.

I have watched every Derby prep, and the only races that have impressed me to date are IWR's Gotham, and Friesan Fire's LA Derby.

Pioneer of the Nile makes my list because he just keeps winning.

The Derby winner emerges from that group of three.

Forget the rest.

Anonymous said...

I Want Revenge towers over this bunch. He'll probably be 2-5. The rest of these pretenders are so unimpressive that I might take a shot with the turf horse, Lime Rickey.

He looks like he can get the trip, if he can handle the surface. The others all eliminate themselves IMO.


Anonymous said...

i don't understand how people can look past quality road, his sire has a derby winner out of a smile mare, his bottom side has stamina, he even looked like a man playing with boys in the post parade

Anonymous said...

I am not overlooking Quality Road, if I had a fourth horse on my list it would be him.

Since I am not as impressed with Dunkirk as everyone else, I really feel he has beaten nothing, and had perfect trips every race.

The pedigree jumps off the page at me for sure, but so does his lack of seasoning and competition, and combined with the 5 week layoff he looks more like a Preakness winner than a Derby winner to me.

I admit he the perfect style, and fits the Speed on top of Stamina profile, so he will be on my ticket although I fear he will be a big underlay now that Beyer has increased his Beyer by 10 points retroactively.

And unlike some other trainers that will push the envelope, if he so much as sneezes Jerkens will withraw him on the day of the race. If he runs, you know he is 110%.