The BUZZ horse at the Derby is TAKE CHARGE INDY…here he is yesterday with Calvin Borel, looking pumped and primed. Cindy Pierson Dulay photo



D. Wayne Lukas calls this field of horses one of the best he has ever seen and certainly there are a good deal of very serious contenders, BODEMEISTER, UNION RAGS, GEMOLOGIST, ALPHA and HANSEN and a whole pile of others who are very close.

It will be a bettor’s dream!

THOROUGHBLOG gives you a few comments about each entrant in the following chart provided by (by post)

Post    Horse    Trainer    Dosage    Jockey    M/L Odds

1    Daddy Long Legs    Aidan O’Brien     2.43      Colm O’Donoghue     30-1
*from Europe, won the Dubai Duty Free on a synthetic dirt, comes from Kinghaven farms breeding

2    Optimizer    D. Wayne Lukas     3.24      Jon Court    50-1
*D. Wayne Lukas colt got in to the field late, comes off poor outing

3    Take Charge Indy    Patrick Byrne     3.00      Calvin Borel     15-1
*The ‘buzz’ horse, well bred, won the Florida Derby, has Derby master Borl on board

4    Union Rags    Michael Matz     2.14 *    Julien Leparoux     9-2
*Troubled run in Florida Derby but any experienced observer loves the way he rallied

5    Dullahan    Dale Romans     4.20      Kent Desormeaux     8-1
*Half brother to Derby winner Mine That Bird, had reportedly drab recent workout

6    Bodemeister    Bob Baffert     3.00      Mike Smith     4-1
*Did not race as a 2yo, last horse to win Derby with no races at 2 was 130 years ago

7    Rousing Sermon    Jerry Hollendorfer     2.60 *    Joe Talamo     50-1
*huge longshot has been closing some ground but not threatening

8    Creative Cause    Mike Harrington     1.43 *    Joel Rosario     12-1
*edged by I’ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby, cycling up to big effort

9    Trinniberg    Bisnath Parboo     3.00      Willie Martinez     50-1
*sprinter to this point, bred to sprint, but huge speed and sheets numbers, would be a cinch at 1 mile

10    Daddy Nose Best    Steve Asmussen     2.43      Garrett Gomez    15-1
*Hard trying guy rallies well in his races

11    Alpha    Kiaran McLaughlin     1.67      Rajiv Maragh     15-1
*Was edged by Gemoligist in the Wood Memorial but he did not have a great trip

12    Prospective    Mark Casse     3.36      Luis Contreras     30-1
*Woodbine related colt had a good run in the Tampa Bay derby but needs huge improvement

13    Went the Day Well    Graham Motion     1.91      John Velazquez     20-1
*From the same people as Animal Kingdom, last year’s Derby winner

14    Hansen    Mike Maker     3.50 *    Ramon Dominguez     10-1

15    Gemologist    Todd Pletcher     2.73 *    Javier Castellano     6-1
*He has never lost a race and is making his 3rd start off the layoff

16    El Padrino    Todd Pletcher     2.60      Rafael Bejarano     20-1
*Was a big fan of his earlier this season, has slipped a bit but still closes well

17    Done Talking    Hamilton Smith     2.33      Sheldon Russell    50-1
*Won the Illinois Derby from way off the pace

18    Sabercat    Steve Asmussen     2.73 *    Corey Nakatani     30-1
*Mild closing type, not much flash

19    I’ll Have Another    Doug O’Neill     2.11      Mario Gutierrez     12-1
*Serious shot, flashy, won the SA Derby for Canadian born owner, Hastings Park jock

20    Liaison    Bob Baffert     3.00 *    Martin Garcia    50-1
*badly off form

AE    My Adonis    Kelly Breen     2.67      E.J. Trujillo     10-1


Bodemeister has had 3 names, he’s early Derby fave

BODEMEISTER – Zayat Stables LLC’s Bodemeister schooled in the starting gate and galloped about a mile under exercise rider George Alvarez.
According to The Jockey Club, the Empire Maker colt has had three names since he was purchased for $260,000 by Ahmed Zayat at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. In January 2011, the name Bradelberry was approved by The Jockey Club. The name was changed to Graham N Spike in August 2011. One month later, the colt was named Bodemeister, which is a nickname for trainer Bob Baffert’s 7-year-old son, Bode.
Zayat said Wednesday that the original name was for Brad Weisbord, his racing manager at the time. When Weisbord left the organization, the name was changed Graham N Spike. Virginia resident Graham Mandl is a Zayat family friend and Spike is Mandl’s dog. Zayat and his son, Justin, had second thoughts about Graham N Spike being an appropriate name if the colt developed into a prominent horse that might go on to a career as a stallion and made the second change.

More Derby barn notes from

DADDY LONG LEGS – The globe-trotting colt owned by Michael Tabor, Mrs. Susan Magnier and Derrick Smith completed his journey from Ireland to Louisville Wednesday morning when he arrived at Churchill Downs at approximately 4:30.
The UAE Derby (GII) winner began a 48-hour quarantine and will not be able to go to the track until Friday.
Daddy Long Legs, a Kentucky-bred son of Scat Daddy, has won three of five career starts, including the Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (GII) at Newmarket. He participated in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) in November at Churchill Downs and finished 12th.

PROSPECTIVE – The steady-moving Tampa Bay Derby (GII) winner Prospective continued his paces with a 1 ½-mile gallop this morning under exercise rider Juan Bernardini. Trainer Mark Casse looked on and commented that the sultry morning temperatures and pending forecast could play a factor in Saturday’s Derby.
“It’s hot out here today,” Casse said. “A lot of horses got hot today, but not this one. He’s a cool cucumber. The hot weather may be to our advantage. There are some hot-headed horses in this field that it could hurt. My horse stays calm and cool.”
Casse indicated that the reason they opted for the Toyota Blue Grass (GI) on Polytrack vs. the Wood Memorial (GI) on dirt for Prospective’s final prep was about logistics and necessity.
“If we thought we needed the earnings, we would have gone to the ($1 million) Wood Memorial,” he said. “The question Mr. Oxley said to me is, ‘How do we get to the Derby and be at our very best?’ That was very easy with the Blue Grass so close by.”

EYEING THE PRIZE – UNION RAGS could be a lock in the Derby, if he gets a good trip – that’s a big IF!

Cindy Pierson Dulay photo

more at




WOODBINE -First Wednesday – day 13

Tough night for the handicappers, not many winners were picked from all sources but some of the logical runners did come through to save us from shut-outs!
Horses came from well off the pace and wide for the entire night, no matter what the pace was like up front:

race 1 – GOT YOU COVERED had been beaten in double digits in 4 consecutive races including his season debut on April 6. meeting virtually the same group, this time he rallied wide and won at 22 to 1 in a complete reversal of form. Perhaps it eas the dead rail he ran on first time out this season, but it sure was a surprise to see him turn things around like he did last night. The Kentucky bred is by Consolidator and is owned by Mike Coll and Martha Gonzalez.

race 2 – another weird affair – the race started off with STORMY OUTLOOK running like a wild horse in the maiden $20,000 claiming race. the James Hatchett trainee simply ran off and opened a long lead before stopping badly in early stretch. It was then a blanket of some 6 horses that came charging and 15 to 1 shot SPUR TREE emerged as the winner for Phil and Cary Brooks.

race 3 – Jam Jar’s surged to win an Ontario sired allowance race and it was the 2nd winner for the combo of Bd and Jackie Reynolds an ONE BIG GATORd their trainer John Ross. The Gator, a $7,000 yearling purchase, is now over $147,000 in earnings. The son of One Way Love – Alligator Belly was bred by Chris Prentice and Rick Lewis and the 4yo colt was making his 2nd start of the season.

race 4- The Pick 4 started out the way everyone figured it would, HEAVENLY PRIDE won the $32,000 claiming eventas the big favourite (although she was 6 to 1 on the morning line odds). The 4yo is from the hot connections of owner Bruce Lunsford and trainer Mike McDonald and it was the 2nd win for jocmey Emma-Jayne Wilson on the evening. The filly was dropping from $60,000 claiming.

race 5 – Lots of trouble for big favroute WHERE OH WHERE, who was certainly better than her 4th place finish shows, maybe could have won it.
Things started badly for the filly when she  wa sslow early and then dove down to the rail and moved up into the turn. The traffic was heavy and she had to wait for a bit before trying to rally on the rail in the stretch. She closed well and then soon after the wire bolted to the gap, seemingly wanting to go home. I would be mad too if I was her!
Another filly in the race who had a dreadful trip was MAXIMUM RIDE, who checked hard in traffic early in the race and could not recover.
The winner was Mike Ambler’s lovely homebred POSH SOX, from his good mare Matching Sox. This 4yo was winning for the 2nd time in her 9th race and she is trained by Nick Gonzalez. She is a daughter of Best of the Bests (Ire).

Race 6- Favourites took a beating again as WAITINGINTHEWINGS, a first time starter racing at 1 1/16 miles, won the Ontario sired maiden allowance for Colebrook Farms and trainer Ashlee Brnjas. The Niigon filly was dead last into the backstretch but rallied 3 wide and beat Pogo Stick Patty and Kiche’s Spirit, both who seemed to be in a bit of hurry to make their winning moves behind runaway speedster Dream Patrol.

race 7 – Very slow pace in the featured allowance race for fillies and mares (non-winners of 1 ‘other than) but the favourite prevailed. ABRIANNA, a Stronach Stables 4yo by Lemon Drop Kid, was steadied at the start, trailed and then rallied 4 wide to take the lead. She held off another closer, Galloping d’Amour, who had a super run for trainer Daryl Ezra.
The winner is trained by Roger Attfield and was ridden by Patrick Husbands.
race 8 – the finale, a maiden claiming event, was won from off the pace like all the races on the night but SAVANADANA actually came in the 2-3 path to win it late for Debmar Stables and trainer Ricky Griffith. The Broken Vow gal is out of an Easy Goer mare.

The Debmar Stables appears to be the new name for KELYNACK RACING STABLE, as it has the same blue, white and black silks as Kelynack (silk colours are listed differently elsewhere).


Canadian-bred, owned and trained HARD NOT TO LIKE will contest the $1 million KENTUCKY OAKS ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON. Post time is 5:45 p.m.
The Sovereign Award nominee has never raced on the dirt and appears to be a tad short of the top fillies in the race but the presence of a lot of pace to run at certainly helps this Garland Williamson homebred.

With her Kentucky Oaks filly on her way to Louisville from Woodbine Race Course, trainer Gail Cox was excited to hear about drawing post position five for Friday’s $1 million Oaks at Churchill Downs.
“That’s a pretty good post,” the trainer said by telephone from the track outside of Toronto. “I’m certainly happy with that.”
Hard Not to Like left at 5 a.m. for her 10-hour van ride to Churchill Downs. The trainer will leave for Louisville Wednesday, with an expected arrival time of mid- to late-afternoon.
Churchill Downs veteran jockey Robby Albarado has the call.


138th Kentucky Oaks
1 1/8 miles, all carry 123 pounds
Post time, 5:45 p.m. Eastern
TV: NBC Sports Network

(PP, Horse, Jockey, Trainer, CD M/L)

1. On Fire Baby, J. Johnson, G. Hartlage, 4-1

2. Grace Hall, J. Castellano, A. Dutrow, 5-2

3. Summer Applause, G. Gomez, B. Calhoun, 15-1

4. Eden’s Moon, M. Garcia, B. Baffert, 12-1

5. Hard Not to Like, R. Albarado, G. Cox, 20-1

6. Broadway’s Alibi, J. Velazquez, T. Pletcher, 4-1

7. Sacristy, M. Smith, W. Catalano, 50-1

8. Jemima’s Pearl, J. Talamo, B. Baffert, 10-1

9. Believe You Can, R. Napravnik, L. Jones, 10-1

10. And Why Not, J. Leparoux, M. Matz, 15-1

11. Karlovy Vary, J. Graham, R. Arnold, 20-1

12. Colonial Empress, C. Nakatani, D.W. Lukas, 50-1

13. Amie’s Dini, J. Court, R. Moquett, 10-1

14. Yara, J. Castanon, J. Garofollo, 30-1 Lily, R. Bejarano, T. Hill, 50-1

ae – also-eligible; runs only in case of scratches by 9 a.m. Eastern on Friday.


I’LL HAVE ANOTHER is a sleek chestnut colt with a stalking style of running and a low head carriage. He races with a ‘win alot’ bridle (like Sea Hero when he won the Derby) and is trained by a very controversial, by capable trainer.
The colt, a son of Flower Alley (who raced for Canadian Eugene Melnyk) is also from a Canadian-bred 2nd dam (Force Five Gal), who was trained by Jim Day.

UT San Diego feature

“A year ago, Gutierrez was an unknown, riding at obscure Hastings Park in Vancouver after being discovered in Mexico City in 2006 by Canadian horsemen Glen Todd and Troy Taylor” – UT SANDIEGO

Unknown jockey Gutierrez gets Kentucky Derby shot with I’ll Have Another

Written by
Ed Zieralski

Horse racing is packed with rags-to-riches stories, and jockey Mario Gutierrez is the latest, one that will unfold this week at the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Gutierrez, 25, a native of Veracruz, Mexico, will ride I’ll Have Another in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby for owners J. Paul and Zillah Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill. He’ll try and be the 42nd jockey to win the Kentucky Derby riding the race for the first time.

A year ago, Gutierrez was an unknown, riding at obscure Hastings Park in Vancouver after being discovered in Mexico City in 2006 by Canadian horsemen Glen Todd and Troy Taylor. The Canadians offered Gutierrez a job riding at Hastings in 2006, and Gutierrez jumped at the chance. Gutierrez said he comes from a very poor Mexican family, but this Saturday he has a chance to change his life forever…

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born in Windsor, Ontario, started in standardbreds

feature story by Mary Forney:

Transplanted Canadian is a chiropractor to the stars

Backstretch buzz: From hockey to horse chiropractor
By Jessie Halladay, USA TODAY

LOUISVILLE – Larry “Thumper” Jones had planned on a long career as a hockey player, winning the Memorial Cup playing for the Canadian New Westminster junior hockey team.

By Garry Jones, AP

Kentucky Derby hopeful I’ll Have Another is bathed by groom Inocencio Diaz at Churchill Downs on Monday. Larry “Thumper” Jones (not pictured) is working on the horse’s back.
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But after a slip over a broken hockey stick during a game, Jones had back surgery that eventually forced him out of the sport. After unsuccessful rehabilitation, Jones said he met a Calgary doctor who had him fixed up in less than two weeks thanks to chiropractic work.

The experience transformed his career path. He took that, along with his upbringing in the horse country of Vancouver, and set his sights on equine care. “I transferred all that energy into helping horses,” he said.

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