May 032019
 

Kentucky (KY) Saturday, May 4, 2019 — 3:10 PM EST | Race ID : 2119762
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E R C  KENTUCKY  DERBY

 

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Stakes – Sponsored – Purse : $100,000  -  3 Year Olds  -  Owner Restricted
10  Furlongs | ~2000 Meters | One Mile and One Quarter              Fast Dirt
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ChurchillFrom the shadows of the famed Twin Spires of Churchill Downs in Louisville,  Kentucky the Elite Racing Club proudly presents its version of the “most exciting two minutes in sports”,  the ERC Kentucky Derby.  A full field of fourteen club runners,  including four upset minded fillies,  will battle it out over the classic distance of a mile and a quarter (or two thousand meters for those leaning metric) on a fast dirt oval to take the winner’s share of the $100,000 purse up for grabs.  The winning connections will also claim the majority of the Triple Crown bonus points the club awards its Triple Crown series contestants,  paid out after the ERC Belmont in June.
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Due to other personal commitments,  we cannot use the tried and true “cooler of beer on the back stretch ploy” in our write up as in years past.  We did solicit trainer input,  but we will focus on the stars of the show.  They’ll be presented in entry point order,  before the post position draw and the handicapper’s analysis.  The field has been limited to fourteen entries this year,  so the auxiliary starting gate won’t be needed.  The headline is recycled from a few years ago,  but seemed appropriate for this race.   Apologies for the formatting,  the last time I do it this way.
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HORSE                        BREEDING    OWNER        Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
FEAR THE GAME          KY     3M     jbcri81             8        2     $94,806     12.00
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Our top entry point qualifier is this bruising bay colt bred in Kentucky,  who won his two year old debut in a stalking run with a 67 SP#.  He then languished in the NW2L ranks for his next six outings.  There was an unsuccessful turf try at a mile in his 4th start which may have got him turned around as he was 2nd best in the next and final two races of his freshman campaign with 82 and 84 SP#’s at two turns.  He broke through with a score in his 2019 seasonal opener at 9 furlongs in a local bred allowance with a 97 SP# in a stalking effort.  His lead up to this event was a tiring 3rd in The Cali PGE Lights Out Special at 9.5 panels,  tossing a 95 SP# though beaten by 8 lengths.  FEAR THE GAME is by Hard Spun,  out of the allowance winning sim mare Empire Of The West,  by Empire Maker.  Club co-founder jbcri09 had this to say about his entries: ” I will be surprised if they win. I don’t have many that can go these distances but we’ll find out which horse does win it.”
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HORSE                       BREEDING    OWNER                Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
STRIKE CLUB              WV     3M     dontbetonme12     9     3     $153,565     10.50
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The second highest money earner in the group is also the second highest entry point runner.  Rambunctious roan colt was claimed for $7,500 out of his winning debut in his only race on the weeds,   getting a 69 SP# from just off the pace.  He got through the NW2L condition in his 3rd try,  smacking an 82 SP# at 6 panels.  Son of Sun Strike,  out of the stakes winning sim mare New York Nightlife (by Manlove),  finished off his two year old campaign with a pair of runner up results in listed stakes,  the Sore Prospect at 7 and the Beckys Lords at 7.5 furlongs,  smoking 90 and 93 SP#’s in stretch running performances.  West Virginia bred got his three year old season off on a winning note in the Grand Kong listed at 7.5 furlongs,  sizzling a 97 SP# from the back of the pack.  Next time over out he stretched out to 9 furlongs in the ERC Tapit stakes,  getting 4th to MAJESTIC SKYLINE with his late foot for a 92 SP#.  He prepped for this spot with an even 3rd at a mile in a NW4x allowance,  sticking a 93 SP#.  Versatile runner could be up close or far back early – here’s dontbetonme’s take:  “Quite a few promising, talented horses in the race. A case could be made for just about anyone in the field winning this one. Should be an exciting race!”

HORSE                         BREEDING    OWNER                        Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
MAJESTIC SKYLINE          JPN     3M     mfmetropolitan     8       2     $120,926     8.50
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Big bay colt was an impressive maiden debut winner,  navigating a full field from far back in the pack for a 69 SP#.  He then failed in his next four outings to escape the NW2L condition;  4th at a mile with an 80 SP#,  then a 4th and a pair of 2nds,  all at 8.5 furlongs,  but with steadily improving SP#’s – 84,  88 and a 95 in his 2018 finale over this racing oval.  Majestic Warrior mister,  out of the sim mare Mafalda (by Empire Maker),  took his 2019 opener in smashing style,  getting the victory in the ERC Tapit stakes at a mile and an eighth,  whacking a 96 SP# in his stakes debut,  and  defeating some of the foes he’ll be facing in this heat.  Last out,  In his initial graded stakes try in the G3 Chicago Derby,  he was 9th early and could not improve his position,  winding up 12th for a 93 SP# in a fast race.  Mightyforego’s mailbox is full so we don’t know his thoughts,  but a repeat of ths Japanese bred’s ERC Tapit triumph could get the roses.
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HORSE                    BREEDING    OWNER        Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
UNION SPORTS     KY     3G     razer1             10        2         $97,497     8.00
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Managing director summerset saddles this hulking bay gelding,  who took his debut with a nice late run for a 64 SP#.  He then took six tries to get his 2nd win,  which came in his three year old debut at 9 furlongs,  crushing a 96 SP# from the middle of the pack.  In between those debuts,  he always showed good late foot but couldn’t break through at 5.5,  6,  and 6.5 furlong outings in NW2L allowances with 67,  71,  and 75 SP#’s.  During the summer,  he visited the cutting vet during a three month hiatus.  Kentucky bred came back with a closing 4th in a rez stakes at 7.5 panels,  then was a close 3rd in another NW2L allowance at a mile  getting 84 and 89 SP#’s respectively,  to close out the 2018 campaign.  After his 2019 season opening win,  he was a good 3rd in the ERC Tapit against others in here,  zipping a 93 SP#.  Union Rags urchin,  out of the sim mare Shes Got Curves (by Curlin),  then just missed at  9 furlongs in a NW3L allowance zapping a 100 SP#,  and most recently was 4th in the same condition and distance zinging a 98 SP#.  Makes his stakes debut here,  could he be ready for another debut win.  Summerset’s  insight: “I thunk both my horses are up against it, but i just have a feeling that they both want longer distances. Union Sports, i believe is the better of the two, but it’s horse racing, so who knows. ”
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HORSE                   BREEDING    OWNER          Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
LIAM’S ELUSIVE     KY     3F     dontbetonme8     9     4     $181,933     7.63
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The second of the dontbetonme entry is this Kentucky bred filly,  who scored in her first try in an open maiden at five eighths of a mile,  sticking a 70 SP# in a stalking run.  Light grey lass got through the NW2L allowance hurdle in her third whack at it,  always close to the early pace and stacking 66,  72,  and 77 SP#’s.  She took a 2nd straight in a NW3L allowance at 6 furlongs after that,  smoking an 87 SP# from back in the pack. Scratch bred Liam’s Map lady (by Miswaki),  was a fast closing 3rd in her first stakes try in the Thunder Dancing listed at 6.5 panels in her subsequent outing,  stashing an 83 SP# with a closing stretch run.  She got her first stakes one next out in the Strolling For Gold listed at 7.5 pane;ls,  scorching a 92 SP# from mid pack to end her freshman year.  In her 2019 debut she tried a change of tactics setting the early fractions,  but had nothing left for the run to the wire when 9th in the Cadillac Moon listed at 9.5 furlongs,  snaring an 81 SP#.  She got back on track in her latest try when a gaining 2nd in the Granny Exalted listed at a mile,  scalding a 98 SP#.  Stable always seems competitive in these rez stakes,  could be in the picture late if she can keep up with the boys.

HORSE                    BREEDING    OWNER        Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
AMUSING BEE         NM     3M     jbcri49             8     2        $82,448     7.00
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The other half of the jbcri09 entry is this bucking bay colt,  who took five tries to get his initial win,  which came in a local bred maiden at 8.5 furlongs,  drawing an 83 SP# in a stalking effort.  He debuted in an open maiden at 5 panels with a 62 SP#,  and followed that up with three 5th place finishes at 6.5,  7.5 and 8 furlongs with 67,  73 and 76 SP#’s from off the early pace.  Laugh Track lad,  out of the stakes placed sim mare Spin Speed (by Hard Spun),  finished off 2018 with a win at 8.5 furlongs in a local bred NW2L allowance,  drawing an 81 SP# in a wire to wire performance.  His 2019 debut was a bang up 2nd in the ERC Tapit stakes at a mile and an eighth against others in here,  drilling a 95 SP# from off the pace. In his latest he was a tiring 3rd in a NW3L allowance at 9 furlongs,  dropping a 92 SP# chasing a runaway winner.  Looks like he could have bounced last out,  with further improvement may be in the thick of things down the straight.  As trainer jbcri09 said above: ” I will be surprised if they win.  I don’t have many that can go these distances but we’ll find out which horse does win it.”
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HORSE                    BREEDING    OWNER                  Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
TALE OF THE EARTH     KY     3G     albertdowns         9         1     $47,655     7.00
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Burly bay gelding had an active and ambitious freshman campaign,  debuting in an open allowance,  finishing 8th of nine with a 62 SP#.  He then was runner up in his next three outings;  an open maiden and a pair of NW1x allowances,  all at sprint distances,  with 71,  63,  and 75 SP#’s in just off the pace runs.  After that he was an even 5th in the ERC Nyquist stakes at 7 panels,  lobbing a 75 SP#.  Kentucky bred finished off his two year old season in a pair of NW1x sprint allowances,  landing 74 and 77 SP#’s.  Over the winter he visited the “clipping shed”;  it proved successful as this Tale Of Ekati tomcat,  out of the sim mare Seekherintheearth (by Seeking The Gold) finally broke his maiden at at mile in an open allowance,  blasting a 93 SP# in a four horse affair.  He prepped for this spot with a bang up 2nd in an open allowance at a mile,  banking a 94 SP# in another four horse affair.  Said dunnvilledowns of the first half of his entries: “TALE OF THE EARTH has responded nicely since being gelded at the end of the 2018 campaign.  He is being stretched out past a mile for the first time and I hope that he will respond and that the jockey will be patient with him.  My horses tend to go to the front too early and have nothing left in the tank at the end. ”
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HORSE                  BREEDING    OWNER              Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
VICTOR’S BIRD         IN     3M     harrylanlow52         8         4     $65,228     6.50
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Reigning club champion harrylan sends out a colt and a filly – first up is this boisterous bay colt,  who broke his maiden 2nd out of the box in an off track sprint,  busting a 70 SP# after a nice debuting 3rd in an open maiden with a 65 SP#.  In his 3rd try he settled for 2nd after making all the pace at 6 panels in a local bred NW2L allowance,  bagging a 73 SP# and followed that up with a win in the same condition at 6.5 furlongs,   banking a 79 SP# in a stalking run.  Next time over was a fair 4th on an off track at 7 furlongs in a local bred NW3L allowance with a 79 SP#.  Victor’s Cry viper,  out of the sim mare Bird Returns (by Dehere) completed his two year old resume with a dull 6th in the same condition and distance,  bagging an 84 SP# from a difficult post.  After a three month winter vacation,  this Indiana bred colt returned running with a late closing victory in a NW3L allowance at 7.5 panels bashing a 95 SP#,  and followed that up with a stalking score at a mile in a NW3x allowance,  blasting a 101 SP#.  Has moved forward in both three year old runs,  has shown some versatility;  jockey tactics could be key ti his chances.  Owner harrylan has the same concerns for both this colt and his filly,  who is next on the entry points list. As Harry put it: “I think my colt and filly may both be decent runners but the 10 furlong distance is a big question mark.”
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HORSE                      BREEDING    OWNER                    Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
POL COMMENTATOR     KY     3F     harrylanlow38         5         3     $69,076     6.00
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Beautiful bay filly from the harrylan racing operation has shown an in and out pattern early in her career.  She broke her maiden in her debut at 7 furlongs,  punching a 74 SP# from the back of the pack.  She was out next time when a late running 5th in a NW2L allowance at 7.5 panels,  producing an 80 SP#.  Then she was in with a powerful stretch running victory in the same condition at a mile,  popping a 97 SP# from way back in her final 2018 effort.  Awesome Again actress,  based on the sim he-mare Mr. Speight (by Speightstown) was a nice 3rd in her 2019 debut in the Kate Dismissed listed stakes at 8.5 furlongs,  pounding a 95 SP# showing her usual late run.  Last time out she waa a last to first winner in a NW3L allowance at a mile,  pasting a 98 SP# in an impressive outing.  Though due to be out if the pattern continues,  It appears she may relish this distance,  though owner/trainer harrylan is unsure of that,  as he mentioned above.
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HORSE            BREEDING    OWNER            Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
SNAPPY SILVER     KY     3F     amir1723         7     4         $128,970     5.50
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Our next distaffer is this bodacious brown filly,  who won her first two starts,  getting up in an open maiden at five eighths of a mile with a 62 SP#,  and taking an open allowance at 6.5 panels with the same late move,  catching a 69 SP# over this oval.  Her next two runs were disappointing,  as she was 10th in a NW3L allowance at 7.5 furlongs with a 72 SP#,  and followed that with a 9th in an open allowance at 8.5 panels,  casting an 79 SP#.  Scratch bred Blame bubbala (by Pulpit) returned to form in her 2018 finale with a nice 2nd in an open allowance at 8.5 furlongs,  cashing an 82 SP# from mid pack.  Kentucky bred gal is two for two this year,  both at a mile in open allowances,  copping 86 and 93 SP#’s in a pair of four horse affairs.  She’s shown some versatility in her young career;   jockey tactics could be key to her chances to upset the boys.  We were unable to connect with co founder amir1607 for his take on the race.
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HORSE                         BREEDING    OWNER        Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
JEFF BRIDGES          KY     3M     larrcamp4         8         2         $87,879     5.00
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Scratch bred Tonalist toughie (by Giant’s Causeway) took six tries to break his maiden,  debuting at 5 panels in an open maiden with a 65 SP#.  Rugged roan colt showed some late foot next out when 6th at 5.5 furlongs,  and in a subsequent try on the grass at 6.5 panels,  tabbing a 70 SP# when 4th.  Next try he was a gaining 3rd at 7 furlongs,  tossing a 79 SP# in a local bred maiden.  Kentucky bred colt got 2nd an an off track in his 2018 finale,  closing well for an 89 SP#.  His 2019 debut was a winning one,  throwing a 95 SP# in an off the pace run in a local bred maiden.  Then he tried a front running effort in a NW2L allowance at 9.5 furlongs,  tiring late to 3rd.  He returned to his usual tactics next out with an emphatic score at a mile and an eighth,  thumping a 92 SP# in the same condition.  Improving stretch runner could be a factor late in the lane.  Owner/trainer larrcamp opined: “He’s been a horse who has improved with distance.  When he’s run his race he has been very impressive,  albeit against limited competition.  His chances improve considerably if there is a lot of early speed in the race.”
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HORSE                                 BREEDING        OWNER                  Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
CHAMDOEN KWIN           SKOR     3F     dunnvilledowns     9         2        $79,090       3.00
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Blushing brown filly went last to first second time out in an open maiden on an off track,  getting a 72 SP#.  She had little impact next time over in the ERC American Pharoah at three-quarters of a mile,  catching a 68 SP#.  Take Charge Indy tapper,  out of the sim mare Deceitful Queen (by Pioneer Of The Nile) caught an off track again and romped by three in a NW1x allowance,  grabbing a 73 SP#;  she followed that up overmatched in a rez stakes,  and in a listed stakes where the sloppy surface didn’t help.   She wrapped up her freshman season with a gaining 2nd in a four horse NW4L allowance at 8.5 furlongs with an 86 SP#.  Got the slop for her 2019 opener,  but could only get 3rd off the lay off at 9 furlongs,  tagging an 85 SP#.  Tuned up for this spot with a closing 2nd in an open allowance at 8.25 panels,  garnering a 91 SP#.  Looks like this South Korea bred will be some where in the second flight manouvering to get a jump on the deep closers;  tough task against males in this heat.  Trainer dunnvilledowns on his steed: “I had some luck last year with a filly finishing third in the ERC Derby and am hopeful that CHAMDOEN KWIN can build on her last start and maybe be a surprise and do the same. I had big expectations for this filly and hope that she can fulfill some of those with a big race here. ”
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HORSE                                    BREEDING     OWNER            Runs    Wins    Earnings    ENTRY PTS
BOWL OF CHERRIES           KY     3G      newyearz9         8          1         $68,457       3.00
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The other half of the summerset entry has just a sole win on his resume.   Blushing bay gelding  opened his career with five straight narrow losses,  getting 3rd thrice,  all over the same oval at 6 and 6.5 furlongs,  producing 68,  73,  and 73 SP#’s on the dirt,  and a 70 SP# in his only turf try.  He finished off 2018 with a close (again!) 3rd at 7 panels,  good for a 76 SP#.  Dr Snip was called in during the subsequent five month vacation,  and he returned running,  brealking his maiden at a mile,  whacking a 93 SP# from mid pack.  Two back he came on for 2nd in a NW1x allowance at 8.25 furlongs,  wrangling a 96 SP#.  Kentucky bred colt goes into the ERC Derby off a stretch running 3rd in a NW2L allowance at 8.5 furlongs,  working out a 94 SP#.  A middle of the pack type who may like the extra distance here.  Reiterating summerset’s earleir remarks:  “I thunk both my horses are up against it, but i just have a feeling they want longer distances,  but its horse racing, so who knows.”
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HORSE                               BREEDING               OWNER               Runs       Wins         Earnings         ENTRY PTS
WAIRUA KAHA               NZ     3M          downsontherock     8              3              $95,660            1.53
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Darci Brahma dude,  out of the sim mare One Strong Spirit (by Invincible Spirit),  was a turf runner until his last outing;  he won his first two out of the gate,  takng  open maiden and NW1x allowance sprints from just off the pace with 67 and 62 SP#’s.  He stepped up and stretched out to 7 furlongs in an open allowance in his next run,  flinging an 80 SP# from mid pack.  Next up were a pair of fair efforts in the ERC Dawn Approach at 7 furlongs and in the ERC Redoutes Choice at 8.5 furlongs,  flipping 77 and 90 SP#’s.  Bucking bay colt closed out 2018 with a score in a NW3L allowance at 5.5 panels,  floating an 89 SP with a nice late move.  His first 2019 start was a good 2nd in a NW3x allowance at a mile over an off track,  flashing a 92 SP#.  New Zealand bred colt switched to the dirt in his run up to this affair,  a well beaten 3rd with an 87 SP#.  Looks like he could be close to the pace setters,  but will need a significant improvement to be in contention late in the lane.  Owner newfydowns had this to offer: ” I am glad that I was able to get Wairua Kaha into the race.  He has competed exclusively on turf up until his last start but he showed me enough there that hopefully he will not be embarrassed and will at least compete with the rest of the field. ”
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So,  an interesting mix.  They all are making their first attempt at a mile and a quarter,  and it is the biggest concern among the trainers.  There may not be much of a contested pace,  though the dual entry trainers may deal with that with their jockey instructions.  Can one of the females embaress the boys  ?  Will a lone speed emerge and get away with soft fractions ?  These questions and more will be answered two minutes or so after the starting gate opens.
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We usually shy away from making selections in these ERC events,  but we’re feeling lucky – sooooooooo.
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MAJESTIC  SKYLINE  -  has beaten main foes already,  can do it again
UNION  SPORTS   -  stretch runner is the handicapper’s choice
STRIKE  CLUB  -  always have to respect this barn’s entry
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LONG SHOT:   VICTOR’S  BIRD  -  gets the fence for the current club champ
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Good luck everybody,  and may they all come home fast,  safe and sound.

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  17 Responses to “Full field of fourteen face fierce fracas finishing first in featured ERC Kentucky Derby”

  1. Very nice win Mike. Congrats.

  2. Congratulations to summerset and connections on an authoritative victory – the handicapper had it right. See y’all next week in South Africa for two year old on the weeds.

  3. Ummmm.,,,,,, I was bumped coming down the home stretch…..oh my :)

  4. Congrats summerset!! Nice convincing win!

  5. Nice win Summerset

  6. Thanks Ric always enjoy reading your efforts

    Good Luck to all that got in

  7. Thanks Ric. Good luck to all involved!

  8. Thanks ric. Once again your article is well done!

  9. Thanks Ric, good luck to everyone.

  10. Thanks for a great write Ric! Good luck to all, hopefully we will have a close exciting race.