Unfiltered: Eclipse Awards and Early Kentucky Derby talk

January 6, 2023

Goodnight Olive wins the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Welcome to Past The Wire TV and another episode of Unfiltered. On this week’s show trainer Jeff Metz and Jonathan Stettin talk a little Eclipse Awards and the NTWAB. They also get into a little early Kentucky Derby talk and look at a few under the radar contenders and some pretenders. What do you look for in a Derby horse this time of year?

If you missed our show with Matt Carothers on the thinking man’s lottery you can check it out here.

Summary of Unfiltered: Eclipse Awards and Early Kentucky Derby talk

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For your convenience, we are the only Service which provides you with a Complete Transcription at the bottom so that you can easily scan and find the location of specific details.

The video discusses the Eclipse Awards and early Kentucky Derby talk with Bob Baffert. Baffert discusses National Treasure, a horse he believes is underrated and training well. He also mentions Helio, a horse who has run twice and looked good in his second start.

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  • 00:00:00 Pastthewire’s Unfiltered discusses the Eclipse Awards, which are often disregarded by many horse racing aficionados. The host argues that the awards are well-founded and that many voters do not do enough research.
  • 00:05:00 The author discusses why he applied to join the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and his disappointment that she was not accepted. He also criticizes the Eclipse Awards for being based too much on personal biases rather than on the horse’s performance on the racetrack.
  • 00:10:00 The video discusses the Eclipse Awards, which are given out annually to horse racing writers. Out of 100 times the leading money-winning writer, they are “okay.” The same thing goes for the trainer leading money-winning training; nine out of ten times they get it right. However, there are some people who do not watch horse racing often, and so they may have biases when voting. Prejudices can also affect the voting process for the Eclipse Awards. The three-year-old category is the most interesting, as it can be difficult to predict which horses will perform well in the classic race at that time of year. Flightline was one of the horses who was voted against, despite having a great career and dominant year.
  • 00:15:00 The author discusses how he believes that there should be some parameters set in place for who is eligible to vote for the Eclipse Awards, such as having at least x amount of starts in the United States. He also discusses how, if this were to happen, it could lead to the jockeys becoming more mercenary, as they would only care about winning instead of performing their best. Finally, the author talks about how, once he learned this information, he went out to dinner with friends and snapped a picture of Zach Garrett riding in front of Aqueduct.
  • 00:20:00 The author of the video discusses the Eclipse Awards, which were announced on May 7th. They discuss the three-year-old male horse, Rich Strike, who was nominated for the award but did not win. They also discuss the two other nominees, Epicenter and Taiba. The author thinks that CyberKnife, who won the Pennsylvania Derby, will get a lot of votes in the voting for the Eclipse Awards.
  • 00:25:00 One of trainer Bob Baffert’s major partnerships runs three horses in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita this weekend, and one of those horses is likely to be in contention for the Kentucky Derby.
  • 00:30:00 The video discusses Eclipse Awards and early Kentucky Derby talk, highlighting trainer Chad Brown, trainer Bob Baffert, and horse National Treasure. The trainer believes that some of the horses that are not considered favorites for the Kentucky Derby may have the potential to win.
  • 00:35:00 The video discusses the Eclipse Awards and early Kentucky Derby talk with Bob Baffert. Baffert discusses National Treasure, a horse he believes is underrated and training well. He also mentions Helio, a horse who has run twice and looked good in his second start.
  • 00:40:00 DRF formulator, the gold standard for performance information, is now free on DRF Bets. This allows anyone to access all the premium features, including sortable trainer stats, race replays, and personalized trip notes.
  • 00:45:00 The Eclipse Awards were given out earlier this week and early horse racing talk was a big topic of discussion. Some of the biggest names in horse racing took the stage to discuss the early Kentucky Derby and the race’s potential contenders.

FULL TRANSCRIPT: For your convenience, we have included URLs for every section of the Transcript which you can paste into your Brower if you want.

– [00:02](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2s) thank you for visiting Pastthewire TV the YouTube channel of pastthewire.com [Music] tracking trips with pick six King John Stanton it’s one of the best tools in horse racing for any level of player foreign it’s your second set of eyes spotting troubled trips bedding angles track trends horses to watch and favorites to fade 10 figs ticket structure and more at tracking trips you’re a friend with benefits not a member you must hate winning money join tracking trips now visit pastthewire.com and we’ll see you in the

– [01:03](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=63s) Winner’s Circle remember Nobody Does it Better [Music] thank you Hello everybody welcome to another episode of unfiltered on past Hawaii TV with my co-host Jeff Metz from his office at beautiful um Santa Anita the great rape great race place um I’m on the other side of the country and uh beautiful and warm Southwest Florida uh close to the uh Pegasus location which will be in a couple of weeks that’s always an exciting event on the racing calendar coming up very soon yeah no coming up very soon and what coincides with

– [02:07](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=127s) the you know Pegasus is one of the two things we’re going to talk about today we’re going to talk about the eclipse Awards and some thoughts on them and uh we’re gonna talk about and it’s never too early uh to talk about some of the Kentucky Derby uh contenders Pretenders and some of the things I look for early on in in a potential Kentucky Derby Contender or Pretender and uh we’ll see what you think of some of them some of them as well yeah sounds good um I was um I enjoyed taking in the Breeders Cup this year I

– [02:42](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=162s) was there live and uh and it was a great time and you know that has a lot of ramifications on the eclipse Awards and the voting and stuff so uh I was able to see some great performances and uh we’ll talk about some of those as we go forward yeah you know I’ve been very reluctant okay to talk much about the eclipse Awards over the past couple of years okay I have put out my sentiment that I don’t think that they pull as much weight as they did years ago and there’s a lot of reasons for that and some of them are

– [03:19](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=199s) personal and some of them might be biased but I think even though they might be personal and biased I think they are well founded okay um I think that a lot of people who vote okay and I’m not talking about everybody and I’m not going to single anybody out but a lot of people who vote I don’t think uh treated as a privilege do enough research and enough homework and are well versed enough to make um intelligent votes for lack of a better term or well-founded votes and I think that the eclipse Awards and the NTRA in

– [04:02](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=242s) itself is a little bit negligent in not having a specific criteria for voting in other words you get appointed a voter and you vote based on your own criteria um and that may or may not be okay I don’t think it is okay because I think a lot of the people that they allow vote and the criteria for voting is being I guess a writer for the racing form a member of the NTRA and uh I don’t know who else votes um I’m not a member of the  NTRA because they don’t want me to be uh which is comical and I’ve never

– [04:39](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=279s) spoken much about this uh you know you know publicly but I have applied to be a member and I was rejected three times so I’m a three-time strikeout for three different reasons the first time I was told we’re so sorry apply next year your application got lost in the shuffle next year will be no problem the next year I was completely ignored despite my emails despite my meeting the criteria despite my sending everything in uh until the process was over and then I got a call from somebody over there saying that I sent a nasty email to them

– [05:19](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=319s) which was not the case um I did send an email saying I asked you five times if you had everything you needed you never answered me and now you ignored me the voting’s over and you never even gave me an answer um and I covered and copied a friend of mine on that email who was a member and he wrote back a very nasty message and he hit he hit reply all oh boy so they thought that I wrote it and they called me up with a horrible attitude they had some guy call me up with a horrible attitude and he and I was like

– [05:55](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=355s) listen Okay I could see you being a little upset at that email but number one the person wasn’t wrong and number two if you know how to read I’m not the person okay I didn’t write it I sent it to somebody and hit reply All In go back and look at it you’re not talking to the guy who wrote it so you know they wanted me to apologize I’m like I’m not apologizing something I didn’t write and I agree with what the guy wrote so he’s not getting an apology from me you can consider my application withdrawn I

– [06:26](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=386s) applied again okay and this was the best one yet they told me and on the third one um please um and I submitted more letters than you’re required to um had more recommendations than you required to submitted all my credentials and whatnot and far exceeded their guidelines okay um and if they would have said listen we don’t like you you’re a criminal you’re a degenerate you’re this you’re that whatever um nobody voted you in but you didn’t pass it I could have could have dealt with it okay

– [06:58](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=418s) their answer was nobody even knows who you are can you please clarify some of your credentials and some of the stuff you did um I said that’s interesting because half of your membership subscribes to my column you know what I mean I said you know what never mind I’m sorry I ever tried to join uh good luck you know and I just kind of kind of washed my hand and now if they offered me a membership I would turn it down and the reason I wanted to be a member it was only one reason I’ve always loved horse racing always considered myself a

– [07:33](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=453s) student of the game okay um and then they came back and they said I didn’t write enough about horse racing I’m like okay I wrote nine million columns or whatever it is but yeah you know but whatever and then they said well a lot of them were about handicapping not about news okay only about 10 000 of them were about news I’m sorry not enough whatever okay when you got people that haven’t written any haven’t done anything okay so I just thought it was comical so I said but personally why I wanted to

– [08:06](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=486s) join was I never kept it a secret Jeff I dropped out of high school okay I have no formal education and I wound up writing a column that became very popular so I was like wow I’ve been a horse racing fan my entire life I remember reading Joe Hirsch I remember reading Ray Carrison I remember Reading Writing the old time real horse racing journalists that really you know other than a couple of guys like you know Jake Privman and the JJ hump day guys like that they really don’t exist anymore you know what I mean um

– [08:39](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=519s) so to me as a personal kind of Accolade for somebody who didn’t have any formal education to wow be a member of the NTRA how cool would that be and I would have treated it like a privilege now okay I say you know what I don’t want any to be any part of you guys um and I see people they abstain they oh with clear biases I mean taiba okay taiba is a great example all right what chance does taiba have to be three-year-old Champion even though he’s won more grade ones than anybody else none why because there are people that

– [09:17](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=557s) are biased against Bob Baffert and they’re going to vote that way okay um I wouldn’t say her name uh the Donna Brothers I’m only saying it because she put it out on social media said that she let you know her opinion of certain owners decisions influence her voting okay I am a firm believer that the eclipse Awards should be won on the racetrack based on the merits of the horse not whether you’re in East Coast or West Coast by this guy not whether you like or dislike the trainer um and I think the award has eroded

– [09:56](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=596s) in statute because of a lot of that kind of stuff you know I mean the jockey 99 out of 100 times the leading money winning writer gets it okay uh no thought in it you know what I mean same thing with the trainer leading money winning training nine out of ten times gets it you got a couple of people that abstain from Steeplechase or from Apprentice Riders because they don’t watch them enough it’s your job you accepted the position to vote get to know who they are get to know who the candidates

– [10:28](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=628s) are you know what I mean um so I think when you when you factor all that in although breed has put a lot of importance on it I think I think you know the horse racing Hall of Fame is a lot more prestigious of a place to be in than being an eclipse Award winner you know breeders might not agree with that that’s just my take um this year I go I got the three-year-old Championship was the most interesting of the categories all right and I don’t know who you think should or should not win but I

– [11:00](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=660s) thought epicenter that clearly had a claim I thought taiba clearly had a claim and I like the modern games argument okay even though he’s a grass horse um I think he’s got a claim I uh you know early on I thought CyberKnife might be in the  talk as well but I’m with you I really think uh it’s unfortunate what happened with the epicenter and you know on the Breeders Cup but uh I would think he’s going to probably get the nod over table and I don’t know if it is the Bob Baffert thing that what you mentioned but I just

– [11:35](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=695s) think um it’s his body of work of the races he ran and the consistency and not the table wasn’t great but uh and like you said more grade ones but I think sometimes it’s um the overall what they did all year long not just at the end of the year I agree with that and anybody who votes that way okay I can’t argue it okay it’s a legitimate vote and it’s a little legitimate reason but I do believe that when you go through the list of Voters and you go through their

– [12:11](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=731s) public comments and public sentiment and even some of them put their  reasoning there are biases okay there are known biases and there are some people you know are not going to vote so I think that prejudices is against IBA a little bit and I don’t think that’s fair um in your case you’ve got a reason why you say it you know it should be epicenter I could I could get there I could understand that like I said I can make a case for any one of those three and you know who I would give it to doesn’t really matter because I don’t

– [12:43](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=763s) have a vote um I do think winning you know three grade ones and running a credible race against older and the classic does pull a lot of weight um but I think I had a great career a great year yeah and I think that uh you know the race in the Malibu where uh table just dominated that that really was you know timing wise getting in right before the end of the year I mean that could have made the difference right there um right again I I when I think the three-year-olds do really well in the classic I’m surprised but at that time

– [13:17](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=797s) of year they’re still going good they’re really coming into their own and a lot of the older horses have gone to the breeding shed and you know or so they’re not racing anymore um but you know Flightline was limited in races that was you know I think it I don’t think one person picked against flight line you know but uh just it really was how they stacked up and who ran second and third to flight line and I think that Taiba ran a real credible race right now I guarantee you I don’t know who it is and I didn’t look at all

– [13:46](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=826s) but whoever picked against Flightline obviously picked against flight line because they didn’t feel he ran enough races I could be the only reason that I could get to in my mind that you vote against flight line for horse of the year and all the older Champion I mean who else could you possibly have voted for a horse in the year do you know the person voted for that voted against uh I didn’t I didn’t see that no I mean I can’t I  can’t imagine who it could possibly be yeah I mean you know uh when

– [14:17](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=857s) you talk about that older horse category I mean if flight line didn’t have the career or this year that he had and the dominance that he had I mean I think in any other year life is good is very top of the charts but it’s one of those things when you have a great year but another undefeated horse that has an even better year comes along and it’s just you know any other year I think life is good would have been a hands down winner but I’m like you I I couldn’t see anybody voting against

– [14:46](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=886s) Flightline yeah and you know and I think a lot comes down and you know I’m not looking to pile on the NTRA beat they’re not my favorite organ for sure but I’m not looking to pile on them but I think that if they are the ones who are indeed in charge of the eclipse Awards I think they should set some form of parameters okay in other words you have to have at least x amount of starts in the United States to be eligible um or  just some  criteria that everybody has to kind of abide by

– [15:21](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=921s) um when they make their decisions just to create some uniformity I’m not saying to take away all subjectiveness and all opinion because I think the voters should have you know some you know personal input and logic but I think there should be some kind of outline or basis that they should have to follow not just uh you know any willy-nilly logic that they might decide to apply and that could vary from one year to the next you know and I think that I know we’ll take it down a little bit yeah and it I think it is it’s a slippery slope

– [15:56](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=956s) because I think if you um if you give them the criteria like okay the most grade ones one that’s you know is gonna carry more weight and then I think it becomes like you said it’s like the jockeys the money one they get it every time I mean this year Flavian Pratt went back East to compete against those jockeys to bite his case for you know um Eclipse type jockey and um he was there probably half the year and then he you know he’s back in California but um you know he wrote against those guys and I’m sure it was a good

– [16:29](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=989s) challenge for him because he was just running away with the titles in California so he went back there and uh shook it up with Rosario and Iran Ortiz and you know it was it was good it was good to see those guys racing against each other Keeneland New York it was great to see those guys going elbow to Elbow with each other it really was and you know I had spoken with friends of mine about it and uh I had Irad and Jose on the show to get it okay and I asked him I said Flavian says he’s coming to town your backyard to compete for me

– [17:02](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1022s) that’s got to be some extra motivation for you guys and they didn’t take the bait they were like you know consummate professionals no we prepare hard and no matter what we don’t care who’s riding here we’re going out trying our bed every day you know but I didn’t buy that for a second you could feel something I know that deep down those guys are competitors you know and you know maybe publicly they might not have wanted to say it or whatever but I know that they had to be a little bit fired up you know

– [17:29](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1049s) nobody’s going to come down you know in my backyard and you know take some water away quick little story after the Breeders Cup so the next day uh I’m flying home and I’m going out of Cincinnati so in the gate right next to me is Rosario we go back a long ways I actually put him on one of his first mounts in the U.

– [17:48](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1068s) S but uh wow so I shake hands with him he’s got a very nice little suit on and I I look over at the gate and Flavian Pratt Iran Ortiz Jose Ortiz and then I look up at the terminal where they’re headed to LaGuardia I said God please don’t let that plane go down there’s too much greatness on that plane you know so I was like I was like there they go back to work and I’m sure they were all riding on Sunday you know so uh that was that was uh just kind of a fun thing the day after I’m like wow these guys are flying out of Cincinnati not

– [18:16](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1096s) even flying at it but they could probably get that direct flight to LaGuardia and you know it’s  funny people don’t realize hard day work you saw that last year okay the year before at Del Mar okay Saturday night the Breeders Cup Classic runs okay it’s all over uh I’m leaving slowly walking to my car going to have my last dinner in San Diego Carlsbad before I head back Sunday morning nice at my leisure okay so I’m walking to my car my car was parked right outside the door where most of the

– [18:50](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1130s) owners and Riders will park who’s running full speed okay running to catch a flight okay with his wife Harry and his daughter him carrying a bunch of bags and they’re running to the car obviously to make a flight okay Jose and his wife tail okay and their little baby and I’m like look at this guy he’s running to make the red eye or whatever the heck it is to get back because she’s got a ride first thing in the morning you know what I mean and if he’s going to sleep he’s gonna be sleeping on the

– [19:25](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1165s) plane and sure enough I took out the phone I got to you know nowadays it’s amazing you got the past performances right on your phone I look at Aqueduct the next day I believe it was Zach with us and there he is on he’s on mounts all day and sure as heck he didn’t miss a one of them you know what I mean um I went out to dinner went had a nice sleep got up leisurely at my own pace flew back Sunday he was already done with half a day of work you know what I mean so you don’t realize how tough and I remember back in the day Garrett

– [19:59](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1199s) Gomez was on a plane every weekend because he was riding the steaks all over the country no for sure and then it’s funny because a lot of times those jocks are on the same flight um it just yeah works that way and pretty soon they got to have you know booking agents get them where they need to be so but no um I I would think um who  did I’m sure it was pretty a no-brainer for the older affiliate mayor well what did you think there um I agree I thought listen I was I had no I  thought they were all

– [20:30](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1230s) pretty solid um with the exception of the three-year-old male I thought that that was you know up  for grabs I really did and you know I didn’t think at first it would go beyond the two big names Epicenter and Taiba I never really thought CyberKnife did enough to get into the conversation but at the end when they modern games came out I’m like you know what he did have a heck of a year and even though he only ran One race in the U.S.

– [21:01](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1261s)  he did he won it he won in Canada he won you know overseas uh if the One race in the U.S qualifies him and it does I can make a case for him do you think Rich strike gets a few votes on there I don’t think he deserves any realistically I think he might get some the Derby pulls a lot of weight he did run a credible racer too other than that but you know as a student in the game I think when you really look close well let me put it to you this way if I gotta get if I gotta upgrade Rich strike because he won the Derby then I make TY

– [21:44](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1304s) but a winner but for sure and I’ll tell you why all right Rich strike I thought caught a perfect storm in the Kentucky Derby everything broke right went right from the late scratch um to every move that Sunny Leon made that every hole that opened the pace everything just went perfect storm he capitalized N1 taking nothing away from him he had a win to race and finish first regardless of The Perfect Storm you know you still gotta win the race okay and sunny made every right move okay uh but if you go back to the Haskell okay

– [22:25](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1345s) um I thought that with a different trip Taiba would have clearly won the hospital and I said to a friend of mine right after they pulled up after the Haskell I said two things I said when tiger broke on the lead and Mike Smith decided to take him back I think that was a mistake I think if he lets him run on the lead he wins the race without question and ever go buy him but that aside CyberKnife will never beat Tiber again and he did it you know I was obvious to me that Taiba needed the race needed the experience probably needed

– [23:04](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1384s) one more work um prior to the Haskell uh and  no doubt he wins so if we’re going to start factoring things like that and okay then I’d say well then Tiber would have won four grade ones I believe the hospital is a grade one and then it becomes a no-brainer you know almost so you know I think he’s going to get a lot of votes and I think it’s going to be very close you know yeah I I hope so I think it deserves to be it deserves to be close the other the other category I thought was interesting

– [23:40](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1420s) was Sprinter okay because Jackie’s Warrior looked like he was going to dominate okay and he looked like the best Sprinter for most of the year and then this Elite power came up um and dominated the race before the Breeders Cup was undefeated against lesser you know going into that race and I was just winning by open lens and then common did the same thing in the Breeders Cup against Jackie’s Warrior and I said you know what this horse certainly only put himself right Square in the middle of the conversation you know what I mean you

– [24:16](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1456s) show up on the biggest day and you know how do you become the champ you know what I mean and talk about sentimental things I think Cody’s wish is going to get some votes in the eclipse Awards voting just because such a story that goes along with that right  and uh I mean that was by far the best story he won that vox populi award um popularity and I think that was clearly well deserved that had to be one of the best field stories in a year if horse racing if horse racing needed something at that time that definitely

– [24:59](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1499s) was it right and then you know the beautiful thing is that that the young man was there uh and and the horse performed and got up and got it done in in what turned out to be a pretty tough race uh you know um I can’t knock that at all um I don’t think he did enough to be quote horse of the year um but you know he’s certainly story of the year so uh you know that that that’s good and I thought Malathat earned it on the racetrack when push came to shove I thought that division was going

– [25:37](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1537s) to be a little bit more wide open and more contested than it actually turned out to be um I think her and I think Nest are going to be pretty slam dunks as far as the voting goes yeah I agree I agree and I think if Nest would have won that race it would have been very different I think she might have he you know really got herself in some other conversations as well um but uh she didn’t you know Malathat came through Nest kind of kind of regressed a little bit off some hot races which is something I thought might happen and I

– [26:15](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1575s) had even before the Breeders Cup asked Mike Ripole if it was a concern of his it really wasn’t a concern of mine I thought she had another good one in her but in hindsight you know she did run a lot of you know she danced a lot of big dances during the course of the Year and that does take its toll you know went to the well a few times um one thing I want to ask you was you know we talk about the two-year-olds and the two-year-old leads us into the Kentucky Derby talk when you’re this early in the year in January what do you

– [26:46](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1606s) look for in a Kentucky Derby Contender okay probably not what other people look for you know a lot of people are looking for the top horses now okay obviously everybody’s looking at you know Forte when the British cup and he looks really good okay obviously okay supposed to look good he’s a Breeders Cup juvenile winner most of them don’t win the Derby but you know you look at horses like that a lot of people are going to look at the horse Victory formation who won the Smarty Jones out on the lead by himself on cruise control

– [27:18](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1638s) okay um I don’t look for horses that are peaking at two and are in top or Peak form right now okay I look for horses that are to me looking like horses that are going to develop that are getting better that haven’t hit their best stride yet when it comes to first Saturday in May I want to see a horse peeking do something that he hasn’t done yet take a step forward as opposed to counting on a horse doing what they’ve done before um I’m a big believer that they’re not machines so when a horse comes off a big

– [27:59](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1679s) race a lot of people don’t believe in bounce Theory I do um horses regress off big races as a trainer I think you’ll agree with me that that’s a legitimate concern one of the cases that you mentioned about peaking so you remember during a coveted year they pushed the Kentucky Derby back to September well uh Bob Baffert had three contenders for the Derby in May right time September came it was three different contenders right so that’s shows you time of year timing progression all those things  and

– [28:34](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1714s) I know that that was a pretty rare year but it just shows you because it’s the first Saturday in May everything has to go right and I know he wanted that year with authentic is that correct is that he wanted that year with authentic but I remember in a conversation with him once um he said to me off they had run the Derby and made that yeah they never would have been and it was one of his horses um so you know I forget which one it was um but it was one of his horses and he had said if they run it in Maine they

– [29:07](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1747s) never would have been so and so um so it’s uh yeah you know what I mean so I look for somebody who is at this point probably well under the radar and I knock horses um and again they can jump up and win horses humble us all but like you know Victory formation who I guess is like sixth on the list now of points or you know on the early Derby list uh I don’t I don’t know yeah I don’t have it right in front of me but I know so this uh weekend at Santa Anita is the Sham Stakes right it’s a six horse field

– [29:46](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1786s) I know Bob has four of them and uh one of his partnership groups actually owns three of them right that major partnership group so I mean uh it’s  kind of like the Bob Baffert sham so right  but I embarrassed myself with that a couple of weeks ago I guess I think it was either in the Starlet or some other race where I said oh they should just call this the Bob bathroom so and Tim Yakteen jumped up and wanted no the little South it was the low South utility the low South utility so you know they gotta run the race but

– [30:21](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1821s) you know I look for somebody who’s getting better who’s not as good as the good ones yet who’s you know 10 20th on the list but getting better read to go long bred to get better um I mean this is no secret I’ll just use him because he’s well known but a horse like the horse we mentioned on the last show for stina um that curling colt that one sprinting even though it looks like he wants to go along that’s a horse that I’m like hmm look out this could be a derby type of horse and a horse that’s peaking in May

– [30:56](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1856s) um and I like the fact that Bob doesn’t bring him back fast in the Sham or something because Bob’s known to do that he’ll you know he’ll take a horse and put him right to the test off a big Maiden win you know um and I like that he didn’t and he’s taking his time and whatnot and you know he’s just gonna be about it another maybe a  point or a story for another time but boy when you get in these big barns Pletcher oh speaking of pleasure I think he’s had a great year for trainer of the

– [31:28](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1888s) year on the eclipse Awards right his horses showed up everywhere and ran well so I agree he would be my pick for that but speaking of these big trainers Chad Brown uh Brad Cox Bob Baffert I think when you have these you know you have 10 three-year-olds and you kind of have to spread them out like okay these two or three are gonna run here these two or three are gonna run here and I think some of them are at the advantage okay this group gets to run at their home track they just get it to run right out of their stall and then others are like

– [31:58](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1918s) well we’re going to Oakland Park with these so they have to ship so I think it’s a it’s a preparation to see how they ship how do they handle the shipping how do they take to a new Surface different competition stuff like that so I think those are some things that we will find out as we move forward to the Kentucky Derby on some of these horses of how they handle shipping how they handle different track surfaces and uh some of this will come to light but I I got to think it’s a bit of a chess game for

– [32:25](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1945s) some of these trainers that have 8 9 10 good three-year-olds that they want to develop and I’m sure all the owners want to take a shot at the Kentucky Derby yeah no for sure for sure for sure um and again you know I’m not a fan of advanced Derby Wagers uh I don’t think uh that’s a good bet I think there’s plenty of value to be had on Derby day that you don’t need to try and pick the winner now um but again I look for horses that people aren’t really looking at that haven’t really showed what they can do

– [33:01](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=1981s) and often that aren’t on even even on the list um you know there was one horse that Danny Gargen ran um double now um I  hope I’m saying  his name right uh what a great setup um but he looked like a horse to me that had the potential to really go forward and develop and become a lot better you know as the distance is going as  things go and if you know you look at the Sham um and the horses Bob has in there he’s got new gate who’s been running pretty regularly he’s got National

– [33:45](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2025s) Treasure who hasn’t run since the Breeders Club juvenile he’s got speedboat who ran into Breeders Cup Turf Sprint odd spot for Bob but he you know has already run since then on the grass and one now he’s going back to the dirt he’s got a maiden breaker reincarnate who’s run recently um of  his horses the one that catches my eye is National Treasure the one that hasn’t run since the Breeders Cup broke his Maiden first time out went long ran second in the American pharaoh to Cave Rock who was a little bit more

– [34:15](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2055s) developed than little bit more seasoned than him at that time and was all the Rave Cave Rock um then I looked at National Treasure I clocked them at the Breeders Cup I saw him he really looked like he was coming into his own he looked you know like a horse that was going to develop all right he wound up running in okay third to 4K um but he was close to the PACE and uh you know he broke from the 10th hole that might not have been the best place at Keeneland at that time you know he’s only had those three starts now he’s

– [34:46](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2086s) laid up a little bit comes back into sham he’s one to me looks like most likely to go forward than the other Bob horses so I kind of look for horses that are going forward and uh if I remember right I think there was an interview where Bob had a national treasure in and it might have been leading up to the Breeders Cup and uh I think on one of the interviews he said you know don’t overlook this horse you know I know Cave Rock is getting all the attention but you know this horse is training really good and I wouldn’t I

– [35:14](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2114s) wouldn’t overlook this one and I believe that was National Treasure he was talking about well let me tell you something when I when I looked at him schooling and looked at him in the paddock and you know watched him you know on the backside breed his cup week I watched him Galloping um I really thought he was sitting on a big race I thought you know Cave Rock’s getting all the real all the attention but you know this horse doesn’t look like he’s going to be outclassed by him at all based on how he

– [35:43](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2143s) was acting in the morning you know um and that’s interesting that you say you know how this horse has been rested since the Breeders Cup so now he gets to run fresh or at least off of freshening so um you know we’ll see but I think um I think that horse will probably take all the money on the betting window this this weekend yeah he might especially he’s got that that that classic Bob 111 six for a long work that that is very tough for a better to get around when you see that you know what I mean

– [36:13](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2173s) especially when he cuts back you know when he cuts back from like a mile and an eighth or Mile and 16th to seven furlongs very similar to um a tiger you know what I mean who cut back from the from because when bob cuts him back from  going two turns you know to go seven eighths you know he’s run some of his biggest races on the uh those conditions more Spirit In The Met mile cut back to one turn exploded you know what I mean I mean that you know Bob on the cutback is a very  strong angle

– [36:44](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2204s) unfortunately in the derby nobody’s cutting back hasn’t stopped him from winning his share with him but nobody’s cutting back in the derby you know no and I think like you said I mean Bob knows how to get him ready and tighten the screws when the time is right so uh you know and his horses just work fast they’re talented fast horses and that’s the way they work so yeah um any final thoughts that you wanted to talk about as on the eclipse Awards or on the Kentucky Derby um I’ll say this okay

– [37:15](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2235s) um on Eclipse Awards I think we talked on them enough and I certainly don’t want to beat up on the NTRA anymore or my thoughts on that I think I said what I had on the three-year-olds I would say this um most people who read my stuff and also know I like to quite I like the quote movies and books and stuff like that okay and there’s a famous quote in The Godfather where um he says our true enemy has not yet revealed himself and I will say the true Derby horse has not yet revealed himself

– [37:53](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2273s) um I don’t think it’s Forte I don’t think it’s any horses high on the list and I’ll  quickly run down um the list of points leaders right now Forte curly Jack blazing sevens JC’s Road instant coffee Victory formation those are the top six I wouldn’t take any of them right now okay and I will say Forte looks very good okay when good you know what I mean Pletcher knows how to bring them around you know laid up since the breed is cop but I always worry about horses that are that good at to being able to come back

– [38:31](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2311s) and be that good at three and I think historically the juvenile has showed us it’s not it’s not the greatest race to win if you want to win the Derby yeah it’s kind of uh for a long time it was kind of the Jinx um you know the horse that won the Lost South maturity the Yakteen horse if my information’s correct I think he got a little time off at the farm and they’re gonna freshen him up and then make that Derby Run would be my guess so um but you know hey it’s always nice to see somebody

– [39:03](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2343s) you know that can take on the big boys and uh see what he can do he’s got a taste of it he got a taste of it last year and uh so we’ll see how it goes this year there’s one horse I’ll mention we’ll close with this andit’s a shame um I should note a horse’s name the horse I think uh it’s  one of Bob’s horses it’s Helio something okay he’s run twice he’s sprinted then he stretched out last time when he stretched out he checked really

– [39:30](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2370s) hard and then came again for second um he had to look to me okay and I’ll look up his name and I’ll put it in the comment section in the video um this way nobody can accuse me and not do my homework but that looked like a horse who’s not on anybody’s list who’s nowhere to be found but who just caught my eye as to check as hard as he did drop back the way he did come again and run second only you know gets only in his second start first time going two turns um dangerous horse going forward you know

– [40:06](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2406s) and I think you know you mentioned on that when horses get in a little trouble and come back on I think that adversity that they’re able to overcome I think that is very valuable when it comes to a 20 horse field in Churchill Downs in the first weekend of May because you’re not going to get this clean trip if you go to the lead you’re most likely going to have pressure if you’re mid-pack you got horses all over and if you’re coming from behind you’re at the mercy of a path and a hole opening up when you need

– [40:32](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2432s) it because a lot of times tired horses just back up into you and you don’t know so I think a touch of adversity that a horse can overcome I think that’s going to be a big thing down the road for these three-year-olds no I agree and it’s you know we’ll have a better idea this this you know this week we get to see the Jerome at Aqueduct I don’t think the derby win is there um we’ll get to see the Sham I would never say a race where Bob’s got that many horses the derby win is not there

– [41:00](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2460s) um we don’t know what he’s going to do this year he can’t run any Derby he’s probably gonna have to move some of those horses again like he did last year will they go to Tim um will they go who knows where they’ll go who knows what’ll happen let’s see what happens but uh you know you know he’s got a bond full of contenders so they’re going to wind up somewhere so we’ll see what happens but uh we will be back next week with more um enjoy the races this week uh watch Jerome watch the Sham you guys got a

– [41:31](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2491s) couple of other Stakes out there yeah uh so you know exciting racing out there and uh yeah leading up to the Pegasus really good yeah the you know San Anita got a lot of rain this week but as taping of this show Friday Saturday and Sunday we got clear skies and hopefully good racing so uh should be good now rain again on Monday but San Anita got the mercy of the weather report Friday Saturday Sunday our good weather sun shining and uh hopefully some good races this weekend and Saturday is a big cow cup day so

– [42:05](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2525s) it’s really hot the cow breads are shining and I know you wrote a nice article on that so um anyways until next week let me tell you yeah  before those cow cups are competitors that’s a competitive all over the place they really are yeah it’s a good betting card because you know it’s restricted races but again it’s  competitive and that’s what you like and let me tell you that restrictive has become deceptive those  races might be restricting the calendar but those

– [42:31](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sL13Pw3Aq8&t=2551s) horses going open company and they  perform well they hold their own you know especially the good ones they really do so I think I think a lot of times that restricted label can be a little deceptive because those horses are really good yeah I agree with you those programs have really improved it’s not just California the New York Reds have improved and they you know they’re just they’ve come a long way absolutely all right uh always a pleasure Jeff we’ll be back next week

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