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The Derby Trail 2023 thread

Normally by this time I have some favorites in mind. Not this year. Will wait until Fri night or even day of to commit, not unusual for another to drop out and PP can figure in.

Oaks, like Wet Paint and her trainer, who also has a couple of other nice fillies. And they are all fast.

Like PromiseherAmerica, not be as fast as some of the others, so far, but its the trainers first graded stakes winner and their first trip to CD. She decent enough and still learning. Be nice to see her do well. Certainly bred for it. AP-Unbridled Song mare. Southlawn, POTN-Uncle Mo mare, may also be a big factor, they both won very competitive races. Not that big a fan Beyer numbers but Southlawn ran a big one, but that was then who knows about Friday.

One thing about all the prep races for Oaks and Derby is the weather has been awful everywhere so, with the exception of the synthetic tracks, we know how most will deal with an off track.

I will be rooting for Forte–like his owner. Worked hard, made his millions and is loving spending it on horses.

However, I think this might be the year a frontrunner wins. Does not seem to be much pace in the race, so I can see someone going for the lead and keeping it.

Late to party. Just saw a pic of Forte. Hubba Hubba. Was not surprised to see Meglio when I checked pedigree.

I also really like Mike Repole. He’s always put the horses’ well-being ahead of his own ambitions.

I’m waiting for the post position draw to pick my three (I always pick three). But I agree that a front runner type might take it this year. Kingsbarns looks good. And I keep looking at Derma Sotogake. The Japanese are improving all the time in their breeding program, and one year, even if not this one, I think they will win a Derby. Tapit Trice is my Belmont horse.

PP for the OAKS

PP for the DERBY


Has anyone read/heard anything about Derma Sotogake’s name and what it means?

I can’t help but think it sounds like a skin condition… :joy:

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Or a Spa treatment… :rofl:


A long time ago I read something about how a lot of Japanese bands take English names that are nonsensical but phonetically interesting. Like (this is a made up example but the ones I saw were equally odd) Sequoia Marsh Rabbit, or something like that.

I’ve always wanted to ask someone knowledgeable about Japanese racing if the English names we see are the actual names, or if they’re the English translations of the Japanese names. Sometimes it’s obvious, others not so much.

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Yes, it’s something to do with sumo? There’s a short, and very cute, Bloodhorse+ video on him, and it’s totally worth watching.

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Yes, that’s it. I don’t subscribe so I only see a couple of videos, but it’s a nice series.

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Entries and connections (with pedigree info)


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Not what you want leading up to the big day…

Take Charge Briana broke down (turf) & was euthanized at Churchill today.
Chasing Artie dropped dead back at the barn, shortly after his race.

Parents Pride had also dropped dead after their race back on 4/29.
Both Chasing Artie & Parents Pride are out of Saffie’s barn.

Of course there also was Wild On Ice last week as well.

I agree.
But it’s part of the racing world, and we can’t turn a blind eye to it. We mustn’t just sit around cheering on the pretty horses who make it to the post while ignoring the dark side. Of course a horse can die in its pasture or in its stall. But it’s crazy that so many millions of dollars can be put into breeding and training these animals and ignore the unpleasant facts.
I’m glad you posted what you posted. I agree we don’t want it. But we have to be reminded of it. I’m tired of baby horses dying without ever having a chance to live as horses.

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I know that bashing the racing industry is a popular thing to do, but if unpleasant realities were truly being ignored by people in the industry, you wouldn’t be aware of them.


It interesting to note that both those horses were owned and bred by the same person, who’s been sued repeatedly for not paying his training bills. So you have an owner/breeder who takes a “factory” approach to producing racehorses, and a trainer who’s willing to take on problem clients. Not a great combination.


An article from the racing press (Thoroughbred Daily News) about the breakdowns:

Churchill Expresses Concern After Deaths of Two Saffie Joseph Horses (thoroughbreddailynews.com)

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I don’t think Saffie should be allowed to race until the necropsy results are back. He should be suspended. If they can rule Baffert off for two years over an otherwise legal medication they can step up and protect Saffie’s horses.


When I read sometime last year that Joseph had taken Ramsey as a client, I thought to myself, “I hope he gets paid”. I guess the lure of an operation of that size is hard to resist for a young trainer on his way up.
I like Saffie Joseph Jr and really hope it’s nothing nefarious and that I can continue watching his star rise.