Rosario’s ‘Redemption’ and Picks for the Rainbow Six

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Derek Simon

April 4th, 2013

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The fact is Animal Kingdom has gained ground and/or position from the first call to the second call in nine of his 11 lifetime races. In fact, when he won the Kentucky Derby, the son of Leroidesanimaux passed a half-dozen rivals between those two calls.

Moving on the turn is what Animal Kingdom does best. It defines him… just like Zenyatta was defined by her thrilling stretch runs and Ruffian was defined by her brilliant early speed.

Rosario’s mistake in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, if any, was not being in better position early — something that sharp readers will notice Motion addressed prior to the World Cup.

Look, it’s no mystery why the trainer took his jockey aside after the (Click on image to enlarge)
Note: For an explanation of speed rations, please click HERE.

Mandatory Payoff in the Rainbow Six at Gulfstream Park

If no single ticket includes the winners of today’s Rainbow Six sequence, experts estimate that tomorrow’s pool, which must be paid out as Friday is the last day of the meet, could be in the $5 to $8 million range.

To help players out, I have produced my Win Factor Report for the day’s races. Click HERE to get your free copy.

FREE Weekend Handicapping Reports & Analysis

Free Win Factor Reports for all of Saturday’s races at Aqueduct and Santa Anita Park:


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This is a very strong field (6.7 Key Race Rating), featuring two undefeated Kentucky Derby contenders — VERRAZANO and VYJACK — and some other talented sophomores. The key here, as I see it, is how fast the early splits are going to be and how VERRAZANO will react.

ALWAYS IN A TIZ dons blinkers after showing speed at Oaklawn Park and FREEDOM CHILD has also shown a lot of early foot. This makes me believe that the pacesetter’s early speed ration (ESR) will be in the -10 range and VERRAZANO will be sitting in third in the initial stages.

Given that, will the son of More Than Ready show the same zip in the stretch (-4 late speed ration) that he did after setting moderate splits in the Tampa Bay Derby? Logically speaking, the answer is no… but Todd Pletcher’s colt is extremely talented and may rise to the challenge.
Still, at odds-on, is he worth the risk? Not to me. I’ll forego the cup of coffee he’ll return if he wins and look elsewhere.

The problem is where? Both NORMANDY INVASION and VYJACK have ideal running styles for this event, but both figure to get bet as well. Hence, I think the value in the Wood might be in the exotics. I’ll look to key — on top and bottom — any of contenders below that meet or exceed their fair odds:

5-VYJACK (5-2)
6-MR PALMER (12-1)


I actually like this race a lot, because there’s a horse in here that I think is “flying under the radar” (as the saying goes). STORM FIGHTER shows both improving ESRs and LSRs and, last time, posted very competitive speed and pace figures (93 Brisnet speed figure, -7 LSR). True, it’s a big jump from a maiden special weight state-bred affair to a prestigious Grade I Kentucky Derby prep, but STORM FIGHTER’s price should make up for that.

I also love the recent workouts of GOLDENCENTS, who I suspect will be on the engine and much tighter today than he was in the San Felipe. The distance is definitely an issue, but, again, the price figures to be right.

Of course, another interesting aspect of this race is what Bob Baffert will do tactically with his three uncoupled entries, two of which — FLASHBACK and SUPER NINETY NINE — have strong early speed. Something tells me the latter will be asked to play the part of sacrificial lamb, which would all but eliminate GOLDENCENTS as a serious contender.

My fair odds on the Santa Anita Derby:

9-DIRTY SWAGG (99-1)