Dick Downey

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Downey Profile Analysis: Time for Business in Holy Bull

While it's always tempting and usually advisable to try to beat the favorite, the 2007 renewal of the grade III Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park appears to be a race where what you see is what you get. And what you see is perhaps the best 3-year-old in America: Nobiz Like Shobiz.

Downey Profile Analysis: Sham Stakes an Odd Mix

What an odd grade III race the Sham is. There's a maiden coming in off a 13-day break, a horse that broke its maiden in its second and most recent start, a $7,000 horse with enough earnings already to assure it of a berth in the Kentucky Derby, a turf runner switching to the dirt, and an invader from New Mexico. Let's try to figure out what is and isn't a sham here.

Downey Profile Analysis: A Contrarian View of the Rebel Stakes

The Kentucky Derby picture may start looking somewhat muddled at some point, but so far this year, the Road to the Derby has been pretty clear-cut. Favorites won the San Rafael (gr. II), Holy Bull (gr. III), Sham (gr. III), San Vicente (gr. II), Whirlaway, Sam F. Davis, Southwest, Santa Catalina (gr. II), and the California Derby. The gravitational pull is so hard, a disqualification placed the favorite first in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II). The issue this weekend is whether we view the trend as our friend in the Rebel Stakes (gr. III). We'll take the contrarian view, if things develop as we think they will.

Downey Profile Analysis: 'Horse for the Course' Doesn't Work in Derby

At TheDowneyProfile.com, we utilize 13 factors more common to Kentucky Derby winners than non-winners, based on our 33-year study, in order to create an objective, weighted-factor predictor of Kentucky Derby success. One factor that we do not use is the "horse for the course" handicapping angle, the one that looks to horses that have run well at Churchill Downs.

Downey Profile Analysis: Why Pick the Favorite to Win the Fountain of Youth?

This race has it all. Worthy past performances. Terrific workout lines. High profile, solid connections. Quality breeding. From a handicapping perspective, there is good reason to swing for extra bases here, not just a single. From a talent perspective, there are several in here with a legitimate chance to win. Therefore, we can't go with the one who's getting the most attention, First Samurai, to win the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II).

Downey Profile Analysis: Latent Heat Has Smoldering Potential in Santa Catalina

Brother Derek is the consensus top-rated 3-year-old based in California. Yet, there are eight others of varying aptitude taking aim at him in Saturday's grade II Santa Catalina Stakes, including one shipping in from Louisiana via Texas. We deduce that connections of these rivals aren't taking it for granted that Brother Derek will win this race.

Achilles of Troy Could Be Vulnerable Favorite in Whirlaway

Achilles of Troy will be an overwhelming favorite in Saturday's $65,000 Whirlaway Stakes, but will he win the race? There are two indications that he might be vulnerable. Regardless of the outcome, the race doesn't have significant Kentucky Derby implications, since there are no graded earnings at stake.

Issue in the Sham Stakes: How Much Is Asked of Bob and John

Saturday's 1 1/8-mile Sham Stakes at Santa Anita has taken on new importance since achieving grade III status for the first time this year. Despite that, the race doesn't fit into the plans of many California connections with stakes plans down the road. It's drawn only six entries, and two of those have emerged from the claiming ranks.

Look for Value and Bragging Rights in Kentucky Derby Future Wager

Kentucky Derby Future Wager 1, open Thursday through Sunday, is a tough bet. One thing to consider in this wager is, as with any bet, value. To that end, the morning lines of Future Wager 1 individual entries were compared with betting lines offered on two internet betting outlets prior to the opening of the pool.

Strike Up the Band for Stewart Elliott

Despite his local success, [Stewart] Elliott hasn't exactly been a household name outside of Philadelphia. Yet he is going to ride the most consistent horse in Kentucky Derby 130, the six-for-six Smarty Jones, who will attempt to become the first undefeated Kentucky Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977.

Value a Plus in the Wood

Our choice to win the Grade I Wood Memorial is VALUE PLUS. This strapping, gray colt is versatile, fast and has the breeding to get the 1 1/8 mile distance. In last year's Wood, Funny Cide and Empire Maker were prominent throughout the race. We believe that early prominence will dominate this year's running as well.

Call Me <i>Mister</i> Jones

The grade II Arkansas Derby runs this Saturday at Oaklawn. SMARTY JONES will win and up his record to six for six. He will win by multiple lengths. His time for the 1 1/8 mile race will be under 1:49, and he will quiet all doubts as to his status as a serious Derby contender.

Limehouse Right at Home at Keeneland

A quick quiz. How many of the starters in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes won the last time out? The answer: two, Limehouse and California shipper Preachinatthebar. In fact, LIMEHOUSE has won his last two. We pick him to run his streak to three in Saturday's Blue Grass.

The Song Goes On

The Grade II Illinois Derby looks like an orchestra with no conductor, as the morning line odds indicate.

Seasoning and Experience Have Not Lost Their Hold on the Kentucky Derby

In the past few years, much discussion has centered around the chances of a "lightly-raced horse" winning the Kentucky Derby. But in fact, the talk has not come to much fruition. Truth holds eternal, and although there are exceptions to every rule, the truth is that it still takes seasoning and experience to win the Kentucky Derby the vast majority of the time.

WinStar to Win WinStar Derby

By Dick Downey -- The $500,000 WinStar Derby sees the sponsor's own VICTORY LIGHT shipping in from Payson Park in Florida, and Pat Day comes along for the ride.

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