Keyword: Dick Downey

  • The Downey Profile: Derby by the Numbers

    If four or five contenders start in the 2007 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) off only two prior 3-year-old starts, history shows us it's been tried before--but not much, and with mixed success. Here are some hard statistics.

  • 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: Will Tagg Pop the Cork in the Champagne?

    Deeds speak louder than words. In racing, sometimes it pays to take heed of what people do, not just what horses have done. So let's get right down to business and say that Nobiz Like Shobiz is going to win the Champage Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park on Saturday.

  • Downey Profile Analysis: Why All the Doom and Gloom?

    The Triple Crown series is North American racing's richest tradition. So why all the doom and gloom? Last time I checked, there's a big race for 3-year-olds coming up Saturday. <a href=""target=_blank"b>More....</a>

  • Downey Profile Analysis: Beyer Factor Returns to Normal in This Year's Derby

    One highly weighted part of the Downey Profile is the Beyer factor, which goes like this: The horse must run a Beyer speed figure of 100 or more in each of its final two Kentucky Derby preps. This year, following the 2005 Derby when not one starter had the Beyer factor, normalcy has returned.

  • Kentucky Derby Contenders Graded Earnings, Updated April 12, 2006

    The Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is restricted to 20 starters. If more than 20 horses are entered, total earnings in graded stakes determine the priority of starters. Link to an updated list of contenders by graded earnings, complete through racing of April 9.

  • 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.

  • Private Vow, winning the Futurity at Belmont, has an affinity for Churchill Downs but that may not matter in the Kentucky Derby.

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

    At, 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.

  • Downey Profile Analysis: Will Lawyer Ron School the Southwest Field?

    This year's top 3-year-olds at Oaklawn Park are Lawyer Ron and Music School. Lawyer Ron is the Downey Profile pick to win Saturday's Southwest Stakes, but another important issue is whether Music School will show improvement in his second outing this year, and if so, how much.

  • Downey Profile Analysis: Davis is a Don't-Miss Kentucky Derby Prep

    Saturday's Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs has long been a traditional prep race for the grade III Tampa Bay Derby, but this year's 26th running holds importance in its own right. No less than Bluegrass Cat and Hesanoldsalt ship up from South Florida to test the waters against 10 others, many of whom are worthy foes.

  • 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.

  • Smarty Jones Will Eat Up the Competition

    According to Bob Baffert, the toll of the Triple Crown Trail usually manifests itself about a week after the Preakness. There is no sign that the Trail has taken a toll on Smarty Jones.

  • Jockey Stewart Elliott races into the spotlight aboard Derby star Smarty Jones.

    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.