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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Horses, Cardinals and Coaches...oh, my!


-Who will win the Kentucky Derby? Where's the dartboard ???

-Fowler, Collins sweep BIG EAST awards

-Walz a travelling man this time of year.

-Golf in third place after second day of BIG EAST Tournament

The big grey/white Hansen will be
easy to spot on the track
Kentucky Derby 138 is on Saturday, May 5th. With a dozen shopping days until the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, the picture on a clear favorite is as murky as the Ohio River after several days of rain. Today, we try to make a little sense of it all. Just in case, we've got the dart board converted to 'horses running' and darts ready to throw. It may just be the most logical way to pick them for the Run for the Roses.

Bodemeister destroyed the field
in the Arkansas Derby
Any discussion of Derby favorites should probably include the following horses. Bodemeister, winner of the Arkansas Derby by nine lengths for Bob Baffert may be the post time favorite. A lot to like there.

Union Rags, a close third in the Florida Derby and the sentimental favorite with trainer Michael Matz and rider Julian Leparoux is getting rave reviews on his training and strength since the race.

No one has gotten to Gemologist yet.
Dullahan pulled the upset over Hansen in the Blue Grass Stakes and both of those will get bettor play. Dullahan was flying at the end and wowed horseplayers with his finishing kick. You know Hansen will go for the lead and try to take them wire-to-wire on a track he won the Breeder's Cup Juvenile on last fall. He beat Union Rags, Creative Cause, Dullahan and four other Derby contenders that day at Churchill.

I'll Have Another could win another...
Gemologist took the Wood Memorial for Todd Pletcher and Javier Castellano and hasn't been beaten yet. The California invaders I'll Have Another and Creative Cause were neck and neck in the Santa Anita Derby and looked good in doing it. 

Think we're done? No, not hardly. 

El Padrino and Mark Valeski could deliver a nice
price on Derby Day.
Take Charge Indy and Calvin Borel won the Florida Derby and Calvin...yeah, he knows a thing or two about riding and winning at Churchill Downs. El Padrino ran fourth against Borel that day but Pletcher is dismissing that race as a horse not liking the course and will relish Churchill.

Sprinter Trinniberg hasn't tested a distance race yet but blew them away in the Bay Shore and has the breeding to suggest he could "get" a mile and a fourth. Liaison has Baffert and Bejarano and they are a deadly combination, despite the sixth place Santa Anita Derby finish.

That should cover it, right? Think again...

Alpha can kick away from the field in the stretch.
Daddy Long Legs invades from Dubai and won the UAE Derby. He's second on the earnings list for potential Derby runners and has stamina and a closing kick. Mark Valeski, who lost the Louisiana Derby by half a length to longshot Hero of Order, did so while missing a front shoe. Daddy Nose Best is a Steve Asmussen horse that gets Garrett Gomez and won the Sunland Derby. Done Talking finished first in the Illinois Derby and Alpha ran an improving second in New York. Isn't He Clever recently got switched to the Asmussen barn. His eighth place finish in Arkansas was probably another case of "wrong track, wrong day"...he did win the Borderland Derby in impressive fashion.

WE look into our crystal ball for
the Kentucky Derby winner later
this week. Where's the Windex?
Twenty horses will take to the gate at 5:37 p.m. on the first Saturday in May. We've covered 18 of them here who we wouldn't be surprised to see finish first across the wire. 

Like we said earlier, get out the dartboard...

WE will have some selections for our readers later this week from Sonja, Paul and Tommy Boy. Suitable for hamster cage liner. 

Currently, Paul is big on Bodemeister. The Arkansas Derby didn't have the strongest of fields...but the way he ran away and hid from the competition down the stretch sure looked like a Derby winning move...

Sonja is wavering between Gemologist and I'll Have Another these days, in addition to Bodemeiser. 

"Seven horse? Seven horse! Who said anything about
the seven horse!! Inquiry! Steward's objection!" 
Tommy Boy refuses to share any philosophies with us yet. He's too busy trying to figure out what happened to his "sure fire" Pick 4 at Keeneland Sunday. 

Tommy usually does pretty good when it comes to big races. He had last year's Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, in his top three and hit the exacta. 

J.J. not seeing a Hansen Derby win.
J.J. Hysell, one of our favorite handicappers, sees it this way in her Paulick Report...1) Gemologist  2) Bodemeister 3) Union Rags 4) Dullahan. She puts out the In The Money site we have listed on the left side of the board.

Got a early "take" on who you like and why? Shoot us a comment or e-mail. Nothing like the blind leading the deaf, right? 

We're still waiting patiently for Churchill Downs to approve us as "media-pass" worthy. We've been assured that we'll get this approval and we know that their media relations department is quite busy these days. Good things come to those who wait, we guess. Will this one 'come down to the wire'?


Taner Fowler and Tori Collins were selected for BIG EAST awards for Louisville softball. Fowler was named BIG EAST Player of the Week and she had eight hits, four home runs, eight RBI's and six runs scored in the Cards five wins last week.

She also worked the concession stand, sold programs, directed traffic on Floyd Street and swept the stadium after each game. The Morgantown, KY sophomore alternates between designated hitter, catcher, infield and is a slugger extraordinaire. She leads Louisville with nine home runs this year. 

Tori Collins was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll for her precise pitching last week, getting three of the five Louisville wins. She allowed 11 hits in 19 innings and is 21-1 on the year. Her ERA is a microscopic 1.11. 

Collins has 564 career strikeouts which is good for 3rd on the all-time Cardinal pitcher list. 

Louisville (43-2) takes a break from BIG EAST action Wednesday to travel to Bloomington and face Indiana University. 

The Cards lead the BIG EAST with a 14-2 record. USF is 13-3, Syracuse 11-3 and Notre Dame 7-3. 


Ricky Nelson also sang "Garden
Party" and "Poor Little Fool". 
The late Ricky Nelson sung the classic sixties hit Travelin' Man but one wouldn't blame Jeff Walz for humming a few bars of it lately. 

The UofL women's basketball coach has been spanning the nation watching future prospective Cardinal talent from coast-to-coast. He was checking out 2013 mark and #5 ranked Becca Greenwell in Virginia and North Carolina last week. Then it was off to California to catch #1 2013 prospect (oh lord, won't you recruit us a...) Mercedes Russell

Apologies to the late Janis Joplin.

Rumor also has it that Walz offered a scholarship to an outstanding 6'4" sophomore center in the Sacramento area. We're on the story trying to confirm that. With just a couple of days left in the recruiting period, he's also expected to pay a visit to Brownsburg, IN. star Stephanie Mavunga, ranked #3 for 2013.  

Van Halen sings better than Walz. Barely...
There's also a meeting with Swedish sensation Amanda Zahui on campus this week and Lindsey Wilson freshman and  Cardinal target Monny Niamke. 

Yep. Coach is racking up more frequent flyer miles than Van Halen's concert tour lately...


The UofL women's golf team is in third place after Day Two of the BIG EAST Tournament at Reunion-Watson Course in Reunion, Fla. The Cards took third with a red hot second day score of 311 to give them a two-day total of 623. South Florida leads with 604 and Notre Dame follows with 609.

Haas (center) is a stroke off the lead.
Freshman Emily Haas leads Louisville with a 151 for 36 holes. She's tied for third...just two strokes back of the leaders. Freshman Katie Petrino has had back-to-back 77's and sits in 11th place with a 154. The youth movement on the links seems to be alive and well for Coach K's "grip and rippers". 

Katie Petrino has back-to-
back 77's in Florida.
Maria Castellanos has hit the ball 159 times in two days and Tara Lyons carded duplicate 80's to sit at 160....along with Candace Wiley.

The Cards conclude the tournament today with a 8:50 a.m. tee time. Long drives, close chips and steady putts, ladies!  


  1. I follow the horses very close this time of year and agree it is a very close race. I've got Gemologist, Take Charge Indy, Union Rags and Creative Cause as my top four finishers.

    Go Kats!

    Joe Y. - Louisville, KY.

  2. My family has been behind Dullahan for months now. When it comes to horses I mostly do what they do!

  3. I agree with Jenny. Dullahan beats these. Horse may start slow but finishes big and Churchill stretch is a long one.

    Blue Lou


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