HorseplayerPro: Nose to Nose

Updated: April 10, 2008, 10:24 PM ET
By Jeremy Plonk and Joe Kristufek | HorseplayerPro.com

It's an instant-messaging world, and we're horse-playing in it. This week, ESPN.com contributing columnist Jeremy Plonk ("JayPea") and fellow HorseplayerPro.com analyst Joe Kristufek ("DaKattack") samba in cyberspace.

Thursday, April 10

DaKattack (5:50:50 PM): Pyro doesn't need to win the Blue Grass on Saturday ... but he probably will anyway

JayPea (5:52:08 PM): He might not need to win, but Todd Pletcher sure does ... bet there's some uneasy mornings around that barn with no Derby contenders yet

DaKattack (5:53:57 PM): yeah, how many second and third stringers have they sifted through, a dozen?

DaKattack (5:54:00 PM): trust me, Cowboy Cal is NOT the horse

JayPea (5:54:35 PM): Monba could be, he was everybody's hot horse the way he finished the Hollywood Futurity

JayPea (5:54:52 PM): and it seems like everyone stank it up in the Fountain of Youth, so who knows?

DaKattack (5:55:16 PM): Agreed, and Prado stays ...

DaKattack (5:55:41 PM): Pletcher had fives aces and still lost the Derby last year ... Funny things happen sometimes

JayPea (5:55:50 PM): weird year for top jocks, they all seem to be landing on the wrong steeds

DaKattack (5:56:02 PM): Musical jockeys. But BridgMo has stayed on Pyro, it's his only TC horse

JayPea (5:56:26 PM): Garrett Gomez won 8 million stakes last year, and as the jock in my fantasy stable he can't seem to find a Derby mount to save his life

JayPea (5:56:51 PM): I need to get superagent Ron Anderson on the cell now, damn it!

DaKattack (5:56:58 PM): Well, there's the big three -- Pyro, Big Bust, I mean Brown, Colonel John and everyone else

JayPea (5:57:20 PM): I'm not googling 'Big Bust' on the internet...

DaKattack (5:57:44 PM): Wise move, unless you've got Internet safety set

JayPea (5:57:49 PM): You're right, there's a big-time dropoff after 4 horses - you're forgetting the secret weapon

DaKattack (5:57:57 PM): Who's that? Recapturetheglory?

JayPea (5:58:01 PM): Adriano, baby

JayPea (5:58:11 PM): I can't wait for his workout Sunday on the dirt at Churchill

DaKattack (5:58:11 PM): Ah...yes...Adriano

DaKattack (5:58:22 PM): Loved his Lane's End

DaKattack (5:58:38 PM): though his only success is on turf and Poly, he's bred to run all day on dirt

JayPea (5:58:57 PM): Hey, if Sedgefield can run 5th in last year's Derby...that's all I'm sayin...

DaKattack (5:59:05 PM): who?

JayPea (5:59:22 PM): Exactly. Sedgefield couldn't fill this guy's hay rack

DaKattack (5:59:42 PM): There's a lot of trainers hoping Adriano works lights-out on Sunday

DaKattack (5:59:42 PM): That keeps him out of the Lexington starting gate

DaKattack (5:59:56 PM): a bunch of horses need those last minute earnings

JayPea (6:00:00 PM): Those Lexington horses don't want a piece of him

JayPea (6:00:12 PM): Pyro, Big Brown and the Colonel might, but those don't

DaKattack (6:00:18 PM): Well, I'm not going to lose any sleep if Salute the Sarge and Tomcito don't make the Derby

DaKattack (6:01:38 PM): But the earnings list is 50 deep...Only 20 make it...This weekend is huge

JayPea (6:02:06 PM): All about the dough...just ask Chelokee, Rock Hard Ten, etc

DaKattack (6:02:19 PM): Yeah, they're still bitter

JayPea (6:02:28 PM): you've IM'd them lately?

DaKattack (6:02:40 PM): Tried ...but their away messages said ...

DaKattack (6:02:59 PM): Busy out in the field with the ladies, be back later

JayPea (6:03:17 PM): I'd put that one up, but don't think my wife would find it amusing

DaKattack (6:05:15 PM): Hey, did I ever tell you that the Delta Jackpot is my least favorite race?

JayPea (6:05:38 PM): my boy Don Stevens in the announcer's booth is frowning at that...why???

DaKattack (6:06:19 PM): Nothing against the track, or the race itself, but it puts too much value in the current system that ranks horses based on graded stakes earnings

DaKattack (6:06:36 PM): After the Breeders' Cup, good 2yos are farmed out for the winter to get ready for a grueling spring

JayPea (6:07:00 PM): give Delta credit for finding a niche - Closing Argument almost made 'em famous

JayPea (6:07:27 PM): but the graded dollars rankings are misleading, I agree

DaKattack (6:07:45 PM): Z Humor and Turf War are still in the top ten in graded earnings

DaKattack (6:08:12 PM): while Bob Black Jack is fighting for every penny

JayPea (6:08:21 PM): your grudge is with the way the Derby field is picked - not with the Jackpot!

DaKattack (6:09:45 PM): AGREED

DaKattack (6:09:45 PM): 2yo races should not be worth as much as 3yo races

DaKattack (6:09:45 PM): with the exception of maybe the Breeders' Cup

DaKattack (6:10:06 PM): One-turn Grade 1's in September are of little consequence when it comes to the Derby trail

JayPea (6:10:18 PM): you're boring me

JayPea (6:10:31 PM): let's pick some stinking winners!

DaKattack (6:10:50 PM): who is that overrated plug of Mott's who won a Grade 1 last year and stunk up the track in the Louisiana Derby?

JayPea (6:11:07 PM): Majestic Warrior for Boss Steinbrenner

DaKattack (6:11:11 PM): YES

DaKattack (6:11:24 PM): he's another great example

JayPea (6:11:26 PM): You're like George Costanza to Steinbrenner, ya know?

DaKattack (6:11:47 PM): just don't deprive me of my soup

JayPea (6:11:58 PM): I see a vein popping out of your head through your Chicago Cubs IM wallpaper

JayPea (6:12:24 PM): There's a million bucks in the kitty for the Arkansas Derby, do you mind if we try to find a winner in it?

DaKattack (6:15:20 PM): Gayego

DaKattack (6:15:23 PM): Liberty Bull

DaKattack (6:15:29 PM): Shekinah

DaKattack (6:15:36 PM): next

JayPea (6:15:43 PM): those are you picks?

DaKattack (6:15:54 PM): cold trifecta

JayPea (6:16:10 PM): cold is what you'll be when you have to pawn your winter coat to play the 10th

JayPea (6:16:47 PM): You do realize the horse Liberty Bull beat at Sunland came back to run 9th in a maiden race at SA last week, right?

DaKattack (6:17:10 PM): Something ain't right with Screen to Screen then.

DaKattack (6:17:20 PM): He must not like running on plastic

DaKattack (6:17:52 PM): Liberty Bull was wide every step, and he smoked that field like a Cuban cigar

JayPea (6:18:18 PM): we'll see...he's not for me...but I do think Gayego has every license

DaKattack (6:18:22 PM): The Bull ran third to Denis of Cork and Sierra Sunset in the Southwest

DaKattack (6:18:29 PM): That race is at Oaklawn, isn't it?

JayPea (6:18:33 PM): Si

JayPea (6:18:57 PM): Meanwhile, Denny is still trying to find the IL Derby wire...didn't you bump into him in your hometown?

DaKattack (6:20:39 PM): Hey, enough of this foo-foo stuff, you like Gayego, or what?

JayPea (6:21:29 PM): I like Gayego, but I don't like $8 horses in 14-horse fields ... but our cohort Timmy Turrell is on the grounds at Oaklawn and says this horse looks great in the flesh

DaKattack (6:21:44 PM): OK, value monger, who's the bet?

JayPea (6:21:46 PM): It's Asmussen's world, we just get to live in it - King's Silver Son

DaKattack (6:22:01 PM): He'll be overbet off a run-along second in the Rebel where he passed tired horses after an honest pace

DaKattack (6:22:52 PM): What kind of price you expecting?

JayPea (6:22:55 PM): 8-1ish ...The FG runners are trampling Keeneland early on, so I know those horses all deserve long looks: My Pal Charlie and bomber special Jazz in the Park, too

DaKattack (6:23:44 PM): I just learned when you're playing darts --- Stand clear

DaKattack (6:23:57 PM): Especially when they are steel tips

JayPea (6:24:13 PM): You JUST learned that? I feel sorry.

DaKattack (6:24:18 PM): I'll give you a longshot

DaKattack (6:24:26 PM): SHEKINAH

DaKattack (6:24:44 PM): Beat older in a two-turn allowance over the track last out and galloped out like a bear

JayPea (6:24:50 PM): Good, he's in the same mutuel field with Jazz In The Park...but I never bet a horse I can't pronounce

DaKattack (6:25:12 PM): Guess you didn't have Arcangues?

JayPea (6:25:33 PM): Tom Durkin couldn't even proncounce his name right in the race call, so I'm excused there

DaKattack (6:25:35 PM): Pronounce this: X-dollars to win, place and show on #12

JayPea (6:26:06 PM): Okay, I gotta run ... I'm getting an IM from someone who claims to be PamAnderson302

DaKattack (6:26:21 PM): Ask her if she likes Rock Hard Ten

JayPea (6:26:36 PM): (silence)


Get more handicapping picks, analysis and tools at Horseplayerpro.com!

In addition to being a longtime contributing writer to ESPN.com's Horse Racing section, Jeremy Plonk is the editor of The HorsePlayer Magazine.

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