Remember me Reset Password


Horses Are Like Strawberries

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 5/17/2010 3:01:06 PM

Charlie Whittingham said it, “horses are like strawberries, they spoil overnight.” And that fact was never more evident when Eskendereya was scratched from the Kentucky Derby because of a filling in his left front leg.

He joins last year’s Kentucky Derby morning line favorite I Want Revenge as one that was so highly respected but never got this shot at glory. Through the years runners, prominent threats like A.P. Indy, Graustark, Sir Gaylord and Gen. Duke were injured just within hours of getting a chance in the Derby.

Eskendereya’s defection obviously opens up the race and will likely mean that Lookin at Lucky will go favorite with Sydney’s Candy second choice and all others a lot closer in evaluation.

Look here Wednesday for my Derby selection and maybe we can all get lucky.


The equine nation doesn’t need to know anything about the usual guys that will stir the drink during this Triple Crown run as the Todd Pletchers, Bob Bafferts, Nick Zitos and Kenny McPeeks of the world need no introduction but there are a couple of bit players that could upset the apple cart.

Enter John Sadler and Shannon Ritter.

Sadler has his gun locked and loaded with two bullets, Sidney’s Candy and Line of David while Ritter will put all her eggs into the basket of Endorsement.

At the tender age of less than 55, Sadler has been on a flat out roll for years out West with a stable of nearly 100 runners.

The former show rider tried out for the U.S. Olympic equestrian team back in the day and learned under trainers like Tom Pratt, David Hofmans and Eddie Gregson, who won the Kentucky Derby with Gato del Sol.

He has a great handle on the medical part of the sport and he worked as a veterinarian’s assistant to Dr. Jack Robbins, whose son Jay won the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice with Tiznow and who’s other son Tom, is the racing secretary at Del Mar.

A guy that flew under the radar for years in SoCal and a trainer that could pop at a price, there are no secrets now to his talent and his stock is always well bet.

As far as his hopes for the Derby this year, both of his runners have speed but would guess Line of David to be more forwardly placed with Sidney’s Candy trying to rate and get first run on the deep closers.

Candy has a legit chance to upset the first Saturday in May.

On an everyday note, Sadler has some tricks under his sleeve. The last 5 years he has been a 19% winning trainer, 49% of his starters have been in the money and career his horses have earned over $65 million in purses.

His first timers in maiden claiming land the last 5 years have only popped at 8% but he is double that percentage with MSW runners with a median price of 9-2.

He is 14% off an extended layoff of 180 days or more the last few years and almost 20% with second off the layoff performers.

He brings Sidney’s Candy to the race with running second NOT on his agenda.

Last year, the Sunland Derby turned out to be a key prep and connections of Endorsement, are hoping lightning strikes twice and back to back to boot.

His trainer is little known Shannon Ritter but this is not her first trip to the rodeo.

She has been around the block and back and is former assistant to conditioner Elliott Walden.

Walden, of course, had touched some nice horses in his day. He worked under guys like LeRoy Jolley and John Gosden and got his own taste of national exposure when his student Victory Gallop took the 1998 Belmont Stakes. He won several training titles in Kentucky and obviously knows what to do with a good horse.

As far as Ritter is concerned, she was a rider for nearly 10 years and won a title at Portland Meadows almost 20 years ago.

She is a hands on trainer as she doesn’t have a huge stable and has the endorsement, sorry for the pun, of her star runners’s owner Bill Casner.

Casner: “Horses don’t get to the winner’s circle all by themselves. Shannon did a great job in preparing Endorsement for the Sunland Derby and she really knows how to handle horses well. She has so much knowledge of the sport and knows how to get a horse prepared.

As far as betting on her runners on a daily basis, know this, she is underrated.

Career, she is a 14% trainer, not bad for a gal that doesn’t get the top stock.

She is very good with second-time starters and that style bodes well for giving a horse a race after a long layoff.

Equally adept going sprint to route or the other way around, pay strict attention to her runners when they add blinkers.

One of her biggest assets as a trainer is that as a former rider she has the luxury of working her own horses and that’s much easier a spot to evaluate exactly how good a runner is feeling on a daily basis.



↑ Back to page content
Media Logos

At BetOnline, our company’s guiding principle is to establish long-lasting, positive relationships with our customers. BetOnline is perfect for those who like to stay on top of all the latest sports & horse racing odds or play a few games in the online casino. We have built our reputation on giving our clients nothing but high-quality service and once you have worked with us, you will realize why we are regarded as a leader.

From our customer service to our cutting-edge technology, enticing contests and dedication to putting the best product out on the marketplace, BetOnline is always striving to improve and we take the wants and needs of our customers very seriously. We are always looking for suggestions to make our product better, and client input allows us to build a relationship that will last for a lifetime.

Trust is tough to create and it is even tougher to maintain, which is why we always keep the lines of communication open with our clients at BetOnline, and the best part is that it will not cost you a dime.

Head over to our world-famous sportsbook, where you will find live lines for all major sporting events, but that is not all because at BetOnline, you will also find the Betting Edge, which is a constant stream of advice from people that spend countless hours looking over trends and statistics, so you don’t have to. You get an honest and educated opinion for people that truly love sports, and we are always updating the section to keep you up on what’s happening in current in the world of sports.

The racebook is another fantastic section at BetOnline, as you can get a headstart on the Triple Crown season by reading over our articles to give you an idea of the winning horses. We don’t just focus on the Triple Crown at BetOnline; you can find information on races all year around and that will help you out when it comes time to watch the major thoroughbred horse races.

You can also check out our casino, where you can play the latest games powered by the latest technology. From poker to card games, slots and everything in between, we have you covered at BetOnline.

We have contests and promotions galore as BetOnline is all about what our clients want, so check it out and if you have any inquiries, never hesitate to get in touch with us. Betonline because your can!

↑ Back to top