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Profile: Mark Valeski

Mark Valeski inside El Padrino in the Risen Star (Eclipse Sportswire)

Note: Mark Valeski was declared out of the Kentucky Derby by trainer Larry Jones on Tuesday, May 1.

Mark Valeski is a good athlete, but his psychological profile does not measure up with his physical ability.

I admire his grit, but he’s so emotionally charged up. He’s got an early energy mindset, and that makes him prone to burning out the candle. In the Louisiana Derby he absolutely was hooked to Cigar Street for most of the stretch run, and then he was emotionally tired by the time it came to catch Hero of Order on the lead.

The key for this horse will be to keep him under emotional control during the early parts of the race. I am not sure he can get 1 1/4 miles with all these other high-dynamic horses, because his individual combative nature forces him to use up a lot of emotional energy. Also, Mark Valeski wants to physically block other horses instead of psychologically doing it, which puts him lower on the herd dynamic scale.

He’s got grit and ability, but I don’t see him running with presence. He runs to horses that have presence. Another problem for Mark Valeski is that he doesn’t have his own release points. He needs to be released or by proxy pass another horse with pure physical speed.

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Author PhotoKerry Thomas is a groundbreaking researcher of behavioral genetics in horses. He created emotional conformation profiling, which measure’s the mental and emotional capacities of the equine. Horse owners around the world use him to profile and unlock the minds of their horses both in training and pre-purchase evaluations. Thomas’ work in the field of equine behavioral genetics has pioneering applications in all the sport horse industries, including Thoroughbred racing and breeding. Please visit his website for more information. (Author photo: Mary Buckley) More by  ›