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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

2011 Kentucky Derby - Down and Derby

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily - Day 72

 

Don't look now, but the 2011 Kentucky Derby is only ten weeks away. New contenders are rising fast, while the pretenders are falling by the wayside. Saturday features an excellent prep from Gulfstream Park, as To Honor and Serve makes his sophomore debut in the grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Next week we'll head to the Big Apple for the Gotham Stakes. Remember, this time of year allows little room for missteps as connections jockey their horses for position in the Derby starting gate. Looking ahead to the big day, I have ranked my most likely to wear the roses. Here they are...

 

The Sweet 16

 

1. Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie-Playa Maya, by Arch) Todd Pletcher - Not crazy about the decision to have the first of only two preps at one-turn, but in the end I will trust Pletcher to do what’s best with the best three-year-old in the nation.

 

2. To Honor and Serve (Bernardini-Pilfer, by Deputy Minister) Bill Mott- Flattered by Mucho Macho Man‘s win in the Risen Star. The Fountain of Youth will be a fair test to see where he is in 2011, and to see his ratability.

 

 

3. Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno-Ponche de Leona, by Ponche) Katherine Ritvo - Big lanky colt seems to be on the trail of putting things together. He will need to keep improving to win the Derby, but I can see that improvement continuing to come.

 

4. Dialed In (Mineshaft-Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat) Nick Zito - Two races down and they were both full of promise. I need to see what his come from behind style will look like around two-turns to consider him one of the Derby favorites.

 

5. Sway Away (Afleet Alex-Seatlle Shimmer, by Seattle Slew) Jeff Bonde - His broodmare sire won the Triple Crown. His sire almost won it. Can’t wait to see this impressive colt run a route of ground.

 

6. Brethren (Distorted Humor-Supercharger, by A.P. Indy) Todd Pletcher - Following in the footsteps of his big brother, he will contest the Tampa Bay Derby next. He has done nothing to dissuade confidence in him.

 

7. Alternation (Distorted Humor-Alternate, by Seattle Slew) Donnie Von Hemel - My top dark horse right now. Breeding is great, and I love the way he looks down the stretch of his races. Acid test should come in the Rebel.

 

8. Santiva (Giant's Causeway-Slide, by Smarten) Eddie Kenneally - Finished 2010 with a nice stakes win at Churchill, and began this year with a solid 2nd to Mucho Macho Man. Improvement next time out will put him right in the argument as a major threat.

 

9. Premier Pegasus (Fusaichi Pegasus-Squall Linda, by Summer Squall) Myung Cho- A little out on the limb on this one, but I think the San Vicente will do him a world of good. I have always thought that PrePeg will appreciate longer distances.

 

10. Jaycito (Victory Gallop-Night Edition, by Ascot Knight) Bob Baffert - A bit of a mystery horses for several reasons, but Baffert thinks he is beginning to come around. Bred to do well on the First Saturday in May.

 

11. Stay Thirsty (Bernardini-Marozia, by Storm Bird) Todd Pletcher - Been knocking heads with stablemate Mo in the mornings, and looking good doing it. Debut in the Gotham should tell us a lot about his ability to move forward this year.

 

12. Anthony's Cross (Indian Charlie-Screening, by Unbridled) Eoin Harty - This one could continue to surprise people. Likes Churchill Downs and really seems to be coming to hand for a very capable horseman.

 

13. Soldat (War Front-Le Relais, by Coronado's Quest) Kiaran McLaughlin - Turf, check. Slop, check. What can he do on a dry dirt surface. We should have an answer when he tangles with the #2 on Saturday.

 

 

14. Rogue Romance (Smarty Jones-Lovington, by Afleet) Ken McPeek - Not sold on him as a true ten furlong horse, but his races are just good enough to include on this list. I will need to see improvement in the Louisiana Derby though.

 

15. Runflatout (Flatter-Slammin' Lil, by Grand Slam) John Sadler - This West Pointer can flat out run, or so his only race to date would seem to say. Looking forward to see what he can do against good horses in the San Felipe.

 

16. Sweet Ducky (Pulpit-Storm's Darling, by Storm Boot) Kelly Breen - Part of the Holy Bull group that could end up being a key race. I liked the way he looked last Fall at Monmouth, so I am willing to hold on for another race.

 

[How would your Top 10 look right now?]

 

Off the Trail

 

-Boys at Tosconova

-Tapizar

-Clubhouse Ride

 

[Disagree with my rankings? Join the HRN Community and rank your favorites on our 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders]

 

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Older Comments about 2011 Kentucky Derby - Down and Derby...

dipak1 it's almost impossible for a deep closer like DI to close on a tepid pace as shown today.If someone had told me the early fractions would be that slow I would have laughed. Leparoux is one of the best but he also needs a horse and a deep closer NEEDS a fast pace so the front runners come back to him as well as him gaining ground.
2011 kentucky derby is over, i am very disappointed with jockey Julien Leparoux piloting Dialed In in a very sluggish way left him 50 lengths behind the leaders without realizing that it is not a ordinary race, it is world famous Kentucky Derby and it is not a play ground, no horses yet own this kind of big races with a very big field and fast running horses ,own the race. it is kind ok joke to me that Leparoux play today in the derby field. it looks like he did'nt care too much about the race. shame on him!
I read on DRF today that Premier Pegasus is a San Felipe probable, along with Albergatti, Comma to the Top, Jaycito, Bench Points, Awesome Patriot, Jakesam, Riveting Reason, Surrey Star, and Runflatout.
hey Brian..any news or word on PrePeg and his next possible race? Thanks.
Steve? Please Denise, call me Brian. Rachel is actually at Stonestreet, while Zenyatta is at Lane's End. Although this week Rachel did visit Curlin at Lane's End and Zenyatta made the short trip to see Bernardini at Darley.
  • pinto66 · ah, gotcha, thanks for the clarification- an article in usatoday said ra and curlin were stablemates, i assumed at Lane's End.. :) · 1299 days ago
  • zatt · On the track, they were stablemates. Stonestreet does not stand stallions, so while they still hold interest in Curlin, he stands at Lane's End. · 1299 days ago
Riveting Reason was reportedly headed to the Santa Anita Derby next, I have not heard anything announced yet for PrePeg.
Brian..do you have an idea where PrePeg and Riveting Reason will be starting next?
Steve-- Hi it's Denise, dont you find it completely ironic that Rachel and Zenyatta are both at the same farm???
Believe me, It was hard to keep the top three finishers of the Southwest off the list. Elite Alex, J P's Gusto and Archarcharch are all in my Top 25, but they fell just short of the Sweet 16. Things could change quickly after he Rebel, which is shaping up as a very interesting race.
I like Alternation, but not one horse from the Southwest? Underestimating Elite Alex will be a mistake!

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The Grey Gatsby

Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.