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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Down and Derby - The Sweet 16

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily - Day 60

The Sweet 16

1. Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie-Playa Maya, by Arch) Todd Pletcher - The more prep races I watch, the more I realize how dominant Uncle Mo could prove to be this spring. I said last year he was the best juvenile I have seen in a long time, and I expect him to be a fabulous three-year-old starting with his race in four days.

2. Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno-Ponche de Leona, by Ponche) Katherine Ritvo - Big lanky colt is putting things together, and wil make his march to Louisville via the Big Easy. If Mo slips up, he is the one with the best chance to pick up the pieces.

3. Sway Away (Afleet Alex-Seatlle Shimmer, by Seattle Slew) Jeff Bonde - I loved his potential last summer, and I thought his return performance when 2nd in the San Vicente was a perfect prep. I need to see his first run at two-turns, but I expect it to be strong.

4. Dialed In (Mineshaft-Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat) Nick Zito - He lost an optional claimer, but it really does not worry me that much. Paceless race against older horses was only a stepping stone, and I trust that Nicky Z will have this guy ready to roll come May.

5. To Honor and Serve (Bernardini-Pilfer, by Deputy Minister) Bill Mott- A well beaten 3rd in the Fountain of Youth was not awe inspiring, but I expect this powerful colt to move up leaps and bounds off that effort. He will need to handle Dialed In, Soldat, and company in the Florida Derby.

6. Brethren (Distorted Humor-Supercharger, by A.P. Indy) Todd Pletcher - Beautifully bred, undefeated colt seems to get little attention. That is what happens when Uncle Mo is in the barn. I look forward to seeing him in the Tampa Bay Derby, but I am worried that the competition will be light once again.

7. Alternation (Distorted Humor-Alternate, by Seattle Slew) Donnie Von Hemel - My top dark horse right now. Breeding is great, and I love he appears determined to get the job done late. No stakes experience yet, but the Rebel should be a major test.

8. Stay Thirsty (Bernardini-Marozia, by Storm Bird) Todd Pletcher - Debut in the Gotham was solid but unspectacular. He probably got a lot out of those works with Uncle Mo, and wherever he heads next he will be one of the one's to beat. He is not as good as his stablemate though.

9. Soldat (War Front-Le Relais, by Coronado's Quest) Kiaran McLaughlin - Now that we know he can get things done on a fast track he merits strong respect. He is a very good horse, and one I would love to own, but I just don't love his chances going 1 1/4 at Churchill Downs.

10. 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.

11. 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, and he is one of many interesting horses pointing to the San Felipe.

12. Jaycito (Victory Gallop-Night Edition, by Ascot Knight) Bob Baffert -Speaking of interesting colts pointing for the San Felipe, I could see this one being any kind. Mystery horse could move way up my list with a powerful rally on Saturday.

13. 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.

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. The San Felipe is coming up loaded, and this one will need to be special to compete with only the one sprint in his experience tank. He may be special.

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 you rank them? Join the HRN Community and rank your favorites on our 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders]


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Older Comments about Down and Derby - The Sweet 16...

Whoop! Now you're talking! Let us know.
Will I be writing about it? Will I be writing about it?? Yes, I will writing about it!!! The Rebel is coming up very strong ... 7 of the Top 40 on HRN ranking says it all. The only question is whether or not I can catch a last minute flight to join my Arkansas friends ;-)
Hi Zipse! Cooks want to know if you will be writing about the Rebel Stakes. Seven of 14 (expected) in the field are in the Top 40 on the Horse Racing Nation rankings, and two are in your Top 20. I don't remember a field this deep for the Rebel. Very exciting for us Arkies. :)
The Florida Derby is shaping as one of the more interesting preps ... and I like To Honor and Serve as much as anyone in there.
It's nice to see you giving Mucho Macho Man so much respect, I think he'll be one of the better 3-year-olds as the year progresses. I've been liking Brethren a lot more lately and I think he's better than most people are thinking. He hasn't beaten much but it's the ease with which he wins that impresses me. I think To Honor And Serve will be up against it in the Florida Derby with just one prior race. I'm really looking forward to the debuts of Jaycito and Astrology...and of course Uncle Mo! :)
At #2, you can tell that I like him a lot ... M to the 3rd, I like it ;-)
The "Big Easy" seems to be toward the top in some polls. You go M3.

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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, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 

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 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 consults for leading contest site Derby Wars, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.  

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