One of the perks of having both a big mouth and happily working at Horse Racing Nation, is that I am asked quite frequently to put my impeccable reputation on the line by offering my opinions on a variety of horse racing topics. One of those that I enjoy the most, and take very seriously, is my regular submission for the NTRA national Top 10. What can I say, I’m a poll guy, and this one is the best that American racing has.
1) Game On Dude – If the year ended today … the dominant 2-for-2 Dude would be my horse of the year.
2) Point of Entry – His only race of the year is my favorite performance of 2013 so far; turf monster.
3) Royal Delta – She is only getting better with age; I wish her well in Dubai.
4) Wise Dan – A deserving Horse of the Year last year has earned my respect even though he has not raced yet this year.
5) Fort Larned – I don’t quite know what to say about his one race this year, other than he looked good.
6) Groupie Doll – Hey, a little love for my favorite horse in training; can’t wait for the best sprinter in the land to come back.
7) Graydar – I am skeptical of his ability to do it away from Gulfstream, but the Donn earns him this high ranking.
8) Believe You Can – She may be Royal Delta’s top competition on the distaff set.
9) Verrazano – My current choice for the Derby is undefeated and untested to this point.
10) Itsmyluckyday – His two stakes wins this year are probably more than any other three-year-old has accomplished so far in 2013.
Meanwhile, back on the all-important Kentucky Derby trail, I have the pleasure of participating in Steve Munday’s collaborative WirePlayer’s Derby Dozen. The rules are simple here; pick your current Top 12 for the Derby and pepper in a little snark in the comment line. Here are mine …
2) Power Broker – Only one prep for the Derby seems ambitious, yet I still believe.
3) Itsmyluckyday - Loving all these strong works in the relative hush of Calder.
4) Orb - Doesn't it just seem right that Shug should have a Kentucky Derby win?
5) Revolutionary - I have a feeling they're going to like him down in Ol' N'Orleans.
6) Uncaptured -Will be taking a very synthetic path towards the run for the roses.
7) Flashback - Don't hold that speed duel against him; Zazu's little bro can go!
8) Vyjack - Is he speed? Is he a late closer? I don't know, but I do no that he is good!
9) Shanghai Bobby - The juvy champ is only my third choice in the Florida Derby; should be quite a race!
10) Oxbow - He's this year's Optimizer, with the convenient difference of being able to handle the dirt.
11) Palace Malice – All Dogwoods bloom in springtime … right?
12) Will Take Charge – It’s D. Wayne’s world, we’re just living in it.
And finally, absolutely no one asked me, but I’m going with a Final Four of Louisville, New Mexico, Indiana, and Florida, with the Gators of Florida ultimately cutting down the championship nets over Louisville.