Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 41
For the connections
of the Sunland Derby field today, there’s $800,000 on the line, and for the
bettors, there’s a nice opportunity for big payoffs with a full field and a
shaky favorite. Here’s my quick take on
each horse in New Mexico’s biggest race:
Ruler On Ice –One of two from the strong Kelly
Breen barn. On the plus side, the son of Roman Ruler has a sharp local work, and has been consistent of
late with two wins in his last three, but the competition at Parx and Aqueduct’s
winter racing is likely a few notches below this; looking elsewhere.
R Skydiver – The experienced local horse
failed in the Sunland Derby prep, and in fact is 0 for his last 4. A victory
here would be a total surprise.
Fusa Code – Asmussen’s other horse is well
bred and improving. His Borderland Derby win over the track should be
beneficial today. My issue with him is that race looks relatively weak in
comparison, and he had to work hard to get the win; I’ll pass.
It’s My Party – Began his career at Saratoga, but
he has been at Sunland all winter. In three races here, he has met with only
modest success. I have a feeling he is better than his last, but still I don’t
see him as good enough to win this.
Behold De Buy – Borderland Derby runner-up showed
marked improvement with a sustained rally in his longest race to date. A repeat
of that good performance is not good enough in here though.
Supreme Ruler – 20-1 on the morning line has me
very interested. The son of Derby Trial winner Don’t Get Mad is the most inexperienced
horse in the field, yet he already has the benefit of two strong races around
two-turns. Jon Court makes the trip, and I think there is good reason to do so,
as his Oaklawn form may be good enough to think he has the tools to step up
Sinai – The Bob Baffert trained, Southern
California import looms the horse to beat in here. He has the speed to control
things early, and despite his recent 5th place finish, he looks like
he is coming into the race perfectly. He’s the one horse in the race who is
dropping significantly in class, as he tackled some real monsters last out.
Hard to see him not being involved down the lane.
Nacho Saint – Breen backers who were rewarded
in yesterday’s Louisiana Derby may gravitate towards this one, who has run well
enough in six tries on the East Coast. Well enough, but not outstanding. Listed
as the Morning Line 2nd choice, I will take a stand against this
horse who is only 1 for 6, and making the cross-country trek.
Twice the Appeal – Since switching back to dirt for
trainer Jeff Bonde, this son of Successful Appeal has run three solid races,
including finishing 2nd in the Turf Paradise Derby. He is not one of
my top 3, but he does have longshot appeal.
Beer Meister – After three useful sprints in
Arizona, this distance bred son of Pleasant Tap exploded down the Turf Paradise
stretch to win their Derby at big odds. He won’t be 40-1 today, nor the 15-1
listed on the Morning Line, but he should still offer solid value as he proves
the last was no fluke, and relishes the nine furlong distance. My top pick.
Astrology – Was the best juvenile in the
field, but that is where the appeal ends for me. He needs to overcome an outside
post, longer than planned layoff, and only moderate works in preparation for
this. I was not a huge believer in him at two, so this seems like a great spot
to beat him at low odds.
My Picks to Click: Beer Meister – Sinai
– Supreme Ruler