From East to West we saw stars put on show after show. They came in stakes and came even in maiden races. After a weekend, like last weekend, I was forced to do some major remodeling to my Derby Top 12, and here is where I arrived.
is still the fastest colt out there, who can carry his speed two turns. Some
may question if he is a Gulfstream freak, I do not. He has wins at Monmouth and
Calder, so I think he is the real deal. There is also the fact that while
others have been impressive, no other has strung together two, back to back
performances as dominant, as fast, or as brilliant as this one.
more weeks. Two more weeks until he gets the chance to reclaim his top spot. Should
he win the Fountain of Youth, he will take it back and one will be hard pressed
to take it from him. He’s been working well at Palm Meadows, most recently
recording an easy five eights. He is the most versatile of his crop, along with
one of the fastest and classiest. We just need to see if he’s made the
transition from two to three.
3.) Shanghai Bobby
Before Itsmyluckyday came along he was the unbeaten, undisputed champion. He was
easily the fastest of his crop, and up to 8.5f nobody could touch him. Still, even
now, most can’t even come close. I think his Holy Bull showed he has taken a
step forward, I think it showed he can handle two turns, and most likely nine
furlongs. His pedigree says no to 10 furlongs, however, his ability to relax
off the lead might be enough to help him get the distance.
When asked the question of who ran the most impressive race last weekend, the
answer was this colt. Slow start, near the back of the pack with a slower pace,
trapped on the inside, had to wait and wait and wait for an opening, when one
opened he threaded his way through horses and exploded like a keg of dynamite.
I would like to see what he could do with a clean trip against better, because
while the performance was impressive, he cannot have that type of trip and hope
to catch the ones ranked above him.
Baffert is back with Flashback. The horse won like he should in a field with
only three others, with little pace pressure. The time was decent enough, the
win was visually impressive, which is why he is in the top 5. I still have
reservations about what he could do at a longer distance, against the best.
Tapit’s typically are brilliant up to 8.5f, and then they falter. However,
there is no denying this one’s talent.
me, this one ran the most impressive race last weekend. He was right up on some
hot fractions and still won in hand, in a quick time earning the fastest Beyer
of his crop. My only reservation is time. Does he have enough time to get
points for the Derby? Yes, but he would likely need two more starts, giving him
four starts before the Derby. The last horse to win the Derby with four starts
the same season was Smarty Jones.
7.) Will Take Charge
I am still highly impressed with his Smarty Jones win. I do not think the 8.5
furlongs of the Southwest will be an issue for him. The reason why is because
he was good enough to get pushed wide on both turns in the Smarty Jones and
still have enough to nail the pacesetter and hold of Always In a Tiz.
8.) Always in a Tiz
Like Will Take Charge, I think this one will have no problem with the distance
of the Southwest, in fact it may favor him. He will have more ground in the
stretch in that race, giving him more time to run down those in front of him.
Hopefully his rider learned last time to not get him trapped on the inside. Not
everyone can ride the rail as well as Calvin Borel.
Revolutionary may have the spotlight now, but he may have to yield it soon to
Overanalyze. Other than a fourth in the Hopeful, against much more experience
foes, while also being stretched a quarter mile longer than his maiden, he has
never lost in New York. His Remsen was the fastest race around two turns for
any Juvenile, and at 9 furlongs to boot. He showed grit in that race, and if he
takes that important step forward this year, he’ll be hard to deal with in the
New York preps.
10.) Palace Malice
After a solid, but tough loss in his first start back in several months, Todd
Pletcher seems to have chosen the Fair Grounds route for this one. Typically
that is an easier route for a horse to take, but with Oxbow, Proud Strike, and
possibly Delhomme aiming towards the Risen Star, Palace Malice will have to
really step up to win.
11.) Tiz the Truth
Some may question his dominant win, against nothing but maidens, won on an easy
lead. That is understandable. I myself wonder. However, it was still very impressive
and the fact that Hall of Famer Gary Stevens is his pilot, while Hall of Fame
Baffert is he trainer and Hall of Fame Tiznow is his sire makes him all the
more interesting of a prospect.
- He has
never finished worse than second, and that was in his debut, against Titletown
Five, who last out was beaten a neck to Violence. His next race back, Bradester
won handily, then came back to take an allowance at Gulfstream. Since those
starts he has been flattered by Proud Strike and Cerro, both came back to win
their next starts after being beaten by him. He will face a major class test in
the Fountain of Youth, but considering who he’s faced he might just be up to