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Down and Derby - 15 Weeks To Go

1. Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie-Playa Maya, by Arch) Todd Pletcher - The freshly minted champion will begin his campaign in Tampa with all eyes squarely on him.
 
2. To Honor and Serve (Bernardini-Pilfer, by Deputy Minister) Bill Mott- Mott is too good a trainer never to have finished better than 8th in the Derby.
 
3. Boys at Tosconova (Officer-Little Bonnet, by Coronado's Quest) Rick Dutrow - Classy and talented, but can the son of Officer hadle the distance?
 
4. Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno-Ponche de Leona, by Ponche) Katherine Ritvo - Been chasing Mott’s colt; distance should be no problem.
 
5. Tapizar (Tapit-Winning Call, by Deputy Minister) Steve Asmussen - Ran away from his competition in the Sham just like he did in his maiden win at Churchill.
 
6. Premier Pegasus (Fusaichi Pegasus-Squall Linda, by Summr Squall) Myung Cho- Really looking forward to see what this one can do around two-turns. 
 
7. Dialed In (Mineshaft-Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat) Nick Zito - One race, and it was a doozy. Has the look of a Derby type of horse.
 
8. Santiva (Giant's Causeway-Slide, by Smarten) Eddie Kenneally - I love the way he battled in between horses to win last time at Churchill.
 
9. Comma to the Top (Bwana Charlie-Maggie's Storm, by Stormy Atlantic) Peter Miller - Electrifying at Hollywood, but I have serious doubts about him getting the Derby trip.
 
10. Jaycito (Victory Gallop-Night Edition, by Ascot Knight) Bob Baffert - The good news is he has already run 10 furlongs at Churchill, the bad news is that race was only 8 ½ furlongs. 
 
11. Stay Thirsty (Bernardini-Marozia, by Storm Bird) Todd Pletcher - The best named horse on the Derby trail, forwhatever that is worth.
 
12. Brethren (Distorted Humor-Supercharger, by A.P. Indy) Todd Pletcher - Can he follow in the footsteps of his big brother?  Odds are against him.
 
13. Soldat (War Front-Le Relais, by Coronado's Quest) Kiaran McLaughlin - We know he can run on turf and slop ... how about ten fulongs on dirt?
 
14. Rogue Romance (Smarty Jones-Lovington, by Afleet) Ken McPeek - Switch back to dirt earned him a distant 3rd in the BC.
 
15. Sway Away (Afleet Alex-Seatlle Shimmer, by Seattle Slew) Jeff Bonde - Impressive juvenile is working well at his Northern California base.
 
16. Astrology (A. P. Indy-Quiet Eclipse, by Quiet American) Steve Asmussen - Love the breeding, just not sold on his races as of yet.
 
17. J P’s Gusto (Successful Appeal-Call Her Magic, by Caller I D) David Hofmans - Solid in California, but his trip to Kentucky, not so much. 
 
18. Cool Blue Red Hot (Harlan’s Holiday-Paris Rose, by Accelerator) Angel Penna Jr. - No match for Soldat in the slop, I'll give him another shot on a fast track.
 
19. Clubhouse Ride (Candy Ride-Seeking Results, by Seeking the Gold) Craig Lewis- Experinced stretch runner likes to pick up a solid check.
 
20. Mountain Town (Cape Town-Mountain Bird, by Mt. Livermore) Rick Dutrow - No match in the Remsen, maybe more distance will get him in the picture.
 
21. Gourmet Dinner (Trippi-Potluck Dinner, by Pentelicus) Steve Standridge - Still not a big believer in this game colt at 10 furlongs, but he already has the earnings.
 
22. Major Gain (More Than Ready-Dream Lady, by Old Trieste) Wayne Catalano - Turf to dirt threat has been working strongly at Gulfstream.
 
23. Coil (Point Given-Eversmile, by Theatrical) Tom Proctor - Strong maiden winner is bred to run all day and all night.
 
24. Sherriff Cogburn (Vindication-Sweet Nanette, by ) Don Von Hemel - Eager to see the return of this Midwestern flash.
 
25. Smash (Smart Strike-Dixie Holiday, by Dixieland Band) Bob Baffert - Still waiting for his return; word is that his silver haired conditioner likes him a lot. 
 
26. Tiz Blessed (Tiznow-Starboard Stinger, by Hennessy) Chad Brown - Last win was nice, but not sure how the Canadian form will translate.
 
27. Monzon (Thunder Gulch-Shadow of Mine, by Belong to Me) Ignacio Correas IV - Take this Count Fleet winner's late rush for granted at your own risk.
 
28. The Factor (War Front-Greyciousness, by Miswaki) Bob Baffert - Only race so far was more than a pip, but is he really a 10 furlong horse?
 
29. Washington’s Rules (Roman Ruler-Petite Charme, by Silver Charm) Ken McPeek - Only faced maidens so far, but this recent maiden winner has plenty of upside.
 
30. Wilkinson (Lemon Drop Kid-Tasha's Delight, by Afternoon Deelites)  Neil Howard - I like the way he battled through on the rail to win the LeComte.
 
31. Bench Points (Benchmark-Mo Chuisle, by Free House)  Tim Yakteen - Talented stakes winning California bred is back in training.
 
32. Machen (Distorted Humor-Ready's Gal, by More Than Ready) Neil Howard - Well bred colt won nicely at the Big Easy; more distance may suit.
 
33. Black N Beauty (Devil His Due-Harbor Gal, by Boston Harbor) Dale Romans - Recent allowance winner is my top pick for the Queen's Plate rather than the Derby.

 

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Older Comments about Down and Derby - 15 Weeks To Go...

Uncle Moe, everybody else. I can't really order who I like, but you have mentioned many on my list. Others include Elite Alex and Alternation who finished one two in a pretty good Oaklawn allowance. Travelin Man, the most impressive maiden winner I've seen at Gulfstream, the time has only been met by Big Drama thus far in the meet. J J's Lucky Train out ran Pants On Fire on the lead and he proceeded to give Wilkinson all he could handle in grade three company. Fort Hughes is probably a sprinter, but he's the only three year old to break the 1:09 mark, with his nice stakes win at Aqueduct. PS- I typically don't like Aqueduct horses, but they are not bad this year, not Gulfstream or nothing, but better than their typical year. Also, I would like to add to Sway Away, who I think could be really good on the west coast. ANY BODY KNOW IF HE'S POINTING TOWARDS A RACE. SAN VICENTE?
My Top Ten-
Anyone seen Premier Pegasus in the mornings lately? Really keeping on eye on this one. He looks like he has alot of upside. People are saying San Vicente at 7F is his next logical start. Any idea?
Also forgive horses that stub their toe in their LAST prep following a good one. Alysheba, Unbridled and Giacomo qualified on their next to last preps not their final one.
The Derby trail is more often now going through Arkansas and California less than it did via the Wood, and the Blue Grass.....Don't ever forget it is the performance, not the venue that is important as Hawthorne has produced some contenders.
meant to say that the equivalent of the wall to marathon runners will be the simple distance of 9 furlongs. Those that cannot skip through that distance will NOT be in the circle the first Saturday in May
Just like the marathon's :"wall
I normally don't give to much weight to the FG preps. That EXTRA LONG stretch normally gives out of the clouds closers who are normally mediocre a chance to run down a faster rival, especially if that rival moved to soon.
I think Wilkinson is going to turn into a really good runner. He was so determined and tough getting through on the rail in the lecomte and when he finally did get up to win he galloped out well ahead of Pants On Fire.
I was in Vegas for New Years and Rogue Romance was 40-1....sound good??? :)
I'm a big fan of Uncle Mo. One of the most impressive juveniles on conventional dirt that I've seen in quite sometime. But I really do worry about whether or not Uncle Mo's pedigree is going to allow him to get the distances required to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes? Frankly, I'm just not 100% convinced that Uncle Mo's pedigree suggest that he will. But if I'm wrong? And Uncle Mo can stay that 1-1/4, 1-3/16, and 1-1/2? He's definitely got the ability to win the Triple Crown. The talent is there. There's no question about that, IMO. I'd also watch Rogue Romance closely as well. Seems to be able to handle the dirt as well as the turf. And he also seems the type that's going to continue to improve race to race during his 3yr.old season. JMO.
The Factor is a big talent, I have no doubt of that, but I agree with LDP for the most part. Yet to be determined for sure, but most likely he will excel at shorter distances.
I hope Baffert does not put The Factor in the Derby. He is way to fast and seems to be a more Zensational type to me. Keep him in sprints where he can hook up with Big Drama later in the year, so they can put on a show for us all. Mo and Tapizar are my faves right now, but any of these have the talent to jump up in what is always a very oddly run race in the Derby.
Nice list. The Factor at #28 seems way too low. Got him in my top 5. I also like Machen, watch out for him.
Thanks Brian. You and I share some of the top choices. I am looking forward to the next month and watching them race and grow.
Hard to argue at this point. I just wish for 3 preps instead of the 2 most are going to have And last 2 Derby's in slop so good to have a slop lover on call in case it happens again. Another factor would be does Calvin have a ride for Derby yet? Cause you can't discount Calvin on Derby day
Jaycito is still up to his old tricks according to the Today's Racing Digest clocker. Here is a recent comment from a Jan 18 drill involving Baffert runners P:ink Lollipops and Jaycito - Departed the five two lengths in front of stakes winner Jaycito. Held the advantage until mid-turn when Jaycito did his Breeder's Cup Patented bolt to the outside of the track. Finished up on her own seven lengths in front of Jaycito.
LOL @ Jaycito! :D

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