Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 44
picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? Borrowing the catchphrase
of one of my favorite sportscasters, Warner Wolf, “Let’s go the videotape!”
We knew The Factor was fast, what we did not know was whether he could carry his speed effectively at two-turns. The answer was a resounding yes, making him a legitimate factor in Louisville. Playing devil's advocate for a moment ... The Rebel was set up beautifully for him with little pressure early and the 8 1/2 furlong distance is nothing like he will face in the Kentucky Derby.
Easy is as easy does. Team Uncle Mo decided to slowly wade into the 2011 season with their unbeaten champion, and the result was as expected. Rider John Velazquez held Mo back for much of the 8 furlongs, yet only the promising Rattlesnake Bridge could offer any competition at all. Sort of. Uncle Mo cruised impressively. Easy is as easy does, but things will only get tougher for the chosen one.
Talk about explosive, Premier Pegasus took advantage of a suicidal pace set by a few of his competitors and rolled home like a world beater in the San Felipe. Is this a flash in the pan performance or a strong signal that this horse is becoming a force. Watching it, I had a flashback to the 1989 Santa Anita Derby won by Sunday Silence.
Proving that he can get it done on a fast dirt track, Soldat led the Fountain of Youth field on a merry chase, while To Honor and Serve struggled. I need to see this happen one more time before I completely buy into the result. He will get his chance in the Florida Derby.
A big, late developing colt makes good. Mucho Macho Man was not born until June, and he now stands at a towering 17 hands. And he can run, evidenced by a strong performance over a solid field in New Orleans. It still looks like he is learning, so I am very eager to see what the big boy will do in this Saturday's Louisiana Derby. Any more improvement spells trouble for his Derby foes.
Did you read my column yesterday? If you did, you know my number one longshot for Louisville is none other than Anthony's Cross. A big part of why can be seen in the gameness he showed in winning the nine furlong Robert Lewis Stakes, with first-time blinkers. PrePeg will be tough to beat in the Santa Anita Derby, but this colt is on the improve.
With all the speed apparently lining up for the Kentucky Derby, perhaps it is smart to be looking for the explosive stretch runner that can mow them all down late. Judging from his performance in the Holy Bull, Dialed In deservedly rates the best of the bunch. A strong performance in the Florida Derby will send him to Louisville as a major threat.
Follow all the replays on the 2011
Kentucky Derby trail with the video replay wall on Horse Racing