I don't think so. His biggest win (The Clark) came in a race where he was loose on the lead from the 1 post. He may get the 1 post again but he won't be loose on the lead.
It was an impressive race, but instead instead of Kelly Tough, who is only a maiden winner, he'll have 2 (California Chrome & Arrogate) and now possibly 3 (with the door open forGun Runner) grade 1 winners pressing him on the lead. Plus he'll probably lose his jock as I'm guessing Javier will choose Keen Ice instead, and that brings me to my other point: There is a boat load of speed in this race. If they go at it early there could be a pace meltdown. If a couple of the speeds draw outside there could be a white hot pace with the short run to the first turn and speed wanting to get into position.
You're missing the big picture. Bob Baffert wasn't dodging Midnight Storm and Dalmore. That's laughable. The bottom line is you don't run a horse like Arrogate unless the conditions are exactly to your liking or you're running for the big money. Neither of those conditions existed in the San Pasqual. Midnight Storm and Dalmore are grade 3 horses that are picking up checks while the big horses are away. That's good for them but they don't scare off top contenders.
Nothing like Bodemeister and Creative Cause. These horses are nowhere near as fast/good as those 2. Creative Cause actually showed up in the BC juvenile. This is more like Dortmund/Firing Line from a couple of years ago, but Dortmund and Firing Line were better. We'll see how they progress.
Running the final 1.5 furlongs in 32.03 is not finishing strong. He ran fast early and slow late at 8.5 furlongs, which doesn't bode well if the goal is to get 10 furlongs in May. Also the 3 furlong work nearly 3 weeks after the race is an indication that he didn't come out of the race full of energy or that he possibly had a minor health setback. He looks like the next really good Bob Baffert sprinter, but he doesn't look like a real Derby prospect right now.
I think you may have buried the lead. Working 3 furlongs 19 days after racing 8.5 furlongs is a sign that something is probably not going well. If the goal is to stay on the Derby trail, 3 furlong works are very odd. He runs like a sprinter and it wouldn't surprise me if he ends up in the Pat Day Mile, Woody Stephens, and or Kings Bishop.
He likes slop and controlled the speed in the last 2 races. Santa Anita's track produces fast times as it dries out. Del Mar too, and I'm sure many tracks are the same.
He'd get used up on the lead in the Pegasus like he did in the 2015 Pacific Classic. I hope he gets back to turf soon.
I guess some habits truly do die hard DerbyDoc. If you keep picking against Arrogate eventually you'll be right. In this case, Midnight Storm has caught 2 wet tracks in a row in CA (an amazing feat) and has yet to beat 1 decent horse except for maybe Accelerate. Midnight Storm has also been loose on the lead in both races, this time in a short field. Midnight Storm on dirt with pace pressure equals the 2015 Pacific Classic.
He's a free space in the double, pick 3, pick 4, and pick 6 so yeah, I'd say it's worth wagering.
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