New York’s Top 10 Derby Contenders

Two legs of the New York Derby Trail have been completed with the running of the Withers, so it is time to release version three of the New York Top 10 Derby Contenders.
It should come as no surprise that Todd Pletcher dominates my contenders list, since he also lead the early Triple Crown list with 29 out of the total 369 nominations. Pletcher, who trains eight of the ten New York based three year-olds, is joined on the list by Chad Brown and Rudy Rodriguez.
The up-to-date quotes from Pletcher come from his Monday appearance on the satellite radio show, At the Races with Steve Byk.
1) Violence (Medaglio d’Oro)
Last race – 1st Cashcall Hollywood Fut. (G1) – 1 mile 1/16th  – BSF 92
Record – 3: 3-0-0 - $543,000
Road to the Derby points – 10 – Rank 4
Trainer – Todd Pletcher
Rider – JJ Castellano
Probable next race – $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) – Feb. 23 – Gulfstream
Violence tops this New York only Top 10 list with his undefeated record that includes a grade two win in the Nashua on the east coast and a grade one victory on the west coast in the Cashcall Futurity.
2) Verrazano (More Than Ready)
Last race – 1st Allowance (OC75/N1X) – Gulfstream – 1 mile – BSF 105
Record – 2: 2-0-0 - $64,200
Road to the Derby points – 0
Trainer – Todd Pletcher
Rider – John Velazquez
Verrazano’s two career wins have been very fast and impressive. This colt, who is a half-brother to last year’s Derby Trail star El Padrino, won by over 16 lengths the other day and Pletcher said, "Obviously, he's earned a right to step up into a big one. We've just got to figure out the timing of it. We're a little close to the Fountain of Youth, so it won't be there."
3) Revolutionary (War Pass)
Last race – 1st Withers (G3) – Aqueduct – 1 1/16th mile – BSF 86
Record – 5: 2-1-2 - $188,500
Road to the Derby points – 10 - Rank 13
Trainer – Todd Pletcher
Rider – Javier Castellano
Revolutionary’s trip in his Wither’s victory has been very well discussed. If you haven’t had a chance yet, you can Rewatch the Withers in my recent blog. Pletcher is taking a wait and see attitude with this War Pass colt to determine where and when he will run next, but with only 10 Derby points logged, Revolutionary needs a big point performance in order to Run for the Roses.
4) Overanalyze (Dixie Union)
Last race – 1st Remsen (G2) – 1 mile 1/8th – BSF 99
Record – 5: 3-0-1 - $343,906
Road to the Derby points – 10 – Rank 6
Trainer – Todd Pletcher
Rider – Ramon Dominguez
Probable next race – $400,000 Gotham (G3), March 2, Aqueduct
Overanalyze gets the number four spot off of his gutsy win in the Remsen. He most recently worked in company with Violence as this Dixie Union colt prepared for the Gotham.
5) Normandy Invasion (Tapit)
Last race – 2nd Remsen (G2) – 1 mile 1/8th – BSF 99
Record – 3: 1-1-0 - $92,240
Road to the Derby points – 4 – Rank 22
Trainer – Chad Brown
Rider – Jose Lezcano
Probable next race – Risen Star (G2) – Fair Grounds – Feb. 23
Normandy Invasion has been off since November after his hard charging second place finish in the Remsen going the nine furlongs. Chad Brown has been prepping him at Palm Meadows for the Risen Star, where he has had five timed workouts at seven day intervals.  The most recent came on Feb. 3 going five furlongs.
6) Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday)
Last race – 2nd Holy Bull (G3) – 1 mile 1/16th  – BSF 100
Record – 6: 5-1-0 - $1,767,000
Road to the Derby points– 24 – Rank 1
Trainer – Todd Pletcher
Rider – Rosie Napravnik
Pletcher said that after discussions with Starlight Racing head, Jack Wolf, “They are sticking to original plan to run in the Florida Derby. (Shanghai Bobby) is in excellent position to move forward off of that race (the Holy Bull).”
7)  Vyjack (Into Mischief)
Last race – 1st Jerome (G2) – 1 mile 70 – BSF 90
Record – 3: 3-0-0 - $202,200
Road to the Derby points – 0
Trainer – Rudy Rodriguez
Rider – Cornelio Velasquez
Probable next race – $400,000 Gotham (G2), Mar. 2, Aqueduct
Vyjack is one of two non-Pletcher trainees on the list. After the Jerome victory, Rudy Rodriguez said that Vyjack would get a short rest and aim for the Gotham. Vyjack may have distance limitations, but no trainer gets more unexpected performances out of their horses than Rodriguez. Vyjack is my wild card in the Top 10, as I very much look forward to his performance in the Gotham.
8) Capo Bastone (Street Boss)
Last race – 3rd Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) – 1 mile 1/16th  
Record – 4: 1-0-2 - $288,000
Road to the Derby points – 4 – Rank 18
Trainer – Todd Pletcher
Rider – Joel Rosario
Pletcher has had Capo Bastone on a steady six or seven day work pattern at Palm Meadows. How will this one perform with the addition of Lasix and the change of barns to Pletcher?
9) Palace Malice (Curlin)
Last race – 2nd allowance (OC75/N1X) – 7F. - Gulfstream
Record – 3: 1-2-0 - $72,0900
Road to the Derby points – 0
Trainer – Todd Pletcher
Rider – JJ Castellano
Palace Malice, who had two very fast and impressive maiden races this summer, came back in January on a wet track at Gulfstream. He struggled a bit early to get his footing, but finished very impressively to get second place behind the well-regarded Majestic Hussar.  Pletcher said that this son of Curlin will start next on Feb. 23 in either the Risen Star or the Fountain of Youth.
10) Delhomme (Dixie Union)
Last race – 3rd Remsen (G2) – 1 mile 1/8th – BSF 96
Record – 3: 1-1-1 - $84,800
Road to the Derby points – 2 – Rank 33
Trainer – Todd Pletcher
Rider – JJ Castellano
Delhomme is at the bottom of the list because of my concern that this Dixie Union colt may not be ready for the first Saturday in May. Pletcher said that Delhomme was “a week or two behind some of the other colts. We’re looking at something around the first week in March.  He’s a big colt that will need some extra works to be ready.” 
Meet Matt Shifman

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently is a Senior Writer. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing

Matt has been a co-host of the popular weekly video show HorseCenter for many years.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Matt is also a partner in the New York Hot List handicapping service @NYHotList where he handicaps the races on the NYRA circuit everyday. The Hot List picks are available at several ADW sites around the country.

You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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