Late Triple Crown Nominations Are In

Late Triple Crown Nominations Are In
Photo: Winning Images Photography
Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 37

Here is a quick rundown on what I think of the 13 horses whom were made late nominations to the Triple Crown yesterday:

Beer Meister (Pleasant Tap-Nanas Cozy Account, by Langfuhr) Manuel Ortiz – He shocked the world with a big run in the Turf Paradise Derby. The gelding could not repeat the trick in the Sunland Derby, but his performance was better than it looks on paper. He is one of the more interesting super longshots if he makes it to Louisville.

Bowman’s Causeway (Giant’s Causeway-Victory Encounter, by Victory Speech) Patrick Biancone – This well-bred Canadian, might be better off in the Queen’s Plate then the Kentucky Derby, but he has been knocking heads with good horses in Florida, and will get another chance to prove his worthiness in Sunday’s Florida Derby.

Joes Blazing Aaron (Graeme Hall-Distorted Blaze, by Distorted Humor) Allan Hunter – He’s really turned things around of late, but the trouble is the sharp improvement came on turf. Unless one of the Triple Crown races has been changed to grass, this gelding with poor dirt form would seem to be completely overmatched.

Lagoon of Diamonds (Encosta de Lago-Nicole and Krista, by Machiavellian) D.K. Ackerman – In Bob Baffert’s barn last year, he was unable to do much in Southern California. He has picked things up since a change in barn, but let’s face it, sprints at Mountaineer Park are a long, long way from proving that he belongs in any of the Triple Crown series.

Nacho Saint (Yes It’s True-Flashy, by Wild Again) Kelly Breen- One of many talented runners for the Hall’s and Breen. Unfortunately, his 4th in the Gotham, and 6th place finish in the Sunland Derby do not lend much confidence to the thought of him making a major dent against the best of his generation.

Norman Asbjornson (Real Quiet-Merryland Missy, by Citidancer) Christopher Grove – This one interests me a little. He’s bred to handle a distance and seems to be getting better with every start. Still he could not handle Stay Thirsty last time, and now he is scheduled to face the big horse in the Wood. We might get a better handle on him according to how he does against Jaycito in there.

Ruler on Ice (Roman Ruler-Champagne Glow, by Saratoga Six) Kelly Breen – He is the third horse from the Sunland Derby field, and the third gelding on this list. He also seems to be on the improve, and ran a solid race to be 3rd at Sunland. I am not ready to predict much for the big races, but he has the look of a consistent horse who could be one to watch this summer.

Saratoga Red (Eddington-Sigh of Relief, by Siphon) D. Wayne Lukas – This guy is another reason why I am not on The Factor bandwagon … after only one nondescript maiden win, he was the only horse near The Factor early and was able to hang on pretty well to finish 4th in the Rebel. Maybe this one has some talent, but I think that race set up real well for the speed.

Smoke It Right (Smoke Glacken-Bride in the Wings, by Alphabet Soup) Bernard Chatters – Speaking of speed, this one has it. After dominating at smaller tracks in Louisiana, he took his speed show to Oaklawn with a strong win in the Mountain Valley. Interesting that they nominated him now … are they considering a stretch out, perhaps in the Arkansas Derby? The Factor may have company early in his next race.

Swift Warrior (First Samurai-Afleet Summer, by Afleet) John Terranova – Rushaway winner earned his first stakes win in 12 starts. It was a solid win, but to tell you the truth, I am more interested in the runner-up, Crimson China, for the future. Dirt is probably not Swift Warrior’s best surface.

Truman’s Commander (Friends Lake-Bouche Bee, by Naevus) Allen Milligan – His three starts as a juvenile were nothing to write about, but his one race this year, an impressive maiden win at Oaklawn, was. Out of a Florida Derby winner, this one might have a future, but he is certainly playing catch up right now.

Watch Me Go (West Acre-Sabbath Song, by Deputy Minister) Kathleen O’Connell - I saw him in the flesh as he earned a hard fought victory in the Tampa Bay Derby. Word from the barn is he is finally getting over some nagging physical issues and can go on to bigger and better things. I remain skeptical whether he can handle the big boys.

And from Europe …

War Pact (War Front-Tempo West, by Rahy) Jean-Claude Rouget – Unraced as a juvenile, this French colt has rattled off a 3rd, and then two solid victories on synthetic surfaces this winter in France. I respect his breeding and connections, but at this point, he is little more than a “who knows?”

[At #21, Watch Me Go is currently rated highest of the bunch in the 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders list ... what do you think?]

Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to HRN, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing webcast HorseCenter, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars and is a Vox Populi committee member. He is a voter for racing's Hall of Fame, as well as a weekly NTRA poll voter. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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