The Kentucky Derby Dark Horse Bulletin

February 18, 2011 07:02am
Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily - Day 78
Looking for a Derby horse flying under the radar? Try these twenty colts on for size…
Albergatti (Unbridled’s Song - My Miss Storm Cat by Sea of Secrets) After a hard fought maiden loss, the grey Stonestreet runner came back with a snappy win at seven furlongs. Look for him in a stakes race next out.
Alternation (Distorted Humor - Alternate by Seattle Slew) Has not received the hype that Elite Alex, the horse he narrowly defeated at Oaklawn, has gotten, but is one of many with big potential in Monday’s Southwest Stakes.
Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux - Dalicia by Acatenango) The Team Valor charge impressed with two strong runs on synthetics at two; steadily working on the grass for his return. Distance is not a question, but a dirt surface might be.
Casper’s Touch (Touch Gold - Lizzy Cool by Saint Ballado) Impressive win under the Twin Spires ended a juvenile campaign which included a run in England. Finished 2nd recently at Gulfstream with an absolutely nightmarish trip. Bred to relish a distance.
Cassini Flight (Bernardini - Cassis by Red Ransom) The only European on the list, he rallied to win his only start on Lingfield’s all-weather surface. Jeremy Noseda trainee should do just fine on dirt.
Chico d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro - Colorado Song by Pine Bluff) His career debut, finishing 2nd to Albergatti, showed plenty of potential. Look for the well bred colt to break his maiden next out for hot trainer John Sadler.
Coil (Point Given - Eversmile by Theatrical) Distance bred from top to bottom, I loved his two sprint performances last Fall. Time is running out to return to the work tab, but if he does, he could be a real terror around two-turns.
The Fed Eased (Montbrook - Valid Invitation by Take Me Out) After chasing one of the fastest sophomores in the country, Crossbow, he came back to outclass maiden foes four weeks later. Look for him to be tough to beat in Aqueduct’s early Derby preps.
Free Entry (Tale of the Cat - Preachtothechoir by Pulpit) Was no match for Uncle Mo last Summer, but has returned this Winter with two sharp scores at Gulfstream Park. I expect him to be joining the stakes ranks very soon.
Glint (Sharp Humor - Glimmer by Deputy Minister) Very impressive winner of both starts at smaller tracks last year, is already a stakes winner, and recently returned to the work tab at Oaklawn for trainer Kellyn Gorder.
Heron Lake (Bernardini - Miss Kate by Storm Cat) LaPenta and Zito have another prospect in this regally bred first-out winner. Showed a lot of heart in earning the hard fought victory at Gulfstream Park.
Majestic Harbor (Rockport Harbor - Champagne Royale by French Deputy)  After two solid rallies while sprinting last Fall at Churchill, this Paul McGee trainee looked impressive recently in his first stretch out at Fair Grounds.
Nacho Business (Rahy - Palaestra by Atticus) He ran one of the more impressive maiden races yet this year in a flat mile heat in South Florida. The runner-up that day has already come back to win in nice style.
Prime Objective (Aragorn - Primedex by Deputy Minister) Like Coil, I’m still waiting for this one to return to training. I loved what I saw in his only start, winning nicely in a maiden at Delaware for trainer Tim Ritchey.
Rattlesnake Bridge (Tapit - Prall Street by Cherokee Run) A little late in the game, but this grey colt’s debut was very strong last week at Gulfstream. The late rush to win going away was eye-catching to say the least.
Runflatout (Flatter - Slammin’ Lil by Grand Slam) I’m not sure if 10 furlongs will be this one’s cup of tea, but his coming out party last month at Santa Anita already has me believing that he will is a sure fire stakes horse in the near future.
Skylord (Sky Mesa - Skyscape by Marquetry) Todd Pletcher trainee impressed last Summer breaking his maiden at the Spa, but was not seen again in 2010. Recently returned to the work tab with a bullet work at Oaklawn Park.
Smash (Smart Strike - Dixie Holiday by Dixieland Band) Bob Baffert has always liked this well bred colt who won his only start in July. Only returned to the work tab at Santa Anita last week, so he will need to be setback free to be ready by May.
Supreme Ruler (Don’t Get Mad - Smolensk by Danzig) Much like his sire, he came from the clouds to get up late in his career debut in a mile maiden at Oaklawn. Will need to be tested for class soon.
Yankee Passion (Yankee Gentleman - Pleasant Pat by Pleasant Colony) The Larry Jones trained colt returned from a five month layoff to win a sharp optional claimer sprint at Oaklawn three weeks ago, and should get tested in Monday’s Southwest Stakes.
[See where these Dark Horses currently rank on HRN's list of 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders]



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Older Comments about The Kentucky Derby Dark Horse Bulletin...

I got Sway Away, Mucho Macho Man, Flashpoint,Santiva, and Gourmet Dinner...
Solid list brent ... Sway Away is on my main list, Bowman's is on my Queen's Plate list, and Travelin will be better at shorter I believe, but all 3 are interesting.
Here are my top 5 dark horses as of 02/20: (1) Casper's Touch (2) Sway Away (3) Alternation (4) Bowman's Causeway and (5) Travelin Man
My #1 Dark Horse right now is Bowman's Causeway. I was very impressed with his win at 9 furlongs.
These are Derby Dark Horses. Fort Hughes is a little less unknown, and I believe he is likely to be best at sprints.
Fort Hughes has won at the same distances as some of these horses and in a stakes race unlike most of the others with a 103 beyer in his last outting what goes?
Bench Points has already done too much to be on the Dark Horse Bulletin.
Sleeper list without Bench Points? Shocked.
Great trainer, Brian ... my guess is he picks up right where he left of. Keith, I always like a horse who likes to win like Too Experience, but Brethren wooped up on pretty good last time.
Too Experience, Go madien 16k claimer !
Here's to hoping Larry Jones gets to the Derby this year with Yankee Passion, it would be a perfect "welcome back" to such a classy trainer. I can't wait to see Smash make his debut, I loved him last year!
Most of these horses still have all the potential in the world, what could be more fun than finding that hidden gem?
Good job Brian - I love stuff like this. You never know who's going to fall of the Derby Trail - and these 'Dark Horses', one of them may be the next superstar!

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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 the Nation, 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 new 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 show, 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 as the President 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, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

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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