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1. Candy Boy – This has turned into an impossible task! This Kentucky Derby is as wide open as ever, but somebody has to be number one so it’s Candy Boy that assumes the spot. He runs this Saturday in the Santa Anita Derby, which is starting to look like a loaded race.
2. Tapiture – He’s probably ran the two most consistent prep races, and will be favored in the Arkansas Derby in two weeks. I’m still not sold on him getting a mile and one-quarter, but if he can he has a real shot to win. Remember…he has a victory at Chruchill Downs.
3. Samraat – Looks to make it three Kentucky Derby prep races in a row this weekend in the Wood Memorial! What a story this horse has been, and it would be great if he stay undefeated heading into the Kentucky Derby. This weekend will be his toughest challenge yet…
4. California Chrome – Speaking of great stories, how about this California bred who might become the number one prospect for the Kentucky Derby after this weekend? He’s proven to be faster (at least speed figure wise) that Candy Boy, but can he beat him head to head as the distances get longer?
5. Hoppertunity – Wow, did everyone see the workout he put in last weekend? This could be the horse to look out for, as he’s definitely improving at the right time. Baffert indicated that the Santa Anita Derby this weekend will be next for Hoppertunity, as the horse looks ready to roll.
6. Constitution – Huge victory in the Florida Derby! I liked his willingness to go through a small hole along the rail, and you had to admire how gamely he fought off the pesky Wildcat Red. Of course zero starts at two is scary, and he also still doesn’t seem to good about sitting behind horses. He might have the most raw talent, but his lack of experience could be his downfall.
7. Intense Holiday – It was a wild stretch run for Intense Holiday in the Louisiana Derby as he banged into the rail and had trouble switching leads. Still, he managed to finish second and still is one that will have a shot in Kentucky.
8 Ring Weekend – It’s amazing that this horse has moved up eighth. He’ll have the oddest final Derby prep race of all time…The Calder Derby.
9. Social Inclusion – Time to find out what this horse is all about in the Wood Memorial this weekend. He’s pretty much the only true wildcard left out of the bunch. He could be a total freak, or he could flop when up against stakes company. It will be fascinating to watch.
10. Uncle Sigh – He’ll get one more swing at Samraat this weekend, but I think the added distance will probably hurt him. I do expect him to give us another gutsy performance, and one that might be good enough to propel him into the Kentucky Derby.
11. Cairo Prince – Talk about your all time back fire…Cairo Prince now sits on the bubble of even making it to the Kentucky Derby. It was obvious that Saturday was not his best effort, but I do think he’ll bounce back and run better next time out. Not completely writing him off…
12. Strong Mandate – Still believe this one has a big race left in him somewhere…maybe we’ll see it in the Arkansas Derby.
13. Bobby’s Kitten – If this horse can handle the dirt it’s looking more and more like he can really be a player. Personally I think he’s classier than almost anyone on this list. The plan is to run in the Bluegrass Stakes in two weeks…if he wins that one I’ll start believing.
14. Wildcat Red – My hat goes off to this horse, he’s not supposed to be running this far but he just keeps on fighting. I thought for sure General A Rod and Constitution would leave him in the dust in the Florida Derby, but this guy has a big heart. He’s earned his shot in the Derby.
15. Vicar’s In Trouble – Ran a terrific race when winning the Louisiana Derby, but still can’t see him getting the mile and one-quarter distance. Nice story to have a Louisiana bred making the race though.
16. Toast of New York – Dubai winner has a ton of things going against him, but also has an abundance of talent. Might be classier than all of these, but can he run on dirt and will he handle the trip well?
17. General A Rod – His third place effort in the Florida Derby was a tad disappointing considering it looked like he had every chance to go by for most of the stretch run. He’ll have a small chance in Kentucky, but might not be good enough.
18. We Miss Artie – We’ve already seen him falter on dirt. Nice synthetic horse, will be tough for him to win the Derby though.
19. Chitu –Not liking his chances at all at a mile and one-quarter.
20. Ride On Curlin – Showed his class in the Rebel Stakes last time in a big way, and with another solid effort in the Arkansas Derby he could be a nice “under the radar” prospect. He’s had trouble putting two in a row together though.
Free Brisnet past performances from Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available here.
More information on the KDFW is available at www.KentuckyDerby.com.
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