#18 American Pharoah (KY) – What can I say that hasn’t already been said? We’ve written articles for months on this horse so I’ll keep it short. He has a chance to be something, and hopefully on Saturday he’ll run his race and show the world his tremendous talent.
#15 Frosted (KY) – Should be the best of any of the closers, which to me lands him in the runner up spot as the pace will make some of the front runners softened up towards the end. His Wood Memorial was really impressive, and you can tell after the well documented throat surgery, it made a big difference. Also has a world class jockey on his side in Joel Rosario. The only real threat I see to American Pharoah.
#8 Dortmund (KY) – I can’t get the thought out of my mind that he’s going to run 3rd. I’m afraid he wants to be near the lead a little too much, which might hurt him in the end. However, he drew perfectly. Maybe the best of anyone in the field. He and Firing Line are old friends that could engage early as Firing Line drew the 10 hole. A beast of a horse. It would not shock me one bit if he won the race but think his stable mate is just a little better.
#5 Danzig Moon (ON) – You have to play a crazy one in this spot, right? I’ll be honest, I really haven’t liked much about his prep races. However, the workout reports have been solid so far this week. His running style should be beneficial for him to pick off tired horses down the stretch. Can he win the race? NO! Can he make your exotics pay huge? I think so!
#7 El Kabeir (FL) – Most likely a better horse than Danzig Moon, but I question whether he’ll get the demanding distance of the Kentucky Derby. Ran well enough in the Wood Memorial to give me hope, and I love the rider change. With Calvin at the helm expect him to take back and make one big run at the end. If he has some energy left it’s not out of the question that he hits the board.
#12 International Star (NY) – Almost put him on the “likely winners” category but just couldn’t quite convince myself that he can get it done. Has done nothing wrong this year as he’s won all three prep races leading up to this. Very versatile as well which is a real positive, and has backers like Jon White that think he will run well. Also should be able to work out a nice trip with his willingness to adapt to anything. Will come running late.
#14 Keen Ice (KY) – Put on this section for one reason: Could see him staying on for the distance and pass tired horses. We know that the pace usually falls apart in the Derby, and this one will definitely make one run and pick up some pieces. Question is, can he pick up enough pieces to make an impact? Certainly has looked slow in several prep races.
#20 Far Right (KY) – I view him much like Keen Ice, but I think his turn of foot is a little sharper than that of Keen Ice. Also like that jockey Mike Smith has stayed on to ride. We’ve already seen that this one is willing to go up the rail to win a race too, and that’s not a bad thing in the Kentucky Derby. Look for him to represent first time Derby trainer Ron Moquett in a good way.