1. #16 Orb – What a performance! This one is the real deal, and so is his connections. Looking ahead…this could be a Triple Crown winner. At this point he clearly looks like the best horse in the division.
2. #4 Golden Soul – From out of nowhere Golden Soul runs a HUGE second. Whether it was the slop or the added distance that moved him up is still in question, but hats off to everyone involved from getting him ready to run a big race.
3. #3 Revolutionary – Calvin Borel once again gives us a great Kentucky Derby ride. Revolutionary ran a super race as well, he just may no be as good as Orb which is nothing to be sad about. I love how you can ask this horse to do anything, and he’ll do it.
4. #5 Normandy Invasion – Felt like he had made the winning move at the top of the stretch, but just couldn’t hold on for that long. The jock could have moved a little soon, but it would have been a tough call. Trainer Chad Brown deserves credit as this horse has steadily improved this year.
5. #6 Mylute – He closed from 18th to 5th with a strong run, and at one point looked like he might have a big chance at winning. Much like the Louisiana Derby, it looked like he hung just a bit in the stretch. He’s now proven he can run with the best, and could be set up for a nice summer.
6. #2 Oxbow – Out of all the horses near the pace, Oxbow was the only one to not completely stop. He’s showed a lot of toughness, and unlike last time Gary Stevens gave him a beautiful ride. I don’t think he’s good enough to turn the tables on some of these at that distance, but we haven’t heard the last from him.
7. #11 Lines of Battle – Pretty decent effort from him for his first try on dirt. Just didn’t have the turn of foot to catch the front pack.
8. #17 Will Take Charge – All I can say is watch the overhead view…Will Take Charge was moving in tandem with Orb, and then was totally stopped as he ran into the back of a tiring Verrazano. The good news is this horse looks like he could be very good, but the bad news is you only get to run in the Kentucky Derby once and his chances were totally ruined.
9. #15 Charming Kitten – He’ll immediately move back to the turf, where he’ll probably really flourish. Not a bad effort at all for his first dirt try, just not his preferred surface.
10. #7 Giant Finish – The least qualified horse out ran his expectations, and was obviously pretty well prepared for the race. Still not one I’m high on moving forward, but at least he proved he has a little class.
11. #9 Overanalyze – Pretty average performance for him, although I wouldn’t call it embarrassing. He looks like a grind it out type horse, and may fair decent in a race like the Belmont.
12. #10 Palace Malice – Had absolutely no chance setting that kind of ridiculous pace. Not sure if we should be blaming Smith or the blinkers…either way it doesn’t matter. He deserves another shot at the big time level at some point.
13. #19 Java’s War – This one just can’t get out of the gate! He was left at the start once again, only this time couldn’t make up enough ground. Look for him on the turf next time out, where I think he’ll be dangerous.
14. #14 Verrazano – Never looked comfortable out there on the slop, and chased a pretty hot pace. He’s a horse that might really enjoy a cutback in distance.
15. #12 Itsmyluckyday – His trainer said he never cared much for the slop, and that certainly looked to be the case. He probably deserves another shot at this level, but could he be a Gulfstream specialist or did he peak too soon?
16. #18 Frac Daddy – Never picked up his feet, and probably was just out-classed by these. Workout watchers claim he should like the turf so look for a surface switch.
17. #8 Goldencents – Hated the slop it looked like, plus he was very rank early. He was done pretty much before it even started. Is being pointed towards the Preakness now, and that track could suit him a little better.
18. #20 Vyjack – Was done after half the race, never was able to get settled. Another one who probably didn’t like the distance. Will need a cutback.
19. #13 Falling Sky – Cheap speed as everyone predicted, although really he never showed much speed. Needs a class drop or a distance cutback next time out.