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1st: American Pharoah – Traveled farther in the race than everyone but Frosted, and was still able to win by a length. However, his outside draw was also to his advantage as he was able sit a nice stalking outside trip that stayed out of trouble. Much has been made about the “31 whips” down the stretch, but I think people need to realize that Firing Line was a pretty tough customer. Also it looked like Victor was trying to make sure the horse changed leads as well. On to Baltimore!
2nd: Firing Line – Called him a wild card coming into this race because I really had no idea what he was all about…now we do! At the top of the stretch it looked as though American Pharoah would pass him fairly easily, but Firing Line proved to be a tough customer and would not give up. He also got revenge on Dortmund as he easily put him away and beat him by two lengths.
3rd: Dortmund – I know it’s nearly impossible to win the Kentucky Derby wire to wire, but Dortmund got the PERFECT set up to do just that and couldn’t do it. I’m certainly never going to call a third place finish in the Kentucky Derby disappointing, but turning for home I thought he was going to be awfully tough to beat. Instead Firing Line and American Pharoah drew off from him. Take nothing away from him though…he’ll be tough each time he runs.
4th: Frosted – Out of all the closers this one is the only one I thought could have actually had a chance to win the race with a faster pace. Even though high quality horses such as Firing Line and Dortmund were able to set slow fractions, Frosted still made a run and almost got third. To me this horse could be the second or third best horse in the crop.
5th: Danzig Moon – Everyone’s “wise guy to hit the board horse” ran pretty well, but was never a real threat to the winners of the race. Basically an even fifth place run where he never really passed anyone, but was also only passed by Frosted. Could be an interesting horse as we move down the road to some weaker three year old races.
6th: Materiality – Like expected, his lack of seasoning and inside post position killed him. He broke slow, got shuffled back, and was not able to run his normal race. We still really don’t know what he is just yet, but we did find out that the horse is at least game considering he didn’t quit during all this and passed some tired rivals. That’s a good sign, and it’s also very good that the horse got a ton of experience out of this. He should move forward nicely.
7th: Keen Ice – Believe it or not he actually ran a pretty solid race considering the pace and the fact he couldn’t quite make his move when he wanted to do so. He was one of the few closers that seemed to make a decent amount of progress down the stretch.
8th: Mubtaahij – His inside trip certainly wasn’t horrible, but he might have liked to have been on the outside a little better. They tried to rate him off the pace and he did it willingly, but when it was time to run he just didn’t fire with much. He’s likely to improve next time out in the Belmont now that he has some experience running in the United States.
9th: Itsaknockout – I called him the slowest horse in the field and I was wrong! Although he didn’t make any kind of noise at least he showed up and split the field. He got himself into a mess with a few others the first time past the wire, but other than that didn’t have a horrible trip.
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