It’s never too early to look ahead to The Derby. Here are ten prospects you need to know about:
1. Hanson – 2-year-old horse of the year will make his first start in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream next Sunday. I’m not confident he’ll get The Derby distance, but I have to put him at #1 until he proves me wrong.
2. Union Rags – Many felt like he was the most talented 2-year-old, and his pedigree looks to be one that will carry him The Derby distance. He passes the test in the “looks department” but that only will take you so far.
3. Gemologist – He’s undefeated and the horses he’s beaten just keep on winning. He already has a win over the Churchill surface as well.
4. Out of Bounds – His win in The Sham Stakes was excellent, and he looks like a horse that wants to go long. California’s best Derby hopefull?
5. Discreet Dancer – I have a feeling when The Derby rolls around, this will be your favorite. He’s the best 3-year-old I’ve seen so far, and he looks like he can run forever.
6. Mr. Bowling – Today’s win in the LeComte Stakes showed me that this horse has a ton of heart. Robby Albarado said he doesn’t think the horse will have any problem going longer.
7. Shared Property – If not for the post position in today’s LeComte Stakes, I think he would have been your winner. He broke from post 13 and was six wide down the stretch, but still had a chance to win at the end. Just yesterday I called him over-rated, and I’m man enough to admit I was wrong.
8. Creative Cause – He was third in The Breeders Cup Juvenile, but extra distance might suit him better than the others.
9. Liaison – Baffert’s best shot at The Derby is Liaison, but I’m concerned that he may not get the distance.
10. Overdriven – Even though he hasn’t raced since the summer, I believe the horse has what it takes to be competitive. The only question mark is his health.