Titletown Five and Overanalyze fell from the list this week list, while Vyjack and Departing made the list. This week features the Tampa Bay Derby and San Felipe Stakes. Both races will be worth 50 Kentucky Derby points to the winner. Here’s our latest top 20 prospects…
1. Super Ninety Nine – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: 15th
The update on Super Ninety Nine sounds great. The horse is working out very strong, and Baffert is bringing him back to Oaklawn for the Rebel Stakes on March 16th. For my money he’s ran two races that have been more impressive than anyone, and will remain my number one horse until proven otherwise. The Rebel could prove to be a tougher spot than the Southwest, but I think he will handle it fine.
2. Itsmyluckyday – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: 10th
Nothing new out of this camp as the Florida Derby remains the goal for Itsmyluckyday. Much like Super Ninety Nine, he’s simply ran faster races than everyone below him on this list.
3. Revolutionary – Points Earned: 10 – T-18th
His next start remains in question, but my feelings aren’t changing on him. Heart, talent, and a nice turn of foot are all great qualities that you love to see in a horse.
4. Code West – Points Earned: 20 – Current Rank: 7th
It was a tough beat for Code West in the Risen Star Stakes, but I loved the way he dug in down that long Fair Grounds stretch. His pedigree really has me excited about the mile and a quarter so him being ranked so high has me thinking about what he can do in the future, and not what he’s already done
5. Orb – Points Earned: 50 – Current Rank: 3rd
The Fountain of Youth set up perfectly for Orb, but give the horse credit for taking advantage of that fast pace. The win assured that Orb will be the starting gate as long as he remains healthy. If the Derby pace is like normal, it could set up nicely again for this up and coming colt.
6. Verrazano – Points Earned: 0 – Current Rank: NR
The “super horse” finally gets his first class test this week in the Tampa Bay Derby. There is no question this horse has shown the most raw talent, and after this week he could shoot up the rankings! All eyes will be on the Tampa Bay this Saturday.
7. Vyjack – Points Earned: 50 – Current Rank: 2nd
Vyjack showed a flexibility in running styles on Saturday when winning the Gotham, and he also showed that maybe longer distances won’t be a problem. He also closed into a fairly slow pace, so a faster pace might even make him look better next time out. Instantly earned my respect!
8. Flashback – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: T-18th
Many questions will be answered about this untested horse this weekend in the San Felipe. He’s done nothing wrong so far, but this will be a tougher test. The workout reports sound very encouraging.
9. Tiz the Truth – Points Earned: 0 – Current Rank: NR
He broke his maiden on the same day Flashback won the Robert B Lewis, and some thought Tiz the Truth was more impressive. He’ll have a couple of opportunities to get Derby points, and hopefully his talent shines through.
10. Goldencents – Points Earned: 24 – Current Rank: 5th
Much like Flashpoint, Goldencents will also have some proving to do in the San Felipe. If he can carry over his two-year old form into this season, he’s a contender. Saturday will give us some answers.
11. Ive Struck a Nerve – Points Earned: 51 – Current Rank: 1st
Here he is…the Kentucky Derby points leader! What do you make of this 135-1 shot winner of the Risen Star? Obviously he’ll have to prove himself again, but he did beat a solid group and the time of the race wasn’t too bad. I wouldn’t totally toss him out as a fluke just yet
12. Oxbow – Points Earned: 16 – Current Rank: 8th
It was a disappointing race for Oxbow in the Risen Star. He did have a wide trip, but he looked like the winner as they turned for home and then faded to fourth. However, there is good news. Mike Smith has signed on to ride Oxbow in the Rebel stakes next weekend. The rider upgrade could play a major factor in him improving.
13. Departing – Points Earned: 0 – Current Rank: NR
Departing has totally dominated the competition, but what has he beat? It doesn’t look to be too much, but at least he’s done it easily. He’ll only have one shot at getting Derby points, and that looks like it will be in the Louisiana Derby. It will be all or nothing, which is scary and why he’s not higher on this list.
14. Normandy Invasion – Points Earned: 4 – Current Rank: 33rd
That Remsen Stakes looks weaker and weaker as the top two have come back and both ran 5th. I’ll keep Normandy Invasion on the list for now, but he could be dropping quickly.
15. Delhomme – Points Earned: 2 – Current Rank: 45th
This is the third place finisher of the before mentioned Remsen Stakes, but he is yet to make his three-year old debut. Major question mark at this point.
16. Shanghai Bobby – Points Earned: 24 – Current Rank: 4th
We’ve beaten this horse up enough. He looks like a top miler, but distance is a question mark. He’s making one more start in the Derby preps, which will be the Florida Derby.
17. Den’s Legacy – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: 13th
He’s a horse that’s good enough to hit the board in the Derby preps, but don’t look at him as a logical win contender. He’s been clearly beaten by some of his main rivals already. The Rebel Sakes will be his next start.
18. Abraham – Points Earned: 0 – Current Rank: NR
Since Titletown Five dropped off my list for now, Abraham is my only horse that can be considered a “wise guy” horse this week. Hopefully we see him in a stakes race soon.
19. Palace Malice – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: T-20th
I’m a big fan of the horse, but I was really upset with how he ran in the Risen Star. He finished 3rd in the race, but really had no excuse for not winning. I felt Rosie gave him a perfect ride. Maybe this one is a little overhyped because of Curlin being his sire…
20. Will Take Charge – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: 16th
I don’t think Will Take Charge is one that can win the Derby, but I also don’t think he is as bad as his last race. Look for him to rebound with a solid effort in the Rebel and earn his way back into consideration as a Derby starter.