#3 Dortmund (KY) – It took all of two races for this horse to become the Kentucky Derby Future Book favorite! While I can’t say that I am THAT big of a fan of his…its undeniable that he has a high ceiling and should win this race. His debut maiden score at Santa Anita was eye catching, and he followed it up with another really easy win at Churchill Downs in an allowance race. The competition does get somewhat tougher with Mr. Z serving as a measuring stick in here, but the perennial second place finisher probably can’t match strides with Dormund. Look for his talent to be too much for the others today, but we’ll wait in see what he can do when the serious running begins in 2015 before we crown him champion.
#4 Mr. Z (KY) – This hard nosed and well traveled horse certainly deserves a win like this after so many second place finishes. We know he’ll show up with a great effort, unfortunately I just can’t trust him to get the job done on the win end of things. His connections believe he’s doing better and that he’s ready to fire a big one…hopefully they are right. Everyone knows this dude would love to see another Grade 1 victory for D Wayne Lukas.
#2 No Problem (KY) – I don’t think many expected No Problem to win the Bob Hope Stakes last time out after previously coming out of a maiden claiming race. He’s not one you can trust to win this one, but he is the only graded stakes winner so you can’t throw him out. He’ll get the class test today on dirt…we’ll see.
#1 Bench Warrant (KY) – Two nice starts at Del Mar have been encouraging signs, but he’s never been on dirt so it’s a real question mark today. The slow break last time out probably cost in an allowance race so there is a legit excuse for his third place effort in that one, but you’d like to see a little more form to back him today.
#5 Firing Line (KY) – Was beaten just a half length in his only start on dirt, but was a runaway winner in a maiden at Del Mar last time out. The synthetic could have moved him up, or maybe he’s just getting better…either way I don’t see him winning today.