#3 California Chrome (CA) – What more can really be said about him? He simply towers over the competition, and this race even more so than two weeks ago in the Kentucky Derby. It’s hard to imagine anything getting him beat here, unless he has a horrendous trip or simply fails to show up. His great tactical speed will have him sitting just behind what should be a hot pace, and I see him passing those speed horses with no trouble whatsoever. Simply put: this horse should win by as many lengths as he pleases. This in not the race to beat try and beat him!
#8 Social Inclusion (KY) – Could this horse prove to be the “speed of the speed?” I believe the only way he can beat California Chrome is if he indeed turns out to be just that, and gets a nice head start on him. It’s a scenario that’s not that likely as California Chrome has great tactical speed, but if Chrome doesn’t get a clean break it’s possible. Aside from trips, there really isn’t any doubt in my mind this is the most talented horse in this race outside of California Chrome. His two Gulfstream races were freakish, and his game effort in the Wood was sneaky good considering it was his first time outside of Gulfstream and first stakes action. He’s the only horse in this race that wouldn’t be a shock to me if he upsets California Chrome.
#10 Ride On Curlin (KY) – Would love to see him finally get a good trip, and with Rosario aboard you’d have to think he’s got a good shot at getting one. Ideally I believe he needs to be sitting just a length or so behind California Chrome, patiently stocking the leaders. If that happens I could see this horse running huge and getting second, but I just don’t see any way he can outrun California Chrome to the wire…even if he is on even terms with him heading into the stretch.
#7 Kid Cruz (KY) – This horse seems to be very polarizing…either you love him or you hate him. I guess I’m one of the few that are in the middle. His races have been solid, but maybe just a touch slow to compete at this level. However…take a look at the pace scenario in here. It definitely sets up for a closer as the speedsters have shown up for this one. If the pace melts down, we’ll see this one come flying late.
#1 Dynamic Impact (KY) – He might be the one that surprises us all, although it’s still a longshot. Dynamic Impact has won two in a row, and has beaten two horses in those last two races that aren’t terrible. First he was able to beat Knock Em Flat in a maiden special weight at Oaklawn which is a pretty good win. Next, he jumped right into stakes company and won the Illinois Derby defeating Midnight Hawk. Midnight Hawk, as most of you know, is not a horse I’m high on, but for a horse to jump from a maiden to a graded stakes and beat an experienced horse has to count for something. He’s probably not good enough, but if California Chrome falters this one might pick up the pieces.
#9 Pablo Del Monte (FL) – This one has a little bit of upside, but not enough to make me like him against these types. Perhaps one to keep an eye on in the future as it looks like he can run on any surface.
#4 Ring Weekend (KY) – His win in the Tampa Bay Derby was the perfect set up, and he won’t get that kind of race today. In all honesty he might be an ungraded or Grade 3 type horse.
#5 Bayern (KY) – Throw him in the back of a pick up truck and he might be able to get this distance! All kidding aside, he was very leg weary in his last race which was a mile, so how will he fair today against tougher going longer? There will be pace pressure as well…not looking good.
#6 Ria Antonia (KY) – Quite possibly the dumbest entry of all time…just a joke.
#2 General a Rod (KY) – He continues to get a lot of attention, but I will continue to think he can’t get the job done in a big race like this. Supposedly he’s moving over the Preakness surface better than the Churchill surface, but I’m not convinced.