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It was a quiet week as far as Kentucky Derby hopefuls are concerned, and it will continue to be this weekend, as the Pegasus World Cup will take center stage. However, that’s going to change quickly once February arrives. You won’t see any changes in the standings or rankings for a couple of weeks, but here is the latest news on the horses currently in the league.
1. Ryan Stillman/Jon White – They’ll continue their reign as number one in the power rankings for at least a couple of more weeks. McKinzie continues to be their headliner, as trainer Bob Baffert is carefully mapping out his star colt’s path to the Kentucky Derby. Their other star, Mask, held his own with a pretty famous workout partner last Saturday – he worked in company with Stellar Wind, who prepares for the Pegasus. Enticed continues his steady works leading up to his 3-year-old debut on February 3, and Untamed Domain is doing much of the same as he preps for his dirt debut. Once again, Montauk is still missing from the workout tab.
2. Aaron Halterman – All five horses seem to have come out of their races well from a couple of weeks ago, so that’s good news. It looks as though Instilled Regard and Principe Guilherme will both point for the Grade 2 Risen Star, which will be interesting, as Mask is also pointing for that race. Noble Indy will certainly try a Kentucky Derby prep race next, but trainer Todd Pletcher is yet to confirm where that might be. Smarty Jones Stakes 1-2 finishers Mourinho and Combatant will both likely point for the Southwest Stakes for their next starts. Everything still looks positive for this team.
3. Jared Welch – This team has a load of talent that keeps looking better and better, but they’re all still a little ways away from an actual race. Solomini is the headliner, as the Los Alamitos Futurity runners continue to come back and impress, but he has been temporarily sidelined with a minor illness. Greyvitos also continues to be flattered, but it’s very iffy that he’ll make the Kentucky Derby trail. Sporting Chance is working up a storm at Oaklawn Park in preparation for the Southwest Stakes, which is great, and Dak Attack should run better in his next start. Finally, Zulfikhar continues a long string of works as he prepares for a likely start in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes.
4. Dan “The Fan Man” Waite – Stable star Catholic Boy is back on the work tab, which is the most important thing for this team. Recent maiden breaker Nero looks to have a massive amount of talent, and Baffert said that the Grade 2 San Vicente could be next for him. Hollywood Star has now had three workouts in a row, including a very impressive move last Saturday, working 5 furlongs in 1:00.25 at Gulfstream Park. Vino Rosso and Concur are both on the work tab and are probably close to running once again. Concur needs to break his maiden in this start, while Vino Rosso might try a Kentucky Derby prep race next.
5. Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector – Pegasus World Cup Day will be a big one for this team as his stable star, Bolt d’Oro, is scheduled to have his first workout of the year. The team really needs everything to go perfectly and for him to make the Grade 2 San Felipe in good order. Copper Bullet is starting to pick things up on the work tab, which is good news, as he also eyes a March Kentucky Derby prep race. Avery Island continues to work steadily leading up to a start on February 3, and we still await where Pletcher might send Navistar after he missed a start in the Smarty Jones Stakes. Maiden Restoring Hope should be entered back into a race soon according to Baffert, and the trainer still seems to be very high on this colt.
6. Curtis “Magic” Kalleward – BOOM! Good Magic is officially back on the work tab! Early Sunday morning, the Curlin colt worked 3 furlongs in :36.95 at Palm Meadows Training Center. This has to make this team breathe a sigh of relief, as so much will be riding on the shoulders of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner. Still not a lot of news on Mendelssohn, but that is probably by design as he gears of up for the spring. Vision still has not had a workout this year, but Curlin’s Honor did have his first work of the year at Fair Grounds as he went 4 furlongs in 49.80. Marconi also picked it up a bit in his latest workout at Belmont Park and still gives this team hope as he aims for a Kentucky Derby prep race.
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