It’s onto Fair Grounds Saturday and Sunland Park Sunday as the Racing Dudes Fantasy League continues to pick up steam. Last week was a big win for Team Magic, taking home the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes with his newly-claimed Magnum Moon. Not only did he pick up 50 points for himself, but he kept rivals Team Welch and Team Halterman from picking up more points because their horses finished second and third in the race. There’s been plenty of movement in the standings and the Power Rankings, so let’s take a look:
|Ranking||Team||Score||Current Team Members|
|1||Jared Welch||1,390||Solomini, Greyvitos, Justify, Sporting Chance, New York Central|
|2||Curtis "Magic" Kalleward||270||Good Magic, Mendelssohn, Marconi, My Boy Jack, Magnum Moon|
|3||Aaron Halterman||256||Principe Guilherme, Instilled Regard, Noble Indy, Bravazo, Combatant|
|4||Mike "Saratoga Slim" Spector||175||Bolt d’Oro, Audible, Hofburg, Restoring Hope, Navistar|
|5||Ryan Stillman/Jon White||146||Mask, Flameaway, Untamed Domain, Enticed, Quip|
|6||Dan "The Fan Man" Waite||31||Catholic Boy, Nero, Lone Sailor, Vino Rosso, Free Drop Billy|
1. Jon White/Ryan Stillman – They remain number one in the standings and the Power Rankings for the second straight week. Their stable star, McKinzie, has been confirmed to start next in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby in a rematch with Bolt d’Oro. Enticed will be sent back to New York for the Grade 2 Wood Memorial Stakes, where he should be one of the top choices, while Free Drop Billy and Flameaway will likely start in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes. That gives this team a solid four horses heading into the final round of prep races. The only downer is Untamed Domain, now officially off of the Kentucky Derby trail.
2. Curtis “Magic” Kalleward – This was the biggest winner of the weekend. Magnum Moon crushed in the Rebel, earning this team a much-needed 50 points. It’s also good news that he will be pointed towards the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby next, giving him another opportunity to earn big points. International star Mendelssohn will likely be the top choice in the Group 2 UAE Derby, as will Good Magic in the Blue Grass. Those three have led a big turn-around for a team that was once struggling. The stable has two duds in Curlin’s Honor and Marconi, but overall, things are looking up for Magic in a big way.
3. Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector – Slim’s team is starting to look a little top-heavy, which is fine, as long as his Big Two keep winning. Those two horses, Bolt d’Oro and Audible, are ranked in the top five of nearly everyone’s Kentucky Derby lists. Audible will run next in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, while Bolt d’Oro will match up again with McKinzie in the Santa Anita Derby. The two real wild cards of the team continue to be Navistar and Restoring Hope. Navistar was a solid second in an allowance race at Oaklawn Park last Sunday, while Restoring Hope is a probable for the Grade 3 Sunland Derby this Sunday. If either of these horses can earn him points, it would be a much-welcomed bonus. Finally, Avery Island is sadly off of the Kentucky Derby after returning lame from a workout.
4. Aaron Halterman – It’s a pivotal week for Team Halterman with Bravazo and Noble Indy both running in the Louisiana Derby. Those two horses give him a solid 1-2 punch in a race that doesn’t look that strong on paper. A win in this race is a must, as this team still lacks star power. Combatant continues to run well each time he starts, but he’s never been a threat to win a prep race. Instilled Regard could be the closest thing that this team has to a star, but he’s currently pointing towards the very tough Santa Anita Derby. The major downer is that his first round pick, Principe Guilherme, looks to be off of the trail, as his connections have given him time away from the track.
5. Jared Welch – He finally had a couple of starters this week, but it didn’t work out perfectly. Solomini ran well off of the bench to finish second in the Rebel despite a tough trip, so overall, the race was a positive for him. Sporting Chance, however, was a non-threatening fifth in that race and will need to rebound in a major way in the Arkansas Derby, as he’s currently not in the Kentucky Derby picture. New York Central gives him hope this weekend in the Sunland Derby, where he should be tough. The stable’s superstar, Justify, is said to be pointing for the Arkansas Derby, which will set up for a showdown with Magnum Moon. Finally, Greyvitos is starting to ramp up his workouts in the mornings, which suggests that he’s getting close to a race. There’s still plenty of time and opportunity for this team to shoot back up the standings.
6. Dan “The Fan Man” Waite – The bottom line with this team really comes down to how Catholic Boy bounces back from a loss in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes. A rebound in the Florida Derby will give him some firepower heading into the Triple Crown races. He also really needs Gold Town to win the UAE Derby. If those two can win, he would be in a position to make some noise. Vino Rosso and Storm Runner really need to rebound off of poor efforts in their last starts. The good news is that both of them are pointing for Kentucky Derby prep races next, so each will get another chance at earning points. Nero is the real mystery for this team right now. He’s been rumored to run in a couple of different prep races, but we have yet to hear anything official about him.