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Team Welch finally got going last weekend with a massive win from Justify, putting him back in the game in a major way, but there’s still a long ways to go. Team Magic looks stronger than ever after a big win from Good Magic and has more to look forward to this weekend with Magnum Moon in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. What about Dan the Fan Man? He’s back from the dead after Vino Rosso took home the Wood Memorial. Check out the latest standings and Power Rankings as we head into the final weekend of prep races:
1. Curtis “Magic” Kalleward – The Magic man is looking great! Good Magic, Mendelssohn, and Magnum Moon have stamped their tickets for the first Saturday in May, and Magnum Moon can earn even more points this weekend. Curlin’s Honor is rumored to make a start in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes, giving him yet another shot to pad his lead. At this point, his only disappointment is Marconi, a pricey horse that simply never developed. Right now, Magic is the odds-on favorite to win this thing.
2. Jared Welch – Welcome to the contest, Mr. Welch. It turns out that winning the Rap Battle could lead to him winning the league. While that would be an amazing story, there’s still work to do. Welch has dug himself a major hole in the standings, but Justify’s win certainly helps. However, he needs good showings from Solomini and Greyvitos this weekend. Just having Justify may not be enough without something else going for him. Sporting Chance is out of the Kentucky Derby picture after pulling his normal stupidity in the Blue Grass, and New York Central is certainly out after a poor Sunland Derby effort.
3. Mike “Saratoga Slim” Spector – The good news is that Restoring Hope finally made it to a Kentucky Derby prep race, but the bad news is that he finished third in the Wood Memorial and doesn’t have enough points to qualify. Bolt d’Oro put on a great show in the Santa Anita Derby, and though he was no match for Justify, he’ll still go to Kentucky as one of the top choices. He also has Audible, another of the top few choices, which gives Slim a solid 1-2 punch. He’ll likely drop Navistar and Avery Island, as each is out of the Triple Crown series due to injury, but this team is solid and still has a chance to win.
4. Jon White/Ryan Stillman – Considering the loss of McKinzie, it was still a nice weekend for this team. Flameaway and Free Drop Billy were both able to hit the board in the Blue Grass, while Enticed finished second in the Wood Memorial. This gives Jon and Ryan three Kentucky Derby starters, but they will all be double-digit odds on race day. Obviously, the McKinzie news was absolutely devastating, and the failed Untamed Domain experiment hurts, too. It’s going to be difficult for this team to win now.
5. Aaron Halterman – How the mighty have fallen… although I’m not sure that this team has ever been all that mighty. Instilled Regard was a pathetic fourth in the Santa Anita Derby and is now most likely out of the Kentucky Derby. That leaves this team with Noble Indy and Bravazo as the only two confirmed Kentucky Derby starters, which is not exactly a devastating 1-2 punch. However, Combatant can make it three this weekend with a top-three finish in the Arkansas Derby. He-s never been a threat to win, but he’s consistently performed well against tough company. His stablemate Principe Guilherme is still on the farm getting some time off, so he will be of no help.
6. Dan “The Fan Man” Waite – Finally, some good news for Dan! Vino Rosso finally ran like his connections always thought he could, taking home the Wood Memorial to earn this team 50 valuable points. The win also means that Dan will have a Kentucky Derby starter, which is great news because he’ll have no help from his other team members. Catholic Boy is getting some time off, Gold Town is off the Kentucky Derby trail, and Storm Runner needs to find a claiming race for his next start. Finally, there’s the frustrating Nero – he continues to have decent workouts, but he never enters a race. Who knows where he’ll start next, but he’s of no help to Dan’s fantasy hopes.
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