New to the Top 20: Bayern, Tamarando
Dropped Out: Louies Flower, Indianapolis
1. Top Billing – The next step towards Kentucky is this weekend in the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Saturday. He drew post twelve in a field of thirteen, but the outside post shouldn’t bother him much as he usually drops towards the back right away. Lets see if he can turn the tables on Commissioner this time.
2. Tapiture – His dominating Southwest win lands him in this spot, and also stamps him as a major player from here on out. He did get a perfect trip, but you have to give the horse credit for taking advantage of it, and crushing most of the field. His rematch in the Rebel with Strong Mandate will be interesting…
3. Strong Mandate – This horse is becoming famous for brutal trips. Pretty much everything that could possibly go wrong did in the Southwest, but he still battled gamely and finished a well clear second in that race. You have to like the education he’s gotten so far. Eventually he’s going to get the trip, and then we’ll find out just how talented he might be.
4. Candy Boy – Had to like his race in the Robert Lewis, and like I suspected it looks like he’s going to like the extra distance that is sure to come next time out. I didn’t think he could beat Midnight Hawk at the Lewis distance, but he did.
5. Commissioner – With a win in the Fountain of Youth this Saturday he could move up to number one on the list. We know distance won’t be any sort of issue with him, but can he overcome the rail and what will likely be a fast closing Top Billing?
6. Cairo Prince – The Holy Bull was an eye-opening race! The field looked somewhat evenly matched, but Cairo Prince blew away the competition. He might be the most talented horse in the entire crop. All systems are go for him except one little issue that keeps creeping up in my mind…will he be completely effective at a mile and a quarter?
7. Shared Belief – The news has been more positive lately for Shared Belief fans as he’s back in training and seems to be somewhat back on the Derby Trail. However, we are all still on hold with him to see what happens and where he runs.
8. Honor Code – It’s looks like the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn could be his return race which would be entertaining to say the least considering he’d likely face Tapiture and Strong Mandate. How he and Shared Belief progress off their respective set backs still are a major story line.
9. Gold Hawk – Entered in a deep Risen Star field this weekend, and will look to redeem him self for a third place effort last time out in the Lecomte. I’ve stuck by his side through that race, and hopefully re rewards me for that on Saturday.
10. Samraat – After that performance in the Withers, this one is now a player. I can’t remember being so surprised by a race, but it’s always nice when that happens! They are talking like one more prep race is in order before a trip to Kentucky.
11. Mexicoma – Makes his 2013 debut in an ULTRA tough allowance field at Gulfstream this weekend. Obviously a stakes could be next as long as the horse runs well.
12. Bayern – I’m not ready to be over the moon about him yet, but that allowance win at Santa Anita was eye-catching. He’ll have to prove it against the top California competition next, but you would think if he can bring that race again he can win.
13. Bobby’s Kitten – Loads of talent…but can he run on the dirt? The plan is to try the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, and then move on to Churchill if he runs well in that race. He’s as classy as they come, and if they can get him qualified he might have a say in things. In the past turf horses have actually ran well over the Churchill Downs dirt track.
14. Vicar’s In Trouble – Draws the far outside for a competitive Risen Star Stakes this Saturday. Will the post and the added distance do him in, or will he move up the list and become a major player?
15. Uncle Sigh – I’ll be honest in saying I wasn’t totally sold on him going into the Withers, but he showed a ton of heart and more importantly talent in that race. The distance of the Derby could be questionable, but he’s worth a solid mention at this point.
16 Constitution – He runs in the same race as Mexicoma this Saturday at Gulfstream so you can see just how strong that race is going to be. His progression will have to be fairly fast for him to make a huge impact on the Derby Trail, but we’ve seen it done before.
17 Midnight Hawk – I’m not ready to jump completely off his bandwagon, but as I said last week I don’t think this is a distance horse. He stays on the list because I still think he’ll make some noise on the Derby Trail in California.
18 Chitu – Pretty impressive race by him in his first Stakes action, and to be honest I think him and Midnight Hawk about pretty much the same sort of horse. With California looking a little thin right now with the question mark of Shared Belief, Chitu can make some noise.
19. Bond Holder – Scratching from the Risen Star which is concerning…now pointing towards the San Felipe.
20. Tamarando – I don’t think he can win the Derby, but he’s got a decent chance to get there now. He’s a respectable horse that continues to be solid, and has been beaten by very good horses each time he’s lost.
Free Brisnet past performances from Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager available at http://www.brisnet.com/brisnet_promos/14KDFW2PPs.pdf.
More information on the KDFW is available at www.KentuckyDerby.com.