With the Kentucky Derby just 2 weeks away, it's time
to take a look at this years serious contenders.
This year�s running of the Kentucky Derby will be a very hard one
in which to predict the outcome of the race. Many of the runners
have questions marks and very few are coming into the race off of
back to back wins. The Bluegrass had many intriguing storylines.
Monba looked great winning, but who can forget his dreadful
performance in the Fountain of Youth? His polar opposite, Cool Coal
Man, was very strong in the Fountain of Youth only to quit as they
hit the stretch. Pyro who was trying to bring his pre-derby campaign
to a perfect end could only manage a tenth place finish. Others
runners like War Pass, Big Brown and Adriano also have big questions
to answer. Let�s take a look at who I believe are the top
Top Ten Contenders
Big Brown- This horse should be
named Big Beast instead, because that�s exactly what he is. His
triumph in the Florida Derby brought about thoughts of Big Red
(Secretariat). I�m probably a bit overzealous, but he will be hard
Colonel John- Santa Anita Derby
winner has many fans and believers after he cruised to victory in
that race. He successfully quelled El Gato Malo in the Sham, and
that last race only further solidified his standing. Corey Nakatani
is more than capable.
Pyro- Despite his poor finish in
the Bluegrass its hard to forget about this guy. His wins in the
Risen Star and Louisiana Derby were very impressive. My main
concerns are that he hasn�t raced further than 1 1/16 on traditional
dirt and that he couldn�t beat War Pass who right now doesn�t look
very good. Expect Asmussen to have this horse ready for the Kentucky
Derby, no excuses if
Adriano- I was very surprised
when Edgar Prado decided to keep this mount instead of taking Tale
of Ekati or Monba. The horse toyed with the field in the Lanes End
and won while being eased up. His run in the Fountain of Youth has
to make you wonder if he can run on the traditional dirt
Eight Belles- The filly has won her four races by
a combined 30+ lengths, but I wouldn�t call her the next Rags to Riches just
yet. In a weak crop of colts for the Kentucky Derby she is surely contentious.
Monba- Showed an amazing turn of foot in the Cash
Call Futurity when he accelerated from the back of the pack to capture fourth. I
loved the stalking trip he showed in the Bluegrass, and Ramon Dominguez getting
the mount is all the more encouraging. Watch out for this son of Maria�s Mon.
Maybe Pletcher can finally get his Kentucky Derby win?
War Pass- The rest of the competition seems
to have caught up to the 2 year old champion in terms of maturity. He ran a
tiring pace in the Wood, but distance concerns linger. I�m giving him a slight
chance, but honestly I don�t think he can go 1 �.
Tale of Ekati- Barclay Tagg�s three year old
ran a respectable race in the Wood Memorial. However, I am concerned with the
slow final time, and the fact that he barely overcame War Pass after the former
ran a brutal pace, and hit the turn 3-4 wide. He supposedly had his head turned
in the Louisiana Derby so that race is a throw away. This is a hard one to
judge, but I�m liking others so far. Pay close attention to his works.
Tomcito- The Argentinean Triple Crown winner
has already won races at 1 � and 1 �. His race was good in the Florida Derby
considering the fact that he hadn�t run in months. You can make up your mind on
this one depending on how he finishes in the Lexington.
Court Vision- Did Bill Mott go into the Wood
Memorial with the intention of winning that race? I�m not so sure, it seems as
if they weren�t giving it their all. His running style should suit the race, but
may be just a tier below the best of the field.
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