2008 KENTUCKY DERBY CONTENDERS
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 contenders.
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 to beat.
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 he loses.
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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