5 TOP PREAKNESS CHALLENGERS FOR BIG BROWN
May 17, 2008
Many writers and horseplayers have already handed Big Brown the Triple Crown. Not so fast While his Derby victory was extremely impressive, hes now coming back just two weeks after that effort with no workouts and a full field of fresh runners. If theres a time to beat him, it would be now. In my eyes, the five top challengers for an upset would be:
1. Kentucky Bearthis lightly-raced Mr. Greenley colt (only 3 lifetime starts) continues to develop physically and theres a lot of buzz about him. He demolished a solid field (including the speedy Samba Rooster) in his maiden effort at Gulfstream in January, and then (among other problems) bled in a disappointing effort in the Fountain of Youth. After a break he came back for an impressive third place finish in the Blue Grass, and has put in some excellent works leading to this race. Only missed the Derby due to lack of earnings. Top contender for upset win.
2. Icabad Cranethis Jump Start colt won the Federico Tesio at Pimlico last out, thus the only contender with experience over this track. That races form held up well when second-place finisher Mint Lane ran excellent in last weekends Peter Pan, finishing second behind the ultra-impressive Belmont Stakes contender Casino Drive. With Jeremy Rose up for Graham Motion, Icabad Crane warrants serious consideration, in his third start after a layoff. Another thing to like about him: his second dam Adorable Micol (a graded-stakes winner and black-type producer) was a daughter of Riverman, known carrier of the Blue Larkspur LH (Large Heart) X gene. Could his great-grandson possess this physical benefit? For me, Im betting so.
3. MACho againbreaking from the rail (23% win clip) is a huge bonus for this son of MACho Uno; his pedigree, however, maybe his downfall. Although his sire won the Mass Cap at 9 furlongs, and his broodmare sire Wild again won the Breeders Cup Classic at 10 furlongs, MACho again has never won over 7.5 furlongs. Regardless, I rate him a possible threat here with his post position.
4. Hey Byrnbreaking from the outside post (13) isnt ideal, but this colt was a “wise guy” favorite after a definitive allowance win (by over 14 lengths) at Gulfstream to start the year. However, he was a non-factor in the Florida Derby after being bumped hard at the start. Still, he came back for a nice victory in the Holy Bull at the Preakness distance last out, thus placing him among the contenders.
5. Giant Moonthis Giants Causeway colt displayed good early speed in the Wood Memorial, and coming from post 11, hell need it here. This will be his third start back off a layoff (if you like that angle) and Ramon Dominguez gets back aboard. Excellent works leading to this start, and could be a player. God knows, with his sire being Giant Causeway, hes bred to run all day.
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