Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kentucky Derby Top 10

Derby Top 10 - February 12th

1. War Pass (1)
2. Pyro (4)
3. Colonel John (2)
4. Court Vision (5)
5. Z Fortune (7)
6. Crown Of Thorns (8)
7. Into Mischief (6)
8. El Gato Malo (9)
9. Monba (10)
10. Tale Of Ekati (3)

The Kentucky Derby Trail is sometimes as much about proving that certain horses can't win the Derby as it is proving that they can. In the end there are usually only 5 or fewer that truly look capable of winning the Derby so the lists should get shorter and shorter as time goes on. For me a whole bunch of horses proved themselves incapable this weekend. I know War Emblem, Real Quiet and Funny Cide all ran poorly in their first stakes attempts as 3yo's but generally horses run badly because they really aren't as good as they seemed. If any of the horses I dropped this week come back to win a nice race they'll go back on the radar but I'm not holding my breath. Both Visionaire and Signature Move were taken off the radar. Both were close to a slow pace and failed to show very much. Visionaire did show some heart but he looks like a nice G-3 runner rather than a Derby winner. No sense keeping him on the list. Jockey Ridge and Massive Drama both appear to be well suited to shorter races and most likely they won't make serious attempts at the Derby. Fidelio is still the only horse other than War Pass to beat Pyro but he has no recent workouts so while he might be a good horse eventually he's not a Derby horse. Tale Of Ekati was the biggest downward mover in the top 10. I don't like that Tagg is having problems bringing him around. He has talent but he still needs to show that he can do two turns effectively and the more his debut gets pushed back the less likely it is that he'll have a solid enough foundation to win the Derby. Pyro is the hottest property in racing this week because of his visually appealing run in the Risen Star. To me that race did not make him heir apparent. I'm beginning to suspect that Pyro and War Pass are the only animals of true quality that we've seen so far. Z Fortune ran a solid race to be second and I think with some time he could become a very good Derby prospect but he needs to step it up big time. I thought his outside post hampered him just a bit in that it kept him wide the whole way around and he was also sent to the front nearly a full furlong sooner in the Risen Star than he was in the LeComte. I think he needs more patient handling instead of the classic "favorites ride". But still it seemed as though he had a lot of work to do to get to Pyro's level. The San Vicente was not a terribly inspiring race to me. I think Georgie Boy got a dream run and Into Mischief was the one who was really disadvantaged by the way things worked out. He either had to risk Massive Drama getting away or leave himself exposed to a late runner. Since Massive Drama already got away from him once his connections decided to keep him honest and that left the race on a plate for Georgie Boy. Two turns and a bigger field may produce a very different result. I like Georgie Boy's consistency but I need to see him go long before I jump on the wagon. Halo Najib also ran a decent race at the OBS Championship. The fields are nothing worth noting but perhaps he's ready to step back up to good company. I am very much looking forward to Wise Answer's race in the Sam Davis this coming weekend. Calder form is looking fairly strong and he was the best of that bunch. His speed has already been confirmed. What we need to see now is some class and stamina.

On the radar: Alaazo, Elysium Fields, Georgie Boy, Kentucky Bear, Riley Tucker, Atoned, Etched, Wise Answer, Turf War, Z Humor, Cowboy Cal, Golden Yank, Denis Of Cork, J Be K, Giant Moon, Halo Najib

Dropped: Signature Move, Visionaire, Jockey Ridge, Fidelio, Massive Drama

Based on my prognostication and analysis of the Derby Future Pool #1 I would have made the following plays at the closing prices.

Derby Pool #1
Denis of Cork (46/1)
Into Mischief (26/1)
Z Fortune (37/1)

I know I said I'd like Tale of Ekati at 25/1 or more and he wound up being 33/1 but news also came out over the weekend that Tagg was not thrilled with his training and would push back his first start into March. Not excellent news for a Derby prospect.

1 comment:

peeptoad said...

Good list. We have all the same horses right now, but in a slightly different order. At this point, you could pretty much have War Pass, Pyro, and then maybe a 4 or 5-way tie for the next in line. At least until the next round of prep races. (I'm looking forward to both Alaazo's and Elysium Field's next races). Also, according to the trainer, Signature Move bled in the Risen Star- not sure how badly, but it may have accounted for part of his poor performance (he simply may not be good enough though).