Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kentucky Derby Top 10

Derby Top 10 - March 3rd

1. War Pass (1)
2. Pyro (2)
3. Z Fortune (4)
4. Cool Coal Man (5)
5. Denis Of Cork (8)
6. Colonel John (3)
7. Elysium Fields (9)
8. El Gato Malo (7)
9. Court Vision (10)
10. Tale Of Ekati (new)

The list narrows yet again as Into Mischief succumbs to injury and Alaazo drastically under performed. Into Mischief is not officially off the Derby trail but his preparation has been all but halted because of a minor foot ailment. He still might make the Santa Anita Derby but I'm not in love with any horses Derby chances if they've been having health issues all spring and only managed one prep around two turns. It's unfortunate for Mandella because he's one of the good guys. Speaking of the good guys things seem to be slipping away on Bill Mott as well. Z Humor has under performed, Court Vision ran below expectations, Riley Tucker was a complete bust and Alaazo now looks like he'll go in a different direction. Majestic Warrior could still get Mott back on track with a nice race in the Louisiana Derby but he's facing a very tough field off of a long layoff. The Sham Stakes was the only significant Derby prep to be run this last weekend and after having seen it I'm not sure how significant it will wind up being. I was not overly impressed with Colonel John or El Gato Malo. It was another prep with a slow pace and fast finish. In my estimation Colonel John was actually much better than El Gato Malo and has better prospects at a distance. Colonel John stalked the pace and moved to the front rather easily but then was drifting all over the track, still though it never appeared as if El Gato Malo was going to get him. Colonel John has the look of a stayer and hopefully he'll get better in his next race, which should be a rematch with El Gato Malo. What worries me most with Colonel John is that he's never run a really fast race and the fastest race he was involved in he lost. He has also never been on real dirt, but he has class and he is consistent, I'm not so much worried about the dirt issue. El Gato Malo might have had the toughest trip in the Sham but the reality is that Colonel John looked stronger in the last 100 yards and going further this quick little horse will struggle all the more. He is beginning to look like a miler type. So why is he still in the Derby Top 10? Well at this stage he is still talented and realistically there aren't many horses in this crop that have as much upside as he does. I doubt he'll stay the distance but he is definitely among the top best prospects to win. I also prefer his quickness to the slow plodding we saw from Court Vision last time out. Tale Of Ekati finds his way back into the Top 10 for the first time since February 12th, not because he's done anything significant but because of injuries and under achievements from some of his peers. Tale Of Ekati gets his big test this weekend alongside Majestic Warrior in the Louisiana Derby. A top three finish is all he really needs to go on to the next step. A new horse was added to the radar with the news that he is likely for the San Felipe. Shediak is a reformed European who has yet to start in North America. As a 2yo he went 3-1-1-1 and managed to run third in a G-1. He was extremely rank through the first half of that race and I think it's a testament to his ability that he still came with a run in the lane. I think he should have enough speed to stay with the American horses early and he's bred to run for days. The one problem with him is that he does not have any dirt pedigree at all but that should not inhibit him at Santa Anita. If he turns out to be good he'll be a wildcard on Derby day, maybe a wildcard is the only way to beat War Pass. Because more and more it looks as though most of this crop is simply not good enough.

On the radar: Georgie Boy, Atoned, J Be K, Giant Moon, Cowboy Cal, Shediak

Dropped: Into Mischief (6), Alaazo

1 comment:

peeptoad said...

1. War Pass
2. Pyro
3. Colonel JOhn
4. Z Fortune
5. El Gato Malo
6. Denis of Cork
7. Elysium Fields
8. Cool Coal Man
9. Court Vision
10. Into Mischief

Radar: Tale of Ekati, Face the Cat, Georgie Boy, Majestic Warrior, Shediak, Atoned

Changes: Top 2 stay the same...Z Fortune moves down, but could move back up with a good performance in his next race. John gets the 4th spot and, we can disagree on the Sham because I thought it was a good race for the top two runners. The Bad Cat wins it closer to the pace, which was pedestrian. I was impressed with John running as gamely as he did off the bench. They went slow early and fast late, but what are you going to do in a 5 horse field withonly one frontrunner? I think both of these two are capable of more and they are game, which counts for a lot. Looking forward to the SA Derby, although I'd love to see either one race on dirt before the big dance. The rest of the top 10 stays the same except that Mischief moves down to the bottom in light of the setbacks. I'll drop him if a radar horse steps up, or he's officially out.
Alaazo is off the radar, and he was a horse I had hoped would break out with a nice score...oh well.