Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Fortify runs in Champagne

This is my second in a series of blogs devoted to Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders and my top ranked colt Fortify goes in the Grade I Champagne at Belmont Park today.

I got off to a decent start last week with top ten players Know More and Capo Bastone running 2-3 in Santa Anita’s FrontRunner.

Power Broker

Power Broker runs away with FrontRunner – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Power Broker, the romping FrontRunner hero (90 BSF), was on my Exciting Prospects list and moves into the top ten. A couple of my other exciting prospects ran well last week with Title Contender beating stablemate Code West at the Great Race Place.

Santa Anita Park had a pronounced speed bias in place on 9-29 so Power Broker’s romp might not be as strong as appears. Runner-up Know More was up close throughout and show finisher Capo Bastone raced against the bias in a better than appears rallying show finish.

Plenty of changes could be forthcoming with 7 of my top 10 running in the Champagne or Breeders’ Futurity.

Click on the names of each horse below to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders

1. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Reminds me of Stay Thirsty and Alpha. Love the long winded pedigree. He graduated in 6.5f bow and finished solid 2nd in G2 Hopeful. Sprinting is probably not his game and he should continue to develop for McLaughlin/Godolphin. Breezed 4f in :47.20 (2/4) at Greentree Training Center on 9-29. He is entered in G1 Champagne on 10-6.

2. Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity hero continues to train well and is entered in Keeneland’s G1 Breeders’ Futurity on 10-6. Breezed 5f  in 1:00.60 (7/24) at Keeneland on 10-1.

3. Know More (Lion Heart) – Distant 2nd to Power Broker in FrontRunner. That was the first time he stepped on conventional dirt and his initial two turn event so it was not a bad learning experience. He will train for the BC Juvenile at Santa Anita. Derby Points (4).

4. Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. Breezed 5f in 1:00.09 (8/48) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 9-30. He is entered in the G1 Champagne.

5. Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Cruised in Saratoga debut on 9-1. Yet another exciting prospect for Pletcher. Breezed 5f in 1:00.10 9/48) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 9-30. He entered the G1 Champagne and Dover Stakes at Delaware on 10-6 but is expected to run in the former.

Shanghai Bobby

Shanghai Bobby tries to remain undefeated in G1 Champagne – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

6. Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 3-for-3 with a decisive win in the G2 Hopeful (88 BSF). Not sure how far he wants to go but he is off to a flying start for Pletcher. The Champagne is next and he breezed 4f in :50.07 (68/108) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 9-30.

7. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation in his second lifetime start for Chad Brown. He has only run on turf so far but seems like the type to run all day. Breezed 4f in :48.99 (22/70) at Saratoga (dirt training) on 9-22. He is entered the Breeders’ Futurity and Sunday’s grassy Bourbon at Keeneland.

8. Tizracer (Tiznow) – Improved smartly second time out to romp in flat mile graduation run (92 BSF) at Belmont Park on 9-8. Todd Pletcher trainee breezed 4f in :50.09 (69/208) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 9-30. He is entered in the Breeders’ Futurity.

9. Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He has a chance to scurry up my list, depending what happens in the Champagne and Breeders’ Futurity. He is a solid BC Juvenile contender. Derby Points (10).

10. Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner. John Sadler’s colt could show up next in BC Juvenile. Derby Points (2).

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Code West (Lemon Drop Kid) – $340k Keeneland sales grad chased Title Contender around the SA track on 9-29. He won’t be a maiden much longer.

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – Troubled 6th in Del Mar Futurity and a disappointing 7th in FrontRunner. He has raw talent but has yet to put it all together against salty afternoon rivals. Too early to give up on him.

Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Sharp debut win (93 BSF) for Doug O’Neill/Leandro Mora on 9-2. Worked 6f in 1:16.20 (2/3) at Hollywood Park on 9-26. He is entered in the G1 Champagne.

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Blew the break and rallied to finish a strong 3rd in his bow. McGaughey’s promising colt flopped at low odds (fractious gate) going a flat mile at Belmont second time out. He has raw talent but lacks maturity at this stage. Breezed 4f in :51.03 (18/23) at Belmont Park on 9-26.

Title Contender (Pulpit) – Rode the Santa Anita speed bias to perfection and earned identical 90 BSF as stablemate and FrontRunner hero Power Broker on 9-29. Not sure where the promising Baffert runner goes next.

Injured Reserve

Palace Malice (Curlin) – Smart second time out maiden tally for Pletcher at the Spa on 8-4. He is out of action with bucked shins.

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is out for 60 days with bucked shins.

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