Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Revolutionary ousts Big A rivals

Revolutionary made a surprise late attack to overthrow his foes in the G3 Withers at Aqueduct and is the latest Kentucky Derby 2013 flavor of the week for Todd Pletcher.

Revolutionary horse

Revolutionary overcomes troubled trip in G3 Withers – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The winning BSF in the G3 Withers was 86 and there was not much behind Revolutionary but he overcame traffic woes and a slow pace to make the grade in his first start vs. winners. He still has some growing up to do but clearly has talent and is bred to run all day.

Flashback (92 BSF) made it 2-for-2 with a facile wire job against stablemate Den’s Legacy and BC Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough in the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. Baffert’s promising winner has plenty of upside but still has to prove himself in a legitimately run graded route.

Falling Sky (92 BSF) made the pace and stole Dynamic Sky’s thunder in the G3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay. Those two solid colts, along with rallying show finisher My Name Is Michael, could meet again in the Tampa Bay Derby.

Verrazano (105 BSF) jumps into the top ten after his second facile tally in as many starts at the Gulf. El Padrino’s talented brother is conditioned by Todd Pletcher and will likely show up in a stakes race next.

Bob Baffert’s Super Ninety Nine (101) got the best of stablemate Code West in a flat mile allowance affair at the Great Race Place. Both colts are former members of my Exciting Prospects list.

No major shakeups in my top ten with the magnificent seven remaining intact. The bottom of the list took a hit with Verrazano and Flashback replacing Frac Daddy and Uncaptured.

Click on the names of each horse below (Top 5 contenders) 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. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Ran his record to 3-for-3 in smart, professional stalk/pounce tally in the G1 CashCall Futurity (92 BSF). Two Derby preps are planned, beginning with the Fountain of Youth on Feb 23. Breezed 5f in 1:02.29 (15/24) at Palm Meadows on 2-3. Derby Points (10).

Violence horse

Violence breezed 5f at Palm Meadows on Feb 3 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

2. Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s $230k Keeneland sales grad owns a decent late kick and is definitely worth following. The Remsen runner-up breezed 5f in 1:01.23 (5/24) at Palm Meadows on 2-3 and might kick off his sophomore campaign in the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on 2-23. Derby Points (4).

3. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – Pletcher’s versatile colt won his second graded race in the Remsen (99 BSF). He is expected to contest the Gotham and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. Breezed 5f in 1:02.29 (5/24) at Palm Meadows on 2-3. Derby Points (10).

4. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Followed up a big fig maiden win with an adventurous journey in the G3 Withers. The Pletcher trainee has now won two straight and will spend the rest of the winter in Florida. Derby Points (10).

5. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Won G2 With Anticipation and G3 Bourbon on turf last year. He rallied nicely to just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf and the Chad Brown trainee will start his 3yo season in the G3 Palm Beach at the Gulf on 3-3. Breezed 4f in :50.22 (32/51) at Palm Meadows on 2-4.

6. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim winner finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and appears to have a bright future for Chad Brown. Breezed 4f in :50.22 (32/51) at Palm Meadows on 2-4.

7. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot and scored again in the G3 Sham Stakes. Not sure how far he wants to run but O’Neill is having fun with the speedy sort. Fired a 6f bullet in 1:12.40 (1/17) at Santa Anita on 2-4. Derby Points (24).

8. Verrazano (More Than Ready) – Pletcher trainee looks like any kind after a pair of romping Gulfstream victories to kick off his career. We will learn more about El Pardino’s brother when he tackles stakes foes in the near future.


Flashback has Baffert smelling the roses again – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

9. Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8 and followed that up with an easy wire job vs. three rivals in the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb 2. Derby Points (10).

10. Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Beat Revolutionary in his Belmont bow Oct 28 (101 BSF). He raced for new connections (Silverton Farm – Darrin Miller) in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at the Gulf on Jan 1 and finished 3rd as the beaten favorite. Scratched from the Hutcheson Stakes and breezed 4f in :50.10 (11/14) at Payson Park on 2-3. He is entered in a 6.5f optional claimer at the Gulf on 2-9.

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Delhomme (Dixie Union) – Set the pace and ended up a rock solid 3rd in a fast renewal of the Remsen. He breezed 4f in :49.09 (17/28) at Palm Meadows on 2-3. Derby Points (2).

Distinctiv Passion (With Distinction) – Wired an allowance sprint field at Santa Anita on 12-28 and pulled the same trick in the San Pedro Stakes on 1-21. Not sure how far he wants to run but he sure is fast. Next up is the G2 San Vicente on Feb 17.

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker returned from an injury to finish a clear 2nd at 7f in the GP slop vs. Optional Claiming company on 1-19. Breezed 4f in :48.19 (6/28) at Palm Meadows on 2-3.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Promising Lukas trainee is off the IR list following a 3f breeze in :37.20 (5/9) at Oaklawn Park on 2-3.

War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Was bet down to even money and did not disappoint in his BHP sprint debut on 11-9. Baffert trainee is bred to handle a route of ground and should be heard from this year. Worked 6f from the gate in 1:12.90 (2/17) at Santa Anita on 2-4.

Former Top Ten Members

Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – Closed into the teeth of a speed bias to snatch 3rd in the FrontRunner, and he pulled the same trick in the BC Juvenile. He is now trained by Todd Pletcher and breezed 5f in 1:02.90 (22/24) at Palm Meadows on 2-3. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – BC Juvenile 4th place finisher in wintering in Dubai. He has been nominated to the Triple Crown and is expected to begin his 3yo campaign in the UAE 2000 Gunieas at Meydan on 2-7. Derby Points (3).

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Ky Jockey Club Stakes runner-up grabbed a quarter and finished 5th in the Holy Bull. I’ll draw a line through the Holy Bull and give him another chance. “I don’t know when he did it, whether he did it coming out or the gate or pulling up,” trainer Ken McPeek said. “He’ll probably miss 4 or 5 days, but it could be as long as two weeks, depending on how sore it is.” Derby Points (4).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – He smartly won a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita and was last seen landing the place in the Eddie Logan Stakes (off the turf) on 12-29. Worked 5f in 1:02.80 (5/6) at Santa Anita (turf) on 1-31.

Know More (Lion Heart) – G1 FrontRunner place finisher has been terribly mismanaged since that effort. He most recently faded to last in an allowance dirt sprint at SA on 12-28 and desperately needs a freshening. Derby Points (4).

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arl-Wash Futurity hero finished a disappointing 7th in the G2 Hutcheson in his first start of the year. He prefers synthetic. Derby Points (1).

Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner. He raced wide and never got a chance to run his race in BC Juvenile. Baffert said he needs time to grow and will probably return next March. Derby Points (10).

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – BC Juvenile winner and 2yo champ tasted defeat for the first time in the Holy Bull but was hardly disgraced in a clear place finish. I always had my doubts about his stamina and he did nothing to sway my opinion in the Holy Bull. Derby Points (24).

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 attended the pace before weakening to finish 12th in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity. He might not have care for synthetic and deserves a chance to rebound on conventional dirt.


Uncaptured loses his top ten spot after a pair of foot ailments – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. His plans have been altered following a foot bruise and popped abscess, and he is now pointing to the Rushaway, Spiral, or Blue Grass. Derby Points (10).

Injured Reserve

Archwarrior (Arch) – Pletcher’s highly regarded $375k colt was a professional debut winner at Saratoga on 8-30. He finished 4th in the Champagne and was most likely done in by his lack of seasoning. He has not worked since 12-24 and is reportedly getting a break after an undisclosed physical problem. Derby Points (1).

Darwin (Big Brown) – Former exciting prospect and 4th place Nashua finisher is on holiday and could return this summer.

Gulfport (Unbridled’s Song) – Promising Romans trainee is injured and off the Derby trail.

Joha (Johar) – He was pulled from the Keeneland January sale because of a minor injury. He is expected to resume racing later this year.

Micromanage (Medaglia d’Oro) – Finished a distant last in the Remsen. That effort was too bad to believe but that’s back-to-back disappointments after a promising bow. He was reportedly sent to Ocala recently and could return in April if everything goes well.

Rolling Fog (Posse) – Baffert’s G1 Del Mar Futurity hero is sidelined with bucked shins.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rick Kelly on February 7, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Where’s Itsmyluckyday???


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