Posts Tagged ‘Den’s Legacy’

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Moment of Truth for War Academy

My top ranked Kentucky Derby 2013 contender Revolutionary arrived at Churchill Downs on Friday, April 12. He will need a new rider for the Derby because regular pilot Javier Castellano decided to stick with Normandy Invasion.

Last weekend, Verrazano kept his perfect record intact with a solid if unspectacular victory by a bit less than a length in the slow early/fast late Wood Memorial (95 BSF).

Normandy Invasion finished well to nab the place late and punched his Derby ticket in the process. Vyjack crossed the line in 3rd, losing for the first time in his career.

Goldencents

Goldencents returns to the Top 10 after his sharp score in the SA Derby – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Across the country at Santa Anita Park, Goldencents bounced back to smartly capture the Santa Anita Derby (105 BSF) by 1-1/4 lengths over Flashback, who came out of the race with an injury and is off the Triple Crown trail.

Kevin Krigger rode Goldencents to perfection and Doug O’Neill is firmly back in the Derby hunt after winning last year’s edition with I’ll Have Another.

Super Ninety Nine set the pace and faded to finish a well-beaten 3rd. He’s had a busy campaign and seemingly has distance limitations as well.

This week, my fifth ranked Derby contender War Academy steps up to face quality graded foes in the Arkansas Derby. Bob Baffert’s highly regarded colt gets one crack at qualifying for the Kentucky Derby and needs a 1-2 finish on Saturday to secure his spot. He has a ton of raw ability but is giving up valuable seasoning to the likes of Oxbow, Overanalyze, and his uncoupled stablemate Den’s Legacy.

Keeneland’s Blue Grass Stakes is also on tap for April 13 and Uncaptured is the tepid morning line favorite. We could be in for a wild finish in this always unpredictable Derby prep! Check out my Blue Grass video analysis below with special guest Joe DePaolo.

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. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Followed up a big fig maiden score with a winning adventure in the G3 Withers. He broke slow, raced wide, and smartly held off Mylute in the G2 LA Derby on March 30. He arrived at Churchill Downs on April 12. Derby Points (110).

2. Orb (Malibu Moon) – Won his fourth straight race for Shug McGaughey in the G1 Florida Derby, and the strong finisher adapts to various pace scenarios. Joel Rosario has been named to ride on the first Saturday in May. Derby Points (150).

3. Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s colt ended his juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort in the G2 Remsen and ended up a troubled 5th in his G2 Risen Star return. He bounced back in the Wood Memorial to gain the place late and appears to be sitting on a career top in the Derby. Javier Castellano chose him over Orb. Derby Points (44).

4. Verrazano (More Than Ready) – Pletcher trainee cruised in his first three outings but was not nearly as brilliant winning the Wood Memorial. The unraced juvenile no longer looks like a dominant force and will probably take too much action under the Twin Spires. He will make his first appearance under the Twin Spires on April 14 and John Velazquez sticks with him. Derby Points (150).

5. War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Baffert’s highly regarded debut winner returned with an even 4th place finish in the San Vicente on Feb. 17. He bounced back with a stylish Optional Claiming route win (98 BSF) at Santa Anita on March 15 and is the 2-1 morning line favorite for the Arkansas Derby on April 13. Worked 7f from the gate in 1:26.20 (1/3) at Santa Anita on 4-7. Mike Smith’s Derby mount?

6. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – G2 Remsen hero finished a wide, flat 5th from post 11 in his needed Gotham return. He fires every other race so a big effort could be coming in the Arkansas Derby. Breezed 5f in 1:01.30 (4/18) at Palm Meadows on 4-7. Derby Points (10).

7. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot and scored again in the G3 Sham Stakes. He faded to 4th in the San Felipe and bounced back with a big win in the Santa Anita Derby. Ten furlongs is his biggest Derby obstacle. Derby Points (129).

8. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He finished a solid 2nd in the Spiral considering the time off due to foot problems. He breezed 5f in 1:01.40 (13/80) at Keeneland on 4-6 and the Blue Grass is his final Derby prep. Derby Points (30).

Black Onyx horse

Black Onyx breezed 5f at Churchill Downs on Saturday – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

9. Black Onyx (Rock Hard Ten) – He is 2-for-2 since Kelly Breen took over the training duties and he smartly won the G3 Spiral Stakes with a wide stalk and pounce trip under Joe Bravo. He was the first Derby contender to arrive at Churchill Downs and posted his first Louisville move on April 13, breezing 5f in 1:00.60 (3/26). Derby Points (50).

10. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Won G2 With Anticipation and G3 Bourbon on turf last year and just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf. He flopped in his Spiral Stakes return and gets one more chance on synthetic in the Blue Grass.

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Still not sold on this one as a Derby contender because I am skeptical about distance and he might be a Florida specialist. G3 Holy Bull hero finished a solid 2nd in the Florida Derby, his first start in nine weeks. Breezed a 5f bullet in 1:01 (1/9) at Calder on 4-11. Derby Points (50).

Mylute (Midnight Lute) – His sire is on fire and the Amoss runner was 3rd in the Delta Jackpot, 7th in the Risen Star, and 2nd in the LA Derby.  He is on the grounds at Churchill Downs. Derby Points (42).

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – G3 Lecomte hero shows up for every dance and just missed in the G2 Rebel on March 16. Gary Stevens hops aboard for the Arkansas Derby and he drew yet another outer post. Lukas trainee can rate but he went all the way in both career wins. Derby Points (36).

Vyjack horse

Garrett Gomez will ride Vyjack in the Kentucky Derby – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Vyjack (Into Mischief) – Tasted defeat for the first time in the Wood Memorial but was hardly disgraced with a solid show finish. Garrett Gomez has been named to ride in the Kentucky Derby. Derby Points (70).

Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) – Smarty Jones/Rebel winner is training up to the Kentucky Derby, a rare move for Wayne Lukas. Breezed 8f in 1:40.80 (1/1) at Oaklawn Park on 4-12. Derby Points (60).

Former Top Ten Members

Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – G1 FrontRunner and G1 BC Juvenile show finisher won an optional claiming route at Gulfstream on 2-16 for his new trainer Todd Pletcher and ended up 9th from the outside post in the Spiral Stakes. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – BC Juvenile 4th place finisher finished 6th in the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on 2-14. He scratched out of the Al Bastayika at Meydan on 3-9. Derby Points (3).

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Ky Jockey Club Stakes runner-up grabbed a quarter and finished 6th in the Holy Bull. He crossed the line 7th in the Florida Derby and is not ready for prime time. Breezed 5f bullet in 1:00.56 (1/13) at Gulfstream Park on 4-7 and McPeek surprisingly entered him in the Blue Grass Stakes. 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. No published works since 1-31.

Know More (Lion Heart) – G1 FrontRunner place finisher was terribly mismanaged after that effort, most recently faded to last in an allowance dirt sprint at SA on 12-28. He worked 3f in :36.40 (11/28) at Santa Anita on 4-8. Derby Points (4).

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Earned a 101 BSF in his NY bow Oct 28 and looks like a one hit wonder after three disappointing efforts since. He raced for his third trainer (Marty Wolfson) in the G3 Swale Stakes (finished 6th) on 3-2. They should probably regroup and give this one a breather.

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. Breezed 5f in 1:00.16 (3/10) at Palm Meadows (turf) on 4-8.

Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim winner finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and flew home to capture a turf allowance event (84 BSF) at Tampa Bay to begin his 3yo season. Chad Brown decided not to enter the Blue Grass and will point to the G2 American Turf (May 3) at Churchill instead. Breezed 5f in 1:01.20 (8/35) at Keeneland on 4-7.

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arl-Wash Futurity hero finished 7th in the G2 Hutcheson in his first start of the year and 3rd to Noble Tune in a Tampa Bay turf allowance affair. He is 7-2 on the line in the third race (allowance turf route) at Keeneland on 4-14 and Gary Stevens will ride. Breezed 5f in 1:00.40 (6/80) at Keeneland on 4-6. 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 trainee returned in the Santa Anita Derby and finished 5th in that needed effort. Derby Points (10).

Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) – Facile G3 Southwest hero finished a flat 5th as the beaten favorite in the Rebel. Baffert trainee set the pace and weakened to 3rd in the SA Derby and appears to have distance limitations. Derby Points (30).

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.

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.

Flashback (Tapit) – Came out of his 2nd place finish in the Santa Anita Derby with a bone chip but is expected to make a full recovery. Derby Points (70).

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

Hear the Ghost (Ghostzapper) – Injured his right front leg preparing for the SA Derby and if off the Triple Crown trail.

Hightail (Mineshaft) – BC Juvenile Sprint winner was injured following a recent workout at Oaklawn Park and has been retired.

Ive Struck a Nerve (Yankee Gentleman) – Surprising G2 Risen Star winner had ankle surgery on 3-12 and is 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.

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – BC Juvenile winner and 2yo champ tasted defeat for the first time in the Holy Bull and faded to 5th in the nine furlong Florida Derby. He came out of the Florida Derby with a pelvic stress fracture and will need at least three months rest. Derby Points (24).

Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Was diagnosed with a fractured sesamoid following his game runner-up effort in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on 2-23. He has been retired. Derby Points (10).

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Uncaptured vs. Balance the Books in Spiral

D. Wayne Lukas is back in his Kentucky Derby 2013 groove after Will Take Charge bounced back from his wet track fiasco in the Southwest to edge stablemate Oxbow in Saturday’s Grade II Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

Will Take Charge Oxbow D. Wayne Lukas

D. Wayne Lukas runners Will Take Charge & Oxbow are neck and neck in the Rebel Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Will Take Charge stalked and pounced his way to a game Smarty Jones score prior to aforementioned Southwest drubbing. He received a 95 BSF for his Rebel win and picked up 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.

Oxbow seems to run in every Derby prep race and is rarely embarrassed. Mike Smith rode him well but I have a feeling that his Derby horse is War Academy.

I think the Lukas runners are second tier Kentucky Derby players but they will have plenty of foundation and stranger things have happened on the first Saturday in May.

Den’s Legacy is a consistent sort with plenty of experience and he landed the show for Baffert.

Super Ninety Nine worked out a comfortable pressing trip from the outside post under Bejarano but had nothing to offer in the lane and ended up 5th as the beaten favorite. Also, we have seen many blowout wet track winners flop in their next fast track starts, and the Baffert trainee probably bounced after two big figs in a row. He might rebound at the Great Race Place.

Treasury Bill was seemingly exposed as a late running sprinter and there is no shame in that. Ellis and company said the he didn’t handle the Oaklawn surface and he will probably get another two turn shot.

Delhomme pressed the Rebel pace and was finished after four furlongs. He displaced his palate and is off the Derby trail. The 2012 Remsen Stakes is looking worse by the minute.

This week includes the G3 Spiral at Turfway Park on Saturday and the G3 Sunland Derby on Sunday.

Uncaptured finally makes his sophomore bow in Saturday’s Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Uncaptured squares off against Balance the Books and ten others in the Spiral. The former has been battling foot issues and the latter recently got over a fever so do not be surprised if a longshot jumps up and bites them. I have included my video analysis with special guest Ryan Patterson below.

The Sunland Derby drew an interesting 9-horse field and Bob Baffert has entered Shakin It Up and Govenor Charlie. The former is an obvious threat but the latter owns route experience and beat highly regarded next out winner Footbridge on Feb. 17. We will thoroughly break down this event in Sunday’s edition (10am eastern time) of The Fast Track with Steve Bortstein.

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. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Followed up a big fig maiden score with a winning adventure in the G3 Withers. He breezed 5f in 1:00.65 (6/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-17 and the G2 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 30 is next. Derby Points (10).

2. Verrazano (More Than Ready) – Pletcher trainee looks like any kind after three straight facile wins to kick off his career including a 3-length victory in the G2 Tampa Bay Derby on 3-9. The G1 Wood Memorial at the Big A on April 6 is next. Derby Points (50).

Orb continues preparations at Payson Park for the upcoming Florida Derby – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

3. Orb (Malibu Moon) – Won his third straight race for Shug McGaughey in the G2 Fountain of Youth. He seems to have plenty of stamina and John Velazquez will ride again in the G1 Florida Derby at the Gulf on March 30. Breezed 4f in :48 (2/12) at Payson Park on 3-18. Derby Points (50).

4. Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase was an easy wire job winner vs. three rivals in the G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb 2. He got tested early and often in the G2 San Felipe and was nailed late by Hear the Ghost. Garrett Gomez has been named to ride in the G1 Santa Anita Derby on April 6. Worked 4f in :48.40 (19/57) at Santa Anita on 3-18. Derby Points (30).

5. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Won G2 With Anticipation and G3 Bourbon on turf last year and just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf. He breezed 4f in :49.73 (27/48) at Palm Meadows on 3-17 and drew the rail in the G3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway on 3-23.

6. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim winner finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and flew home to capture a turf allowance event (84 BSF) at Tampa Bay to begin his 3yo season. Chad Brown and company will give him a shot to make the Derby in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 13.

7. War Academy (Giant’s Causeway) – Baffert’s highly regarded debut winner returned with an even 4th place finish in the San Vicente on Feb. 17. He bounced back with a stylish Optional Claiming route win (98 BSF) at Santa Anita on March 15 and could be ready for prime time. Mike Smith’s Derby mount?

8. Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s $230k Keeneland sales grad completed his juvenile campaign with a runner-up effort in the G2 Remsen and ended up a troubled 5th in his G2 Risen Star return. He fired a 5f bullet in :59.76 (1/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-17 and will try to bounce back in the Wood Memorial. Derby Points (4).

9. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – G2 Remsen hero finished a flat 5th in his Gotham return. He probably needed the race but should have run better. He was supposed to go in the Wood Memorial, and then it was the Sunland Derby, and they have finally settled on the Arkansas Derby as his next start. Breezed 4f in :48.33 (5/36) at Palm Meadows on 3-18. Derby Points (10).

10. Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) – Facile G3 Southwest hero finished a flat 5th as the beaten favorite in the Rebel. Baffert trainee will get one more chance to qualify for the Kentucky Derby in the SA Derby on April 6. Derby Points (10).

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order):

Abstraction (Pulpit) – Exciting colt gave his rivals the slip in facile two turn graduation run at Fair Grounds on 3-13. The David Carroll trainee earned a 92 BSF and might end up being a good one.

The Florida Derby will be the first start in nine weeks for Itsmyluckyday – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Not sold on this one as a Derby horse because I am skeptical about distance and he might be a Florida specialist. G3 Holy Bull hero worked a 5f bullet in 1:01 (1/12) at Calder on 3-16 and will try to qualify for his spot on the first Saturday in May in the G1 Florida Derby on March 30. Derby Points (10).

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. He ended up a solid 3rd in the Risen Star on 2-23. Breezed 5f in 1:00.14 (2/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-17. Derby Points (10).  

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Promising Lukas trainee set the pace and held the place in his needed Gazebo Stakes (6 furlongs) return at Oaklawn Park on 3-2. Breezed 6f in 1:16.20 (1/2) at Oaklawn Park on 3-19. He has been rerouted from Sunland Derby to Louisiana Derby.

Zaikov (Distorted Humor) – Earned a 99 BSF in his sensational 6f bow at the Gulf on 3-15. Pletcher won’t point for the Derby but this exciting colt is one to keep an eye on.

Former Top Ten Members

Capo Bastone (Street Boss) – G1 FrontRunner and G1 BC Juvenile show finisher won an optional claiming route at Gulfstream on 2-16 for his new trainer Todd Pletcher. He only received a 69 BSF in his last and will break from post 12 in the Spiral. Breezed 5f in 1:02.51 (13/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-17. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – BC Juvenile 4th place finisher finished 6th in the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on 2-14. He scratched out of the Al Bastayika at Meydan on 3-9. Derby Points (3).

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Ky Jockey Club Stakes runner-up grabbed a quarter and finished 6th in the Holy Bull. He went 5f in 1:00.24 (1/29) at Gulfstream Park on 3-16 and has changed his goal from the Spiral Stakes to the Florida Derby. 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. No published works since 1-31.

Goldencents will try to rebound in the Santa Anita Derby on April 6 – photo by Eclipse sportswire

Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot and scored again in the G3 Sham Stakes. He faded to 4th in the San Felipe and appears to have distance limitations. O’Neill trainee worked 6f in 1:16 (6/6) at Santa Anita on 3-21 and is targeting the Santa Anita Derby. Derby Points (29). 

Know More (Lion Heart) – G1 FrontRunner place finisher was terribly mismanaged after that effort, most recently faded to last in an allowance dirt sprint at SA on 12-28. He returned to the worktab (3f in :39) at Santa Anita on 3-16. Derby Points (4). 

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Earned a 101 BSF in his NY bow Oct 28 and looks like a one hit wonder after three disappointing efforts since. He raced for his third trainer (Marty Wolfson) in the G3 Swale Stakes (finished 6th) on 3-2. The should probably regroup and give this one a breather.

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. Breezed 5f in 1:02.86 (17/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-17.

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 finished 3rd to Noble Tune in a Tampa Bay turf allowance affair last time and breezed 4f in :49.80 (9/16) at Tampa Bay on 3-21. 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 trainee worked 6f in 1:12.60 (4/16) at Santa Anita on 3-18. 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. Breezed 5f in 1:00.14 (2/26) at Palm Meadows on 3-17. 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 (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Breezed a flat mile in 1:40 (1/2) at Ocala Training Center on 3-12 and is the Spiral Stakes favorite. 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.

Hightail (Mineshaft) – BC Juvenile Sprint winner was injured following a recent workout at Oaklawn Park and has been retired.

Ive Struck a Nerve (Yankee Gentleman) – Surprising G2 Risen Star winner had ankle surgery on 3-12 and is 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.

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

Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Was diagnosed with a fractured sesamoid following his game runner-up effort in the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on 2-23. He has been retired. Derby Points (10).

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

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

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.

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Can Goldencents go the distance?

Goldencents continues to make inroads on the Kentucky Derby 2013 trail. He followed up a sharp wire job in the Delta Jackpot with a solid stalk and pounce victory in the one mile Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park on January 6.

Goldencents

Goldencents wins 2013 Sham Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Bob Baffert trainee Manando carved out the Sham splits with Goldencents parked to his outside. Kevin Krigger pulled the trigger on Doug O’Neill’s charge in the lane and he came home 1-1/2 lengths to the good, earning a rock solid 93 BSF.

Den’s Legacy saved all the ground under Gomez and caught Manando for the place, giving Baffert a 2-3 finish.

Goldencents reminds me of Tapizar and figures to be effective up to a mile and a sixteenth. He has done everything asked of him and owns dangerous early-pressing speed. I will keep an open mind in regards to getting ten panels on the first Saturday in May, but at this point I have my doubts.

Vyjack nipped longshot Siete de Oros in the G2 Jerome at the Big A on 1-5. The big story here is sire Into Mischief is responsible for Vyjack as well as Goldencents. No Derby points were rewarded in the Jerome and I doubt we saw a legit Derby contender but the race did earn a respectable 90 BSF.

Itsmyluckyday romped in the GP Derby on New Year’s Day. He garnered a 95 BSF but still must prove himself over a route of ground against tougher graded rivals. I’ll reserve judgment on him for now.

Merit Man got a disappointing 76 BSF in the Spectacular Bid, beating my 10th ranked colt Little Distorted. The latter broke slow off the shelf in his second lifetime start and grabbed show dough in an inconclusive effort. He has raw talent and deserves another chance.

Demonic (Bernardini) was a solid debut winner at Santa Anita on Jan 13. He ran seven panels in 1:22.89 and paid $4.00 to win. John Sadler’s $400k purchase is definitely worth following.

Another unraced juvenile to watch is Verrazano. The Pletcher trainee was an easy debut winner at the Gulf on New Year’s Day and earned a 94 BSF. El Padrino’s baby brother could be any kind. He breezed 4f in :49.45 (24/45) at Palm Meadows on 1-13.

Uncaptured drops a few pegs after getting knocked out of the Sam Davis Stakes with a foot bruise. He needs to get healthy in a hurry.

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

Violence will probably make 3yo bow in Fountain of Youth Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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. Derby Points (10).

2. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Followed up stellar maiden route win with a near miss in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He breezed 5f in :59.89 (3/27) at Gulfstream Park on 1-12 and is possible for the Holy Bull Stakes. Derby Points (4).

3. 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 4f in :49.33 (17/45) at Palm Meadows on 1-13 and might kick off his sophomore campaign in the G2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on 2-23. Derby Points (4).

4. 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. He breezed 3f in :36.94 (4/15) at Palm Meadows on 1-13. Derby Points (10).

5. 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. Derby Points (24).

6. 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 packs a nice late kick.

Uncaptured horse

A foot bruised knocked Uncaptured out of the Sam Davis Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

7. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He is wintering at Palm Meadows and a foot bruise has knocked him out of the Sam Davis. Derby Points (10).

8. Revolutionary (War Pass) – Finally put it all together in his fourth lifetime start, romping in a flat mile inner dirt MSW affair on Dec 28. The promising Pletcher/WinStar colt earned a 102 BSF and should show up in the stakes ranks next.

9. 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.

10. Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Earned a 101 BSF in his winning Belmont bow Oct 28. 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. Not sure what is next but I would like to see him try a route of ground.

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 will get a breather at WinStar Farm before returning to the Pletcher barn at Palm Meadows. Derby Points (2).

Distinctiv Passion (With Distinction) – Ran Super Ninety Nine and company off their feet in an allowance sprint win at Santa Anita on 12-28. Not sure how far he wants to run but he sure is fast. Worked 5f in 1:00.60 (6/41) at Santa Anita on 1-13.

Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8. He worked 5f in 1:00.40 (9/53) at Santa Anita on 1-7.

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker is off the Injured Reserve list (bucked shins) and is currently back in Pletcher’s barn in Florida. He breezed 5f in 1:01.42 (12/21) at Palm Meadows on 1-13.

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 in 2013. Worked 4f in :48 (10/33) at Santa Anita on 1-4.

Former Top Ten Members (in alphabetical order)

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 has moved to the Pletcher barn in Florida and he breezed 3f in :39.22 (4/5) at Palm Meadows on 1-1. Derby Points (4).

Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut win at the Spa followed by a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful, a 3rd in G1 Champagne, and a flat 4th in the BC Juvenile. Lasix-free colt is reportedly wintering in Dubai. Derby Points (3).

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.

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 4th in G1 Breeders’ Futurity and 5th after hopping at start (blinkers on) in G3 Iroquois. Zipped a 5f bullet in :59.40 (1/27) at Gulfstream on 1-12. 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

Shanghai Bobby remains on course for the Holy Bull Stakes – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 5-for-5 with a determined win in the G1 BC Juvenile (82 BSF). I always had my doubts about his stamina and he does not want to go beyond 8.5f based on his slow Juvenile effort. He is expected to make his 3yo bow in the Holy Bull at the Gulf on Jan 26. Breezed 5f in 1:01.42 (12/23) at Palm Meadows on 1-13. Derby Points (20).

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.

Injured Reserve (in alphabetical order)

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.

Hightail (Mineshaft) – BC Juvenile Sprint winner was injured following a recent workout at Oaklawn Park and has been retired.

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.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Facile 7f tally (97 BSF) under Twin Spires in his 4th start. Bone chip has sidelined the Lukas trainee.

CashCall Futurity 2012 Analysis: Will Violence remain unbeaten?

Saturday’s 9th race from Betfair Hollywood Park is the Grade I CashCall Futurity for 2-year-olds traveling a mile and a sixteenth on Cushion Track.

Kentucky Derby 2013

Check out the top Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders at HorseRacingNation.com

BHP 9 (G1 CashCall Futurity, 8.5f)

COMMENTS:

1. He’s Had Enough (9-2) – BC Juvenile runner-up remains eligible for entry level spot.
2. Den’s Legacy (6-1) – G3 Generous hero is 1 of 4 Baffert runners entered here.
3. Dirty Swagg (20-1) – Real Quiet show finished hails from sneaky longshot barn.
4. Carving (8-1) – Real Quiet winner is 2-for-2 on synthetic ground.
5. Fury Kapcori (8-1) – Real Quiet runner-up is out of hot Hollendorfer barn.
6. VIOLENCE (7-2) – Pletcher’s promising colt tries synthetic route for first time.
7. Simon Eyes (12-1) – Wesley Ward’s longshot is training well for this.
8. Really Mr Greely (5-1) – Back-to-back wins including G3 Hollywood Prevue.
9. Title Contender (10-1) – Set the pace and spit the bit in BC Juvenile.
10. Little Jerry (12-1) – Rode late running bias to local route maiden win Nov 18.
11. Oxbow (15-1) – $250k purchase went all the way in 7f affair at CD on Nov 25.

ANALYSIS:

#6 VIOLENCE  (7-2) (7-2) could be any kind for Pletcher. He professionally captured his 7f debut at the Spa and runner-up Titletown Five flattered him with a big fig next out graduation run under the Twin Spires. The $600k son of Medaglia d’Oro came off the bench to take the G2 Nashua last out and is bred to improve with added distance. He projects a tactical trip under Castellano and could easily make it three straight.

#9 Really Mr Greely (5-1) beat highly regarded stablemates Super Ninety Nine and Shakin It Up in a fast renewal of the G3 Hollywood Prevue. He looms a pace factor at the very least in his first start around two turns.

#2 Den’s Legacy (6-1) exits a solid victory in the G3 Generous at a flat mile on the turf. The versatile sort graduated on synthetic and could sit the right ground saving tactical trip at playable odds.

#1 He’s Had Enough (9-2) rallied for the place in a slow renewal of the G1 BC Juvenile. I’ll try to beat the likely underlay.

#9 Title Contender (10-1) set the pace and faded in the aforementioned BC Juvenile.

Several of these (Dirty Swagg, Carving, Fury Kapcori, Simon Eyes) competed in the Real Quiet Stakes, the local prep for this, and number from that heat came back light.

The Plays:

$30 to win #6

$5 Quinella 6/2-9 ($10)

analysis by Jarrod Horak

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Violence ready for CashCall Futurity

My current third ranked Kentucky Derby 2013 contender Violence can make a run at the top spot with a strong effort in Saturday’s Grade I CashCall Futurity at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Violence, an undefeated son of Medaglia d’Oro, out of Gone West mare Violent Beauty, began his career with a neck victory in a Saratoga extended sprint, and place/show finishers Titletown Five and Orb have both graduated since.

Trainer Bob Baffert

Baffert is expected to start four in the G1 CashCall Futurity – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

The highly regarded Pletcher trainee faced graded rivals second time out and passed that test with flying colors, winning the G2 Nashua by a comfortable two lengths at a flat mile around the Big A oval.

Violence has done everything asked of him up to this point, and now he must ship to SoCal and run on synthetic ground and around two turns for the first time. His CashCall foes are expected to include Carving, Den’s Legacy, Really Mr Greely, and Title Contender, all from the Bob Baffert barn. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up He’s Had Enough is also expected to compete.

Speaking of Bob Baffert, he unveiled exciting prospect Flashback at Hollywood on Saturday. He easily put away promising Shirreffs runner Mentor Cane in the seven panel Cushion Track test.

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. Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred ran his record to 6-for-7 in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He barely clings to the top spot after earning a surprisingly low 76 BSF. Derby Points (10). 

2. Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Champagne runner-up went all the way in the G3 Delta Jackpot. Not sure how far he wants to run but O’Neill should have fun with the speedy sort. Worked 6f in 1:12.80 (2/10) at Santa Anita on 12-7. Derby Points (14).

3. Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) – Based on his strong route pedigree, he is just getting warmed up. He overcame inexperience to capture G2 Nashua and should continue to progress. Pletcher has mentioned the G1 CashCall Futurity on Dec 15 as his next target. Breezed 4f in :50.15 (3/4) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 12-9.

4. Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Graduated in G2 With Anticipation and rallied outside to get up late in the grassy G3 Bourbon (77 BSF). He rallied nicely to just miss the place in the BC Juvenile Turf and the Chad Brown trainee packs a nice late kick.

5. Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) – G3 Pilgrim (82 BSF) hero finished a fine 2nd in the BC Juvenile Turf and appears to have a bright future for Chad Brown.

6. Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Followed up facile maiden route win (90 BSF) with a near miss in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. McPeek will give him a little break and he figures to winter in Florida. Derby Points (4).

Power Broker horse

Power Broker gets a breather and will not represent Baffert in the CashCall Futurity – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

7. 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 was considering the CashCall Futurity but ultimately decided against it. Derby Points (10).

8. 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 has moved to the Pletcher barn in Florida and is expected to make his 3yo bow in the G2 Hutcehson at 7f on 2-2-13. Derby Points (4).

9. Fortify (Distorted Humor) – Debut sprint winner at the Spa followed that up with a 2nd in the G2 Hopeful and a 3rd in G1 Champagne. Lasix-free colt finished a flat 4th in the BC Juvenile and needs time off to grow and mature. Derby Points (3).

10. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – Pletcher’s versatile colt won his second graded race in the Remsen (99 BSF). Early plans have him contesting the Gotham and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct next year. Derby Points (10).

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 will get a breather at WinStar Farm before returning to the Pletcher barn at Palm Meadows. Derby Points (2).

Flashback (Tapit) – Baffert’s $260k purchase lived up to the hype with a professional 7f debut win under Leparoux at BHP Dec 8. Zazu’s brother cruised past highly regarded Shirreffs colt Mentor Cane (Mizzen Mast).

Little Distorted (Distorted Humor) – Beat heavy favorite Revolutionary in his 6f Belmont bow Oct 28 and the top two were well clear of the rest. Winning BSF of 101. Sold privately to Silverton Farm. New trainer Darrin Miller. Breezed 5f in 1:00.42 (2/17) at Gulfstream on 12-2.

Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown already has two talented turf runners in my top ten and his Remsen runner-up is worth following. The $230k Keeneland sales grad owns a decent late kick. Derby Points (4).

Palace Malice (Curlin) – The Saratoga maiden breaker is off the Injured Reserve list (bucked shins) and is currently back in Pletcher’s barn in Florida. He should return to the worktab shortly.

Former Top Ten Members

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 might return to the worktab next week. Derby Points (1).

Gabriel Charles (Street Boss) – 6th in Del Mar Futurity and 7th in FrontRunner. He rebounded smartly in a downhill turf sprint (86 BSF) on the Saturday BC undercard at Santa Anita. He worked 5f in 1:00.40 (7/55) at Hollywood on 12-8.

Know More (Lion Heart) – FrontRunner place finisher was 13th in the BC Juvenile Turf and 8th in the Delta Jackpot. He has been terribly mismanaged since the FrontRunner and needs time to regroup. Derby Points (4).

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 remains in New York and is scheduled to make his next start at the Big A on Jan 5.

Pataky Kid (Rockport Harbor) – G3 Arlington-Washington Futurity hero finished 4th in G1 Breeders’ Futurity and 5th after hopping at start (blinkers on) in G3 Iroquois. Derby Points – (1)

Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday) – Made it 5-for-5 with a determined win in the G1 BC Juvenile (82 BSF). I always had my doubts about his stamina and he does not want to go beyond 8.5f based on his slow Juvenile effort. He is expected to make his 3yo bow in the Holy Bull at the Gulf on Jan 26. Derby Points (20).  

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.

Injured Reserve

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

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Facile 7f tally (97 BSF) under Twin Spires in his 4th start. Bone chip has sidelined the Lukas trainee.