Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Derby 2013’

Beyond the 2013 Triple Crown: Summer Stakes Preview

The 2013 Triple Crown series is in the books and the 3-year-old calendar will heat up again in July when racing moves to Saratoga.  

Derby winner Orb, Preakness hero Oxbow, and Belmont Stakes upsetter Palace Malice all figure to point to the G1 Travers, the mid-summer Derby at Saratoga on Saturday, August 24.

The G1 Jim Dandy Stakes, the local prep for the Travers, will take place on Saturday, July 27.

Verrazano tops the list of G1 Haskell Invitational contenders following a facile win in the G3 Pegasus at Monmouth Park on July 16. Itsmyluckyday was supposed to test him in the Pegasus but was pulled up with an injury and is out for four months. The Haskell is set for Sunday, July 28.

In the video below, I recap the Triple Crown series, as well as the Matt Winn and Pegasus Stakes. Finally, I look at five horses to watch this summer/fall.

Preakness 2013 Contenders – Will Orb capture second jewel?

Congratulations to Kentucky Derby 2013 hero Orb, and it was nice to see Shug McGaughey saddle his first Derby winner as well. He looks like a runaway locomotive at this point and might be too hot to handle in Preakness 2013.

Kentucky Derby 2013 winner Orb

Congrats to Kentucky Derby 2013 winner Orb – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Orb was one of my Exciting Prospects when I posted my first Derby Top 10 list last September. He lacked maturity in his first three outings but has really put everything together since. The Derby was his fifth straight win and he goes to Baltimore on a serious roll. He received a great pace setup in the Derby and it could be more of the same in the Preakness with the likes of Titletown Five and Goldencents on the engine early.

Speaking of rolls, jockey Joel Rosario has been unstoppable since winning the Dubai World Cup. Orb is currently preparing for the second jewel at Belmont Park and will ship to Pimlico early next week.

It is fun to talk about Orb’s Triple Crown chances but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. History is not on his side but he does possess all of the tools to give it a serious run. The son of Malibu Moon wheels back quickly on May 18 and it should be noted that he graduated off two weeks rest last year. I also saw a stat on TVG earlier this week about Shug McGaughey clicking at a 50% rate (6-for-12) when he brings horses back in 14-days. New shooter Departing might be his biggest competition.

Look out if Orb makes it past the Preakness but he will still have to beat fresh, talented rival Revolutionary at Big Sandy. That’s a discussion for another day.

Derby runner-up Golden Soul is pointing to the Belmont Stakes. He finished 2nd in the Derby because of the pace and will be an underlay in the Test of Champions.

My Derby selection Revolutionary, the top ranked contender on my Derby list since February, ran well to land the show on the first Saturday in May. I have not lost faith and he reminds me of my past Derby/Belmont picks Empire Maker and Union Rags.

Oxbow was too close to the rapid Derby pace and Normandy Invasion moved too soon. Both are players in Baltimore, especially the latter if Chad Brown opts to go in that direction.

Mylute took advantage of the fleet fractions and was in the show photo (finished 5th). If he runs in the Preakness, note that jockey Rosie Napravnik has plenty of Pimlico experience.

Will Take Charge was making a move with Orb in the Derby but Verrazano was backing up and stopped his momentum. The Derby was his first start beyond a mile and a sixteenth and he was coming off a layoff so it was not a bad effort finishing 8th.

Goldencents seemingly hated the Derby slop and will be part of the Preakness pace, especially if the track is fast.

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 Preakness 2013 Contenders

Orb (Malibu Moon) – Won his fifth straight race for Shug McGaughey in the G1 Kentucky Derby (wet track) and the strong finisher adapts to various pace scenarios. Red hot jockey Joel Rosario has been on a roll since the Dubai Gold Cup and he is an obvious major stretch player in Baltimore.

Departing (War Front) – Finished 3rd in the productive Louisiana Derby and overcame a wide draw to smartly take down the Illinois Derby. The Al Stall Jr. runner is a dangerous new shooter and it is nice to see him join the Triple Crown series.

Normandy Invasion (Tapit) – Chad Brown’s colt trained aggressively and moved too soon under Javier Castellano in the Derby. He needs to sit back with Orb and make a big late run in the Preakness. He is reportedly much more relaxed since returning to New York. His ultimate goal is the G1 Travers at the Spa in August.

Mylute (Midnight Lute) – LA Derby runner-up rallied to finish 5th on the first Saturday in May under Rosie Napravnik. Trainer Tom Amoss said that his Preakness status would be revealed on Saturday morning.

Oxbow horse

Oxbow was too close to the hot Derby pace – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – G3 Lecomte hero shows up for every dance and finished a solid 6th in the Derby after attending fast fractions from an inner post under Gary Stevens. Lukas trainee can rate but went all the way in both career wins. His main problem is that he is usually not quick enough to grab the early lead.

Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) – Smarty Jones/Rebel winner finished a respectable 8th in the Derby. He did find some traffic but that is to be expected in a 19-horse field. Mike Smith will ride in the Preakness and he could improve 2nd off the shelf.

Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Eddie Plesa Jr.’s colt was the talk of Florida earlier this year at the Gulf. The Holy Bull hero played second fiddle to Orb in the Florida Derby and finished a disappointing 15th on the first Saturday in May. John Velazquez will ride in the Preakness.

Preakness Dreamers:

Goldencents (Into Mischief) – Doug O’Neill’s quality early-pressing type seemingly hated the Derby wet track and the pace scenario did not help either. He earned a strong number in the SA Derby and is capable of big efforts on fast ground under the proper race shape.

Govenor Charlie (Midnight Lute) – Smartly captured G3 Sunland Derby in his third career start. The Baffert trainee has plenty of upside but still lacks seasoning. He wisely passed on the Derby and has seemingly recovered from a minor hind foot issue. Worked 6f in 1:11.80 (1/3) at Churchill Downs on 5-7.

Street Spice (Street Sense) – Illinois Derby 5th place finisher seems up against it in the Preakness. He likely needs to find a softer spot to be competitive. Breezed 5f from the gate in 1:03.40 (27/33) at Arlington Park on 5-4.

Titletown Five (Tiznow) – Has lost all three starts this year and looks like a sprinter at this point. He will attend the Preakness pace before fading. Breezed 4f in :47.60 (5/35) at Churchill Downs on 5-7.

Vyjack (Into Mischief) – 18th place Derby finisher has now dropped two straight. He came out of the Wood Memorial with a lung infection and that hiccup probably cost him under the Twin Spires. He has talent but is not sharp right now.

Kentucky Derby 2013 Day Analysis Recap

Thanks to everyone for purchasing my Kentucky Derby Day analysis from Churchill Downs last Saturday, May 4. For those who missed it, I have included highlights and analysis below.

Check out my Saturday (May 11) Churchill Downs full card analysis (available now) and Bonus Free Pick (CD 11th race, click view sample) at TodaysRacingDigest.com.

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The Fast Track with Steve Bortstein

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Kentucky Derby Day analysis highlights:
CD 1 Glamour Puss/Apropos Exacta ($14.60)
CD 5 BELLARMINE ($25.60), Trifecta ($317.20)
CD 8 STEPHANIE’S KITTEN ($9.80), Exacta ($28)
Daily Double (race 7-8, $51.40)
Pick 3 (race 7-9, $146)
Pick 3 (race 8-10, $69)
Pick 4 (race 8-11, $358.80)
Pick 5 (race 7-11, $325.10)

Kentucky Derby Day analysis from Churchill Downs (Saturday: 5-4-13)
By Jarrod Horak (horseracingnation.com, pick6blog.com)  
Weather
:  Showers (50% chance). High 61.
Best Bets (races 4, 9, 11, 12).

CD 1 (OC-62.5k/2x, 6f) #2 FIVE STAR MOMMA (4-1) scored in her local debut in 2011 and earned her best number to date in a Keeneland place finish April 6. Terranova excels 2nd off the shelf and I like her early-pressing versatility. #3 Glamour Puss (2-1) has fired Exacta shots in all five starts. She is 2-for-2 at this trip and Rosario rode her perfectly at Keeneland April 11. #1 Apropos (8-5) ran away from entry level foes at Oaklawn March 7 and the clear place finisher came back to score. She wins this with anything resembling her last. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/1-3, Exacta 2-3/1

CD 2 (OC-75k/1x, 7f) #2 GOMBEY DANCER (7-2) earned a big number in his 6f maiden win at Gulfstream Feb. 3. He disappointed in the G3 Swale but runs well fresh and fired a local bullet April 20. He reunites with winning pilot Lezcano, who is 3-for-3 with Kenneally recently. #8 Slan Abhaile (5-2) went all the way in his 7f bow at the Gulf March 30. Romans has him now and he’s an obvious outside speed threat. #1 River Rocks (3-1) is an inside pace factor at the very least. He won his lone start at this distance. THE PLAYS: #2 to win, Exacta 2/1-8, Exacta 1-8/2

CD 3 (OC-80k/3x, 8.5T) #6 SCREENPLAY (3-1) has a nose for the wire on turf. He is 3-for-4 here, like this trip, and new pilot Rosario has options with the sharp, versatile sort. #5 The Pizza Man (3-1) is a turf win machine. He is 6-for-6 at this distance and won for his trainer Amoss at Fair Grounds March 21. #1 Old Time Hockey (5-2) lands the cozy rail and might be aggressively handled under Gomez. He likes this trip, needed his last, and meets a field without much speed. #2 Prime Cut (12-1) won his lone turf start at Fair Grounds Jan. 27 and has always had a touch of class. #7 Cavalero (10-1) packs a decent late kick and lands sharp turf rider Napravnik. He is 5-for-6 at 8.5f. THE PLAYS: #6 to win, Trifecta 1-5-6/1-2-5-6-7/1-2-5-6-7

CD 4 (MSW, 7f) #5 BAMA BOUND (6-1) broke 12th from the intimidating rail in his Keeneland bow April 7 and he ended up an okay 7th that day. Margolis excels with second time starters and barn $$ rider Bridgmohan sticks. #12 Troubadour Tango (5-1) was the beaten favorite in both synthetic starts and he missed by a head in his career bow. #3 Saint X. (3-1) has hit the board in three straight and the $450k purchase ran into the likes of Oxbow here last fall. #6 Esplendido (8-1) finished a respectable 3rd in his synthetic sprint bow and can improve second time out. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/3-6-12, Exacta 3-6-12/5  

CD 5 (OC-75k/1x, 8.5f) #4 BELLARMINE (8-1) is getting better for McPeek. He handles any surface and ran well to land the place in his lone conventional dirt try at Gulfstream. #8 Code West (7-5) wisely skipped the Derby and has the class/speed to be a major player here. He figures to make his presence felt throughout for the productive Bejarano/Baffert team. No value here. #10 Ghost Hunter (6-1) might attempt a wire job and should be given extra consideration if a speed bias pops up. He won his 5.5f dirt sprint bow and finished 2nd to synthetic specialist and G3 Lexington hero Winning Cause at Keeneland last time. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Trifecta 4-10/4-8-10/ALL  

CD 6 (G3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint, 5T) #4 GHOST IS CLEAR (9-2) could sit the right stalk and pounce trip under Rosario. The 2-time turf sprint winner consistently runs his race on any footing and Maker shows a profit synthetic-to-turf. #8 Icon Ike (3-1) is a late running turf sprint win type for the productive Napravnik/Jones team. He could easily make it three straight. #2 Havelock (7-2) just got there off the shelf under Gomez April 13. He has captured half of his ten turf starts at this trip. THE PLAYS: #4 to win, Exacta 4/2-8, Exacta 2-8/4  

CD 7 (G1 Humana Distaff, 7f) #8 BYRAMA (5-1) would have won the G1 Madison with a different trip. She broke slow from the rail and encountered traffic in that neck defeat. Rosario knows her now and she can tag there if able to handle dirt. #1 Jamaican Smoke (5-1) has speed to burn and easily won at this course/distance last May. She ran well in both Graded sprints and might not look back under Leparoux. #6 Aubby K (7-2) won the G2 Inside Information off a lengthy layoff and has had plenty of time to recover. She hails from a profitable, low profile barn. #2 Rumor (5-2) runs well fresh but she is 0-for-2 at seven panels and must prove that she can run a big race away from SoCal. THE PLAYS: #8 to win, Exacta Box 1-8, Exacta 1-8/2-6  

CD 8 (G2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, 8T) Honest fractions are expected with #3 Daisy Devine, #4 Frontside, #7 Karlovy Vary, and #10 Stopshoppingmaria vying for early position. #6 STEPHANIE’S KITTEN (4-1) has not been seen in more than six months but she is 2-for-2 over the local weeds and owners Ken & Sarah Ramsey have been rolling since Keeneland. She likes this distance and Leparoux does some of his best work with patient turf runners. #8 Marketing Mix (5-2) has not been seen in more than six months but runs well fresh. Gomez rides her well and she clearly has the class to win this for sharp layoff trainer Proctor. #5 Hungry Island (4-1) captured her Keeneland return April 7. She won this event last year and should get pace to chase. #3 Daisy Devine (3-1) is the best of the speed types. She usually fires Exacta shots on turf, except a fading 5th in this event last year. THE PLAYS: #6 to win, Exacta Box 6-8, Exacta 6-8/3-5 

CD 9 (G2 Churchill Downs, 7f) #5 UNBRIDLED’S NOTE (5-1) is 2-for-2 at CD and could sit the garden spot trip behind the speed. Asmussen’s consistent colt ran into crack sprinter Jimmy Creed (twice) at Santa Anita and downhill specialist Mizdirection in the BC turf Sprint. He fits well here. #2 Hierro (10-1) is also 2-for-2 here including the 2012 Derby Trial. He ran well in both starts this year for new trainer Pletcher and could move forward 3rd off the shelf. #9 Delaunay (2-1) is in the form of his life. He shoots for six straight wins and enjoys seven panels. #8 Trinniberg (8-5) flopped in Dubai March 30 and most U.S. horses need more time to recover from the long journey. I’ve never been a big fan of this horse but he likes this trip. THE PLAYS: #5 to win, Exacta 5/2-9, Exacta 2-9/5  

CD 10 (G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, 9T) #9 POINT OF ENTRY (7-5) looked great beating Animal Kingdom in his Gulfstream return at this trip Feb. 9. The classy turf marathon specialist is fresh and strictly the one to fear if he duplicates his last. #8 Wise Dan (6-5) was good but not great in his G1 Maker’s 46 comeback at Keeneland. He liked 9f in the past but has been a flat mile specialist since last August. He needs to relax early if he expects to win this race. All of his past success at this distance came on dirt and synthetic. THE PLAYS: #9 to win, Exacta 9-8

CD 11 (G1 Kentucky Derby, 10f) #3 REVOLUTIONARY (10-1) has been my top ranked Derby contender since February. He is 3-3 around two turns, has overcome trouble, owns a nice finishing kick, and Borel has won the Derby three times, including the 2010 renewal aboard Super Saver for Pletcher & WinStar Farm. Both CD works were impressive and LA Derby show finisher Departing came back to win the Illinois Derby. #16 Orb (7-2) is also 3-for-3 around two turns and shoots for his fifth win in a row today. He adapts to various pace scenarios and his work and gallop sessions have been impressive. Red hot rider Rosario has booted him home twice and he beat Revolutionary last fall but both are much better now. #5 Normandy Invasion (12-1) is sitting on a career top in his 3rd start off the shelf. He is training aggressively for this and won’t be as far back as expected. Castellano chose him over Revolutionary. His only good races occurred at the Big A. #12 Itsmyluckyday (15-1) is growing on me. He was fast earlier this year and his morning gallops suggest that he is back on top of his game. He can move forward 2nd off the shelf after landing the place behind Orb in the Florida Derby.  #2 Oxbow (20-1) finally draws an inner post but I’m sure Lukas did not want post 2 in Derby. He is best as a free runner and might attempt a wire job under Stevens. #1 Black Onyx (50-1) drew the dreaded rail. He is on the upswing and training well but must work out a trip from the worst possible post. He is a late scratch. #9 Overanalyze (15-1) never runs two alike but Bejarano is on a roll. #14 Verrazano (4-1) has been less dynamic with each passing furlong. The unraced juvenile has accomplished plenty this year but is no longer improving. #8 Goldencents (5-1) must relax at a distance that he is not bred to get. Lightning will not strike twice for O’Neill. #6 Mylute (15-1) would be a great story with Rosie in the irons. #4 Golden Soul (50-1) will be passing tired horses. With Black Onyx now scratched, I will use him underneath in the Trifecta instead. THE PLAYS: #3 to win, Exacta Box 3-16, Exacta 3-16/5-12, Trifecta 3-16/3-5-12-16/2-3-4-5-12-16   

CD 12 (OC-62.5k/2x, 7f) #7 WILD TARGET (4-1) runs well fresh and Rosario hops aboard. He handles seven panels and figures to stalk the pace for sharp trainer Kenneally. #2 Rightfully So (3-1) earned a big number March 30 and the show finisher came back to score. He romped at this course/distance last fall. #4 Seven Lively Sins (12-1) hails from a deadly synthetic-to-dirt barn (Stall). He has won at this course and distance and should offer value. THE PLAYS: #7 to win, Trifecta 2-7/ALL/4  

Double/Pick 3/Pick 4/Pick 5 contenders – in order of preference

Race

1   (2-3-1)
2   (2-8-1)
3   (6-5-1-2-7)
4   (5-12-3-6)
5   (4-8-10)
6   (4-8-2)
7   (8-1-6-2)
8   (6-8-5-3)
9   (5-2-9)
10 (9-8)
11 (3-16-5-12)
12 (7-2-4)

Kentucky Derby 2013 Week Videos

The field is set for Kentucky Derby 2013 and it has been a crazy week at the offices of HorseRacingNation.com.

On Tuesday, I traveled to Churchill Downs and interviewed trainer Michelle Lovell. She is based at Fair Grounds in the winter and Churchill Downs in the spring. I wanted to find out about the differences in the two tracks and I also asked her about Rosie Napravnik, Mylute, and the Fair Grounds Derby horses.

Thursday was fun. I got to shoot three videos with special guests. Ryan Patterson had a great idea about a video consisting of a wet track scenario for the Derby. We did not have time to shoot it last week but jumped right into that one after checking the weather forecast for the first Saturday in May.

I have not done a video with Mike Shutty for quite some time. It was good to see him again and our video theme was live Derby longshots. If you need help in the Derby, check out Mike’s Kentucky Derby Super Screener product.

Finally, Jasen Mangrum contacted me last week and we set up a video for Thursday afternoon. I told him to pick a topic and he settled on the Kentucky Oaks-Woodford Reserve Turf Classic-Kentucky Derby Pick 3. Also, check out the Super Screener Handicapping Seminars.

My Kentucky Derby Day full card selections are now available:

Check out my Kentucky Derby 2013 full card at HorseRacingNation.com

If you would like to hear our Derby Day thoughts, I will be at my regular weekend spot on The Fast Track with Steve Bortstein radio show on Saturday morning (weekends at 10am eastern time).

Special thanks to my video editor and photographer, Stacy Edwards.

Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders video featuring Oxbow & Falling Sky

This is our fifth in a five part video series devoted to Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders. All of the major prep races have been run and final workouts and the post position draw are all that remain.

In this final Derby contenders video, we discuss Lecomte winner Oxbow, Sam F. Davis hero Falling Sky, Blue Grass show finisher Charming Kitten, Risen Star runner-up Code West, San Felipe show finisher Tiz a Minister, and Lecomte runner-up Golden Soul.

Thanks to Ryan Patterson for joining me in this video series.

Kentucky Derby 2013 Contenders – Another strong move for Revolutionary

My longtime top ranked Kentucky Derby 2013 contender Revolutionary had another strong workout at Churchill Downs on April 27 and it looks like all systems go for the first Saturday in May.

Revolutionary Kentucky Derby 2013 contender

Revolutionary has impressed clockers with his Churchill Derby works – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Revolutionary has been my top ranked Derby contender since late February, following the retirement of Violence, also trained by Todd Pletcher. I have always liked his pedigree and he started to ascend the ranks after a fast maiden win and visually impressive Withers tally. He maintained his top spot after a late running tally in the LA Derby and has not missed a beat this year. Will lightning strike twice for Borel, Pletcher, and WinStar Farm?

There are still 23 horses possible for the Derby so there are still a few bottom spots up for grabs. Govenor Charlie is supposed to work on Monday but Baffert has already said that he probably won’t run. Code West, also a Baffert trainee, is probably going to the Peter Pan instead, followed  by the Belmont Stakes.

Winning Cause, trained by Todd Pletcher, has enough points but might skip the Derby.

Tiz a Minister just finished 3rd in the Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park on 4-27 but still might catch a flight to Louisville if his owner decides to shoot for the Derby.

Golden Soul is 23rd on the Derby Points Leaderboard and will definitely go if he gets enough defections.

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 an adventurous winning journey in the G3 Withers. He broke slow, raced wide, and smartly held off Mylute in the G2 LA Derby on March 30. Both of his Churchill moves earned him DRF’s Derby work of the day including his 4f breeze in :48.20 (6/70) on 4-27. Derby Points (110).

Orb horse Kentucky Derby 2013 contender

Orb’s final Derby work is scheduled for Monday, April 29 – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

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. Red hot jockey Joel Rosario has been named to ride on the first Saturday in May. Breezed 5f in 1:02.10 (3/5) at Payson Park on 4-21 and has reportedly looked energetic in his recent Churchill gallops. 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 Revolutionary and he has been aggressive in his morning activity under the Twin Spires. Breezed a spirited 5f in :59 (2/52) at Churchill Downs on 4-27. 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. He no longer looks like a dominant force and will probably take too much action under the Twin Spires. No unraced 2yo has won the Derby since Apollo in 1882. Johnny V chose him over Orb. He has been solid if unspectacular in his Derby activity. Breezed 5f in :59.40 (6/52) at Churchill Downs on 4-27. Derby Points (150).

5. 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 has reportedly looked steady in his Derby gallops and works. His high action is better suited to synthetic and turf. Breezed 4f in :48.60 (12/70) at Churchill on 4-27. Derby Points (50).

Kentucky Derby 2013 contender Overanalyze

Overanalyze will be ridden in the Kentucky Derby by red hot SoCal jockey Rafael Bejarano – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

6. Overanalyze (Dixie Union) – G2 Remsen hero finished a wide, flat 5th from post 11 in his needed Gotham return. He bounced back nicely in the Arkansas Derby (88 BSF) and tries to run two alike for the first time at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4. He was all square with Palace Malice in a Derby team drill on 4-27. Derby Points (110). 

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. Breezed 6f in 1:16.20 (8/8) at Santa Anita on 4-25. Derby Points (129).

8. Itsmyluckyday (Lawyer Ron) – Still not sold on this one as a legit Derby contender because I am skeptical about ten panels and he looks like a Florida specialist. G3 Holy Bull hero finished a solid 2nd in the Florida Derby, his first start in nine weeks. Breezed an easy 4f in :53 (9/9) at Calder on 4-25. Derby Points (50).

9. 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. He has pedigree questions to answer and came out of the Wood Memorial with a lung infection. Breezed 5f in 1:00.40 (3/32) at Churchill Downs on 4-26. Derby Points (70).

10. 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 and will reunite with Rosie Napravnik in the Derby. Breezed  4f in :50.60 (59/70) at Churchill on 4-27 with a weak gallop out. Derby Points (42).

Derby Dreamers (in alphabetical order):

Charming Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) – Pletcher’s talented turf runner ended up 3rd in the Blue Grass and seemingly did just enough to quality for a starting gate spot on May 4. Revolutionary dusted him in a team drill on 4-27. Derby Points (20).

Code West (Lemon Drop Kid) – Currently sits 21st on the Derby Points Leaderboard. The Baffert runner followed up a place finish in the Risen Star with a 6th in the LA Derby. A Derby start is not out of the question but he is expected to use the Peter Pan as his Belmont Stakes prep. Breezed 5f in 1:00.40 (6/42) at Churchill Downs on 4-28. Derby Points (20).

Falling Sky (Lion Heart) – G3 Sam Davis winner finished 3rd in the Tampa Bay Derby and 4th in the Arkansas Derby. He seems a cut below the best but might have a say in the Derby pace. Fired a 5f bullet in :59.60 (1/32) at Churchill on 4-26. Derby Points (30).

Frac Daddy Kentucky Derby 2013 contender

Frac Daddy is coming up to the Derby in better shape than stablemate Java’s War – photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Frac Daddy (Scat Daddy) – Ky Jockey Club Stakes runner-up grabbed a quarter and finished 6th in the Holy Bull. He finished 7th in the Florida Derby and snuck into the Derby back door with a runner-up effort in the Arkansas Derby. Got the better of Java’s War in a Derby team drill on 4-27. Derby Points (44).  

Golden Soul (Perfect Soul) – LA Derby 4th place finisher still has a shot to sneak into the Derby field with a couple of defections. Breezed 5f in 1:00.80 (7/32) at Churchill Downs on 4-26. Derby Points (14).

Govenor Charlie (Midnight Lute) – Smartly captured G3 Sunland Derby in his third career start. The Baffert trainee has plenty of upside but the Derby is an ambitious spot considering his lack of experience. He had a hind foot issue but was given the all clear after being examined at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. He has not worked since April 11 but is expected to return to the worktab on April 29. Look for Baffert to do the right thing and take a Derby pass. Derby Points (50).

Java’s War (War Pass) – G2 Tampa Bay Derby runner-up flattered Verrazano with his late running G1 Blue Grass tally but he only received an 88 BSF. He will try to get involved late under the Twin Spires. Struggled to match strides with stablemate Java’s War in a Derby team move on 4-27. Derby Points (122).

Lines of Battle (War Front) – UAE Derby has never been a successful path to Churchill so it is hard to take this one seriously. Finished 7th in the 2012 BC Juvenile Turf, his lone trek to the states. Derby Points (100).

Oxbow (Awesome Again) – G3 Lecomte hero shows up for every dance and just missed in the G2 Rebel on March 16. Gary Stevens hopped aboard for the Arkansas Derby and he rallied from last to split the field from yet another outer post. Lukas trainee can rate but went all the way in both career wins and can surprise in Derby if he flashes speed. Breezed 5f in 1:01 (7/43) at Churchill Downs on 4-22. Derby Points (36).

Palace Malice (Curlin) – Risen Star show finisher finished a troubled 7th in the Louisiana Derby. He desperately needed Derby points in the Blue Grass and made the cut with a solid place finish. He was all square with Overanalyze in a Derby team drill on 4-27.  Derby Points (50).

Tiz a Minister (Ministers Wild Cat) – The late striding CA-bred has finished in the Top 3 in 9 of 12 lifetime starts. He finished 3rd in the 9f Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood on April 27 and might wheel back in a week. Derby Points (20).

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 1:41.60 (1/1) at Churchill Downs on 4-21. Derby Points (60).

Winning Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – Keeneland specialist ran his Polytrack record to 3-for-3 in the G3 Lexington. If he goes in the Derby it would be his third start in four weeks. Derby Points (20).

Former Top Ten Members (currently in training)

Balance the Books (Lemon Drop Kid) – Late running turf specialist flopped in his Spiral Stakes return and ran better (6th of 14) but not good enough in the Blue Grass. He has returned to New York and will get back on the sod this summer. Breezed 4f in :48.91 (23/48) at Belmont Park (dirt training) on 4-27.

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. He rallied nicely to finish right behind stablemate Forty Tales in the G3 Derby Trial at CD on 4-27. Derby Points (4).

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 4f in :50.80 (20/23) at Santa Anita on 4-22. 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. Breezed 5f in 1:04.02 (1/2) at Palm Meadows (turf) on 4-19.

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. Breezed 4f in :49 (13/52) at Churchill on 4-26.

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 finished 6th in the third race (allowance turf route) at Keeneland on 4-14. Derby Points (1).

Power Broker (Pulpit) – $360k purchase graduated in style vs. graded foes in FrontRunner and 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. Breezed 6f in 1:12.80 (2/3) at Churchill Downs on 4-22. Derby Points (10).

Super Ninety Nine (Pulpit) – Facile G3 Southwest hero finished a flat 5th as the beaten favorite in the Rebel and set the pace and weakened to 3rd in the SA Derby. The Baffert will not run in the Kentucky Derby. Derby Points (30).

Uncaptured (Lion Heart) – Mark Casse’s Ontario-bred finished a solid 2nd in the Spiral but stalked and faded in a disappointing Blue Grass effort. He is back in Canada and will point to the Queen’s Plate. Breezed 5f in 1:01 (3/86) at Woodbine on 4-27. Derby Points (30).

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 was pulled up as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby. He appears to be alright after taking a bad step at Oaklawn Park.

Injured Reserve

On the Sidelines: Archwarrior (Arch), Darwin (Big Brown), Flashback (Tapit), Gulfport (Unbridled’s Song), Hear the Ghost (Ghostzapper), Ive Struck a Nerve (Yankee Gentleman), Joha (Johar), Shanghai Bobby (Harlan’s Holiday), Zaikov (Distorted Humor).

Missing in Action: Fortify (Distorted Humor), Gabriel Charles (Street Boss), Little Distorted (Distorted Humor), Tizracer (Tiznow).

Retired: Hightail (Mineshaft), Violence (Medaglia d’Oro).

Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders video featuring Normandy Invasion & Mylute

This is our fourth in a five part video series devoted to Kentucky Derby 2013 contenders. All of the major prep races have been run and final workouts and the post position draw are all that remain.

Each video will consist of four contenders. In this video, we discuss Arkansas Derby runner-up Frac Daddy, Louisiana Derby runner-up Mylute, Wood Memorial runner-up Normandy Invasion, and Blue Grass runner-up Palace Malice.

Thanks to Ryan Patterson for joining me in this video series. We will release the final video on Sunday night.