#6 Gemologist (KY) – I hate to pick the chalk after what happened last week, but I just think Gemologist is the logical pick here. He’s unbeaten in four tries, and his 2012 debut was very good. The field for the Wood is decent, but nothing too overwhelming. I think this horse is sitting on a big race, and should be able to stalk the pace beautifully from this post position. This could turn into Todd Pletcher’s best three-year old prospect.
#3 My Adonis (KY) – You have to love the consistency My Adonis has shown this year. He finished third behind Hansen and Algorithms in the Holy Bull, and second behind Hansen in the Gotham. Lucky for him Hansen isn’t in the field this Saturday. That fact plus the added distance has me thinking he could be very dangerous. If the pace is fast up front that would really help his chances. Look for him to come with his usual come from behind run, and with a little luck he could make things very interesting.
#1 Alpha (KY) – Even though most everyone has this horse ranked as a top Kentucky Derby contender (including myself), I still feel like this race is a proving ground for him. He was very impressive in his two Aqueduct wins this year, but did not beat much in either of those races. I also don’t like how his connections have been dodging competition for the last two weeks. With that being said, it would not be a total shock if he won. I’m just going to take a wait and see approach with him.
#7 Tiger Walk (KY) – I give him very little shot of actually winning, but he’s a logical trifecta or superfecta type horse. He’s been solid against graded company, and this is not an overwhelming field that he’s facing. He’s a deep closing type horse, so he would be greatly benefited by a fast pace up front. I vision him coming with a his normal run at the end, but probably will come up a bit short.
#8 The Lumber Guy (NY) – This New York bred has dominated the competition in his only two starts, but faces a giant class jump in this one. Pulling off this kind of upset is a little far-fetched, but it’s hard to totally ignore a horse that has never been close to losing. One thing is for sure: with his natural speed he will give us a thrill for a while at least. Look for him to go right to the lead, and hopefully for him and his connections he’ll never look back.
#2 Casual Trick (KY) – It’s looks as though Nick Zito may not have a Kentucky Derby runner this year. Casual Trick is his only chance, and he hasn’t finished anywhere near the top in his last two races. His chances don’t look good here.
#4 Teeth of the Dog (KY) – Just recently was able to break his maiden, and probably is not ready for this type of competition yet. I did like his determination in that race, so don’t expect him to go down without some sort of a fight.
#5 Street Life (KY) – Even though he’s won two in a row, I think the jump in class will bite him in this one. He’s a nice looking horse though, and will probably have success in the lower ranks.