New: Govenor Charlie
Dropped Out: Tiz the Truth
1. Itsmyluckyday – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: 20th
Well his time has come…can our number one ranked horse deliver in the Florida Derby and make his way towards Kentucky? He’ll need to finish in the top three to make it to the Kentucky Derby, so there is no margin for error.
2. Verrazano – Points Earned: 50 – Current Rank: 6th
His win in the Tampa Bay Derby was everything we were hoping for, and now it’s on to the Wood Memorial for his final Kentucky Derby prep. The scary part about Verrazano is he’s still very green, yet he’s still giving us dominating performances. With a little more seasoning he’ll be tough, but can he get the distance?
3. Revolutionary – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: 24th
Much like Itsmyluckyday, there is no room for error for Revolutionary. He certainly has the raw talent to run in the top three in the Louisiana Derby this Saturday, but will he stay out of traffic trouble? Kind of a scary thought considering the strange results Fair Grounds sometime produces.
4. Oxbow – Points Earned: 36 – Current Rank: 8th
This horse just continues to put in solid efforts despite wide trips and horrible post positions. The education he’s gotten from these races will certainly help him, and his pedigree and speed make him very attractive at this point in the game.
5. Will Take Charge – Points Earned: 60 – Current Rank: 1st
Will Take Charge has shown tremendous heart and determination in winning two tight photo’s this prep season. In winning the Rebel he also showed that he has quite a bit of talent as well. All good qualities to have when talking about Kentucky Derby contenders.
6. Code West – Points Earned: 20 – Current Rank: 17th
Much like Revolutionary, Code West faces a “must hit the board” situation in the Louisiana Derby this Saturday. Judging by his race in the Risen Star, I think you almost have to consider him the favorite at this point.
7. Orb – Points Earned: 50 – Current Rank: 5th
The Florida Derby is meaningless for him points wise, but it’s still a million dollars so you can bet they’ll have him ready to fire. Will he get the pace set up like he got last time out?
8. Vyjack – Points Earned: 50 – Current Rank: 2nd
Vyjack showed a flexibility in running styles on Saturday when winning the Gotham, and he also showed that maybe longer distances won’t be a problem. He also closed into a fairly slow pace, so a faster pace might even make him look better next time out. Instantly earned my respect!
9. Flashback – Points Earned: 30 – Current Rank: 10th
The ride he got in the San Felipe was brutally bad, but I do love the heart he showed in fighting down to the very end and holding on for second. Garrett Gomez will be called on to ride next time out, and hopefully Flashback and can sit off the pace and not be a one-dimensional horse.
10. Hear the Ghost – Points Earned: 50 – Current Rank: 7th
Much like Orb, Hear the Ghost was able to take advantage of a perfect set up. You have to give him credit for that, but was his fast closing San Felipe win an optical illusion? Not totally buying into this one yet, but he’s good enough to crack the top 10
11. Java’s War – Points Earned: 21 – Current Rank: 13th
What a brave effort this horse gave in the Tampa Bay Derby! In my eyes this one is a big time sleeper that not many people are talking about. He should improve off his last effort as well, which makes him extra dangerous.
12. Departing – Points Earned: 0 – Current Rank: NR
It’s now or never for Departing, as the Louisiana Derby will be his only chance to earn Kentucky Derby points. The horse has shown tremendous ability, but this will by far be his toughest challenge.
13. Den’s Legacy – Points Earned: 20 – Current Rank: 14th
Just like we predicted, Den’s Legacy showed up and ran his race in the Rebel, but just wasn’t good enough to win. The horse is as honest as they come, and should never be left off any exotic ticket.
14. Super Ninety Nine – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: 22nd
I left him on the list, but his Kentucky Derby status is now in serious jeopardy. My former number one ranked horse was a badly beaten fifth in the Rebel, and now lacks points and time to make it in the Kentucky Derby. Was he a sprinter all along, or did he just bounce?
15. Goldencents – Points Earned: 29 – Current Rank: 11th
Goldencents was the other horse in the San Felipe that got caught up in the speed duel with Flashback. He faded to fourth, but definitely had an excuse. I’m not sure he looks like much of a threat, but he’s not a total toss just yet.
16. Shanghai Bobby – Points Earned: 24 – Current Rank: 12th
It’s funny how he’s almost been forgotten, but the Juvenile winner could secure a Kentucky Derby spot with a top three effort this week in the Florida Derby. This will be another distance test for him, and easily the toughest field he’s faced.
17. Palace Malice – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: T-26th
It’s the Louisiana Derby or bust for Palace Malice, who must finish first or second to feel completely comfortable points wise. Considering who is pointing towards this race, my fear is Palace Malice could be left out on the first Saturday in May.
18. Tiz A Minister – Points Earned: 10 – Current Rank: 28th
Much like Hear the Ghost, Tiz a Minister took advantage of a hot pace in the San Felipe and finished third. Not ready to buy in on this one yet…
19. Govenor Charlie – Points Earned: 50 – Current Rank: 3rd
The Sunland Derby winner makes the list this week, but it’s really hard to tell how good he is going to be. He won easily, but the competition wasn’t much, and the track was playing super fast. Like the connections, but not sold on him…
20. Normandy Invasion – Points Earned: 4 – Current Rank: 37th
He remains on the list for another week, but he’s dropping fast. I do like his workout pattern since the Risen Star, but he’s facing a very tough field in the Wood Memorial.