1. Game On Dude – He holds a head to head match up win over Will Take Charge and Mucho Macho Man so he assumes the top spot for now. Most people are down on him for his second place effort in the Charles Town Classic, but I still think he ran well.
2. Will Take Charge – From a consistency standpoint he is well clear of the others so far this year. He’s ran two winning type races when finishing second, and was able to redeem himself with a home track win last time out at Oaklawn. Looks like he is on his way to another big year.
3. Wise Dan – Most of his big races are still to come so he’s third for now, but what a nice comeback race he had last time out at Keeneland.
4. Palace Malice – Already has two wins under his belt, with the last one being a monster effort in New Orleans. Came back looking better than ever.
5. Mucho Macho Man – Dull performance at Santa Anita last time out, but he stays ranked out of respect. Needs to pick it up if he wants to move past the monsters ahead of him.
Sleeper: Normandy Invasion – Obviously he’s come back strong, but he was beaten decisively by Palace Malice last time out. Wouldn’t toss him out yet though…
1. Beholder – Freak of nature! Not sure if anyone can beat her in this division.
2. Close Hatches – Two very workman like performances at Oaklawn has me thinking she has progressed even further since last year.
3. Princess of Sylmar – Easy winner in her return race. She’s one that is easy to root for considering she could have easily won the eclipse award last year.
4. Groupie Doll – I put her on here out of respect, and because some of the stars of last year haven’t started yet. What a great career for this champion.
5. On Fire Baby – Ran two decent races to start the year, no disrespect in losing to Close Hatches…lets see if she can keep improving and stay healthy.
Sleeper: Dreaming of Julia – If she ever makes it back in good form we don’t know how good she could end up being…
3 Year Old Males
1. California Chrome – There is no doubting he’s the top horse in this bunch as of now…can he take his show on the road?
2. Hoppertunity – He’s improving at a rapid rate. With one more progression he could be the best of the bunch.
3. Wicked Strong – He’s the “now” horse, but like California Chrome he also must prove he can take his show on the road. Hasn’t ran well outside of New York.
4. Samraat – Yet to run a bad race. Horse is talented and as steady as they come…pedigree in question for the Derby though.
5. Tapiture – Took a step backwards in the Arkansas Derby, but could see him rebounding. The talent is there.
Sleeper: Kid Cruz – Quietly winning the smaller races for three-year olds, but could sneak up on a lot of people come Preakness time.
3 Year Old Females
1. Untapable – Cleary above and beyond anyone in this group by a wide margin.
2. My Miss Sophia – Her blowout wins of late make her the intriguing challenger to Untapable in the Oaks
3. Awesome Baby – Declared that she is not running in the Oaks, but still like her talent.
4. In Tune – Has progressed extremely well at Gulfstream, but can she run that well away from her home track?
5. Sugar Shock – Another that has gotten better with each race. She’s a cut below the best at this point though.
Sleeper: She’s a Tiger – Never ran a bad race as a two-year old, but yet to see her this year.
1. Secret Circle – This division hasn’t heated up yet, but when it does he’ll be the top dog.
2. Goldencents – Haven’t seen him yet this year, but has already proven to be a monster at a mile.
3. Gentleman’s Bet – Another that is training forward for his 2014 debut.
4. Sahara Sky – Has found his stride after a slow start to 2013.
5. Wild Dude – This is a rising star in the division who has run three strong races in a row at Santa Anita.
Sleeper: Vicar’s In Trouble – He may be pointed to the Derby, but when they shorten him up he could really be something special.