The Brock Talk

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kentucky Derby Sweet Sixteen

We have just more than 40 days until the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum brands and we're through the first week of NCAA Basketball March Madness so I submit my sweet sixteen for the Kentucky Derby. Sixteen, of course, is a large number and probably more than most horse players are considering right now, but we'll whittle this list down in the weeks ahead. But I will be the first to say that Mine That Bird, Giacomo and War Emblem weren't on my sixteen-deep list on their respective Derby days.

1-Lookin at Lucky: Twice this horse has overcome trouble in big races and he was just a nose short in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile from overcoming it all. His Rebel victory was more than impressive and his professionalism and talent make him my top choice. Arkansas Derby next.
2-Noble's Promise: Ran a big race in the Rebel to almost take down Lookin at Lucky. Looking forward to the rematch in the Arkansas Derby.
3-Eskendereya: His eye-popping victory in the Fountain of Youth also gave him a big edge with a 106 Beyer Speed Figure. But that may be the challenge for Pletcher to keep him on the path of improvement in the Wood Memorial and into Kentucky.
4-Odysseus: His very late move in the last 100 yards of the Tampa Bay Derby was unusual, but impressive.
5-Awesome Act: British import invaded Yankee territory more successfully the second time in winning New York's Gotham Stakes. Now he'll have home field advantage over Florida invaders in the Wood.
6-Dublin: Has the stalking running style I like and I'm counting on the experience of four-time Derby winner D. Wayne Lukas to manage the needed improvement. He will meet Lookin at Lucky and Noble's Promise again at home in Arkansas.
7-Schoolyard Dreams: Looked the winner of the Tampa Bay Derby until the photo finish was published. Next stop Illinois.
8-Jackson Bend: Chased home Eskendereya in the Fountain of Youth and Winslow Homer in the Holy Bull. Will have another tough task next race in the Wood Memorial. Coming from the Nick Zito stable is a plus.
9-Conveyance: Winner of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn over Dublin and his looking to carry the New Mexico flag into Kentucky after next start in Sunland Derby. Bob Baffert trainee is one of many speed horses on Derby trail.
10-Ice Box: What's not to like about his race in the Florida Derby other than the timing of the race six weeks before the Derby. His 99 Beyer number is the second best by a 3-year-old male in a race more than a mile this year.
11-Interactif: Stuck behind a slow pace of Sidney's Candy in San Felipe. I look for improvement in Santa Anita Derby.
12-Pleasant Prince: As far as I can tell, there's not much more than a nose separating him from Ice Box.
13-Discreetly Mine: Risen Star Stakes winner will look better if he can settle behind the early leaders in the Louisiana Derby.
14-Tempted to Tapit: There's going to be a son of Tapit become a 3-year-old star sometime soon and this gelding has the talent as shown with his 100 Beyer at a mile in the mud at Aqueduct in January. Second to Discreetly Mine in Risen Star and goes to New Mexico for the Sunland Derby.
15-American Lion: Seemed to be fighting the entire way in the San Felipe. I look for a big improvement in the Santa Anita Derby.
16-Sidney's Candy: San Felipe winner is the California leader and has the tools and apparent talent for the Santa Anita Derby and then Kentucky. The transition from Pro-Ride to dirt is my main concern. Front-running style is another.

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