February 28, 2010

Derby Top 10 Ranking #2

Sorry for the delay in posting... I've had 5 trips over the past two weeks. However, one of those was well worth the travel time as I saw Eskendereya crush a solid Fountain of Youth field in North Miami Beach. Gulfstream Park has been getting their share of talented three year-olds the past few years (Barbaro '06 and Big Brown '08) but neither were this impressive! What I like the most about a performance like this is that it occured with typical pace figures for the split times, meaning it very likely can be duplicated. We'll see if he keeps his A game in the Florida Derby in three weeks.

I was actually at Gulfstream to see a friend and co-contributor to my blog in previous years, Clay Sanders, who's racing syndicate saddled Positive Split to a 7th place finish in the FOY after chasing the Big E for 7 furlongs. Note to you handicappers: P' Split will be dangerous in future races at a mile or less at a nice price!

Three of my previous top 10 colts have still yet to run this season, so I'll keep them on the tally albeit with lower ranks. I'm only discarding one - #3 Buddy's Saint - due to his no-show as the 9-5 favorite, although there is no doubt his chances were compromised having to check mightily into the first turn. Still, I begrudgingly had him listed in the first place and now have an "excuse" to add another Oaklawn runner - Dublin. Here's my new top 10 as of March 1st:

1) Eskendereya - Big plus was his early January one mile allowance race, which will give him 3 races under his belt (all dirt) heading into Churchill. Looking for a first or second in the FL Derby.

2) Lookin At Lucky - Had a ho-hum work but Baffert knows when to crank them up.

3) Super Saver - Pletcher charge now likely to debut at Oaklawn in the Rebel... yes!

4) Dublin - Huge move for 2nd in Southwest Stakes for speedy son of Afleet Alex, who I believe was a superb three year-old colt. Perfect style for Oaklawn and Churchill Downs and has been tearing up Oaklawn Park in works all year long now that he can actually breathe!

5) American Lion - I'm leaving him in original spot after dueling with Tiz Chrome and getting passed in stretch over Santa Anita synthetic surface that truly favors closers. Fastest time of the meet at 1 1/16 miles.

6) Rule - Grandson of 200o Derby winner Fu-Peg has stamina in breeding. Question is can they harness his speed in the Lane's End?

7) Jackson Bend - He stepped up in class nicely with a game place to Big E in the FOY. But my gut is telling me that his best races are behind him with the shorter distances.

8) Connemara - My 30-1 futures bet is alive and well with a score in the Cal Derby running down pedestrian fractions. Apparently, he's a head case, but weren't we all at that age?!

9) Noble's Promise - Speedy bullet work gearing up for 2010 debut in Florida.

10) Drosselmeyer - My boy didn't show up like I thought he would at the Fair Grounds, but he was in front about five jumps past the wire and all indications are that he should impove with another furlong.

Happy Racing!

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