Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Updated Derby Contenders
Hard to believe but the Kentucky Derby is less than four weeks away. How did the weekend change the Derby rankings for the handicappers? Tale a look below to see the current rankings from Paulie,
Archie and Scott may follow as well with updated rankings, so be sure to check back....
1) Always Dreaming. Still keeping this Toddie P. runner on top. Go back and review the Florida Derby. You'll know why
2) Girvin. That Louisiana Derby wind continues to look more impressive the more I go back to watch it. OUTSIDE AND MADE THE MOVE to win going away. Nothing out of this last weekend tops that.
3) Gunnevera. I haven't changed my mind on this runner. Made up big ground in his last and Churchill has a long, long stretch. Still respect.
4) Irish War Cry. Looked good in winning the Wood and putting away Battalion Runner. He settled, made his move in the stretch and was the best. It accounts for something, right?
5) McCraken. Not ready to give up on this one just yet...although if CLASSIC EMPIRE runs well this weekend, I might. McCraken obviously needed a race and got a third place finish. We'll see.....
The Arkansas Derby this Saturday at Oaklawn remains the best chance for those on the "points" bubble to get into the 20 horse Kentucky Derby field. With a scoring system of 100 for a win, 40 for second, 20 for third and 10 for fourth...it is conceivable that the top three finishers could gain an entry berth.
Lookin At Lee, Classic Empire, Rockin Rudy, Petrov, Silver Dust, Untrapped, Malagacy and Sonneteer as probables for the race. Malagacy has 50 points and is already one of the top 20...so a win here isn't "do or die". Untrapped has 34 points (20th out of 20 currently in points...so a top four finish would benefit. Classic Empire has 32 points and could use a nice run so that Mark Casse can get him in the Derby. The other five runners probable for the race are not in the top 25 contenders...so a first or second place finish would be needed to make the field on the first Saturday in May.
Quite a few of these met in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn in mid-March. Malagacy got the two length win..and you could have thrown a blanket over Sonneteer, Untrapped and Petrov for second, third and fourth. Lookin At Lee also tested the Rebel
Classic Empire is my early pick here to win with Malagacy second, Petrov third and Untrapped 4th.
One has to wonder how One Liner wold have done against these. He beat several in the Southwest...winning easily by four lengths...but was taken off the Derby trail by trainer Todd Pletcher because of dissatisfaction on the recent works.
TODD PLETCHER ON TOP
Todd could be a very busy man on Derby Day. Five of the horses he trains are in the top twenty points total currently. Always Dreaming (6th), Tapwrit (11th), Malgacy (12th), Patch (17th.) and Battalion Runner (18th) could give Pletcher 1/4th of the field if things stand. Master Plan, another Pletcher runner, is 25th. in the points system and could make the gate if multiple defections occur.
TOP TEN IN POINTS
1. Girvin 6. Always Dreaming
2. Gormley 7. Gunnevera
3. Irap 8. Practical Joke
4. Irish War Cry 9. J Boys Echo
5. Thunder Snow 10. State of Honor