Kentucky Derby blog #3
1. Dialed In (Nick Zito, trainer; Julien Leparoux, jockey): Zito looking for Derby win No. 3 and likely will have the favorite. ... Lightly raced Florida Derby winner has won three of four starts. ... Worked 4 furlongs in 49.90 at Palm Meadows on Tuesday. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby (May 7, Churchill Downs, dirt). ... Odds: 5-1.
2. Mucho Macho Man (Kathy Ritvo, Rajiv Maragh): Risen Star winner comes into Derby off third-place finish in Louisiana Derby (March 26). ... Worked 7 furlongs in 1:23.65 Saturday at Palm Meadows before being shipped to Churchill Downs. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 27-1.
3. Toby’s Corner (Graham Motion, Eddie Castro): Wood winner heads to Churchill Downs with four wins in six starts. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 8-1 (mutuel field).
4. Uncle Mo (Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez): Gastrointestinal infection leaves Derby status uncertain. ... Ailment could explain third-place finish in Wood after sweeping to four straight wins. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 3-1.
5. Archarcharch (Jinks Fires, Jon Court): Hometown crew pulls off big win in Arkansas Derby at 25-1 odds, by a neck. ... 70-year-old Fires wins first G1 race. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 8-1 (mutuel field).
6. Nehro (Steve Asmussen, Corey Nakatani): Missed by a neck in Arkansas Derby after missing by a neck in Louisiana Derby. .. Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 30-1.
7. Pants On Fire (Kelly Breen, Rosie Napravnik): Louisiana Derby winner worked 5 furlongs in 58.70 at Palm Meadows on Friday before being shipped to Churchill Downs. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 44-1.
8. Midnight Interlude (Bob Baffert, Victor Espinoza): Santa Anita Derby winner could be Baffert’s best hope. ... Baffert looking for fourth Derby win. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 8-1 (mutuel field).
9. Soldat (Kiaran McLaughlin, Alan Garcia): Fountain of Youth winner comes into Derby off fifth-place finish in Florida Derby. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 17-1.
10. The Factor (Baffert, Martin Garcia): Failed to gain lead in Arkansas Derby, and finished seventh after three wire-to-wire wins. ... Lots of questions about getting 1 1/4-mile Derby distance. ... Next start: Kentucky Derby. ... Odds: 10-1.
Here is my top 10
1. Dialed In
2. Uncle Mo (if healthy)
4. Midnight Interlude
6. The Factor
8. Mucho Macho Man
9. Toby's Corner
10. Brilliant Speed (winner of Bluegrass Stakes)
Nick Zito is a trainer of undeniable pedigree with two Kentucky Derby wins and he has a horse who has proven he can run late with Florida Derby winner Dialed In. Lots to like with this horse. ... Even if Breeders Cup Juvenile winner Uncle Mo trains well and is healthy, can he get 1 1/4 miles on the front end with 19 horses chasing him? ... Don't sleep on Nehro, who has a late-charging style that could be useful if there is some pace in the Derby.
No doubt the list will change as we near the race and see these horses train over the Churchill Downs surface. As of now, very difficult race to handicap. That's the beauty of the sport and the game of handicapping thoroughbreds.