Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kentucky Derby Top 10

1. I Want Revenge (1)
2. Fresian Fire (2)
3. Quality Road (3)
4. Dunkirk (4)
5. Pioneerof The Nile (5)
6. General Quarters (New)
7. Desert Party (7)
8. Musket Man (8)
9. Chocolate Candy (9)
10. Hold Me Back (New)

Old Fashioned was dropped because of his rank performance in the Arkansas Derby and subsequent announcement he has a slab fracture and is likely done as racehorse. Its pretty sad he did not develop mentally because he was a physically talented horse. His pedigree was a bit light for 10 furlongs but had he been able to settle at all in either of his last two races he certainly would have been able to win both.

No new additions or changes to the top five. I Want Revenge and Fresian Fire both turned in good works in the last few days. Quality Road is in consideration for falling down the list after his quarter crack issue. It may be of little consequence at the end of the day but any additional lapse in his schedule will be a real cause for concern.

General Quarters makes his way back onto the list after rebounding in the Bluegrass Stakes. As noted prior his Tampa effort was a throw out considering the brutal trip he got. This horse showed good speed in the Sam F Davis and the Bluegrass was the type of powerful performance you want to see from a contender. He beat a fairly deep, though non-distinguished, group with relative ease.

Hold Me Back makes his way onto the list after a runner up effort in the Bluegrass. He is a stone closer and the Bluegrass was devoid of pace. The opening quarter went in 24 and the half in 49. Not exactly the type of fractions anyone other than a pacesetter would relish. He still managed to circle the field and while he was never going to catch General Quarters he did cover the final furlong in 11 and 4. If there was a better way to regress off a career best effort and still get something out of the running, this was as close as it comes. His lack of speed is worrisome, but everything else about this horse has “sleeper” written all over him.

The notable omission at this point is Arkansas Derby winner Papa Clem. I’m not that sold on his effort. The pace was brutal, the main rival was rank and injured and the final time was slow. He’s been a useful sort, but I couldn’t see him being ranked any higher than the ones above him. To be fair he deserves a mention, but this is not a Derby Top 11. I suspect he will break into the list as contenders shine and fade in the lead up to the race, but I’m not entirely convinced.

No comments: