This will be the final set of Derby Pix before the big day on Saturday, so we better make it a good one. Quality Road, who has been a Derby favorite for months, is now out of the Derby with quarter-crack problems in his hoof and that opens up a spot on the list. Here is the last set of Super Six Derby Pix:
1) Friesan Fire- I continue to be more and more impressed with this guy as the days to the Derby grow fewer. He worked Monday morning (5 furlongs in 57.4) in spectacular fashion and I think he is the real deal, seven-week layoff or no seven-week layoff. Trainer Larry Jones deserves the Roses and I think he will get them.
2) I Want Revenge- The likely favorite on Derby Day will be running for the first time since his impressive Wood Memorial win where he overcame missing the start and traffic trouble to win going away. The unfortunate thing for him is that he won't be able to do that on Derby Day. Getting through seven other horses is a whole different thing that getting through nineteen horses. He will be way overbet as well.
3) Dunkirk- I think this is another horse that will take too much of the public's fancy on Saturday. He is very lightly raced and the fact that he couldn't get past Quality Road in the Florida Derby still bothers me. His last work (5 furlongs in 1:01 flat) was strong and he is trained by Todd Pletcher, so there is a lot to like here, but I still think I will look elsewhere.
4) Musket Man- I believe this will be the lively longshot on Derby Day. I am expecting to get no less than 15-1 on the Illinois Derby winner. The favorite that day, Giant Oak, has already pulled out to try his luck on the grass in Chicago this summer. Musket Man's running style could be suited to the Derby, laying off the pace and making a move on the turn. He should most definitely be used in exotic wagers.
5) Regal Ransom- He and his Godolphin teammate, Desert Party, both bettered one minute in five furlong workouts this past weekend. The word around the backside is that both horses are taking well to the track at Churchill Downs. Godolphin wants nothing more than a Derby win and it seems that this year, they have two likely candidates.
6) Pioneerof The Nile- I have not really liked this horse all spring. He did not do much for me in Southern California, even in victory. How will running on the synthetic surface there translate to Kentucky? His Monday work (5 furlongs in 1:00.4) was excellent and Bob Baffert certainly knows how to get a horse ready for the Derby, but again, he will be bet heavily and at the price I will get, I will be looking at others.
We will, of course, keep updating throughout the week on They Are Off. Official selections for the 135th Kentucky Derby will be posted on Friday, but you might be able to tell where I am going to go already. Kentucky Oaks picks will also be made this week, so there will be quite a bit of Derby info here. Tune in all week for more on the Derby from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone...GOODBYE!