Yes, it is time for the return of the award-winning, gold medal selections that will lead us up to the First Saturday In May each week from here on in, the Super Six Derby Pix. Remember, last year we had highs and lows in the Pix. We did identify Musket Man as one to watch after his fine run in the Illinois Derby and we were rewarded with a third-place finish at Churchill Downs. We also selected Friesan Fire as our top choice for the Derby through the Pix and we all know how that turned out.
There has already been a development with one of the Derby contenders for 2010 and it isn't good. Holy Bull winner, Winslow Homer, has been removed from the Derby trail already after an injury was discovered and he is now out for a while. So, where will we turn for the first edition of the Super Six Derby Pix. Here you go:
#1 Lookin At Lucky- He has been nothing short of brilliant thus far in his career. He has finished behind just one horse in his career (of course, that did come in his most important race thus far, but I digress). Trainer Bob Baffert knows how to win the Kentucky Derby. After all, he would have done it last year with Pioneerof The Mile, but for the miracle that was Mine That Bird. There is a lot to like about this big guy going forward.
#2 Vale Of York- For those of that poo-poo the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, I wouldn't. He is the one that finished ahead of the top pick after all, and Godolphin is going to win the Derby one of these years. The main criticism with him has to be that Godolphin returned him to Dubai so that they can win the Derby "their way". True, they probably should have left him stateside to follow a more traditional path to Louisville, but it's their horse and until he (and they) fail, you cannot leave him out.
#3 Buddy's Saint- While he is yet to start in 2010, the winner of the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct has all the folks in South Florida waiting with baited breath for him to return to the races and show what he can do. The offspring of 2005 Breeders' Cup Classic winner, Saint Liam, can clearly get the Derby distance. Plus, he still has the air of mystery about him since he has not made his long-awaited 2010 debut. Trainer Bruce Levine says "I wouldn't trade places with anyone in America". I guess we'll have to see about that.
#4 Noble's Promise- He seems to be saddled with "Life Is Sweet" disease. Life Is Sweet spent all of 2009 chasing the great Zenyatta in Southern California. When she finally got the chance to show her stuff without Zenyatta in the field, she won the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. Noble's Promise's foe is the top pick on this list, Lookin At Lucky. Noble's Promise won two stakes races over synthetic surfaces, but when he went to So. Cal., he ran straight into Lookin At Lucky and finished behind him in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the CashCall Futurity. He must improve to climb over the top selection.
#5 Ron The Greek- I will admit that the Lecomte at Fair Grounds didn't shatter the Earth with the quality of the field, but Ron The Greek finished quite well to win that race and he passed an excellent horse in Maximus Ruler to do it. Maximus Ruler appeared to have plenty in the tank at the top of the stretch after setting the pace. However, it was Ron The Greek who appeared to have plenty in the tank when he crossed the finish line. It will be interesting to see if he continues to improve in future Louisiana tries.
#6 Jackson Bend- I didn't think that the Holy Bull was all that great after it was over. The fractions were tepid, as was the final time. He couldn't get past Winslow Homer, who as I mentioned earlier is now out with a stress fracture. However, he seems to be the most highly-touted runner in the Nick Zito string and like Baffert, Zito knows how to win the Derby. He has won the race twice with Strike The Gold in 1991 and Go For Gin in 1994.
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!