The second edition of the 2010 Super Six Derby Pix has a little variety off the first version, however, the three-year-old action has been a little slow over the last week, especially with the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park getting postponed. So, we take a look at the hot half-dozen we think might be Rose-worthy on May 1.
#1- Lookin At Lucky- The Baffert trainee remains in the top spot entering what promises to be a busy three-year-old weekend coming up at various racetracks. He has only finished behind one horse and that came by just a nose after a wide trip. Of course, it did come in his biggest race thus far. However, I think Baffert has proven he knows how to succeed come Derby time.
#2 Buddy's Saint- He will get his first start of 2010 this weekend at Gulfstream Park in the Fountain Of Youth. While he has been the "mystery horse" of the proceedings so far, he will no longer be shrouded in a veil after Saturday. The Fountain Of Youth might come up tough and then again, it might not. I am keenly interested to see who he will be facing on Saturday.
#3 Noble's Promise- Has the singular problem of being unable to beat the top choice on this list. He also is getting a longer layoff from the races than most of the competition. His next expected start was listed in the Daily Racing Form Derby Watch as the Rebel at Oaklawn Park on March 13. He will have to beat the horses that impress in the Southwest on Saturday after the delay.
#4 Ron The Greek- A lot will be answered by this guy this weekend in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds. He won the first of the Louisiana trilogy of preps in the Lecomte and my main question is what kind of pace will there be for him to close into? In the Lecomte, Maximus Ruler was prodded all the way by a longshot and he still ran a gallant second after getting passed by the closing Ron The Greek. The Risen Star might be the most fascinating race of the weekend.
#5 Rule- The winner of the Sam Davis at Tampa Bay Downs this past weekend was most impressive in victory, but the lingering question here is what did he beat? Uptowncharlybrown appears to be little more than a pretender at this point and while Rule exuded class, it appeared easy to do this when you are the lone class of the field. He is already guaranteed a spot on the First Saturday In May with his graded earnings.
#6 Jackson Bend- Another horse gearing up for a try in the Fountain Of Youth. He couldn't get past Winslow Homer in the Holy Bull and Winslow Homer has been declared off the Derby Trail with an injury. Trainer Nick Zito has won the Derby before, but he has also had five contenders in the gate at one time and failed to hit the board (in 2005).
You will notice that Vale Of York, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, has dropped off the list for the time being. Rumors abound that he might be headed to Europe and since he went back to Dubai, he will be running over the synthetic surface at Meydan. Not a combination I am in love with.
Tune in tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!