Saturday is the absolute last chance anyone has to qualify for the Kentucky Derby next Saturday through their graded stakes earnings. Even then, there are really only two realistic horses that can make enough to get into the field of twenty for the Run For The Roses. Pleasant Prince and Eightyfiveinafifty both need a victory in the Derby Trial on Opening Day at Churchill Downs. It wouldn't be far-fetched for either of them to get in and actually be a factor next week. Remember, Don't Get Mad ran in the Derby Trial in 2005 and came back a week later to run fourth in the Derby itself at long odds. Here is the analysis for the Grade 3 Derby Trial:
I am going to go with one of the potential Derby horses as the winner on Saturday with #4 Pleasant Prince. It is now obvious he didn't care for the synthetic surface at Keeneland on April 10 in the Grade 1 Blue Grass. That was the worst result of his eight-race career. He has hit the board in half of those tries and was just a nose away from not being in this position as he could have easily held on to beat Ice Box in the Florida Derby and already be in the Derby. The last two workouts are both bullets and Julien Leparoux knows his way around the Churchill Downs oval very well. #1 Game On Dude is a lightly-raced Baffert trainee that is 10-1 on the morning-line in the Derby Trial. He ran a poor seventh behind Ice Box and Pleasant Prince in the Florida Derby, but has a win at one mile at Gulfstream in the maiden-breaker on February 27. The Sire is the same as Gotham winner, Awesome Act, with the 1998 Breeders' Cup winner, Awesome Again. Robby Albarado will ride on Saturday. I will put the other Derby hopeful in third spot with #10 Eightyfiveinafifty. His Beyers are excellent with two in the 100s in the last three starts. Of course, the other of those three races was the Whirlaway at Aqueduct when he bolted off the racetrack. There is just something I don't like about this horse, it might be his increasingly erratic behavior or whatever. If he does get into the Derby, he just becomes another speedball to go out and contest a ridiculously hot pace which will just set it up for someone from off the pace to win. Finally, I will go with #5 Hurricane Ike in the fourth spot. He will be ridden by Calvin Borel, who guided him to a second in the Grade 3 BayShore last time out at Aqueduct. Borel is also someone well-versed in the Churchill track. He has won two of the last three Derbies with epic come-from-behind confidence. Here is the play for the Grade 3 $200,000 Cliff's Edge Derby Trial:
$10 WP #4
$2 EX 4 with 1-5-6-9-10 and $2 EX 1-5-6-9-10 with 4
Remember, They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these selections. They are merely suggestions. Tune in again next week for Derby Week from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!