Well, well, well, wasn't that fun? The Florida Derby went nothing like any of the experts thought it would and certainly didn't go the way I thought it would. Dialed In was the winner, barely escaping the 68-1 longshot, Shackleford, in the process. Soldat ran terrible, he appeared washed out before they even got to the gate, and he will now drop out of the Pix just one week after I catapulted him to the #1 spot. Here is this week's edition of the Super Six Derby Pix:
#1-Uncle Mo- Might finally get a true test of his abilities in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial over the newly-reopened main track at Aqueduct this weekend. His connections are reportedly hoping for a bigger field in the Wood, so he gains some experience in a crowded field, which he will encounter in the Kentucky Derby. I still was not wowed by his Timely Writer win, maybe he can sell me on Saturday.
#2-Dialed In- Didn't love what happened on Sunday in the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. He got a decent pace set-up, made his move, and then struggled to get past a 68-1 longshot that dictated that pace and should have folded like a cheap suit. Zito nearly got his elusive third Derby with Ice Box out of the Florida Derby last year with a similar running style. I am hard-pressed to think there will be an episode of deja vu'.
#3-Santiva- Will get his final tune-up before Churchill Downs just up the road at Keeneland, which opens this weekend. The Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes will be run next Saturday, April 16. I must say I am not a fan of going to the synthetic at this stage of the game, but it worked for Street Sense in 2007. Maybe the game plan can succeed again.
#4-Premier Pegasus- We'll see what he is made of in his final prep for Kentucky in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday afternoon. He has been the leader in the clubhouse on the West Coast since his dominating win in the Grade 2 San Felipe. If he manages to win the Santa Anita Derby, he will be among the favorites in Louisville. If he wins the Santa Anita Derby in the same fashion he won the San Felipe, he might end up being THE favorite, depending on what happens elsewhere, of course.
#5-The Factor- Trainer Bob Baffert has confirmed that the winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park will be returning to Arkansas for the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby on April 16. He worked six furlongs in 1:11 2/5 on Monday morning. I still question whether or not the running style he will be employing will work, but since I was so spot-on in the Florida Derby and the way the clearly played out the way I figured it, that should tell you something.
#6-Archarcharch- I am starting to think of him in the same hard-knocking, all-heart category I have Santiva and had Gourmet Dinner before he bowed out. He won the Grade 3 Southwest at Oaklawn and acquitted himself nicely, running third behind The Factor in the Grade 2 Rebel. I expect him to be there at the end of the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, maybe not as the winner, but certainly part of the picture at the end. He always seems to be right there.
Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!