The Breeders' Cup Juvenile a couple of weeks ago seemed to settle the issue as far as Champion 2-Year-Old Male with Hansen holding off Union Rags at Churchill Downs. Those two will likely remain the favorites for the 2012 Kentucky Derby through the early parts of the mad rush to the First Saturday In May. However, there is another important stop coming up on that road tomorrow. The Grade 3 $1,000,000 Delta Jackpot automatically qualifies its winner to have a spot in the gate at Churchill Downs. Here is the analysis:
#1 Longview Drive- Won three straight entering this effort on Saturday. He might very well go right to the front from the rail and just keep right on going. At 10-1, I think he must be included in any exotic plays at the very least.
#2 Seven Lively Sins- 2nd in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs on October 30. It appears that he possesses early speed as well. He also has the riding services of Julien Leparoux for this try, which certainly won't hurt.
#3 Tiz Moe- Tiznow offspring finished 2nd in the Jean Laffitte at Delta Downs on October 22. The Calhoun trainee did post a bullet workout on November 12 at Fair Grounds. Could be positioned to strike if an excessive speed duel develops, as it seems he likes to sit right off the pace.
#4 Basmati- Broke the maiden last time out after finishing 4th and 5th in two Grade 1 efforts in Southern California. The maiden win came at one mile. Corey Nakatani will have the riding assignment.
#5 My Adonis- Won the aforementioned Jean Laffitte over the Delta Downs strip. This colt has never been worse than 2nd in five career starts. I think it was a smart move by trainer Kelly Breen to get this one a race over the track prior to this big one. His other four races had been at Monmouth.
#6 Drill- Adds blinkers here after taking them off for the BC Juvenile. That didn't seem to work, as he ran 10th of thirteen at Churchill Downs. The Baffert trainee is 2-1 on the morning line, but after that last race, I would like to see a bit more if I am to play him at that price.
#7 Laurie's Rocket- Didn't fare too well in his two Grade 1 attempts. 4th in the sloppy Hopeful at Saratoga and 8th in the one-turn mile of the Champagne at Belmont. This colt has a decent workout on November 11 at Churchill Downs.
#8 Sabercat- Won the last two at Monmouth, including the ungraded Garden State on October 2 as a less than even-money favorite. Steve Asmussen seems to set new records every time he sends a horse postward. Gerard Melancon gets the assignment.
#9 Dougs Buddy- This colt could be the wild longshot to like in here. He is undefeated in four starts at Northlands in Edmonton, which has a similar bullring topography to Delta Downs. He also has a bullet workout over the Delta track on November 8.
#10 Jake Mo- Finished a flat 5th in the BC Juvenile Sprint behind the dazzling performances of Secret Circle and Shumoos. The Sire is 2005 Derby winner, Giacomo. Don Simington is a veteran Louisiana rider, who could fit the surroundings well on Saturday.
TOP FOUR SELECTIONS: 1-5-9-6
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 more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!