What a weekend we just had!!! Uncle Mo made his long-awaited comeback race in the ungraded Timely Writer at Gulfstream and won handily. Brethren disappointed (or rather his rider disappointed) in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. Premier Pegasus wasn't even part of the Derby Future Wager this past weekend (at least not on an individual basis) and he dusted the field in the Grade 2 San Felipe at Santa Anita. How does all that shake out when we put it into the Super Six Derby Pix?
#1-Uncle Mo- Yes, he won in the Timely Writer and yes, he won by a comfortable margin. However, I really wasn't dazzled by the performance. I am interested to see what happens the next time he goes two turns, which will be the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9. Keep in mind that this is still a relatively lightly-raced horse and that normally doesn't translate too well on Derby Day.
#2-Dialed In- Finally suffered a defeat in that allowance race on March 8 which was a prep for the Grade 1 Florida Derby. Granted he lost to his stablemate from the Zito barn, but the pace was sluggish and that compromised his "one big run" style since there was no pace to chase. Another thing to remember is that the Florida Derby is a week before the other big preps. The Florida Derby is scheduled for April 3, a full six days before other preps and an extra week out from the Kentucky Derby.
#3-Santiva- I am depressed with the decision that has been made by the connections here to go run on the Polytrack at Keeneland in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes for his last prep race before the Derby. The only thing I like about it is that the Blue Grass is actually a week later than the Wood on April 16. I think that is better spacing before the Derby on May 7, but I would prefer the final prep be on a surface similar to what he'll face in Louisville. He did run 2nd in the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland last fall and then went to Churchill and won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. Maybe they are thinking history will repeat itself.
#4-Soldat- Off of his big win in the Grade 2 Fountain Of Youth, he will part of what promises to be a very entertaining version of the Florida Derby on April 3. Does anyone else get reminded of Barbaro when looking at this horses past performances? Barbaro had the turf success before his crushing Derby score and appeared to be just as versatile as this guy appears to be. I still think that the turf will be where he really excels, but Barbaro did win the Derby after all and he could have been a turf ace too, given the chance.
#5-Premier Pegasus- Well, well, the West Coast finally has a legitimate Derby horse this season. It had been noted in an earlier version of the Super Six Derby Pix that not one West Coast horse was listed. That was because none merited consideration. That is no longer the case. His smashing win in the Grade 2 San Felipe did come against a pace that was suicidal and ridiculous. However, he still dusted Jaycito into the ground and he is poised to be the favorite in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 9.
#6-Mucho Macho Man- Will benefit greatly from the decision to get Santiva out of Louisiana and will likely be one of the main favorites for the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 26. I would hope that they try to get one other prep race in before the Derby being that far out, but it is highly unlikely that is in the plans. His overall resume' is probably the weakest of anyone on this list, but he still deserves a spot until someone comes among and knocks him out of it.
Tune in again this week for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
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