13 Days to Post

Refer to the Kentucky Derby Graded Stakes Earnings List here, which at the time of this post, had not been updated to account for the Coolmore Lexington (won by Derby Kitten) or the Jerome (Adios Charlie), neither of whom seems likely to go in the Derby.

I feel strongly that the field should be trimmed from 20 to 15, knowing that this will not happen. There will be some significant works this week, most notably Uncle Mo on Tuesday.  I don’t think TVG will be doing its ‘The Works’ show yet. Boo. When they do it, it’s a useful look behind the curtain. I suspect that’s a budget consideration.

Uncle Mo had a gallop over the CD surface, very muddy and apparently liked it. I think he’ll be in the gate unless he comes down with a major malfunction. Dialed In is up next. I haven’t seen any reports of works and he’s still in Florida. But he loves the CD track (as does Mo) and that’s very important.  I think Zito doesn’t want to move him too soon, or show his hand, but Zito certainly knows how to get a horse ready for this race. Of the two, I have greater confidence that Dialed In will get the distance, but less confidence that he will not get trapped behind horses in the cavalry charge and get knocked out of the race. That depends on the draw, track conditions and Julien.

Archarcharch will definitely go unless he sustains an injury. He’ll be covered as a feelgood story. Sometimes the press overplays its hand on these. I’m dubious right now on his chances. It’s the old story: is he just coming into his own as a very high-quality horse, or was the Arkansas Derby a one-hit wonder? He has the breeding.

I think Comma to the Top is out of it. He hasn’t been consistent (seriously bouncing), and I think he’s a grinder, which has not been very successful in large fields going a new distance (there’s a statement).

I like Toby’s Corner. He has actually been racing in New York. He showed ability in the Gotham, and improved off of that race to win the Wood (quite nicely). I like his breeding and I like his style.

Pants on Fire has shown something in Louisiana. I don’t like his name. I’ve seen a few articles on how a badly-named horse doesn’t do well. Is that a clue to the cosmos?

Also like Midnight Interlude. Like his connections, like his running style, like the way he’s improving rapidly. The Derby may be too much, too soon, but I think he’ll be in the mix in the last quarter mile.

I think JP’s Gusto will be withdrawn.

I think Soldat will also be withdrawn. He hasn’t shown anything recently to make me feel that they will enter him. Owners are funny people.

Brilliant Speed was brilliant in the Blue Grass. Right now, I have no idea if he can run on dirt. Maybe Tom Albertrani does, and watching ‘The Works’ would be useful here, but apparently not. He does have an appropriate running style. His sire is Dynaformer and he’s out of a Gone West mare. I confess that I’m a sucker for Dynaformer’s.

The word right now is that Master of Hounds will be coming over. Yay! He will make it interesting and I would seriously consider a bet here, pending more information.

Twice the Appeal is in simply and only because he won the Sunland Park Derby. Don’t care for him.

Nehro is in because he got up for second in the Arkansas Derby and was closing fast on Archarcharch (it’s annoying to type that name). I think he has the breeding and the connections. Want to see more.

Mucho Macho Man is another feelgood story. He is supposedly training very well. For some spurious reason, I have no respect for horses that have been running in Louisiana.

Decisive Moment has been running in Lousiana. Breeding is not outstanding and the connections are obscure.

Animal Kingdom has a great trainer, but has been running on Polytrack or whatever they want to call that surface. Has a turf pedigree; affinity to dirt unknown. No race over the CD surface that I know of.

The Factor is turning out to be one of my favorite horses this year. His race in the Rebel was impressive because he led early and found something later to put the field away. This leads me to believe that he is a horse with courage. He displaced his palate in the Arkansas Derby, but kept trying. He is in the best of hands. I’m pretty sure they’re on the bubble. I think they’ll probably keep him out for his own sake. I look for great things from him down the road, but maybe not for May 7.

Stay Thirsty had C. H. Borel aboard for his latest work, which was not distinguished. I think they would be very smart to have this jockey, but that’s undetermined. Based on what I saw in the Florida Derby, he will have to be training lights out to belong in this field.

Jaycito will not, in my opinion, be in the gate.

Santiva has shown nothing recently to deserve the start.

Watch Me Go is a real wildcard. He beat not much in the Tampa Bay Derby, which included Brethren who has been sent to the Farm for a rest, but will probably go just because he can.

I really like Shackleford. His race in the Florida Derby was pure heart, and he probably got a lot out of it. I think he will have the earnings to get in because of defections. I hope so.

Twinspired ran lights out in the Blue Grass. Don’t know if his form will hold up on dirt.

That’s what I think right now. 13 Days to Post. With luck, something will show in training to help clear up the picture.

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