The Fountain of Youth could easily be viewed as the crowing of a new Derby favorite, or a nightmarish debut, that crashed the highly regarded Buddy's Saint's coming out party. Bounce around like a ping pong ball, after entering the first turn, the son of Saint Liam lost any real hope at running down the winner Eskendereya, who won in a romp. Jackson Bend, again was as gutty and as gritty as can be. He is as honest as can come and is consistently in the thick of things, but doubts about his distance abilities will probably scare many away.
The Southwest, in my opinion was the best race yesterday, and unfortunately the best horse on the track ended up second. Dublin began his rally at the half mile pole and began to steadily gain speed around the far turn. Normally, the move Dublin made would knock any horse out by the time they hit the stretch, but Dublin proved that he was no normal horse. He slowed down slightly after coming out of the turn, but then began to speed up yet again to miss by a diminishing neck. That performance move him to the head of my Derby Top Ten, which I will now present.
1.) Dublin: His sustained rally was nothing short of amazing. He came with in a neck of the win, overcoming a speed bias track.
2.) Lookin At Lucky: As of now he still retains his champion status, but due to the fact that he has not race in 2010, or has had any prior dirt experience, he gets bumped down a spot. A win in his next start could potentially bump him back up to number one.
3.) Rule: Has he won at the best of tracks yet, no, but each time he moves up he responds the right way. His last prep was extremely impressive and was done very easily. I like this colt and have a feeling he'll just keep improving.
4.) Caracortado: His win last weekend was very impressive, and if it had been on the dirt he would be the one holding the third spot.
5.) Eskendereya: Was a romping winner in the Fountain of Youth, but his problem may be that he peaked in this spot, rather than the Derby.
6.) Super Saver: He needs to race soon, before he is out shined by others. He is talented and with a good race he can move up the list again.
7.) Jackson Bend: I would love to put this colt higher, seeing as how he is a big favorite of mine, but distance is a big question with him. I believe he can get 10 furlongs, and I believe he is consistent and experienced enough to run huge Derby day, but he has to prove he can go the distance.
8.) Conveyance: Ran a beautiful race in his debut on dirt. He settled nicely on the lead and looked absolutely beautiful galloping along on the Oaklawn dirt. However, he, like Jackson Bend had that distance question hanging over his head.
9.) Discreetly Mine: The talented son of Mineshaft finally got his stakes win after just missing in a pair as a juvenile. Yes, I know he had an easy lead and no pase pressure, but the fact remains he stayed on top all the way down that Fair Grounds stretch, which is something Quiet Temper and Friesan Fire could not do.
10.) Ron the Greek: He is already reminding me of Mine That Bird. He can close like a freight train if the race sets up to his liking, but if he does not get the pace he needs or has a troubled trip he can't get up in time. However he is talented and will likely get that hot pace in the Derby.