Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Taking a Que from ZATT " The Fantastic Four"

Before this coming weekend, Saturday March 13, provided use with, arguably the most action packed Derby prep weekend this year. However, with Lookin at Lucky, Caracortado, and Sidney's Candy in the Santa Anita Derby, Dublin, Super Saver, Noble's Promise in the Arkansas Derby, American Lion and Backtalk in the Illinois Derby, and Eskendereya, Schoolyard Dreams, Awesome Act, and Jackson Bend in the Wood Memorial, these next two weekends could, just possibly, rival March 13th.

The Illinois presents a very interesting race, but even with it's high intrigue, it is still probably the least anticipated race of the weekend. Here, Backtalk, who last worked a sizzling six furlongs in 1.09 and change, will try and prove that he can go the distance. He has a Classic winning sire, and has Affirmed on his dam's side, so distance is quite possible, but you never know until they run. However, California shipper, American Lion may just make the Amoss trainee work for this win. American Lion is finally being given a chance to strut his stuff over dirt, after two disappointing efforts over Santa Anita's Pro-Ride. If American Lion is like all the other Cali shippers this year, he will present a very formidable challenge this Saturday.

Speaking of California, their star 3yr old, Lookin at Lucky, returns to take on Caracortado and Sidney's Candy. Santa Anita is the site of Lookin at Lucky's only loss, but it is well know what a horrible trip it took for the talented colt to be beaten. So far this year he won the Rebel in Arkansas in spectacular, heart pounding fashion, after having yet another horrendous trip. Sidney's Candy, was able to get away with soft fractions last out in the San Felipe, and may not get the same here. If he is in fact pushed, it could set the race up for Lookin at Lucky, or Robert B. Lewis winner Caracortado, who finished third in the San Felipe.

The Rebel, on March 13, was most likely the most anticipated prep of the weekend and it might just get that billing next weekend as well. After a very productive debut in the Tampa Bay Derby, Super Saver returns for his second and last Kentucky Derby prep in the Arkansas Derby. He finished a close third in his three year old bow, which figures to set him up for bigger and better things. One of those things could be a win in the Arkansas Derby, but with both Dublin and the classy Noble's Promise standing in the gate he has his work cut out for him.

Noble's Promise, has had the misfortune of running into Juvenile champion, Lookin at Lucky in his last three starts, each time, just barely getting nipped. With Lucky staying home this weekend for the Santa Anita Derby, Noble's Promise might just get the win he has been looking for. Dublin, second to Conveyance, in the Southwest, disappointed slightly, when third in the Rebel, but the gargantuan colt, gets back Terry Thompson, who rode the colt within a half length of the victory in the Southwest. Maybe, he can ride him to a win in his final prep for th Arkansas Derby.

Finally comes the power packed Wood Memorial, featuring the daunting presence of, Florida Derby winner Eskendereya. If he can duplicate his win from Gulfstream, there is a good shot he will stomp this field the same way he did to the Florida Derby field. Jackson Bend, probably the most honest colt of his class, will try to prove one more time that he can stretch his game out beyond a mile. So far he has played a bridesmaid this year, a win over this field could catapult him to the top of the Derby standings. Awesome Act, was nothing short of awesome when winning the Gotham Stakes. He probably stands the best chance on paper of upsetting Eskendereya. Last, comes Schoolyard Dreams, one of this year's forgotten horses. He was a strong second to Rule in the Sam F. Davis, and got nipped by Odysseus in the Tampa Bay Derby. If he can step his game up to the next level, there is no reason to think this colt won't make it to the big times.

So, here is your weekend folks, an action packed weekend, showcasing seven horses out of my Derby Top Ten. We are now in the final leg of the Derby prep races, whoever comes out on top here, will vault themselves into Kentucky Derby favoritism, so good luck to you and all your favorites. Enjoy the weekend of the "Fantastic Four!"



  2. The Derby picture should become much more focused after this fantastic weekend! I know the Wood should answer a lot of my questions.

  3. Brian, I agree, the Wood will answer a lot of questions. If Eskendereya wins, and wins like he did the FL Derby, he will enter the derby as the favorite. If Awesome Act wins we just added another star to an already sparkling line up, if Schoolyard wins it will flatter Odysseus immessely, and show just how good the Tampa horsess are this year.

  4. LDP-I know you've been waiting and saying for awhile that you wanted them to put American Lion on the dirt, finally! I like Backtalk more, but it will be interesting to see how the surface switch works for American Lion.
    Lookin At Lucky should rule the Santa Anita Derby, I know Baffert said he still isn't cranked up for his best yet, but I don't think he needs to be.
    I kind of like Jackson Bend to win the Wood. I'm not sure he can get the distance (like everybody it seems) but I love his guts and he deserves to win. Eskendereya winning certainly wouldn't be a shock and I've loved him since his Pilgrim Stakes win.
    Love Noble's Promise in the Arkansas Derby. He is one tough runner, but Super Saver should be much sharper after his hard-fought Tampa Bay Derby run.