There is something about this horse, after seeing him in the paddock before the Fountain of Youth, that makes us think he may be even a better horse than he appears. All we want to see now is what he can do rating off the pace. But if no one wants to take him on, we're more likely to see him bounding along on the lead again. Frankel promises Empire Maker will be breathing down his neck. Love Dahlia in his female family, but don't love decision to go straight to the Derby. That and his front-running style prevent us from ranking him right up near the top.8--Atswhatimtalknbout/Ron Ellis; A.P. Indy-Lucinda K., by Red RansomRanking is based more on speculation. He hasn't run in a stakes and hasn't blown anyone away, but he is a grand-looking, well-bred colt who is improving, and he has so many traits of his sire it's uncanny, right down to the way he grinds into the bit and works up a mouthful of saliva. So, if he looks like a mess in the post parade Sunday, don't worry about it; you should have seen what A.P. Indy looked like. New Hollywood partnership, with Steven Spielberg, will really put him in the spotlight.9--Funny Cide/Barclay Tagg; Distorted Humor-Belle's Good Cide, by SlewacideCan a New York-bred gelding find happiness on the Derby trail? He ran a huge race in Louisiana Derby, coming back at the end after appearing out of it. And loved the way he had his pricked on the lead. This was a super effort after his Holy Bull debacle seven weeks earlier and getting sick after that. Tall, lean horse, and not only has the look of a stayer, but you will not find a stronger female family for class and stamina, especially his tail-female family. Like Trust N Luck, he just needs to show he can rate off the pace. Very kind horse, but doesn't like anyone pulling on his mouth, so you have to let him do what he's comfortable doing. He was gelded because he was a ridgling, so don't let that worry you. Wood Memorial next stop.10--Lone Star Sky/Tom Amoss; Conquistador Cielo-Ministrada, by Deputy MinisterNot many people noticed this colt flying at the end of the Louisiana Derby over a speed-favoring track. Amoss could see that morning that the track was conducive to speed and thought he might be in trouble. He has excellent 2-year-old form, has run against classy horses, and is a stakes winner at Churchill in his only start there. Love all those steady half-mile breezes; Amoss using his races to move him forward. Hasn't shown the brilliance of some of these, but he's improving the right way.11--Lion Tamer/Todd Pletcher; Will's Way-Tippecanoe Creek, by OlympioAs talented as any 3-year-old in the country, but not crazy about his having only one two-turn race before the Derby, and a six-week gap between the Lane's End Stakes and the Derby. Not sure if Pletcher really believes he's a mile and a quarter horse. What he does have going for him is his exceptional talent. But will he have enough seasoning and toughness to handle the Kentucky Derby?12--Ocean Terrace /Bob Hess; Saint Ballado-Crystal River, by Black Tie AffairDon't like the fact that he'll have only four starts going into the Derby, but he is undefeated, has a ton of talent, and does not like being passed in the stretch, as he's shown in all three of his races. The El Camino Real was a very professional effort for his first two-turn race. He has a nice, smooth way of going and is a welcome addition to the Derby trail. But if only he had one more start under him.Continued...
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