Haskin's Derby Top Contenders (Cont.)

Ranked in preference order, with horse/ trainer/breeding

Click on horse's name to access Contender Page

11 -- Fifty Stars/Steve Asmussen/Quiet American-My Bubbling Belle, by Tsunami Slew

Not taking anything away from his performance in the Louisiana Derby, but there was just too much trouble to make this a definitive race. Yet, he still was able to take advantage of the holes, and did win by daylight. Going to Lone Star Derby, which, at 1 1/8 miles, is now a better prep.

12 -- Hoovergetthekeys/Brian Koriner/Mt. Livermore-Desert Orchid, by Saros

Darned if we know how good this horse is, but he sure did look impressive Saturday. Nice low, fluid action. Simply annihilated his opposition in last two in mud and on super-fast track. Names like his only are horrible when the horse is bad. The better he gets, the cuter the name will sound...we hope.

13 -- Startac/Simon Bray/Theatrical-Tenga, by Mr. Prospector

Could tell right from the start he wasn't getting hold of the track, which was blazing fast and favoring speed. Bray knew the day before he was in big trouble. Was climbing early and seemed to be running as if he were stuck in cement. Then when he got going he ran into traffic and remained on his left lead.

14 -- True Concern/Tom Amoss/Concern-Pithy, by Quiet American

Looked like a wild horse closing from last to first in the Louisiana Derby. It proved to be too much too soon, and he couldn't sustain it, finishing fifth, but beaten only 2 3/4 lengths. Looks like super $50,000 claim for Amoss, who is a trainer you always have to respect. Reminds us a lot of his sire, the way he rallies with reckless abandon, like he's out of control.

15 -- Holiday Thunder/John Ward/Thunder Gulch-Magical Holiday, by Slew o' Gold

Had his first work back, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:03, with glue-on shoes. The Gulfstream track wasn't kind to the colt's feet, and he'll return to Palm Beach Downs to train for the Spiral Stakes. Ward calls him, "The most willing creature in the world. If the other two had his fortitude, I'd really have something special."

16 -- Scorpion/D. Wayne Lukas/Seattle Slew-Petiteness, by Chief's Crown

Turned in sharp 6-furlong work in 1:12 1/5. Lukas expecting big things in Gotham Stakes, a spot that should suit him perfectly, coming off his winning debut at 7 furlongs. It's time for him to show some kick in the stretch, and once he does that, his pedigree will take over and carry him the rest of the way.

17 -- Songandaprayer/John Dowd/Unbridled's Song-Alizea, by Premiership

Has to reestablish himself on the Derby trail after off-the-pace tactics didn't show much. But we feel he's much more effective on a tighter, packed down surface, and the Gulfstream strip was on the loose side. He did go wide on the turns, and is always eligible to bounce back and throw in another good one.

18 -- Ommadon/Tom Walsh/Grindstone-Missymooiloveyou, by Turkoman

Turned in a very sharp 5-furlong breeze in 1:00 1/5 over the Belmont training track, and looks to be sitting on a big comeback race, if Walsh can find one. It is imperative he has a race before the Wood Memorial if he's to have any chance of making the Derby.

19 -- Meetyouathebrig/Elliott Walden/Out of Place-Always Be Mine, by Kris S.

Showed he's heading back in the right direction with an excellent 5-furlong work in 1:01 3/5, which is a big move for Payson Park. If he returns to his form in the Iroquois Stakes, he'll definitely be a factor in the Spiral Stakes.


KNOCKING ON THE DOOR – DREAM RUN was in traffic in Florida Derby, but still was running strongly in stretch in two-turn debut. His pedigree is not geared toward stamina, so there is no doubt he's a very talented horse. In good hands with Paul McGee, who is one of the bright young horsemen in the sport. D'WILDCAT blew the doors off his opposition in the Swale Stakes and now may stretch out in the Lone Star Derby. But his pedigree is loaded with speed. IT'S SO SIMPLE was forced to angle very sharply to the inside after breaking from post 13, and was moving well enough in the stretch to suggest he should show improvement next time. GOLDEN BALLET didn't blow them away, but an awesome display here would have had her peaking too early in the year. Time to try colts? TURNBERRY ISLE had traffic problems in Florida Derby and was in tight quarters. Should run much better with clean trip. YOU KNOW WHO never seemed to get untracked and now needs a big effort somewhere. MR. JOHN, reported to be a very talented colt, makes stakes debut in Gotham. MONGOOSE breezed 5 furlongs in 1:03 1/5; may show up in Tampa Bay Derby.

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