Ranked in preference order, with horse/ trainer/breedingClick on horse's name to access Contender Page
11 -- Balto Star
/Todd Pletcher/Glitterman-Miss Livi, by Devil's Bag
He should be a big guess in the Derby, as even a victory in the Lexington Stakes will not reveal much more than we already know. His race in the Spiral was awesome, but we want to see him in a different scenario.
12 -- Hoovergetthekeys
/Brian Koriner/Mt. Livermore-Desert Orchid, by Saros
Ranking is based on how visually impressive he's been in last two starts, especially his quickness and the fluidity of his stride. Will be the big rags-to-riches story if he can knock off Fifty Stars in Lone Star Derby.
13 -- Express Tour
/Saeed bin Suroor/Tour d'Or-Express Fashion, by Private Express
Former trainer Marty Wolfson believes he's a freak, who can overcome going into Derby off only one start. Towering 17-hands chestnut with long, graceful strides and lots of guts. Overhead camera in UAE Derby shows him accelerate again near wire. Did same thing against Outofthebox last year. As Wolfson says, "No one realizes how good this horse really is."
14 -- Outofthebox
/Bernie Flint/Montbrook-Cricket Box, by Notebook
Should be first solid horse locked up for Derby if he runs big in the Flamingo Stakes. This is a race he should win, and anything but a win will leave him with three straight defeats and a ton of questions surrounding him. Must show a bit more kick in the stretch to convince doubters he can get the 1 1/4 miles.
15 -- Fifty Stars
/Steve Asmussen/Quiet American-My Bubbling Belle, by Tsunami Slew
Not getting the respect accorded Louisiana Derby winners who possess strong late run. Must show in Lone Star Derby that his victory at Fair Grounds was no fluke -- that he earned it, despite the horror trips by Dollar Bill and Hero's Tribute.
16 -- Palmeiro
/John Sadler/Pleasant Tap-Fortune Pending, by Fortunate Prospect
Drilled sharp 7 furlongs in 1:25 4/5. Key is to relax off the pace and use his stamina to good advantage. Was way too rank in San Rafael, especially dropping back from 1 1/16 miles to a mile. Can be excused for losing ground in stretch, but cannot afford for that to happen again. Must move forward here.
17 -- I Love Silver
/Dean Greenman/Silver Ghost-Lost Love, by Lost Code
Hard to say if his strong second in the San Felipe was due more to process of elimination, as all the leaders collapsed at once. Still, coming off 6-furlong sprints, he displayed quick turn of foot in first start around two turns, and hung tough in the stretch, racing on even terms with Point Given. Now, he has to do it again against a much tougher group.
18 -- Startac
/Simon Bray/Theatrical-Tenga, by Mr. Prospector
Could have gone for the easier spot in Arkansas Derby and been one of the choices. Now, he must contend with Point Given, classy speed in Crafty C.T., and a smaller field. The key is for him to settle closer to the pace and not fight the dirt being kicked in his face. Throw out the El Camino Real Derby. If he can unleash anything resembling the move he made at Turf Paradise, then he's definitely the real thing.
19 -- Songandaprayer
/John Dowd/Unbridled's Song-Alizea, by Premiership
He's the forgotten horse, as his Fountain of Youth score is all but a distant memory already. But we believe he did not handle the loose Gulfstream track in the Florida Derby, and if the track is tighter for the Blue Grass, he could very well return to his brilliant form, especially with the shorter stretch. This is a better horse than most people think.
20 -- Jamaican Rum
/James Cassidy/Exemplary Leader-Little Ricky S., by Runaway Groom
Arrived at Oaklawn Park, and should be one of the favorites for the Arkansas Derby off his solid third in the San Felipe. This is a versatile horse, who can run short or long, on grass or dirt. Was a little late getting in gear in San Felipe and was beaten to the punch by I Love Silver. But he was striding out nicely in final furlong, and should appreciate the distances as they increase.
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR: In Flamingo, watch out for PROUD MAN coming off series of impressive turf scores. He's shown a quick turn of foot on grass, and if can duplicate that on dirt, he'll be tough. Also in the Flamingo, watch for a big stretch run from THUNDER BLITZ, who looks ready to put the Stronach Stable back on the Derby trail. Imagine if the three classy speedsters with no Derby plans – CRAFTY C.T., RICHLY BLENDED, and D'WILDCAT – steal the Santa Anita Derby, Wood Memorial, and Lone Star Derby. Kind of scary to think about the repercussions. CRAFTY C.T. was given a lung opener, working a mile in 1:41. Lukas' Derby hopes riding on SCORPION in Santa Anita Derby. Son of Seattle Slew worked 5 furlongs in :59 4/5. TURNBERRY ISLE turned in sharp 6-furlong work in 1:13 2/5 at Churchill. Could show up in Blue Grass or Lexington, Look for big improvement after rough trip. Lukas still alive in Derby picture, with two more shots. Looking for a megabomb? Keep an eye in IT'S SO SIMPLE, wherever he shows up next. Wood Memorial and Lexington are possibilities.
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