Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20 (Cont.)
Updated: Monday, April 9, 2001 3:35 PM
Posted: Monday, April 9, 2001 11:18 AM
11 -- Millennium Wind
/Dave Hofmans/Cryptoclearance-Bali Babe, by Drone
Continues to work well for Blue Grass, drilling a solid mile in 1:37 1/5 at Hollywood Park. Hofmans says he's over his foot problems. Nothing wrong with Pincay, but McCarron's defection is still bothersome. Should get good stalking trip in Blue Grass.
12 -- Fifty Stars
/Steve Asmussen/Quiet American-My Bubbling Belle, by Tsunami Slew
Many felt he should have won Lone Star Derby, and probably should have on class, but Lone Star stretch is some 400 feet shorter than Fair Grounds. Now he moves back to long stretch at Churchill, and could come late to get a piece of it.
13 -- Balto Star
/Todd Pletcher/Glitterman-Miss Livi, by Devil's Bag
Pletcher looking to wire the Arkansas Derby field again, as he did last year. Big question with this colt is how far he'll regress after running a zero on the Thoro-Graph numbers in the Spiral Stakes. That was such a freakish performance, we just don't know what to make of it yet. He could "bounce" two to three points and still win the Arkansas Derby. Coming back in three weeks at Churchill is another matter, especially being a front-runner. But when he wins, he does stomp them into the ground.
/John Dowd/Unbridled's Song-Alizea, by Premiership
Worked 5 furlongs in :59 2/5 for Blue Grass. Tough spot, but they better not ignore him if he's on an easy lead. We still feel this is a better horse than most people think. Grand-looking colt with a ton of ability. He should like Keeneland surface and short stretch. If he does win, it will change the Derby picture dramatically.
/Simon Bray/Theatrical-Tenga, by Mr. Prospector
Smartest decision of the weekend was scratching him from the Santa Anita Derby. The downside is that they still don't know what they have, and if he runs in the California Derby, they still won't. This colt needed to prove himself against top-quality Derby horses. A victory over Early Flyer might earn him a trip to Louisville, but the question of whether he's Derby material will still be unanswered.
16 -- Jamaican Rum
/James Cassidy/Exemplary Leader-Little Ricky S., by Runaway Groom
Good move getting away from the Baffert beast, but now has to show what he can do against some solid stakes horses. He's been at Oaklawn for a while, so he should be pretty used to the track. Consistent, versatile horse, who looks like he wants to go on.
17 -- Distilled
Todd Pletcher/Hennessy-Wood of Binn, by Woodman
Getting real good right now, but beat a weak field in Illinois Derby, and this doesn't look like the year you want to send a speed horse to the Derby. This was his first stakes appearance after nine starts. Coming off convincing win over Thunder Blitz, who flattered him by romping in Flamingo.
18 -- True Concern
/Tom Amoss/Concern-Pithy, by Quiet American
Will have a long run to catch Balto Star in Arkansas Derby, but if his Louisiana Derby performance was any indication of how much he's improved, then we expect him to be flying in the stretch. Amoss has really turned him around, and he could be ready to stamp his name on the Derby picture.
19 -- Strike It Smart
/Albert Stall/Smart Strike-Quack Call, by
Gave up a lot in experience in Rebel, but hung tough after wresting command from Son of Rocket at the eighth pole. Now that he has a race over the track, and a good tough one under his belt, he should show big improvement in Arkansas Derby.
20 -- Arctic Boy
Tony Richey/Maria's Mon-Al Nasr Star, by Al Nasr
Last two at Oaklawn were strong efforts, losing a good deal of ground in Rebel. Developing into a consistent closer, but must step it up a notch now against better company. Hard to separate him and Rebel winner Crafty Shaw right now.
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR: RICHLY BLENDED will try to steal the Wood and throw a monkey wrench in Derby picture. Zito bomb IT'S SO SIMPLE could make his presence felt in Wood at a huge price. This is a much better horse than the Florida Derby might indicate. TURNBERRY ISLE goes in Lexington; Lukas' last Derby hope. SAINT DAMIEN getting good right now after solid second in Illinois Derby. Lone Star Derby winner PERCY HOPE likely with no designs on Derby; not ready to tackle these kinds of horses. Would love to excuse PALMEIRO'S performance in Santa Anita Derby, but not what you want to see in Derby prep. No reason to tackle Point Given again at this time. Might be better suited to Belmont.
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