Steve Haskin's Derby Watch --Week 10 (Cont.)

18 -- Equality/Graham Motion; Mt. Livermore-Equilibrate, by Gone West

We'd like him a lot more if he weren't taking the easy road and going in the new Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream. That means he'll have to go into the Derby without having met top-class 3-year-olds and not having raced over 1 1/16 miles. And off a 4-week layoff no less. May be good for his career in the long run, but not if they want to win the Derby.

19 -- USS Tinosa/Jerry Hollendorfer; Foxhound-Angel Puss, by Wolf Power

The Santa Anita Derby should set up nicely for him, and he has already won going 1 1/8 miles, although the form of the Sham Stakes really fell apart in subsequent races. He's hard-knocking and consistent, and is always dangerous.


20 -- Easyfromthegitgo/Steve Asmussen; Dehere-Montera, by Easy Goer

We're not getting good vibes that Asmussen is convinced this is a mile and a quarter horse. That's not to say he isn't. He'll face a real test in the Blue Grass Stakes, but he does seem to be on the improve and is sure to be an overlooked horse.

21 -- Mayakovsky/Patrick Biancone; Matty G-Joy to Raise, by Raise a Man

He is a colt with enormous talent, and he looks the part. But we still need to see some indication that he wants to go 1 1/4 miles and that he can even be ready for a top effort off only two starts this year and four career starts. Looks better suited to the Met Mile.

22 -- Booklet/John Ward; Notebook-Crafty Bobbie, by Bob's Dusty

He may have been wounded in the Florida Derby, but that doesn't mean he won't be dangerous in the Blue Grass Stakes. Although he had no shot with a rabbit out to get him, he's still the same horse who wired his field in the Fountain of Youth and Holy Bull.

23 -- Easy Grades/Ted West; Honor Grades-Itsoeasy, by Easy Goer

His race in the San Rafael and his pedigree suggest he may be an improving horse who can have a say in the outcome of the Santa Anita Derby. We realize someone had to finish second in that race, but that may apply once again.

24 -- Changeintheweather/Dave Bell; Gone West-Meteor Colony, by Pleasant Colony

Still waiting for him to show the ability to match his pedigree. Once he does, he could be ready for a breakout performance. But time is running short, and he's going to have to prove himself against the top horses. May run in the Blue Grass or Arkansas Derby.

25 -- Tails of the Crypt/John Ross; Regal Classic-Cryptic Tune, by Cryptoclearance

Was closing well enough in the Tampa Bay Derby to suggest he may be a horse on the improve, but needs to show it again against better company. Was no match for Changeintheweather in Canada last fall.

26 -- Wild Horses/Todd Pletcher; Saint Ballado-Waltzing with Deb, by Robyn Dancer

Attractive colt who has a good presence about him. Ran a solid second in the Rushaway, and may have been beaten by a very good horse. Needs to show he can come off the pace a little, but he has a lot of scope for improvement. He'll have his chance to jump up in the Arkansas Derby.

27 -- Charioteer/Todd Pletcher; Silver Deputy-New Wave, by Dynaformer

Stablemate of Wild Horses and is farther along, having held his own against Repent in the Louisiana Derby, but, as with all horses going in the Aventura Stakes, he'll still be an unknown quantity after the race, even if he wins. Distance of the race will not help get him to the Derby 4 weeks later. History has shown you need at least one 1 1/8-mile race under your belt.

28 -- Private Emblem/Steve Asmussen; Our Emblem-Merion Miss, by Halo

Asmussen's third big 3-year-old, he won the Southwest and skipped the Rebel to go straight into the Arkansas Derby. Not sure he wants to go much farther than a mile or 1 1/8 miles, but is still a solid threat, at least up to nine furlongs.

29 -- Peekskill/Tony Reinstedler; Meadowlake-Premier Mombo, by Premiership

His third in the Florida Derby allows him to go on to the next step if that's what his connections have in mind. But he still has a long way to go to prove himself a legitimate Derby contender.

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