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Strike Up the Band for Stewart Elliott

Despite his local success, [Stewart] Elliott hasn't exactly been a household name outside of Philadelphia. Yet he is going to ride the most consistent horse in Kentucky Derby 130, the six-for-six Smarty Jones, who will attempt to become the first undefeated Kentucky Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977.

Value a Plus in the Wood

Our choice to win the Grade I Wood Memorial is VALUE PLUS. This strapping, gray colt is versatile, fast and has the breeding to get the 1 1/8 mile distance. In last year's Wood, Funny Cide and Empire Maker were prominent throughout the race. We believe that early prominence will dominate this year's running as well.

Call Me <i>Mister</i> Jones

The grade II Arkansas Derby runs this Saturday at Oaklawn. SMARTY JONES will win and up his record to six for six. He will win by multiple lengths. His time for the 1 1/8 mile race will be under 1:49, and he will quiet all doubts as to his status as a serious Derby contender.

Limehouse Right at Home at Keeneland

A quick quiz. How many of the starters in the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass Stakes won the last time out? The answer: two, Limehouse and California shipper Preachinatthebar. In fact, LIMEHOUSE has won his last two. We pick him to run his streak to three in Saturday's Blue Grass.

The Song Goes On

The Grade II Illinois Derby looks like an orchestra with no conductor, as the morning line odds indicate.

Seasoning and Experience Have Not Lost Their Hold on the Kentucky Derby

In the past few years, much discussion has centered around the chances of a "lightly-raced horse" winning the Kentucky Derby. But in fact, the talk has not come to much fruition. Truth holds eternal, and although there are exceptions to every rule, the truth is that it still takes seasoning and experience to win the Kentucky Derby the vast majority of the time.

WinStar to Win WinStar Derby

By Dick Downey -- The $500,000 WinStar Derby sees the sponsor's own VICTORY LIGHT shipping in from Payson Park in Florida, and Pat Day comes along for the ride.

Showdown at Santa Anita

By Dick Downey -- The final local showdown for the Grade I Santa Anita Derby unfolds Sunday as some of the most well-known names in West Coast racing contest the Grade II San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 mile.

Tampa Bay Derby is Pletcher's to take

Our guest picker, Mike Pearson, loves speed, and sometimes the cheaper the better. But there's nothing cheap about his preferences in the Tampa Bay Derby. Pearson's day job is prosecuting felons, and he never takes the easy way out. He's been on a handicapping roll of late, prompting TheDowneyProfile.com to ask him to apply his talents here.

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