Haskin's Derby Watch (Cont.)

10--Offlee Wild/T.V. Smith; Wild Again-Alvear, by Seattle Slew
Yes, he was beaten 8 lengths in the Blue Grass and was not going anywhere in the final furlong, but he was expected to get tired after missing so much time and working very slowly right before the race. But he sure had running on his mind after the race, winding up a sixteenth of a mile ahead of Peace Rules and Brancusi galloping out, with Pat Day strangling him trying to get him pulled up. He still has a lot to make up on the top horses, and we don't don't know if he's quite ready to win the Derby, but we expect to see big improvement over the next three weeks, and for the price he's going to be, he could be a live horse in the exotics.

11--Indian Express/Bob Baffert; Indian Charlie-Liba's Choice, by Halo
Now for the real guess horse. Is he that good, or was the Santa Anita Derby that bad? He really shouldn't have done what he did. What makes us think he might be legit is that he's as magnificent-looking a horse as you'll see in this year's Derby. Looks a lot like like his sire – stately and elegant. Big question with him now is, does he have enough seasoning to be competitive in the Derby. Two of his four races were virtual walkovers going 6 furlongs in Panama. He'd have to be a superhorse to win the Derby, but once he catches up to these horses, watch out. When that will be we have no idea.

12--Fund of Funds/Richard Violette; Saint Ballado-Heather's Flight, by Seattle Dancer
Another improving horse who moved way up in Illinois Derby, and did a lot of hard running early on to set it up for Ten Most Wanted. Professional colt with a good mind; cleaned out his feed tub after the race. He did win by 12 1/4-lengths after jumping up from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles in maiden race. Not quite seasoned enough in nonwinners allowance race. Violette feels the Derby is the best way to get him to the Belmont Stakes. Even if things don't work out at Churchill, the timing is still good for the Peter Pan.

13--Supah Blitz/Manny Tortora; Mecke-Boots'n Jackie, by Major Moran
Quietly been sitting back waiting for the big race. He showed a good turn of foot in the Aventura, and perhaps getting outrun by Dynever in the final furlong is something that shouldn't be held against him. You can't knock his consistency and his versatility. Give you that big effort every time, whether he's sprinting or going two turns. Always eligible to pick up a piece of the purse.

14--Ministers Wild Cat/Neil Drysdale; Deputy Minister-Hollywood Wildcat, by Kris S.
Believe he's heading for the Preakness. Drysdale doesn't seem the type of trainer who would run him in the Kentucky Derby having never been farther than 1 1/16 miles. It's too bad he didn't run in the Santa Anita Derby, as the race looked like it set up nicely for his style of running, especially with the addition of blinkers. He's going to be very tough to beat in the Lexington Stakes, but missing the Santa Anita Derby could very well mean he then has a direct flight to Baltimore.

15--Outta Here/Bill Currin; Dehere-Just Out, by Forty Niner
Well, he is being pointed for the Derby, but there isn't much to say about him, other than he'll have only one start this year. That one start at least was at 1 1/4 miles in the UAE Derby, in which he faded to fourth, beaten 5 1/2 lengths. He did win the Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs last year and was third to Peace Rules in the Generous Stakes. But it's quite a stretch going in the Derby off one start against mediocre competition. And they have to hope the trip didn't take that much out of him. Most American horses shipping to Dubai have required at least two months to get over the trip. This is a very nice horse, who should be able to pick up some good pots during the course of the year.

KNOCKING ON THE DOOR – It's hard to believe, but there's really no one else out there. We still have to see what happens with OCEAN TERRACE, SCRIMSHAW, and MOST FEARED in the Lexington Stakes, but each of those horses is going to have to do something pretty dramatic to go on to Churchill and even hope to be competitive. Most Feared was one of our real live Derby horses back in January, but after missing all that time after his 10th-place finish in the Lecomte, he has an awful lot of catching up to do.

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