Steve Haskin's Derby Watch (Cont.)

14--Funny Cide/Barclay Tagg; Distorted Humor-Belle's Good Cide, by Slewacide
Breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01 at Palm Meadows for Wood Memorial. If he moves forward off the Louisiana Derby, he could give Empire Maker a tussle in the Wood Memorial. Good opportunity to try to get him to relax off the pace and see if he can come home the way he did in the Louisiana Derby.

15--Aristocat/Todd Pletcher; Tale of the Cat-Mended Fences, by Miswaki
Heading for Arkansas Derby, and we're looking for a big effort with blinkers added. Seemed lost on the far turn of the Tampa Bay Derby, but if he can stay focused the whole race and close with those same long, fluid strides, he could be a force to reckon with on Derby Day. Another bomb who could be a smart bet in the future book and Future Wager.

16--Region of Merit/Chris Clement; Touch Gold-Innocently Astray, by Gone West
Clement continuing to give him easy half-mile breezes in :50 and change at Payson Park. Needs to improve off Tampa Bay Derby when he faces far superior competition, but he has won four in a row and you have to respect that. Sire is white-hot right now.

17--Indy Dancer/Todd Pletcher; A.P. Indy-Dance With Grace, by Mr. Prospector
Another getting blinkers, but has to show much more early speed than he has been showing. Actually, he just has to stay in contact with the field and not have to spot them 20-25 lengths. If he's coming at the end of the Wood Memorial, expect him to be one of the real wise-guy horses in the Derby.

18--Ten Most Wanted/Wally Dollase; Deputy Commander-Wanted Again, by Criminal Type
Heading for Illinois Derby Saturday and needs to take another step forward. Big, good-looking, long-striding colt ran a solid race in the El Camino Real Derby and was battling back at the end. Pedigree suggests he'll be a late-developer, so he could pop a big one at any time.

19--Man Among Men/Gary Mandella; Gentlemen-La Favorita, by Nikos
Drilled a sharp 6 furlongs in 1:11 2/5. He could be a forgotten horse right now after San Felipe debacle, but it will only take one big race, in the Arkansas Derby, to put him back among the top contenders. His Sham victory was an excellent effort, and he does have victories over Empire Maker and Peace Rules. Powerful colt and a beautiful mover.

20--Trust N Luck/Ralph Ziadie; Montbrook-Bold Burst, by Dahar
Now may run in the Lexington Stakes instead of going straight to the Derby. Good spot for him on track that normally favors speed and with finish line at the sixteenth pole. Might as well keep him on the front end and hope for a repeat of last year in the Derby.

KNOCKING ON THE DOOR: Waiting for a decision where SENOR SWINGER will show up. Right now, he looks to be more of a horse for the future. Throw out the Florida Derby and wait for him to get a little more seasoning. Still one of most impressive-looking colts we've seen in a while. In the UAE Derby, favored INAMORATO encountered traffic problems and didn't have a chance to show his best. But he needed for everything to go perfectly to make up for his lack of seasoning. Runner-up SONGLARK ran a game race in his first start on dirt and first start in five months. But does Godolphin think he can win the Derby off one start? WinStar Derby runner-up SPENSIVE can't seem to find a way to win. Pace scenario and slow final fractions set up perfectly for him, but he couldn't catch INEXCESSIVEPLEASURE, a fast, consistent gelding who is always right there. Lexington could turn out to be a super race with MIDAS EYES and possibly LION TAMER meeting Trust N Luck. SUPAH BLITZ back on the work tab, going 5 furlongs in 1:01 at Calder. Late-running WINNING STRIPES turned in a solid 6-furlong work in 1:13 1/5 at Golden Gate. SPITE THE DEVIL and COLITA should show improvement with extra distance in Wood Memorial. Latter getting blinkers. DURING among the late Triple Crown nominees.