In preference order, with horse/trainer/breedingClick on horse's name to access Contender page
10 -- Monarchos
/John Ward/Maria's Mon-Regal Band, by Dixieland Band
Still has to be tested for class, but he's done everything asked of him and has done it like an exceptional horse. Explosive colt by promising young sire out of a female family to die for. Will run all day.
/Bill Mott/Broad Brush-Salty Gal, by Cox's Ridge
Just about ready for debut after 6-furlong work in 1:16 2/5 at Payson Park. Mott's style should have him on a gradual improvement rather than a huge race first time back. Big, good-looking colt.
12-- Holiday Thunder
/John Ward/Thunder Gulch-Magical Holiday, by Slew o' Gold
Third member of John Ward's potent Derby trio. Breezed 6 furlongs in 1:14 4/5, out in 1:28, with Mike Smith aboard. Last three-eighths in :36 1/5. Good race in Fountain of Youth will send him to Florida Derby. Love his consistency. Lots of class and stamina on female side, and like dam's inbreeding to Buckpasser.
13-- Gold Trader
/D. Wayne Lukas/Storm Cat-Golden Attaction, by Mr. Prospector
Got to have a Lukas somewhere up there, and this colt has always been regarded by Lukas as something special. His jump from a 5th in a 6-furlong allowance race to a wire-to-wire score in the Golden State Mile in 1:35 flat indicates he's ready to move on to bigger and better things.
14-- High Cascade
/D Wayne Lukas/Woodman-Ruby Slippers, by Nijinsky II
While on the subject of Lukas, he feels High Cascade is going to make some serious noise in the Fountain of Youth after working 7 furlongs in 1:23 4/5. His second in the Golden Gate Derby coming off a layoff and going two turns for the first time was an encouraging effort. Lukas has done well in Fountain of Youth, so we'll move him up here and see what happens on Saturday.
15 -- City Zip
/Linda Rice/Carson City-Baby Zip, by Relaunch
Has a big question to answer to a lot of people in the Fountain of Youth, but we see no reason why this colt should not be right there going 1 1/16 miles. He has enough stamina in pedigree to get him farther than that. Steady, tough, and tenacious. Whoever beats him on Saturday will have to earn it.
16 -- Burning Roma
/Anthony Dutrow/Rubiano-While Rome Burns, by Overskate
Continues to train well at Tampa Bay, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:01 2/5. Owner taking unique approach to getting to Derby or Preakness, whichever he decides to point for. Regardless of the unusual training situation, we're a big fan of this horse, because of his consistent and relentless stretch runs in the face of adversity
17 --Global Gait
/Bob Baffert/Concern-Celestial Jazz, by Dancing Count
Baffert could have taken the easier spot and gone to Fair Grounds for the Risen Star, where he'd have bascially one top horse to beat. But, instead, he elected to send him to the Fountain of Youth to run against a very deep, talented field. Remember, this is his first start against top-class horses, so a good, solid effort should be sufficient to convince Baffert he made a good buy.
18 -- Talk Is Money
/John Scanlan/Deputy Minister-Isle Go West, by Gone West
Another horse making the leap from non-graded Maryland stakes to the top of the class. Compromised by having had only two career starts, but connections feel they have something special here and want to see if they're right. This will be the place to find out. Turned in sensational work Sunday, blazing 5 furlongs in :57 4/5, galloping out in 1:11 2.5, up in 1:24 2.5. If this colt is anywhere in the thick of things at the finish, then the sky's the limit.
19 -- Ommadon
//Tom Walsh/Grindstone-Missymooiloveyou, by Turkoman
Training steadily over Belmont training track, with solid half in :48 2/5. Very talented colt with a ton of pedigree. Plenty of stamina throughout, with just a touch of good speed on tail female. Likes to run on the lead, but we feel he'll be more effective once he takes back a little and settles off pace.
20 -- Scorpion
/D. Wayne Lukas/Seattle Slew-Petiteness, by Chief's Crown
Despite all his defeats last year, can't help but think back to his maiden win, when he came through a small opening on the rail like a real pro. Ran well in three stakes-placings, including a third in the Futurity Stakes. Lost his form late, but has been working well at Gulfstream.. Lukas says he looks terrific and the time off has really helped him mature. Fantastic pedigree, which includes three Triple Crown winners and a filly Triple Crown winner. He should relish the longer distances.
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR: Zito-trained REGAL SHIVERS, easy winner of Whirlaway Stakes, improving in leaps and bounds over last two races. Could be a sleeper. Two talented Golden Chance/Baffert colts, WILD AND WISE and SPECIAL TIMES, will not be nominated to Triple Crown, but showed promise finishing first and third, respectively, in Sham Stakes. Will Mabee put up 100 grand entry fee if either wins the Santa Anita Derby? KEATS was the big allowance winner of the week, but remember, Mott-trained THIS FLEET IS DUE broke his maiden same day, going a hair faster. Mott's been high on this colt, but has a lot of catching up to do.RADICAL RILEY, BUCKLE DOWN BEN, and CEE DEE out to show Holy Bull was no fluke. The way SONGANDAPRAYER has been working at 7 furlongs, he should be in the thick of things for quite a while. Promising Dallas Stewart colt, CLUTCH PLAYER, will pass Risen Star and go straight for Louisiana Derby. Highly promising ROMOLO'S FRITZI turned in blazing 5-furlong work in :58 4/5 with Bailey up; last quarter in :23 4/5. Could get Team Valor back to Churchill Downs. Two horses dropped from Top 20, WINDSOR CASTLE just getting over illness, will not be ready to run until April, and SAINT VERRE has had only two slow breezes at Palm Beach Downs. McGaughey says, "We're not even thinking about the Derby."