In preference order, with horse/trainer/breedingClick on horse's name to access Contender page11 -- Holiday Thunder/John Ward/Thunder Gulch-Magical Holiday, by Slew o' GoldAlthough he hasn't won a stakes, he's placed in all three of Kentucky's big races for 2-year-olds and you have to love his consistency. Had a rough trip in the Breeders' Futurity, but still rallied for third. Lots of class and stamina on female side, and like dam's inbreeding to Buckpasser.12 -- Burning Roma/Anthony Dutrow/Rubiano-While Rome Burns, by OverskateReally like this colt's powerful and consistent stretch runs. Won Futurity Stakes on disqualification, then had horrible trips in the Breeders' Futurity and Breeders' Cup Juvenile, getting bumped around and swerving, but still closed with furious stretch runs to finish fourth. Sire was sprinter, but there's plenty of stamina. Big concern with this horse is being separated from trainer and being too close to owner. Not a good formula for Derby success.13 -- Windsor Castle/Frank Alexander/Lord Carson-Frigidette, by It's FreezingUnleashed powerful stretch run to win Remsen Stakes, but Remsen form hasn't fared well at Gulfstream. Jury is still out on this colt, who also ran big races to finish second in Nashua and Cowdin, so he does have quality. Although he's won at 1 1/8 miles, pedigree is geared toward speed. Big stamina influence in female line is great grandsire Mehmet.
14 -- Saint Verre/Shug McGaughey/Saint Ballado -- Margot Verre, by Tom RolfeTremendous potential and super distance pedigree, especially being out of Tom Rolfe mare. With his kind of blazing speed, and with Tom Rolfe so close up, reminds us of Hoist the Flag. His two wins have been spectacular, and his fourth in the Hopeful was a big effort coming off Philly Park maiden score. Ankle chips were bugging him, but have been removed and he's working well at Palm Beach Downs.
15 -- Denied/Bob Baffert/Bertrando-Granse Oaks, by NureyevPassed class test by finishing solid third in Santa Catalina, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, after winning first two career starts. Very low dosage and lots of stamina on female side. Looks like he's going to tough, hard-knocking horse for Baffert. We'll have to see just how good he is.16 --Global Gait/Bob Baffert/Concern-Celestial Jazz, by Dancing CountBaffert fell in love with this gelding after watching him break his maiden by 13 at Laurel. When he stretched out successfully at 1 1/8 miles, Baffert bought him for the Lewises for fairly hefty sum. If Baffert likes him that much, there's likely something there. Tail-female line pretty obscure, but distance should not be a problem. Anxious to see first outing in California.17 -- City Zip/Linda Rice/Carson City-Baby Zip, by RelaunchTough, classy 2-year-old had his first work at Ocala Training Center Saturday. You have to love a horse like this, who goes out there week after week and gives it everything he has. After sweeping Saratoga stakes, suffered tough disqualification in Futurity. Came out of Champagne with lung infection, then finished in midpack in BC Juvenile. Big question is how far he wants to go.18 -- Scorpion/D. Wayne Lukas/Seattle Slew-Petiteness, by Chief's CrownWell-bred colt is in Florida and should be ready sometime in March. Placed in four graded stakes last year, including grade I Futurity, but just couldn't put it all together. Have a feeling he's going to come out swinging at 3 and be an immediate factor. Still think back to his maiden win in career debut and how impressive he was coming through the rail. The talent is there. Believe all he needs is two turns.19 -- Monarchos/John Ward/Maria's Mon-Regal Band, by Dixieland BandDon't normally put recent maiden winners in Top 20, but this colt looked awesome breaking his maiden by 6 lengths at Gulfstream, getting 7 furlongs in sharp 1:22 1/5. Very strong female family, with solid Darby Dan class and stamina influence. There's a lot to like about this colt.20 -- Learing at Kathy/Vladimir Cerin/Fear Farm-Flo Jo, by GraustarkImpressive allowance winner at Santa Anita going 7 furlongs. Another colt with incredibly balanced dosage profile, dominated by class category -- 5-4-25-4-2. Very classy female family, with great blend of speed and stamina. Has thrown in a couple of clunkers, so we'll have to see if he can put two good races back-to-back.KNOCKING ON THE DOOR:Baffert a few more to watch in SILVERTONGUE FOX and SPECIAL TIMES. The latter turned in a monster move from last to blow away a maiden field in career debut going two turns. FLAME THROWER likely will stay short. McGaughey has another live one in PURE PRIZE. Very talented colt out of Heavenly Prize. If he overcomes his greenness, he could be one to watch. Lukas looking for latecomer GOLD TRADER, who could be a good one. Big maiden score in slop at Churchill last year. Lukas also has Golden Gate Derby runner-up HIGH CASCADE. TURNBERRY ISLE disappointed in Santa Catalina, but too early to discard him. Still waiting for OMMADON's first work. RADICAL RILEY won Holy Bull on off-track he loves. Need to see it again in Fountain of Youth. SONGANDAPRAYER held on well for fourth in Holy Bull in first two-turn race. Grand-looking colt could be something. INVISIBLE INK and OUTOFTHEBOX recent two-turn winners at Gulf heading for Fountain of Youth. FIFTY STARS one to watch at Fair Grounds. MARCIANO and TALK IS MONEY worth watching in Maryland. STARBURY showed promise at times last year. Attractive colt finished good second in Arlington Futurity.