Steve Haskin's Derby Top 20: Point Given Moves to Head of the Class

1 -- Point Given/Bob Baffert/Thunder Gulch-Turko's Turn, by Turkoman

If this colt has has any flaws, we sure haven't found them. He's simply too big, too strong, too fast, too quick, too versatile, and too classy. And after running straight as an arrow in stretch, too professional. Closed last quarter in :24 3/5, last eighth in :12 1/5, and galloped out 1 1/4 miles in 2:01 flat. He's just awesome right now.

2 -- A P Valentine/ Nick Zito/A.P. Indy-Twenty Eight Carat, by Alydar

Worked sharp 5 furlongs in 1:00 at Keeneland. We've stuck with him from day one, but can't justify keeping Point Given off the top spot for now. If he runs huge in the Blue Grass and moves forward enough to show he's ready to tackle the big chestnut, he'll ride the No. 1 spot the rest of the way.

3 -- Monarchos/John Ward/Maria's Mon-Regal Band, by Dixieland Band

Breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00 1/5. Final test in Wood Memorial. If he can come even close to duplicating his remarkable performance in Florida Derby, we could have one of the most eagerly awaited Derby showdowns in many years.

4 -- Street Cry/Saeed bin Suroor/Machiavellian-Helen Street, by Troy

His Thoro-Graph numbers and overall development suggest he's sitting on a monster race. Many are shying away because of his tendency to lose the close ones, but the Derby is a whole different ballgame. He's already proven he can run with the best of them. Will run a big race in the Derby.

5 -- Dollar Bill/Dallas Stewart/Peaks and Valleys-Saratoga Game, by Saratoga Six

Relentless closer. His consistency and powerful late kick makes him dangerous at all times. That one bad race at Churchill in BC still nagging in the back of our mind, but he's done enough since to help us forget. You can be sure Day will give him clear sailing in Blue Grass.

6 -- Hero's Tribute/John Ward/Sea Hero -- Eastern Dawn, by Damascus

Breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00 2/5 for Blue Grass. He has the raw talent, but just has to show he has the mind to handle a race like the Derby. You'll have an idea after Bailey decides whether or not to stick with him.

7 -- Congaree/Bob Baffert/Arazi-Mari's Sheba, by Mari's Book

Breezed 6 furlongs in 1:11 3/5. Who knows how good this colt really is? His last was a thing of beauty. If he should defeat Monarchos, or even finish within a length or two of him, Baffert will have a heckuva dynamic duo on Derby Day. He's been touting this one big-time for a long while.

8 -- Thunder Blitz /Joe Orseno/Holy Bull-Rasant, by Assert

The reason we like this colt is that he's getting good fast, and doing it at the right time. He beat little in the Flamingo, but was so much the best after getting bumped out of the gate, making a sharp left-hand turn to get out of a traffic jam, then putting in an early move down backstretch to reach contention. Was able to sustain that move and draw off in the stretch. In prior three starts, only horses to finish in front of him were Monarchos, Distilled, and Invisible Ink, and that's with him being compromised by a quarter crack. Definitely one to keep an eye on.

9--Express Tour/Saeed bin Suroor/Tour d'Or-Express Fashion, by Private Express

Would have better idea what we're dealing with if he ran in Lexington Stakes. If not, it's a major guess if he'll be seasoned enough to be competitive on Derby Day. Powerful 17-hands colt who will not back down in a fight. He's no doubt a talented, courageous horse, and from what we've seen, he will make his presence felt at Churchill.

10 -- Invisible Ink/Todd Pletcher/Thunder Gulch-Conquistress, by Conquistador Cielo

Breezed 6 furlongs in 1:15 3/5 for Blue Grass. We liked his Florida Derby, but he still has to show a bit more punch and continue to move forward. Blue Grass should set up nicely for his style of running.

Continued. . . .

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