Lookin at Lucky Bob Baffert
Smart Strike—Private Feeling, by Belong to Me
Likely assumes the favorite’s role after the defection of Eskendereya. He’s been working sharply and he is flourishing physically with great muscle tone. Removal of blinkers will help get him back off what promises to be a rapid pace.
Sidney’s Candy John Sadler
Candy Ride—Fair Exchange, by Storm Cat
Would have preferred to see him go slower early and a bit faster late in his final six-furlong work, and also would have liked to seen him gallop out a bit stronger. But for sheer talent, he is as gifted as anyone in the field.
Stately Victor Mike Maker
Ghostzapper—Collect the Cash, by Dynaformer
Decided to take a chance that he is the real deal at the risk of looking foolish. Seeing him up close, there isn’t a better-looking horse in the race and he was always cut out to be a good one. Just have a feeling last was not a fluke.
Super Saver Todd Pletcher
Maria's Mon—Supercharger, by A.P. Indy
His final work went virtually unnoticed, but it was a strong move, hugging the rail and galloping out strong. His energy level Monday morning was high, and the feeling here is that Calvin Borel will get him to settle off the pace.
Devil May Care Todd Petcher
Malibu Moon—Kelli’s Ransom, by Red Ransom
Based on her latest work, she fits with these colts and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her run a huge race. When a horse works like she did, while under wraps, and gallops out that strong, you have to consider them a legitimate threat.
Awesome Act Jeremy Noseda
Awesome Again—Houdinis Honey, by Mr. Prospector
He’s been galloping in company to simulate cover and moving well. With Eskendereya out of the race, he needs only to run back to his Gotham and Wood Memorial to be right there. But his quick move must be timed right.
Paddy O’Prado Dale Romans
El Prado—Fun House, by Prized
Barn is extremely confident, and rightfully so after his sharp work. Although Stately Victor ran right by him in the Blue Grass, he had set it up for him, and he still has a lot of room for improvement; intriguing longshot.
Mission Impazible Todd Pletcher
Unbridled’s Song—La Paz, by Hold Your Peace
Live longshot possibility. Love the way he’s been training, and he is another with tremendous room for improvement. Speed figures say he’s not fast enough, but 3-year-olds do improve dramatically this time of year.
Dublin D. Wayne Lukas
Afleet Alex—Classy Mirage, by Storm Bird
I keep going back and forth with him. If he’s ridden properly, dropping well back and making a sustained run from the five-eighths pole, he has a good shot to get in the trifectas and superfectas. Always puts in his run.
Ice Box Nick Zito
Pulpit—Spice Island, by Tabasco Cat
Really liked his last work and he should be sharp for the Derby. Six weeks is still a concern; that’s a long layoff going into the Derby, but he has had three 1 1/8-mile races and his style of running could help him overcome that.
American Lion Eoin Harty
Tiznow—Storm Tide, by Storm Cat
He is flourishing physically, his coat shining and well dappled. He has an enormous stride and is a free-running colt, so he doesn’t have many options, except to get a good position and grind them down. Better on dirt than synthetic.
Noble’s Promise Ken McPeek
Cuvee—The Devil’s Trick, by Clever Trick
Lung infection is something you don’t want to see before the Derby, but I like the way he worked and galloped out, and if he scopes clean, he should run a good race, based on his class, speed, and overall record. He always gives 100%.
Jackson Bend Nick Zito
Hear No Evil—Sexy Stockings, by Tabasco Cat
With his nemesis Eskendereya out of the race, he certainly fits with these horses. Like Noble’s Promise, he is gritty and tough and will battle you every step of the way, although distance is a question mark.
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