Creative Cause Mike Harrington
Giant's Causeway—Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer
Makes no sense to displace him from the top spot now. He was full of energy coming off the van and on the track April 29. The bottom line is that he’s as consistent as they come and has never been beaten more than a length.
Union Rags Michael Matz
Dixie Union—Tempo, by Gone West
Had to move him up after his superb work. He may not be ranked No. 1, but he is THE horse and is ready to run the race of his life. Although he worked a half, he was credited with 5f, and it was still the 3rd fastest of 53 works on the tab.
Dullahan Dale Romans
Even the Score—Mining My Own, by Smart Strike
I still like this colt a lot, but using works as a gauge, Union Rags stood out, while Dullahan just had a maintenance drill, coming home in :251⁄5 and galloping out an extra eighth in :143⁄5. He’s still the main stretch danger with that huge kick.
I'll Have Another Doug O’Neill
Flower Alley – Arch’s Gal Edith, by Arch
I feel better about him after seeing him come off the van. His coat was resplendent after a long plane ride, and he was full of himself walking the shed, trying to buck on occasion. He needs to be farther off the pace than he’s been.
Bodemeister Bob Baffert
Empire Maker—Untouched Talent, by Storm Cat
Loved his final work, especially the way he broke five lengths behind Jemima’s Pearl, eased up to her and finished fast with the rider high up in the saddle. His gallop-out was awesome. We have no idea how good this horse is.
Gemologist Todd Pletcher
Tiznow—Crystal Shard, by Mr. Prospector
He’s not inundated with early speed, so don’t be surprised to see him back farther off the pace than he has been, much like Super Saver in 2010. There’s little separating him from the top three. He’s tough, he’s versatile, and he’s undefeated.
Hansen Mike Maker
Tapit—Stormy Sunday, by Sir Cat
He had a nice settling work, and if he can translate that to the race, he’ll be in good shape. He obviously has question marks as far as tactics, but none when it comes to talent. Just wondering how much the Toyota Blue Grass S. (gr. I) helped him.
Alpha Kiaran McLaughlin
Bernardini—Munnaya, by Nijinsky
He was my overlay special and looked like a live wager at a generous price. He worked great, but instead of having two works at Churchill as planned, he’s had only one work at Belmont. Don’t like that big a change but still like the colt.
Take Charge Indy Pat Byrne
A.P. Indy – Take Charge Lady, by Dehere
Would have loved to see him work at Churchill, but we’ll just have to go strictly by handicapping unless his gallops at Churchill are extraordinary. He will be forgotten, even with Borel, but do not count him out.
Daddy Nose Best Steve Asmussen
Scat Daddy—Follow Your Bliss, by Thunder Gulch
He’s got to be the Derby “house” horse; will go into the race with four works over the track. There’s no doubt he’s improving at the right time. He’s one of those horses that I love looking at, whether grazing or galloping. Tons of class.
El Padrino Todd Pletcher
Pulpit—Enchanted Rock, by Giant's Causeway
Yes, he could be a sucker play, but if you go by his Beyers and Thoro-Graph figures, he’s a horse you don’t want to ignore and then realize too late he was a smart play. Speed figs give him a legitimate shot. Worked very slowly in final drill.
Went the Day Well Graham Motion
Proud Citizen—Tiz Maie’s Day, by Tiznow
This is a virtual tie with Sabercat. His unknown factor might give him a better shot to win it, because we don’t know just how much upside there is to him. But Sabercat has a good 2-year-old foundation and has proved his class. Toss-up.