Thursday, May 3, 2007
The Process of Elimination
Left: The Blind Side of Storm in May
I am still working on my Derby picks, but have purged several from contention. Unless someone can provide a convincing argument in their favor, I am eliminating:
• Sedgefield—every single race he has run was on turf or polytrack, no good old-fashioned (hard) dirt. I like jockey Julien Leparoux who is a magician on Kentucky tracks, and certainly, he is bred for distance. He is out of Smart Strike, and a full-brother to English Channel…both of those connections scream “turf.” I suspect that, breaking from the rail, he will be on the early lead. Will Darrin Miller use him to set the pace for his other trainee Dominican who breaks from post 19?
• Bwana Bull—in addition to his rather silly-sounding name, who has he raced against this year? Talk about weak competition. No wonder he got his butt kicked in the Santa Anita Derby. His workouts since then are weaker than earlier in the year. He’s definitely not improving. 50-1? Should be 100-1, at least.
• Imawildandcrazyguy—I admit, I have a soft spot for gray horses, and he has some interesting dappling. It has been five weeks since his last race (Florida Derby) where he finished sixth. He’s only had two workouts since then, and one was 5f in 1:05?! No, no, no!
• Storm in May—now this one pains me, because I love this one-eyed gray. He’s a worker. Out of the money only once in 13 starts, he has run on turf and dirt, from 6 furlongs to 1-1/8 mile. However, this will be only his second race outside of Florida, and he has never won on dirt over seven furlongs. I would love this gutsy horse to pull a huge upset, breaking from the four hole, but with all the talent here, I just don’t see it happening.
• Liquidity—yes, he does have two nice recent workouts. However, he is early speed, and breaking from post 9 puts him between early speed balls Hard Spun and Teuflesberg. I don’t see him lasting 1-1/4 mile.
• Sam P—the weakest of Pletcher’s entries, in my opinion. He starts from post 13, which actually is my lucky number, so it is not that. He just hasn’t beaten any of the other Derby contenders—ever—and he’s been beaten by Any Given Saturday, Nobiz Like Shobiz, Scat Daddy, Great Hunter, and Tiago. Look at his race comments from this year: “couldn’t keep pace”, “2nd best”, “best rest.”
Well, there’s six gone out of 20…