KENTUCKY DERBY 146 RUNDOWN
So here we are looking at the first Saturday in September and our topic of discussion is the Kentucky Derby. Of course we are all well aware the best time to think about the Run for the Roses is…anytime!
The altered state we are living in has done one thing for sure by delaying the world’s most famous Thoroughbred race. Moving the Kentucky Derby has elongated that oh so famous affliction we call Derby Fever. More prep races and extended qualifying has had some stricken for 8 months instead of the normal 16 week cycle. Here’s a rundown and thought on this year’s entrants. When you got lemons, make lemonade.
Tiz the Law- Has looked unbeatable in cruising to wins in he Florida Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Travers Stakes. A win here might make him best New York bred ever. A real race horse for sure!
Authentic- Haskell winner likes to get out of the gate and go. Trainer Bob Baffert has been patient with him and has seen improvement. Four wins and a second in five career starts.
Art Collector-Four wins in four starts this year means he is the real deal. An underdog story for sure, he paints a pretty picture as the “feel good” story of Derby 146.
Honor A.P.-Big striding late runner from the West coast that could spell disaster for the favorites. Has the jock in Mike Smith and has worked well coming into the race. Two wins and three seconds in five career starts. Our pick to win.
Ny Traffic- A real battler that has slugged it out with the tops in the division. Ran a strong second at Churchill in Matt Winn Stakes in May and has finished in top three in 4 graded stakes races this year…One win in five starts with three seconds and a third this year.
King Guillermo-Upset the Tampa Bay Derby at odds of 49-1 and came back with a second place in Arkansas Derby. Has the heart to finish in the money. Has not ran since May 2 so he comes in fresh.
Thousand Words-Bob Baffert trained so that means he has a chance for sure. Is certainly a horse on the rise and his gate to wire win in Shared Belief Stakes tells us he has some front end speed.
Max Player-Finished in the money in all five career starts and has been transferred to trainer Steve Asmussen for a run at Derby glory. Last win was in Withers back in February. Unsuccessfully chased Tiz The Law in last two starts.
Enforceable-Trainer Mark Casse won Preakness and Belmont last year and early in 2020 it looked like he had another prime timer with this son of Tapit. Has not won since January but all four starts this year have been graded stakes. Has talent and has been training well enough to be there at the end.
Rushie-An under the radar horse that has finished in the top three in all five starts this year. Last out was a distant third in Bluegrass Stakes, but that was behind Art Collector and Swiss Skydiver. Would be a big reach but this is the Derby after all.
Major Fed-One win and two seconds in five starts this year. Was second last out in Indiana Derby but has an opportunity to get in the Kentucky Derby starting gates so trainer Greg Foley says why not.
Storm the Court-An upset in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2019 was last time he visited the winner’s circle. Has ran in some top races in 2020 with one second and two thirds. Another why not for trainer Peter Eurton and he has proven he can pull the upset.
Attachment Rate- Churchill based trainer Dale Romans has never been afraid to take a shot if his horse is right. A good second in Ellis Park Derby to Art Collector in his last start showed promise. Has only one career win in eight starts but there’s only one way to win and that’s put’em in the gate.
Sole Volante-Sam Davis Stakes winner has been in the money four of five starts this year. Last trip was a sixth place finish in Belmont Stakes in June. Trainer Patrick Bianconne hopes he returns to his form from early in the year.
Finnick the Fierce-Has a second and a third in three lifetime starts at Churchill Downs. Finished third in Arkansas Derby and seventh last out in Bluegrass Stakes.
Winning Impression-This son of Paynter has one lifetime win to his credit but did cross finish line first at Oaklawn Park back in April before being disqualified. Trainer Dallas Stewart has pulled some shockers in the past but this is a big reach.
Necker Island-Does no wins this year and a third place finish in the Indiana and Ellis Park Derby qualify you for the Run for the Roses?…In 2020 it does!
Money Moves-Another Todd Pletcher trainee that has displayed talent while winning two of three lifetime starts. His pappy Candy Ride was a running son of a gun but this will be asking a lot.