That time of year time to take a look at the top Derby contenders. Last year at this time we had Beach Dandy as the top 3yo horse and as you all know he went on to take the roses. Now that we have completed the month of March we have a few prestigious prep races remaining. The picture is becoming clearer but they are still some unanswered questions. This list is based on races run through March 31, 2020 and we may see some shuffling before Derby day.
Now to the list:
- Anoush Command – Fractious, Winner of the GR-1 FLA Derby. A very consistent horse that has finished no worse than third in his last five outings all in graded company. Those losses combined for a total of one length. Could have easily won all five of those starts. Always coming on strong at the end of the race, seems to be better as the distances get longer. Final time 1:48.12 earned a 95 SRF for the 9f FLA Derby.
- Chai Morning – AER Stables, Runner up in the FLA Derby. Winner of the GR-2 FOY Stakes which was one of the most dominating TC prep race performances of the year. His run in the FLA Derby was somewhat compromised, breaking from the 12 post, he was extremely wide on the first turn (10 wide) while rushing up to take the lead. He held on gallantly until deep stretch to eventually being overtaken by the top horse. Earned a 94SRF.
- Brittle- AER Stables, 2019 BC Juvenile winner and Two Year Old Champ and winner of this years GR3 Holy Bull finds himself in the No 3 spot though it may be only temporarily. This is based off his 3rd place finish in his last start the GR2 Rebel where he just didn’t seem to fire late like usual though it was on an off track. He earned a 96 SRF in his Holy Bull win. He’s the two year old champ and most accomplished and could arguably be placed in the top one or two positions. He is currently training very well with an owner/trainer that is highly confident of his abilities; next start will be the KY Derby.
- Tudor One – Mb Stables, He is somewhat of a surprise here sitting at the No4 spot. Winner of four races which included two minor stakes under previous owner Blue Ridge Racing. Was purchased by the top stable in the game and entered into a graded event. He put in an excellent performance in the GR2 LA Derby. In that race he started from the eight post took the early lead while moving to the inside. Once settled he fell back, encountered traffic, went wide and came on to take command again in deep stretch while going very wide and basically finished almost dead even with the winner despite the trip. Horse is fit running the 1-3/16mi LA Derby distance, his final time 1:54.73 earned a 95SRF.
- Bound Bay– Gdp Inc, Winner of the GR-2 LA Derby. Was given a perfect ride in that race. Sat patiently inside and came on very strong in the stretch. Showed courage while digging in late. Must be respected and like Tudor One is fit as a fiddle having run in the 1-3/16 race distance, final time 1:54.72 which is the track record, earned a 95 SRF for an excellent performance.
- Remson– AER Stables, captured the 1-1/8mi GR3 SUN Derby in easy fashion. Sat very patiently along the inside, made a strong move on the turn and surged to the front to win easily. This was his first stakes win and first graded win. Final time was 1:46.86 was just one tick off the track record. Earned a 96 SRF. Will need to see how he handles stiffer competition in his next start. Next start undecided as of this writing.
- Class Edge- Chili King Stables, Upset winner of the GR-2 Rebel Stakes defeating the 2yo champion in the process. Looks to be improving with each start this year. Finished third in both the 1-1/16mi GR3 LeComte and 1-1/8mi GR2 Risen Star stakes at the FG before capturing the Rebel. His figures have increased in each of his last two starts. He did catch a sloppy surface in the Rebel and has won twice on that going. Final time was 1:47.17 and earned a cautionary 97SRF on the off going. However you cannot discount his performance. Will start in the GR2 BG Stakes on Saturday.
- Immoral – Mb Stables, took the GR-2TAM Derby in his last start as the favorite. The 3yo gelding has done little wrong winning four of his last five starts and two of his last three in graded company. Only question is how he will handle the increase in distance? That remains to be seen. Will start in the GR1 SA Derby on Saturday.
- Personal Beliefs – La Canada Racehorses, Winner of the 1-1/8mi GR3 Ruby Stakes in his last start finishing the 1-1/8mi race in 1:50.03 on a surface classified as good. He took that race in front running style though he usually sits somewhat off the pace. Always seems to be competitive as other than his first career start has finished within a length of the winner in each subsequent start. Will start in the GR1 SA Derby on Saturday.
- Charleys Latte – Estero Farms, the GR3 Withers winner at 9f in February finished third in his last outing the 1-1/16mi GR2 FOY Stakes won by Chai Morning. He is relatively lightly raced with two wins from five lifetime starts. Will start in the GR2 Wood Mem on Saturday.