Latest update, noting that Karloffs Monster is in the KY Oaks and will not be entered in the KYD
Mickey South Shore Stables 8-5-0-0
He’s been an all-or-nothing sort with five wins from eight starts, but didn’t hit the board in those other three races. Major wins in the DeMille (GIII) at DMR, the Gotham Mile (GIII) (DH) and the ARK Derby (GI). He’s a homebred gelding, so I’d expect to see him run for a while… this is the barns biggest horse in 3+ years of racing and you have to pull for the “little guy” to get the job done. It will be a great story if this one wins.
Changing Times D J C Racing Stables 9-3-2-2
What started out as a turf sprinting career blossomed into a classic main-track monster and that win in the Blue Grass (GI) at KEE certainly turned some head and made this one a front-page contender. Since being gelded, he’s also shown a fourth in the Risen Star (GII) and the LA Derby (GII), both at the FG.
Ocean Of Wisdom Nakamura Stables 7-4-1-0
Another gelding and he’s won two of his three sophomore starts, the Southwest (GIII) at OP and the LA Derby (GII) at FG… and I love that race, the way he closed going a mile and three-sixteenths. He also won an ON-bred grass stakes as a 2yo, so the career could go any number of ways after the TC races.
Thunder Gultch Broken Spoke Stables 5-3-0-1
The extra T must be for the three wins this gelding has, and his last two starts certainly make him a contender in Louisville. A nice third in the Gotham (GIII) and then wining the Ruby Stakes (GIII) at TP, but his lack of recent gallops and the way this one has almost be “guarded” is very intriguing. He could be the wildcard in this years race.
Up In Smoke Fractious 10-4-1-1
The previous owner kind of gave up on him after a seventh in the Southwest (GIII) and a sixth in the Rebel (GII), both of those races at OP, but I’m a firm believe in that OP surface is just “different”. The new owner takes over, moves him to AQU and instant success as he wins the Wood Memorial (GII), pulling away late to win by two lengths. He won the DMR Futurity (GI) as a freshman, so he may be back to his old ways and that could spell danger.
Shadow Police Smokey Stover 6-4-1-0
The filly had her four race win streak broken while missing a nose in the ARK Derby (GI) and she had the lead in the lane on that afternoon. With wins against the boys in the Lecomte (GIII) and Rebel (GII) she has shown that she can run with the boys. It will be interesting to see if she goes in the KYD or KYO.
Mr Pancake Arindel 5-3-0-0
Three wins from only five lifetime starts and he bounced back in a big way after a sixth in the Southwest (GIII) and an eighth in the Gotham (GIII) to win the FL Derby (GI) and did it in dominating wire to wire fashion. The big question here is – does this one need a wet surface to get home in front? You have to think they will be watching the weather… closely.
Pluckzy Gdp Inc 6-2-1-2
Finally broke maiden in his fifth start but shook up the world taking the SA Derby (GI) in his next trip to the starting gate, and was 33/1 on that afternoon. Turf to dirt? Just rounding into form? Only getting better when they go longer? A lot of questions, but he’s been passing all tests with A+ results.
Individuation Mb Stables 5-3-1-0
The “Big Barn” always has the guns loaded and no difference this year – the first of many that we will talk about is lightly raced with only five lifetime starts, but only has three starts for the ownership. A second in the Rebel (GII) was followed-up with a win in the SUN Derby (GIII), and he pulled away late like a real race horse in that last out win. You don’t need any more hints… this barn is always tough.
Gigabyte Smokey Stover 7-2-3-2
Only two wins, including the LA Futurity (GII) but this one may actually be due to win a big race. His runner-up efforts include the Withers (GIII) and the BG Stakes (GI)… add in a third in the Breeders Futurity (GI) and the FofY (GII) and you have a solid resume of nice finishes in big races. He’s a horse that I’m keeping an eye on.
Come To Poppa South Shore Stables 12-3-3-0
The little stable that could has another hot 3yo and this one has won two of his four 3yo starts, the Jerome and the Withers (GIII), and has been first or second in half of his twelve lifetime starts. He tired to be fifth in the Rebel (GII) at OP, but we know my thoughts there… and he bounced back nicely to be second in the FLA Derby (GI) where he may have been blindsided by a wet-track specialist. Either way, this stable is moving up the ranks quickly… very well done!
All Take Alydar Stables 8-3-1-2
It’s hard to put a finger on this one as he’s changed hands twice but when you add in that he was third in his debut for this outfit, closing well in the Davis Stakes, then came back to win the TAM Derby (GII), again with a hellacious late kick, but tired in the Wood Memorial to be ninth beaten ten lengths, that race certainly raises a red flag. Now, he’s thrown a bad race from time to time, so perhaps a false alarm, but…
Grouse Mountain Fractious 10-4-1-1
The defending 2yo Champ and BC Juv (GI) winner has had an interesting path… now on his fourth owner, as he sold after that San Felipe (GII) win for $650.000, he is certainly a mixed bag. Throw in that win in the Tremont and you’ve seen the good, but he was tenth in the Champaign (GI), Twelfth in the Sham (GIII)… so he’s seen the good and the bad.
Distorted Reasoning Dawson Farms 8-4-0-1
It’s good to see these newer barns making it to the big time, especially with a horse they bred themselves. He’s won half of his eight starts including the Pasco at TAM and the Risen Star (GII) but tired a bit to be third in the SUN Derby (GIII) in his most recent. His style should keep him clear of traffic issues, and that could be a big difference on Derby Day.
Dwindle Mb Stables 9-5-0-0
He’s won five of nine starts for the big stable, has three graded scores including the Nashua (GIII), Remsen (GII) and Gotham (GII). He was sixth last out in the SA Derby (GI) where he just never seemed to get going that afternoon. Still, you know this is a sharp outfit and will have a trio of entrants.
Everymanforhimself Mb Stables 9-3-4-1
Another from the big stable and he just never seems to run a bad race. A win and two runner-up finishes as a 3yo, but he is still looking for his first stakes score as a sophomore. Speed? Oh he’s got that, but he has tired to be second in the Risen Star (GII) and LA Derby (GII) so he needs to find just a big more.
Sunshine Scooter Broken Spoke Stables 7-3-0-1
The second entrant from this stable and he’s had a bit of a tumultuous sophomore season. His late running style produced a third in the Holy Bull (GIII) and then a fantastic closing effort to take the FofY (GII) but he should a bit more early foot in that sloppy FL Derby (GI) and tired to be last in the field of thirteen.
Cheveley Park Mo Mentum Farm 8-2-2-0
He may be better known for his runner-up finishes than his wins… only a LA-bred stakes to his win total, but he was second in the Ruby Stakes (GIII) (DH) and also in the Lexington (GIII). I like his style as stalking can be a good spot with so many in the big race, and he may be a horse that is ready to run his biggest race.
Ey Mon Arindel 8-2-3-1
The second from this powerful stable and he’s another that just never seems to run a bad race. It took him five races to get his maiden win out of the way, but since he was second in both the Battaglia and SUN Derby (GIII) before that big win last out in the Lexington (GIII). He has speed and we know what that can do.
Federation D J C Racing Stables 9-1-4-1
Another from this top-notch barn and although he only has a maiden win vs. NY-breds, he was fourth in the Battaglia and was the runner-up in the Wood Memorial (GII) so his best races could be in front of him as he seems to be getting better with each start.
Karloffs Monster TwinTowersRacing 9-2-2-2
This filly has had a solid sophomore season while facing the boys in two of her three starts. She won the Suncoast at TAM facing the ladies, then was a fast closing runner-up in the TAM Derby (GII) before showing good speed throughout in that third place finish in the ARK Derby (GI) where she was only beaten a neck. She’s another that looks like her best races are in front of her, and that could be bad news for anyone that lines up in the gate with this one. (KY Oaks Entrant)
Ideal Info Arindel 5-2-2-0
Only five starts for this one and he hasn’t won a stakes, but he closed a bit late in the FofY (GII) when fifth, then just missed in the SA Derby (GI) and he had the lead in that one, settling for second, just a half-length back. Obviously, he has room to grow and this barn is sharp.
Iron Mine Fractious 9-1-5-1
Quite the buy, being purchased for $125.000 out of that eighth place finish in the Lewis Stakes, and with only one win the horse seems to have a case of seconditus, but he was second (DH) for the new connections in the Ruby Stakes (GIII) at TP where he led to the lane in that one. He’s showing good works since that race so…
The Martian Mo Mentum Farm 9-1-3-2
His only win came prior to being purchased for $400.000 and he’s had a mixed bag of results under this ownership. Seconds in the Lively Shively and Smarty Jones, along with thirds in the Risen Star (GII) and FL Derby (GI) had us all wondering just how much talent he has… then, a tiring tenth in the Lexington (GIII) kind of took the air our of the sail, so it will be interesting to see what the next step is.
Uranus Smokey Stover 9-4-1-1
Everything was going per script, winning the Lewis Stakes (GIII) to make it two in a row and then just missed while closing fast to be second in the San Felipe (GII)… then, well, then the FLA Derby (GI) happened. A lack-luster tenth certainly wasn’t what the barn wanted, but the sloppy surface may have been the cause, so don’t get down on him…unless it rains.
Venezia D J C Racing Stables 6-2-1-2
This filly is twenty sixth on the list but she worries me… She’s never been worse than fourth in six starts, beat the boys in the El Camino and was third vs. the gents in the SA Derby (GI) only beaten three-quarters of a length. On the other hand, she was fourth vs her own kind in the FG Oaks (GII) but there’s nothing to fix here… right.