November 20, 2010

24 Weeks - Down and Derby Begins … Now!

The Sweet 16

1. Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) - Now wintering in Florida for Todd Pletcher, the soon to be champion could not have impressed me more in his first three races. The easy Breeders’ Cup winner may be the horse we’ve all been waiting a long time for.

2. To Honor and Serve (Bernardini)- Is the now horse after a sharp score in the Nashua Stakes on BC day. Trained by Bill Mott, he will get one more juvenile race under his belt, next week in the Remsen, to solidify this high ranking.

3. Cool Blue Red Hot (Harlan’s Holiday) - Sleeper numero uno. This great grandson of the last triple crown winner, Affirmed, made the kind of sustained rally in his debut that I look for in the Derby. He is still a maiden for Angel Penna Jr., but I love his upside.

4. Boys at Tosconova (Officer) - #4 might seem a tad low for the 2nd best juvenile in the nation, as he turned in another excellent effort in the BC Juvenile behind Uncle Mo. But he was no match for Mo that day, and I question whether more distance will make the task any easier for the talented son of Officer.

5. Sweet Ducky (Pulpit) - This ranking may seem silly in a few hours as the Kelly Breen trainee looks for a Jackpot today against a deep field at Delta Downs, but I love his chances. He has shown steady improvement at Monmouth, and his last race was a real eye opener.

6. Dialed In (Mineshaft) - One sprint win, and this nick Zito horse is on every wise-guy list from here to Tokyo. If you watch the race at Churchill Downs though, it is hard to argue that this horse has big potential and should relish a distance of ground.

7. Buffum (Bernardini) - He actually was the winner of the key maiden race against Cool Blue, and showed a good deal of tenacity to get the job done. He ran erratically in the stretch which could mean he was tired or maybe he has a lot to learn with plenty of room to improve.

8. Stay Thirsty (Bernardini) - Yet another good looking Bernardini, and he was actually my earliest juvenile to watch. I still like him, but the horse with the great name will need to improve a lot to catch up to his stablemate Mo, and Boys at Tosconova.

9. Jaycito (Victory Gallop) - Bred for distance, and sharp in California, the son of Victory Gallop bolted in the BC Juvenile and lost all chance. Now in the Baffert barn, I still consider the Norfolk winner one of the major players on the left coast.

10. Mountain Town (Cape Town) - From maiden claiming to a soundly beaten run in the Champagne, you may wonder why I have this Rick Dutrow colt so high, but his rally in both races impressed me as a colt for the future. We should find more about him in the Remsen.

11. Bandbox (Tapit) - The Remsen should also answer many questions about this talented son of Tapit who has looked very impressive in stakes wins at Charles Town and against New York state breds for trainer Rodney Jenkins.

12. Arresting Officer (Officer) - I am somewhat leery to have another son of Officer this high on my list, but his maiden win at Hollywood Park was impressive enough to get this spot. He might be the one to watch in December’s Hollywood Futurity.

13. Astrology (A. P. Indy) - Steve Asmussen’s new number one juvenile came back strong to win the Iroquois at Churchill Downs last time. Further improvement will be needed, but if he can prove his class in next week’s Kentucky Jockey Club, he will move even higher

14. Sway Away (Afleet Alex) - One of the more interesting colts in California, the son of Afleet Alex has been away since running a strong 2nd in the Best Pal Stakes. That day he flashed major potential, when forced well wide on the far turn before rallying relentlessly down the lane.

15. Rogue Romance (Smarty Jones) - He looked great on turf before rallying to finish 3rd in the BC Juvenile. Problem was it was a well beaten 3rd, but Ken McPeek looks like he has a lot of talent to work with on this any surface Smarty Jones colt.

16. Classic Legacy (Macho Uno) - My second pick in today’s Delta Jackpot, ran a huge race in Canada last time when 3rd in the Grey Stakes. He circled the field with a big, premature move, before being passed late. We will find more about his liking for dirt today.

Here is the debut effort of two of my top sleeper horses, Buffum and Cool Blue Red Hot:


Jonathan said...

I don't always drink juvenile Kool Aid but when I do I prefer Uncle Mo's.... Stay Thirsty my friends.

Brian Zipse said...

LOL ... Jonathan, I could not have said it better myself! ;-)

tencentcielo said...

2 west Coast horses out of 16? Ouch. Can't believe you would leave off the horse who is running & winning the Hollywood Prevue today, Premier Pegasus. He has speed, can pass, has not done a thing wrong, and the pedigree says the distance will not be an issue.

Also, Sway Away is aptly named, as he is very "swayed".

tencentcielo said...

BTW, I don't have a problem with there being only 2 on here, as they haven't done much. But Sway Away was a bit of a surprise.

Brian Zipse said...

I calls 'em as I sees 'em. I'll be watching the Prevue with great interest, your pick may crack my list by tonight.

horse doc said...

Rush him!

Brian Zipse said...

Another of a very interesting bunch in the Delta Jackpot, doc.

Scott said...

Loved getting my early derby fix with this piece! I love Uncle Moe of course but after watching that Maiden Race.. I'm big on Cool blue red hot right now!

markinsac said...

The jinx is over. Lookin at Lucky parlayed his 2 year old championship into a 3YO eclipse. Now he's retired. Zen, Blame, Lookin, QR and Rachel . . .all gone!

The Delta Jackpot winner shipped in from Calder. NOW IS IT JUST ME OR DO CALDER SHIPPERS WIN BIG RACES? This has been going on for years. The undefeated 2yo filly champ was from Calder. Blind Luck raced for the first time at Calder. Does anybody else observe this angle? And why are Calder shippers SO potent? I'm guessing that surface isn't realy dirt. It's some kind of glooey stuff only known to south Florida scientists. It toughens up horses, so when they go to real dirt or synthetic, the horses imrove. Anybody agree?

With all those good and great horses retiring, Mo has the table set.

Brian Zipse said...

You are dead on today Mark ... See today's piece. Calder is a tiring track that spits out some really nice horses, although I am not a Gourmet Dinner fan just yet. I was much more impressed with the Prevue winner PrePeg, who will move well up my list next time. Mo has it all there in front of him ... it's about time we see another Triple Crown!

darlene said...

As always I'm hoping for another TC So many have never seen one I've been lucky to see 4 An abundance of riches but it is past time for the younger folks to see one and feel the excitement Would also go far in bringing some people back to racing Can't wait for the new season to start And time to add PrePeg to the list Bri

Mike in SB said...

Uncle Mo was very impressive this year. But the plan of having just two starts next year before the Derby scares me a lot.