Florida Derby & Louisiana Derby preview

by TCI 5 years ago

With Jon on assignment in Dubai, handicapper Ed DeRosa from Brisnet.com joins Joel on the set this week to discuss one the biggest weekends on the Kentucky Derby Trail, as the final round of major preps swing into action this Saturday with 170 points up for grabs in both the Florida Derby (G1) and Louisiana Derby (G2) – two preps loaded with many of the top Derby prospects in the land. So, who’s primed to run big?

Watch it. Comment.

TCI Top 10

Rank Name Bris Comments
1 Revolutionary 103 No excuses for him in Saturday’s La. Derby – he must run big and be closing well late, and we believe he will.
2 Verrazano 104 Likely Derby favorite proved that his class and rare talent will take him far, but can it take him 1 ¼ miles?
3 Flashback 99 San Felipe speed duel was a setback, but love the addition of a strong rider like Gomez to harness his speed.
4 Orb 102 Expect him to run big in FL Derby, but unlike ‘Luckyday’, he feels like a colt with less to prove this Saturday.
5 Oxbow 101 Another unlucky trip in the Rebel, but he’s proven his quality and figures to be even better going longer.
6 Itsmyluckyday 111 We know he loves Gulfstream, so pressure is on to beat FL Derby cast if he’s to remain an elite Derby contender.
7 Shanghai Bobby 103 1 1/8 miles may not be a problem in FL Derby, but drawing the rail again could affect strategy and trip.
8 Palace Malice 102 Post two could be tricky in a packed La. Derby, but he’s been training well and should be sitting on a big one.
9 Vyjack 100 Shown versatility, a dynamic turn of foot, and the will to win; Needs it all against Verrazano in Wood.
10 War Academy 99 Another Baffert colt moves onto the list, and this one also possesses talent, a classic pedigree and a high ceiling.

OFF: Tiz the Truth
through 3/28/2013


  • 1JoeP

    Hi Joel – Lots of action this weekend. Hoping that Orb comes with that strong run in the Fla. Derby to set him up for the KY Derby. He is in with 50 points, he is expected to finish 1st or 2nd here. Also expecting a big race out of IMLD, these 2 should run 1 and 2. I do prefer Orb at 1 1/4, I believe he is the horse to beat on Derby Day. I will be rooting for Titletown Five in the LA Derby. I realize that he is up against it. I’m hoping he gets an easy lead and can pull away from the field, so he can at least hold on for 2nd. He will need a big performance in here to qualify for the Derby. I realize that if he runs 3rd, Lukas would run him again 2 or 3 wks later, but a rested Titletown Five in the KY Derby would be a more appealing horse. I’m glad that you added War Academy to your top 10 list. Can’t wait to see his stakes debut in the AK Derby in a couple of weeks. I believe that Governor Charlie is flying under everyones radar. His record setting time in the Sunland Derby was very impressive. He stalked a quick quarter, and a moderate half mile, then at the top of the stretch, kicked clear and he was gone. I know the horses he beat weren’t the best group, but you can bet that for Derby Day he will be well rested and Baffert will have him ready to roll. He seems to have the pedigree to get the 1 1/4 and probably will be overlooked on Derby Day. He posesses tactical speed, like an Oxbow, which could keep him out of some of the traffic problems that a 20 horse field in the Derby could provide. Midnight Lucky looks like a star filly going forward into the Kentucky Oaks. What do you think of her chances to win the race? I am thinking of playing an Oaks/Derby Daily Double with Midnight Lucky and several of my top Kentucky Derby contenders. On Derby day, I will be adding Governor Charlie to my exacta boxes with several of the top contenders.

    • Joel Cunningham

      Joe, we saw some pretty darn good racing today, my friend! I liked Midnight Lucky until I saw Dreaming of Julia finally live up her to potential today. Unbelievable. I had been waiting for Cue the Moon to run all year but she wasn’t ready for that freak of a performance she faced today. Unlimited Budget is pretty classy too…should make for a great KY Oaks this year.

      Speaking of Govenor Charlie, there was another son of Midnight Lute that I thought looked as good or better today and that was Mylute. Always shown that he had some talent, and clearly improving with ground like most of these MLs are.

      I was happy to see Orb and Revolutionary hold suit…Orb was washed out and still dominated a good field behind a pretty slow pace IMO, and Rev got the pace but made a prolonged, wide run to avoid traffic, and then showed heart and determination to come back and beat Mylute at the wire. Hard to fault either performance or contender going forward into the Derby.

  • JR

    Hi Joel, What a weekend, I was thinking about the owners of Shanghai this morning, and what they must be thinking. Under the old system, he would have a berth at the derby. Rosie, must be real disappointed. What did you think of his race. I was happy for ORB and McGaughey. In the LA Derby I didn’t see MyLute hitting the board. Should have considering what his sire’s offspring are doing right now. What are your thoughts on MyLute going forward. I’m sure you will have a lot to say after this weekend, look forward to your re-cap.
    Kind Regards,

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hey JR!

      It is very interesting to see the new points system unfold in its first year. Obviously, it’s impossible to really judge it until we see how it plays out, but I have been in favor of the change because of the idea that the new system will reward current form. So if colts like Shanghai Bobby and He’s Had Enough do not make it, then I am ok with that because I do believe recent form should trump 2yo form.

      Interestingly enough, while Jack Wolf and the Starlight group undoubtedly want to be in the Kentucky Derby, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wolf is completely content with not being in it this year with ‘Bobby’. I recall the year he ran Keyed Entry, who was clearly a sprinter, in the Derby because they wanted to be in the race, and the horse ran last and was never the same again. I went back and found a quote from Wolf regretting having “Derby Fever and running a sprinter in a race he didn’t belong in:

      “We had a bad case of fever there because this horse was obviously a sprinter. We told ourselves, at the time, that after War Emblem won in 2002, if a one-turn sprinter type of horse like that could carry that speed a mile and a quarter, maybe ours could as well. That’s how we rationalized it, but if I had to do it over again, I obviously wouldn’t enter him. Looking back on it and thinking of his running style, it absolutely makes no sense.”

      So with that said, I think they realize they gave ‘Bobby’ every chance to make the Derby, and the colt’s 3 least impressive races (in my mind any way) have all come in his last 3 all around two turns. So I think Team Starlight is happy to pull back and maybe take a small look at the Preakness… but really more practically point for races like the Derby Trial. Woody Stephens, Kings Bishop, etc. where the colt can definitely serve as a top performer doing what we know he’s good at, rather than risking souring him by running him 1 1/4 miles as a longshot in the Derby.

      I thought Mylute looked THE BEST of any of the colts in the La. Derby in the post parade…Amoss has been high on him all along and he finally proved it on a big stage over his home track. To me, he looks like a Real Quiet, his grandsire…longer, two-turn looking colt, which I wouldn’t have expected at all when you consider he’s out of a Valid Expectations mare and by a 2-time BC Sprint winner. I was very skeptical of the Midnight Lute’s stretching out at first, but now I’ve completely changed my thinking on them…they are two-turn horses, and his best runners are better around two turns than they are sprinting! So Mylute is a very interesting colt to me…I’m not sold that he’s good enough to win the Derby, but he looks like he has a future.

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