Kentucky Derby 139 preview

by TCI 2 years ago

After a week of seeing many of the Derby contenders train at Churchill, the TCI boys opine on the condition and training of the top contenders, as well as others that have made notable first impressions. They also briefly discuss Saturday’s Derby Trial S., and how that race could easily have a strong impact on next week’s Kentucky Derby. Watch it. Comment.

TCI Top 10

Rank Name Bris Comments
1 Orb 102 Earned the distinction as this year’s colt with the best overall Derby profile; Horse to beat on May 4th no matter the set up.
2 Verrazano 104 Could be a year where a highly-talented colt can successfully carry his speed beyond his comfort zone; Likely Derby favorite.
3 Revolutionary 105 Borel seems tailor made for this colt, but the potential of a suspect pace in the Derby could hurt this deep closer.
4 Oxbow 101 Tired of making excuses for him after a bad Ark Derby run, but still have a feeling he can be dangerous in the Derby.
5 Normandy Invasion 104 Will be this year’s wise-guy horse in the Derby after impressive sub-12 final 1/8th and big gallop out in Wood.
6 Goldencents 106 Big win in SA Derby; Could be the pacesetter in a relatively pace-less KY Derby, but distance concerns still loom.
7 Itsmyluckyday 111 Couldn’t capitalize on a perfect trip in FL Derby, as late kick was clearly less explosive; Peaked too soon?
8 Vyjack 100 Has never run a bad race, including in the Wood where he suffered a lung infection; Must train well at CD.
9 Palace Malice 102 Really liked his race in the Blue Grass, but now the obvious concern is getting a top effort in his third race in 5 wks.
10 Mylute 105 Much-improved with blinkers off in La. Derby, and has the look of an improving colt that can handle the Derby trip.

through 4/25/2013

Discussion

  • JR

    Hi Joel,
    Will you be giving up dates on how the horses work, and how they look?
    Regards,
    JR

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hi JR, we absolutely will cover opinions of works as part of our analysis in this week’s Derby show. Very excited..one more day of significant action Monday! If there are any specific things you want to know, or looking for opinions on any particular horses, feel free to ask!

  • JR

    Hi Joel,
    With rain in the forecast for Saturday, which horses in the top ten might benefit from a off track.
    Regards,
    JR

    • Joel Cunningham

      JR, that turn in the forecast was the buzz this nothing. Never want rain to impact the Derby but it’s something we’ve become accustomed to in recent years.

      We will address that scenario and the horses that trained well over it when the track was wet a couple days last week. I do have opinions on some that should love it, as well as how a sealed or drying out track, etc. could affect the type of race we see run next Saturday.

      • Joel Cunningham

        *this morning (typo, sorry)

  • JR

    Hi Joel,
    Will look forward to what you have to say after Monday, There is one question, I have seen a picture of Palace and he looks light in the hind end, have you seen him? and what is your take on his condition.
    Regards,
    JR

    • Joel Cunningham

      JR, I made a point to look at him again with your concern in mind, and I wouldn’t say he’s light anywhere. This is an interesting Derby in that I really haven’t seen many individuals that have given any physical concerns aside from Govenor Charlie. There are some who have not liked how Lukas’ colts have trained, but for the most part, Oxbow and Will Take Charge have had good training sessions from what I’ve seen, and both give a great physical appearance. Usually when you get 20+ contenders together at Churchill this time of year you will see a few horses that are outwardly showing signs of maybe not being at their best, but this group overall has been good.

  • JR

    Hi Joel,
    Thanks for the information, I made a mistake the picture was of NI. looking light sorry about that Joel. If they all look good that’s fine with me.
    Uncle and I had a question for you. If it rains God forbid, are there special shoes made for the mud that the trainers will have put on? Also, looks like a couple new horses will be added. I was glad to hear that Tiz a minister will not be running. Can’t imagine running back a week later.

    I hope you and Jon are having fun, wish I could be there. Take Care
    Regards,
    JR

    • Joel Cunningham

      Ah, yes, Normandy Invasion was noticeably poor when he came to Churchill, but Chad Brown and his team have done a remarkable job of putting weight on the colt every day he’s been here, and I’m telling you, the colt looks great right now from that standpoint. I was surprised at the turnaround, but happy to see it. He is not a horse that carries a ton of weight right now, but I could see him maturing into a frame that should allow him to fill out to be a solid-size older horse. But for now, he’s just not that developed and I think his condition and weight can be as good as they can have it right now. I’m less concerned about that now and more concerned about how keen he is…the enthusiasm is nice to see, but I would have liked to see him harness some of his energy in his training for his rider(s). He also looks super some days as far as he’s gotten over the surface at Churchill, but I did think he looked average in how he finished over it down the stretch of his last work…he wasn’t skipping over it with as light of feet and as good of a rhythm as I had seen before from him. Still. overall it’s been an encouraging 2 weeks for him here, and Chad Brown seems confident.

      The shoe question is an interesting one. I wouldnt be surprised if some made a game day decision to change to a shoe that would better handle a slicker off track, but I would bet most will not. You run risks that most won’t want to take when messing with the feet and nailing on the day of the biggest race of these colt’s lives, so I would guess most will stay the course with their shoes. One thing to keep in mind is that CD surface dries out really well after a rain, and there is well over an hour to work on the track/seal it during the long post times of the Woodford Reserve grass race and the Derby…so I would think as long as it’s not actively raining during the running of the race then it won’t be a big issue as far as shoes go.

  • JR

    Hi Joel,

    What do you think of Oxbow’s PP in relation to the rest of the field. Do you think Orb’s post will be ok?. It seems of the trainers interviewed, Pletcher, Brown, McPeek, Plesa seemed to be happy with the PP’s. Very interested in hearing what you have to say. It seems everyone wanted to be to the outside of Falling Sky. Look forward to hearing from you my friend.

    Regards,

    Jr’s

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hi JR, sorry for the delay! Crazy couple of days around here.

      I thought Oxbow drew worst in what was as ideal of a draw as possible for most of the field. Should not be an excuse for most, and as quick as Oxbow is from the gate he just needs to break well and he should be ok. The biggest question will be how he’ll handle rating along the inside behind what will likely be Goldencents…will he fight Stevens and get rank like the Ark Derby, or can get settle comfortably…if he can do the latter then he has a shot to make an impact because we all know he’ll finally be able to save ground for the first time in several races, and he’s bred better than nearly everyone to handle the distance. I still think he can make an impact, however the big “If” remains that he will need to RELAX and be in sync with Stevens.

      I think Orb is in great shape. Expect him to break and be midpack on the outside, with the red-hot Rosario keeping an eye on Verrazano all the way around to know when to move. This colt has enough tracking ability to make the needed moves to stay in good position IMO.

      All the best on Derby Day. Hope you make a fortune with your wagers! Best -JC

  • JR

    Hi Joel,
    Lenny Sculman reporting the rumor mill on Rev. short work yesterday, the word ligament mentioned, but gallop today. Have you heard about this? Do you think PP3 given the fact that Calvin would take him to rail anyway a negative?

    Kinds Regards,

    JR

    • Joel Cunningham

      JR, I can tell you firsthand that Revolutionary is in good shape. He’s not a big colt and weight is always an issue because he puts so much into everything he does — but his weight isn’t really a concern coming into this IMO. I really think he moves up on a wet track, but I’m concerned if he can pass most of the field on a fast track if the pace is as moderate as I fear it could be. He needs some speed IMO.

      I do believe post 3 is ideal. I think they wanted anything from post 2-5, so 3 is perfect. Calvin will gravitate to the rail immediately, and likely be far back early naturally any way.


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