Spiral Stakes & Sunland Derby preview

by TCI 5 years ago

The TCI Boys quickly recap the significance of the Rebel Stakes before breaking down this weekend’s final round of “quarterfinal” preps worth a total of 85 points – the Spiral S. (G3) and Sunland Derby (G3). Both will likely produce Kentucky Derby starters, but will they produce real Kentucky Derby contenders?

Watch it. Comment.

TCI Top 10

Rank Name Bris Comments
1 Revolutionary 103 Moves into the top spot due to others’ shortcomings, but must earn keeping it in the Louisiana Derby.
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 dual was a setback, but love the addition of a strong rider like Gomez to harness his speed.
4 Orb 102 Showed quality in FOY when winning from off the pace over a speed-type track; Will only get better.
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 Likely FL Derby favorite is clearly the fastest 3yo by speed figs right now, but still has plenty to prove.
7 Tiz the Truth 92 Monday’s return to the work tab is encouraging, but he’s behind the eight ball with time winding down.
8 Shanghai Bobby 103 Champ is as classy as they come, however, he seems the least likely from this list to excel at 1 ¼ miles.
9 Palace Malice 102 Gets Prado in return to the Big Easy for La. Derby; Must move forward mentally and physically.
10 Vyjack 100 Shown versatility, a dynamic turn of foot, and the will to win; Needs it all against Verrazano in Wood.

through 3/21/2013


  • joe polander

    Hi Joel – I will be betting Future Pool 3 this weekend, I already have previously bet Oxbow in FP1 at 26-1 and Titletown Five at 61-1 in FP2. I have these horses with several of the top contenders in exacta boxes. I agree with you that Oxbow looks to excel at longer distances, he always fires in his races, and likes CD which is a bonus. Titletown Five will be running in the Louisiana Derby, and with 9 points will need a 1st or 2nd to get in. He has good speed, however this is his first time at 1 1/8, I hope he breaks well and holds off the closers, which will be Revolutionary and others. In Future Pool 3 I will be betting Orb and War Academy in exacta boxes. Joel, I know that Johnny V. is the rider of both Orb and Verrazano. Orb looks to be the better of the 2 colts going 1 1/4 on Derby Day. Is there a chance that Velasquez could choose Orb on Derby day, even though Verrazano could be the Derby favorite? Here’s my current top 4. 1-Orb 2-Verrazano 3- ItsMyLuckyDay 4 – Oxbow. I looked at the PP for the Sunland Derby and I am glad to here that you like Abraham. I will be betting the Shakin It Up/Abraham exacta box. I know that Shakin It Up will be going long and two turns for the first time, but he drew well from the #4 post, and the Midnite Lute Colt seems to be the class of this field, other than Abraham. Titletown five has 0 points, it was a typo error by me.

    • Joel Cunningham

      Hey Joe!

      You bring up a very interesting point about Johnny V having mounts aboard two top Derby colts. Lucky for he and Angel Cordero, they will get another ride aboard each in million-dollar races before they must commit to one over the other. In my opinion, as much as I like Orb and feel he even may be better suited for the classics, I believe it’s logical to assume Verrazano will be his first choice due to his relationship with Pletcher and the fact that Verrazano is the probable favorite and potentially a special racehorse. Just too hard to let go of the opportunity to ride that colt and open the door for someone else to ride Verrazano..Johnny V. has rode a lot of brilliant colts for Pletcher, including Quality Road and Uncle Mo, and I can’t see him getting off Verrazano.

      Titletown Five is facing a big task, but I like Lukas’s logic here. Instead of shipping out west, this colt gets a short trip to Louisiana for a million-dollar race over a track that plays as similar to Churchill as any track surface in the country…and Lukas knows TF loves Churchill’s surface and configuration. The spacing is also good, and (since you mention the points) you can bet that if TF doesn’t get in the top 2 then you will see him back in the Lexington or Derby Trial as a last resort IMO. The La. Derby is shaping up to be a very intriguing race IMO, stalkers/midpack types (Palace Malice, Departing & Code West, etc.) and obviously Revolutionary closing, although one thing I’m looking for in Revolutionary is for him to show he can find better position early in his races and not have to do so much of his work late.

      • Joel Cunningham

        I left out that TF would obviously be the likely pacesetter in the La. Derby. It’s an aggressive move to go 1 1/8 miles off of his short prep where he came up tired, but they’re basically forced into this if they want any chance of making the Derby.

        Can he go that far? Being by Tiznow, I think he can given the right trip. But it’s asking a lot of him in this scenario where his first trip around two turns will be in this race…and that loooong stretch will seem like it’s the length of a runway at JFK International if TF is pressured by quality horses such as Departing, Palace Malice et al early and then is expected to hold off the likes of Revolutionary late. Tough tough task…but I do think TF is very talented, and he may just prove to be up to it.

Take our site on the go!
Scan with your smart phone.