Saturday March 15, 2003

The 52nd running of

The Florida Derby
All carry 122-8th Race @ Gulfstream


1. Trust N Luck...C. Velasquez...He looked like a million winning the Fountain here last month. Is there any reason to think he'll regress here and open the door for others? He likes running on the front end, something that really works at this track. And there are really no others that look like they can go with him. So what? We're left with an odds-on favorite that can't lose? We all know better. But suffice to say that he has everything stacked in his favor before the gates open. It's his to lose.

2. Supah Blitz...R. Homeister Jr....Already making the 14th start of his career. He sure looked fine in the Fountain at 33-1 but he didn't threaten the winner. His pattern looks very good though and he might be able to improve on that effort here. Remember, he's already run 1 1/8 on New Year's Day, albeit on turf, but it was a decent effort as he finished 3rd, just 2 back, in the Tropical Park Derby. He'll be forgotten again here too. Could make exotics interesting.

3. Midway Cat...Chavez...Here's another potential exotic player. He looks to have backed off a bit in the Fountain which may not be a good sign. He was losing ground in the stretch and now he'll stretch out and add 6 lbs. I find myself less impressed the more I look at him. He'll probably press the same type of pace here and will end up out as a result.

4. Indy Dancer...J. Velasquez...I loved this guy here earlier in the year, but he went to Louisiana and backed up in the Risen Star. However, he did start from the 13 post there and was forced to chase Badge Of Silver while going WAY wide. No such problem here. Pletcher stated that he would not instruct Velasquez to attend the pace, but to make one run here, his usual style. While that may work if someone goes with Trust N Luck, that doesn't appear likely. He'll probably be running for 2nd or 3rd, but a good forward move will keep him on track for Louisville.

5. Senor Swinger...Prado...Making only his 3rd start and so far he's done nothing wrong, as he aced the first 2. Now though he's in the BIG leagues and he can be excused for regressing a bit. Nice work here on March 2. He looks like he may be better suited for the weeds. I'm of the opinion he'll back up here, but could certainly be a major player down the road.

6. Empire Maker...Bailey...Frankel stated on Wednesday that Louisiana Derby winner Peace Rules may bypass the Derby because Bobby thinks he might have peaked too early. That leaves this guy as his major threat for Louisville. I'm not sure he'll be fully cranked for this. The fact that Bobby dismissed Peace Rules from the Derby this week because he thinks he might be over the top makes me think he's setting this one up to be ready in 7 weeks. Not all out, but a good performance expected.

7. Formal Attire...Coa...I really don't think he's anywhere near fast enough, and the odds should reflect it. Took 5 starts to break the maiden and both that and the subsequent race were several lengths behind these.


      This race is annually a thorn in my side, so take the above and following with a grain of salt.

     Trust N Luck will have a perfect set-up. He is the lone speed on a speed favoring track. He'll break from the rail. He could regress and win here, and probably will.

     Supah Blitz will complete the exacta again here, We won't get 33-1 again, but the price should still be good.

     I've got to think that Indy Dancer will prove to be the closer that gets up for a piece. I just want to see him stay on the trail, and he does like this track so it shouldn't be a stretch. Possibly a good price as well.


1. Trust N Luck

2. Supah Blitz

3. Indy Dancer

2003 bBra