The 55th Florida Derby
12th @ Gulfstream-All carry 122
2. Flashy Bull...Bejarano...Seemed to come on again in the Fountain, and subsequently was moved into second after Corinthian's take-down. Could be he can handle the distance. He has worked well since, but I really don't think he was going to win the Fountain no matter what happened. Ran a career best in that race. Does he go back? Three year-olds tend to pair-up races this time of the year. That would leave him somewhere in the super.
3. Saint Augustus...DeCarlo...Let's face it, you've had your hat handed to you if you counted out a Pletcher charge somewhere in this meet. It's crazy, but he's winning 29%. Not even Mark Shuman...never mind. Anyway, this one probably will get better, but there are others that scare me way more in this race.
4. Doc Cheney...Rose...Has never gone backward so there's really no telling how good he is, or can be. He'll likely embrace the stretch-out which could leave him in a good spot here, at a huge price no less. I like the work on the 18th. He may not win, but a good showing would propel him forward. Not out of the question for exotics.
5. Sunriver...Velasquez, JR...Here's the Pletcher trainee you had best worry about. It can be argued that he didn't care for the slop here in the Holy Bull. He won't have to deal with that today. A repeat of his last makes him very dangerous here. Strong works, strong connections, strong chance.
6. Rehoboth...Castellano...A lot of pundits are picking him in a prominent position. I just don't see it. I mean, he has a shot, but most likely there are 4 others that have just as good, or a better shot to win this. He had a little trouble in the Fountain, but still ran well. It can be argued that he is now 2nd off the layoff and primed for a top effort. But his top effort here came at 6 1/2 furlongs. And though he seems to be bred for distance, he hasn't won past 7 furlongs. South Florida powerhouse Gomez is having an awful meet. I don't expect this guy to save it.
7. Sharp Humor...Guidry...Can a New York bred win the Florida Derby? Maybe. It's a good bet that he's going to like the added distance. If he does win he would become the first Florida Derby winner to also win the Swale stakes. Of course, for many years they were run on the same day. Good strong works, and 2nd off the layoff. Should be quite a nice price. Small chance for the win. Very good shot at exotics.
8. High Blues...Velasquez, C....This will be his 4th try at 1 1/8. The previous 3 were unsuccessful, at the allowance level. I can't imagine that he's ready to improve against these.
9. Charming Image...Rajiv...Pure sprinter comes out of the claiming ranks to tackle these. Sometimes, I just scratch my head.
10. Barbaro...Prado...Has handled everything thrown at him. Turf, slop, distance. He's got good tactical speed which will get him into a good position before that first turn. He's never gone backwards, and is 2 for 2 in graded stakes. He'll probably be the favorite, but his price should still be decent. The works have been all you could ask for. All systems go!
11. Sam's Ace...Martinez...West coast invader seems more suited to shorter distances. Probably overmatched here.
Barbaro really looks the part here. If he gets good position going into the turn and can sit 3rd or 4th most of the trip, then it should be in the bag.
Sunriver will be a force. I can't see him finishing out of the top 4.
Flashy Bull showed some strength in the Fountain. His works have been solid so expect him to be right there again.
Doc Cheney could be sitting on a career best, which gets him into the super.
2. Sun River
3. Flashy Bull
4. Doc Cheney
Best of luck everyone!
© 2006 bBra