Saturday March 31, 2006

Alydar wins the 1978 Florida Derby

The 56th Florida Derby

11th @ Gulfstream-All carry 122


1. Notional...Albarado...Set up perfectly for a BIG effort here. The 49 days off, the nice effort last out in the Risen Star. Good maintenance works. Good post position. The running style fits well here. He may have distance limitations, but they're not likely to stop him at this distance with the French Deputy mare Truly Blessed on the bottom. I would be concerned with the travel back and forth to the west coast if the last race was 4 weeks ago. As it is I think he's sitting on a monster.

2. Imawildandcrazyguy...Bejarano...Ran well in the Risen Star, but came back flat in the Louisiana Derby. Now he'll try the stretch-out just 3 weeks later. Hasn't shown much in the mornings, but he never really has. Probably a cut below these. 

3. Scat Daddy...Prado...Had a smokin' pace to run at in the FOY and I doubt he'll get that again. Pletcher seems to find a way to win no matter though so he'll be tough to dismiss. There aren't too many knocks on him here, other than price. If he wins this he'll be a shorter price in Louisville, and that will be a much tougher situation to take him in. Like the fact that he stayed and trained locally after the FOY. 

4. Adore The Gold...Velasquez C...Had a blazing work over this surface last Saturday. It may have been too fast for his own good. If he feels he needs to duplicate that here, he'll be choking at the 16th pole. One thing is for sure, if Corny can get him to rate he'll be a factor as they hit the wire. He pressed the fast Fountain pace and only found himself 1 length behind the winner. 

5. Stormello...Espinoza...Deduct some points for cross-continental travel since the Fountain, but the two works at Hollywood since have been sterling. I just have the nagging feeling this distance is just out of his grasp, especially with a contested pace in a race like this. Then again, 2nd off the layoff in which he hadn't raced since December may allow him to milk a winning effort at 9 panels. A different story unfolds 5 weeks from now.

6. Chelokee...Dominguez...Have to respect Matz, but he exits an allowance. Only horse other than Scat Daddy to have won at 1 1/8. Will be a huge price so if you believe Matz has the golden touch here you will be richly rewarded.

7. Boogie Boggs...Bravo...Would need to step up to be a factor here. Not out of the question, especially with Zito calling the shots. Nice works at Palm Meadows, but doubtful he'll be in the money. 

8. Johannesburg Star...Maragh...Seriously outclassed here. Beaten 22 lengths in the Fountain. Not where I would send one of mine if that were the case.

9. Birdbirdistheword...Cruz...Strong works at Palm Meadows and seems capable of at least hanging with these. Possibly coming back too fast, and likely to get hung way wide on that first turn. Need to see more before I'm convinced he belongs with these.


Notional looks to be sitting in a pretty position. He can sit right behind the pace and strike in the stretch. Love the spacing and his price should be fair. 

 The Fountain set up perfectly for Scat Daddy, but he'll need to do it again to make me a believer. Likely favorite will offer little value. 

Adore The Gold looks like he loves the surface. If he presses a fast pace he'll be toast. If he can rate, he could get his picture taken.

I loved Stormello in the Breeders' Cup, but he struggled home 15 behind. Let's see what he's got left after trekking cross-country after the Fountain.

1. Notional

2. Scat Daddy

3. Adore The Gold

4. Stormello

Best of luck everyone!


2007 bBra