May 3rd, 2014 − Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby Top 20

Horse/Sire Watchmaker
Odds
Last Race, Result,
and Beyer
Next Likely Race,
Track, and Date
Jay Privman and Mike Watchmaker Comments
California Chrome 3-1 Santa Anita Derby, 4/5 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Like how he puts himself in contending position, then strongly kicks on. Deserved favorite.
by Lucky Pulpit   1st by 5 1/4, 107 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: His SA Derby and San Felipe were, by far, the best pair of preps of anyone on this list.
Owner: Steven Coburn and Perry Martin; Trainer: Art Sherman; Jockey: Victor Espinoza
 
Wicked Strong 8-1 Wood Memorial, 4/5 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Sharp improvement from Fla. Super trip - saved ground, swung out, mowed 'em down.
by Hard Spun   1st by 3 1/2, 104 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Liked how he strongly ran through the wire. He should get a great setup in Kentucky.
Owner: Centennial Farms; Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens; Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
 
Hoppertunity 10-1 Santa Anita Derby, 4/5 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Liked his SA Derby a lot. In an obvious prep, Smith never hit him down the stretch. Beware.
by Any Given Saturday   2nd by 5 1/4, 98 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: I liked his SA Derby, too, but let's be real. He's got a big gap to close on California Chrome.
Owner: Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, et al; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Mike Smith
 
Cairo Prince 12-1 Florida Derby, 3/29 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Didn't see excuse in Florida Derby, but liked his Holy Bull a lot. Keen to see him work at CD.
by Pioneerof the Nile   4th by 3 3/4, 93 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: The plain truth is, others are simply faster than him right now, and a few significantly so.
Owner: Godolphin Racing, et al; Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin; Jockey: Luis Saez
 
Danza 12-1 Arkansas Derby, 4/12 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Prior form wasn't anything special. Won nicely, but now question quality of Ark. Derby field.
by Street Boss   1st by 4 3/4, 102 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Do you think his vast improvement at OP was legit? For me, he's got some proving to do.
Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Joe Bravo
 
Samraat 15-1 Wood Memorial, 4/5 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Thoroughly admirable Wood performance, fighting between rivals, getting up for second.
by Noble Causeway   2nd by 3 1/2, 98 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Nothing new here, all of his races have been admirable. Ten furlongs remains a question.
Owner: My Meadowview Farm; Trainer: Rick Violette Jr.; Jockey: Jose Ortiz
 
Tapiture 15-1 Arkansas Derby, 4/12 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Was really high on him going into Ark. Derby, but baffled why he flattened out. Perplexed.
by Tapit   4th by 7 1/4, 90 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Me too. He doesn't like rating, but maybe the Rebel beat him up more than we thought.
Owner: Ron Winchell; Trainer: Steve Asmussen; Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
 
Vicar's in Trouble 15-1 Louisiana Derby, 3/29 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: La. Derby pace scenario changed when Rise Up broke poorly. He, Napravnik capitalized.
by Into Mischief   1st by 3 1/2, 97 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: A nice colt. But he can't hope that every other pace horse breaks poorly at Churchill.
Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey; Trainer: Mike Maker; Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
 
Wildcat Red 15-1 Florida Derby, 3/29 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Admire how he battles it out every time. Can't see him getting 1 1/4 miles, but he's tenacious.
by D'wildcat   2nd by a neck, 99 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: He got off setting an unexpectedly soft pace in the Fla. Derby. That won't happen at CD.
Owner: Honors Stable Corp.; Trainer: Jose Garoffalo; Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
 
Candy Boy 20-1 Santa Anita Derby, 4/5 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Flattened out down stretch in SA Derby when distant third to horses I'd rank 1-2 right now.
by Candy Ride   3rd by 8 3/4, 92 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: The West Coast version of Cairo Prince: Good early in year, but no progress Beyer-wise.
Owner: C R K Stable; Trainer; John Sadler; Jockey: Gary Stevens
 
Dance With Fate 20-1 Blue Grass, 4/12 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Synth specialist seems unlikely to run. Smartly managed this spring to point for Blue Grass.
by Two Step Salsa   1st by 1 3/4, 97 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Connections say he's better on synthetic, turf, needs more time between starts.
Owner: Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable, Ciaglia Racing; Trainer: Peter Eurton; Jockey: Corey Nakatani
 
General a Rod 20-1 Florida Derby, 3/29 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Never really has run a bad race. He is probably just a tad inferior to the best at this point.
by Roman Ruler   3rd by 1 1/2, 97 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Fla. Derby was first attempt at 9 furlongs, and might have revealed distance limitations.
Owner: J. Armando Rodriguez; Trainer: Mike Maker; Jockey: Joel Rosario
 
Intense Holiday 20-1 Louisiana Derby, 3/29 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Didn't have cleanest trip, wasn't going to catch loose leader. Should get more pace at CD.
by Harlan's Holiday   2nd by 3 1/2, 91 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: I wanted to see validation of his Risen Star decision, and did not see it in the La. Derby.
Owner: Starlight Racing; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: John Velazquez
 
Chitu 30-1 Sunland Derby, 3/23 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Mixed feelings. Admire tenacity, but form against elite exposed by Candy Boy's SA Derby.
by Henny Hughes   1st by 2 1/4, 102 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Despite getting that nice Beyer, he looked like he was laboring in late stages at Sunland.
Owner: Tanma Corporation; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Martin Garcia
 
Medal Count 30-1 Blue Grass, 4/12 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Two nice races on Polytrack on consecutive weekends. He's improving. An exotics bomber.
by Dynaformer   2nd by 1 3/4, 94 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Not certain he'll transfer his Kee form to CD. His true dirt capabilities remain unclear.
Owner: Spendthrift Farm; Trainer: Dale Romans; Jockey: Robby Albarado Jr.
 
Midnight Hawk 30-1 Sunland Derby, 3/23 Illinois Derby, 1 1/8 m JP: Has the points to run, but can't see Baffert wheeling him back two weeks after Ill. Derby.
by Midnight Lute   2nd by 2 1/4, 98 Hawthorne, 4/19 MW: To think, horses once prepped one week out from the Derby with no problems at all.
Owner: Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings, et al; Trainer: Bob Baffert; Jockey: Martin Garcia
 
Ride On Curlin 30-1 Arkansas Derby, 4/12 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: No match for Ark. Derby winner, but certainly fought on bravely for second over Bayern.
by Curlin   2nd by 4 3/4, 94 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: I thought he was only picking up the pieces late. He needs to take a healthy step forward.
Owner: Daniel Dougherty; Trainer: William Gowan; Jockey: Calvin Borel
 
Uncle Sigh 30-1 Wood Memorial, 4/5 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Raced wide in Wood but never really got into race. Seems like water getting deep for him.
by Indian Charlie   5th by 8, 91 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: His Wood was over when he got left, as he had no kind of trip after that. He can still run.
Owner: Wounded Warrior Stables and Anthony Robertson; Trainer: Gary Contessa; Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
 
Ring Weekend 50-1 Calder Derby, 4/5 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Considering the quality of Calder Derby, he should have been more competitive at odds-on.
by Tapit   2nd by 9 3/4, 73 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Certainly not the type of effort off which you'd like to go to the Derby, but he has points.
Owner: St. Elias Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds; Trainer: Graham Motion; Jockey: Alan Garcia
 
We Miss Artie 50-1 Spiral, 3/22 Kentucky Derby, 1 1/4 m JP: Far superior on synthetic to dirt, but when it comes to the Derby, Ramsey always "all in."
by Artie Schiller   1st by a nose, 85 Churchill Downs, 5/3 MW: Has floundered on dirt. Synthetic preps shouldn't have the same points as dirt preps.
Owner: Ken and Sarah Ramsey; Trainer: Todd Pletcher; Jockey: Undecided