05/02/2006 11:00PM

BreezeFigs Quick-Pix, Kentucky Derby, Saturday, May 6


Nine of the 20 starters in the Kentucky Derby came out of 2-year-old sales last year, and even the Group 3 horses below looked like good bets to become very nice colts. They are:

Group 1: Showing Up (EASMAY), Flashy Bull (OBSFEB)

Group 2: Brother Derek (BARMAR), Cause to Believe (OBSMAR), Private Vow (KEEAPR), Steppenwolfer (OBSAPR)

Group 3: Sweetnorthernsaint (OBSFEB), Sinister Minister (BARMAR), Deputy Glitters (OBSAPR)

We've reviewed the 2-year-old sale of those colts and compared them with BreezeFigs we compiled this week based on the works of all Derby contenders who breezed at Churchill Downs between Friday, April 28 and Wednesday, May 3. (The only 2-year-old BreezeFigs horse we did not get was Showing Up, who stayed in New York until the last minute).

Some of the colts with high 2-year-old BreezeFigs have not gone forward; others have made substantial progress based on the stride lengths, power or speed factors, the "internals" we use to develop the final BreezeFig.

When we put it all together, six horses stand out based on past performances and overall BreezeFigs compatibility. Three of these did not come out of the 2-year-old sales: Lawyer Ron, Barbaro and Jazil. Three did come out of the sales: Sweetnorthernsaint, Sinister Minister, and Steppenwolfer.

Lawyer Ron was most impressive at Churchill-he pulled the best BreezeFig of the week. Even though his stride length was average (just under 24 feet), he was extremely efficient on all his other "internal numbers" and he looks like the horse to beat-but not by much. That's because Sweetnorthernsaint was just a point behind Lawyer Ron on the BreezeFig scale and had a stride length of nearly 26 feet during his work and very good internal speed numbers. Jazil, who did not go through the 2-year-old sales, was just behind Sweetnothernsaint in every respect and did everything very easily, showing a stride length of nearly 25 feet. They look like the top three on our chart-but they are not standouts by any means.

That's because Sinister Minister showed was the most consistent when it came to comparing his breeze with what he showed last year at the sales-his stride length (over 25 feet) and his other numbers were virtually the same, which is very unusual. Both he and Sweetsouthernsaint could get cooked in a speed duel, and if so, we all lose, but he is very dangerous.

Barbaro had an unconventional breeze at Churchill-fast and a very long stride (over 25 feet). His internal speed figures were super, best of the week, but he showed little power-that means he may be the type of one-paced horse who can go on like the Eveready Bunny and wear them all down, which is typical of his sire's offspring. Very dangerous.

Finally, Steppenwolfer is the "Giacomo" of the field. Like his racing form, he got off slowly in his work and finished well with a stride length of more than 25 feet, and he was picking it up at the end. He may have traffic problems, but is a logical horse to use in the Superfecta, and with a very fast pace ahead of him, could lope up to win it all.

Betting propositions would have to include Lawyer Ron with Sweetsouthernsaint as your keys. Jazil should be in the top four. Sinister Minister is the best bet to run off with it like Spend a Buck, or he will be nowhere, and Barbaro will be tough if he can stalk close to the pace-if he does, no one will get past him in a drive to the wire.

Longshot for the Kentucky Oaks: Top Notch Lady, who was a very good BreezeFigs horse at the sales last year, earned a BreezeFig at Churchill this week equal to Sweetsouthernsaint. She should be used in your gimmicks for the Oaks, and as a saver across the board.

Good luck everyone!