02/12/2003 12:00AM

Derby Update

Email

WHO'S HOT

Even with Vindication, the champion 2-year-old colt of 2002, out of the picture, trainer Bob Baffert still holds a hot hand. He has the favorite, two of the top four choices, and three of the top 16 on the inaugural top 25 of Derby Watch. Kafwain is the 5-1 early line favorite of Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form's national handicapper. Domestic Dispute is 12-1, and Apalachian Thunder is 40-1. Bobby Frankel, with two of the top 12, and Todd Pletcher, with two of the top 17, are the only other trainers with more than one runner in the top 25. Midway Cat, Our Bobby V., Robledo, and Scrimshaw all made the top 25 of Derby Watch, but were not among the 23 individual betting interests in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager.

WHO'S NOT

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner has yet to win the Derby, and it will be at least another year before that inglorious streak has a chance to end, because Vindication is out. Nick Zito, a popular Derby mainstay every year, does not have a runner in the top 25.

ON THE BUBBLE

Atswhatimtalknbout and Ozzie Cat did not crack into the top 25 of Derby Watch, though they are individual betting interests in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. Ozzie Cat can get onto the list with a big race in Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes. The filly Composure is being given Derby consideration by Baffert.