02/18/2004 12:00AM

Derby update



There were a number of changes to the top 25 of Derby Watch following last week's races. Swingforthefences and Value Plus, both of whom won allowance races on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, have moved onto the list. Both are 30-1 on the Derby future line set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form's national handicapper. Also new to the list are Wimbledon (30-1), a highly regarded recent maiden winner at Santa Anita; Eddington (30-1), a lightly raced but rapidly developing son of Unbridled who won a maiden race at Gulfstream; and Borrego (40-1), the runner-up to Master David in Santa Anita's Sham Stakes.


Five were dropped from last week's top 25, most notably Second of June, who fractured a cannon bone in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. Sir Oscar also was demoted following his poor performance in the Fountain of Youth. Blushing Indian, who disappointed in the Hutcheson Stakes, and Shaniko, who was upset in a Gulfstream allowance, also were dropped. So, too, was Spellbinder, though he did nothing wrong. It is just that Borrego was adjudged superior at this point by the Derby Watch committee.


Spellbinder is the most obvious to move back into the top 25 should there be a defection. Also under consideration are Limehouse, the Hutcheson Stakes winner, and Imperialism, who won the San Vicente.