04/14/2004 12:00AM

Derby update



Tapit was unceremoniously dumped from the Derby Watch's top 25 following his sixth-place finish in the Florida Derby, but came roaring back following his victory in Saturday's Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. He is the co-second choice at 10-1 on the Kentucky Derby future line set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form's national handicapper. Watchmaker has Smarty Jones, the unbeaten winner of the Arkansas Derby, as the new Derby favorite at 8-1, down from last week's 15-1. The Cliff's Edge also took a leap forward. His victory in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes caused his price to drop to 10-1, co-second choice with Tapit, from last week's 20-1. In addition to Tapit, new to the top 25 this week are Pomeroy (40-1), who runs in Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, and Pro Prado (50-1), who was third in the Arkansas Derby.


Purge, Sinister G, and Swingforthefences all were dropped from the top 25 after being removed from Derby consideration by their connections. A pair of horses who turned in disappointing efforts in the Blue Grass saw their prices skyrocket. Preachinatthebar, 12-1 one week ago, was raised to 30-1 by Watchmaker, and Action This Day is now 60-1 after being 25-1 one week ago.


Mustanfar, who was fourth in the Blue Grass, needs some horses above him on the graded-stakes earnings list to defect in order to get into the race. Suave could earn a trip to the Derby with a strong performance in the Lexington.