04/23/2003 12:00AM

Derby update



D. Wayne Lukas. The trainer is alive for Kentucky Derby victory No. 5 after Scrimshaw won Saturday's Coolmore Lexington Stakes. Scrimshaw is now 30-1, half his price of one week ago, on the Derby line set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form national handicapper. Lukas also is considering entering Ten Cents a Shine, but I'm not sure if he should be classified as a "Who's Hot" horse, considering his dreadful recent form. Watchmaker has him at 80-1. Also new to the list are Eye of the Tiger, the Lexington runner-up, who is 50-1, and Irish invader Evolving Tactics, who is a remote possibility for the race. Watchmaker made him 100-1. In trying to gauge the public, Watchmaker has lowered Ten Most Wanted to 6-1 from last week's 12-1, making him the second choice behind Empire Maker.


Four horses - Domestic Dispute, Ministers Wild Cat, Ocean Terrace, and Trust N Luck - were dropped from the list after their losses in the Lexington. Two more runners - Fund of Funds and New York Hero - were taken off the list after suffering injuries that removed them from Derby consideration. As a result, there are just 19 horses listed on this final installment of Derby Watch.


Notice to all owners and trainers - even though there is a maximum of 20 horses allowed in the Derby, it doesn't mean you should run an overmatched horse just because there's room. I know of no others considering the race, and hope it stays that way.