02/11/2004 1:00AM

For those fans of April Fool's Day


PHILADELPHIA - There are 434 Triple Crown nominations. After hours of study, I have narrowed it down to 10 possible Kentucky Derby winners.

Forget the obvious horses. You can have Birdstone and Eurosilver. You've got Smarty Jones and Tapit. Action This Day? All yours.

Me? I want Bull's Notions, J.J.'s Voyage, Johnny's Angelos, Kansun, Samurai Nanao, Shuffle Pass, Silent Gold, and Spanish Shot. There are two other horses I like, but you will have to read on for them.

My first group represents a true breeding of the best to the best. These horses were bred in Japan, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Arizona, Georgia, Washington, and Indiana.

Bull's Notions, trained by Mr. Derby himself Bob Baffert, has already shown great promise. His debut was last Saturday at Santa Anita. A Japanese-bred son of Forty Niner, Bull's Notions finished seventh, beaten by almost 17 lengths. He got a 63 Beyer. Clearly, he needed the race.

J.J.'s Voyage was bred in Utah. Don't snicker. It was just last year when I explained the true value of Utah-breds in relation to the Triple Crown.

Remember that wonderful Utah-bred Indian Express? Owned by legendary record producer Phil Chess and trained by Baffert, Indian Express became a hot horse leading up to the Derby. Where did he finish anyway?

I am told J.J.'s Voyage is even better and could, in fact, be the best Utah-bred since Shawn Bradley. Don't ask me when the horse is going to start. He is by hot sire Coastal Voyage, a son of Coastal, the same horse that ended Spectacular Bid's Triple Crown bid in 1979. Can history repeat itself?

Johnny's Angelos was bred in Colorado. He is by Capote's greatest son, the noted sire Coverallbases. I am told Kobe Bryant has bet this horse in the future book.

Kansun was bred in Kansas. He struggled a bit in his Jan. 24 debut at Oaklawn Park. He was running eighth when he came into contact with another horse and the rider fell off. I am told Jerry Bailey has taken the call for Kansun's next race.

Samurai Nanao was bred in Arizona. This is a serious horse with 3 wins in 6 starts. He finished fourth in the Rattlesnake Stakes on Jan. 18 at Turf Paradise and was eventually moved to second via disqualification. Bet against this horse at your own risk.

Shuffle Pass is a Georgia-bred and much more trustworthy than the loutish son of Georgia, Ty Cobb. No word on his debut.

Silent Gold is a Washington-bred son of one of my favorite horses of the 1990's, Formal Gold. He got a 77 Beyer when winning his maiden at Golden Gate Fields. Sounds like Derby material to me.

And there is Spanish Shot, an Indiana-bred son of that $300 sire Bedivere. Can't wait for his debut.

The final two on my list are the Washington-bred C.J. McCarron, a son of $800 sire Superior Success, and Jerardi, a Kentucky-bred son of Boundary. C.J. McCarron is working at Bay Meadows. Jerardi just went 45.20 seconds for a half-mile at Santa Anita. And if he survived that, he could make his debut next week.

I am hoping that my owner, Dan Borislow, will be a bit more judicious in his management of me than he has been with Toccet. I was not built for too much racing. And if this Triple Crown thing does not work out, I am calling Chris to set up a match race.