By Ralph the Cat
Those who think the Derby can only be won by 4 of the 20 entries are sniffing paint again. Well, it was a group of 5 contenders, but just moments ago I Want Revenge was scratched, so now the experts have it narrowed down to 4 contenders. However, I cant help but think the race is as wide open as any Derby I’ve ever witnessed. Before I Want Revenge scratched today we had 8 horses coming into the Derby off either a GI or GII victory. Not to mention we still have 5 horses that are coming into the Derby off a second place finish in either a G1 or G11, including names like Dunkirk, Hold Me Back, Chocolate Candy and Desert Party. Never have we seen so many horses come into the Derby at their best. Last year we had so many horses run big in one of their preps only to flop in their next prep. Searching for a horse that could settle and make a run in last years Derby included who? Colonel John who was coming off the synthetic surfaces or maybe Dennis of Cork shipping in from Hawthorne?… I mean com’on, gimme a break. This year we’re loaded with horses that can settle and make a big run, the list is literally to big to attempt to list, the only horses that cant are maybe 3 or 4 horses that are listed at 50-1.
I Want Revenge seemed too tough to beat, but now that he’s scratched I’m shooting for some connections that want revenge. Friesan Fire, who will probably go off as the second choice has the early speed and post position to find a nice spot to settle in, not to mention the horse loves the off track and has one of the best trainers in the world. Friesan Fire has won 3 straight Graded stakes, and figures on capturing his 4th straight in about 5 hours from now. Who runs second?… well, all but 3 are alive. You have horses that some claim to have “no chance” like Advice who is 30-1 and closed from last to first to win the Lexington. West Side Bernie, who finished only a length behind I Want Revenge, but sits at 30-1 this morning or Mr. Hot Stuff, another 30-1 shot who only finished 2 lengths behind Pioneer of the Nile. Not to mention the 2 Saeed Bin Suroor runners who dominated Nad Al Sheba. Then the more logical horses from Musket Man to Papa Clem to General Quarters to Dunkirk to Pioneer of the Nile. Ya sure, 4 contenders. One thing I want you to think about today, will you ever get 3-1 on Friesan Fire again? Good luck today, and I mean that.
-Ralph the Cat