Handicapping Results and Thoughts from this Past Weekend

Another 1-2 weekend, but it was a less than stellar 1-2. Verrazano cashed at 4-5 in the Wood, but Power Broker struggled in his first start as a three-year old in the Santa Anita Derby. It’s never a good thing when you go 50% and lose $.40 on the weekend…

Thoughts on the Wood Memorial:

  • I come out of the Wood much less impressed by Verrazano. He had every reason to romp in this race given the pace setup and trip he got, and he didn’t. Maybe a tough race will do him wonders, but I’m a bit uneasy about him in Louisville. You could say his path is somewhat analogous to that of Barbaro‘s – winning his early races with relative ease, only to have his final prep be a rather tough test. That worked out well for him in the Derby…
  • Normandy Invasion impressed me most out of the lot. He was still making up ground at the end of the race, which should have been damn near impossible due to the lack of pace in the race. By no means am I saying he’s going to win the Kentucky Derby – but he’s definitely a contender.
  • He ran well, but I think Vyjack was exposed Saturday with regards to distance limitations. Heck, even his trainer Rudy Rodriguez sounds as though this trip to the Derby is more for show than anything else. It would seem as though Into Mischief as a sire is producing distance limited runners, which doesn’t bode well for Vyjack and another prominent runner on the Kentucky Derby trail.

Thoughts on the Santa Anita Derby:

  • I think Goldencents made the most of his situation…staying right up on a strong pace, on a track that was very kind to speed. Credit where credit is due – Goldencents ran a huge race, a race which I didn’t think he was capable of running. That said, the strip at Santa Anita had a TON to do with his victory, in my opinion. I still think he has major distance limitations, and I’ll be anxious to play against him in Louisville.
  • Flashback had a beautiful trip – he just wasn’t good enough. He has since come out of the Santa Anita Derby with a knee chip and will be out of training for roughly 60 days. He is no longer on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
  • If Super Ninety Nine goes in the Derby, I don’t think he has a chance on a fast track. HOWEVER, if we find ourselves with an off track on Derby day, we could be looking at a nice price on a horse that has proven he loves a sloppy surface.
  • It was asking a lot of Power Broker to come back in a Grade I off an incredibly long layoff, and he showed why. I still think he’s probably the most talented of the lot in Southern California, but there will be no Derby for him.

As a whole, I thought both preps were incredibly lackluster. It’s getting harder and harder for me to come up with a Top 10 of, what I consider, legitimate Kentucky Derby contenders…

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