A LITTLE WARM
This 3-year-old son of Stormin Fever broke his maiden at Philadelphia Park by more than 10 lengths back in November. He then came away a length and a half winner, over a sloppy track, in his 2010 debut in The Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream on January 9th at Gulfstream.
Because The Spectacular Bid is run over 6 furlongs extrapolating this horse's performance over the 10 furlong distance of The Kentucky Derby can be a little dicey but I liked his running style in the Spectacular Bid as he was content to layoff the real speed balls in the race. In addition, there are some significant stamina influences in his pedigree. His sire, Stormin' Fever, was 2nd in the Philip H. Iselin H.-G2 run over 9 furlongs and he has sired the likes Sweet Talker and Tarlow, both Grade 1 winners over 9 furlongs. The fact that he is out of an Alydar mare should help too.
The fact that A Little Warm performed so well on an off-track is no small matter either, we all know how notoriously fickle the weather can be during the first Saturday in May.
Here's a video link for the race http://www.chef-de-race.com/video/classic_preps/2010/2010_classic_prep_videos.htm
The 3-year-old bay gelding's performance 2 weeks ago in the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn Park was impressive. In the end he won by 2 1/4 lengths over hard charging Pleasant Storm but jockey Calvin Borel had this race in the bag as soon as they turned for home. Another factor working in Dryfly's favor is that he has already won at Churchill Downs, taking an allowance race back in November, and as many of you know some horses just don't take to the surface there. Ask Holy Bull and Skip Away.
From a breeding perspective the Lynn Whiting trainee is bred to run all day. The average winning distance for his sire (Jump Start) and broodmare sire (Topsider) progeny, in non restricted, stakes races are a whopping 8.29 and 8.21 furlongs respectively so I don't think the Derby distance will be a problem for this guy.
Here's a link to his effort in The Smarty Jones S. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b53Gqr2KAlw
OK, so I'm a Jackson Bend homer because of his connection to Pocket Aces Racing but this horse made a real believer out me with last week's effort in the Holy Bull S.-G 3. Beating up on state breds in The Florida Stallion Series is one things but finishing an ultra game 2nd, despite a 4-5 wide trip the entire way, in a Graded stakes race is another.
This colt's performances over 2 turns indicate 10 furlongs shouldn't be a problem.
Here's a link to The Holy Bull S.-G 3 http://www.chef-de-race.com/video/classic_preps/2010/2010_classic_prep_videos.htm
RON THE GREEK
The Kentucky Derby never lacks for pace which is why top class closers like Ron The Greek seem to always have a chance in the race. I suspect The Lecomte S.-G 3, which this 3-year-old son of Full Mandate won last out, was run a lot like The Derby will be run. A lot of pace up front with an exaggerated stretch run both setting up perfectly for the pressers and closers. If the pace through 3/4 of a mile is a little too fast for the pressers a horse like Ron The Greek could be swallowing horses up late. It's a bit disconcerting that the Tom Amoss trainee began his career racing at lower level tracks like Hoosier and Delta Downs but he definitely helped solidify his class with the Lecomte S.-G 3 win.
Ron The Greek's pedigree leans toward speed but he didn't seem to have any trouble with two turns in The Lecomte S.-G 3 and his one run style should help him get the 10 furlong Derby distance.
Here's a link for the 2010 Lecomte S.-G 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS9vhc2yvyk
As we stated earlier the racing surface at Churchill Downs is very peculiar and any horse running there for the first time has to prove he can adapt, however, this won't be any problem for Super Saver as evidenced by his impressive victory last November in The Kentucky Jockey Club S.-G 2 at Churchill. The 3-year-old bay colt might have the "human connections" edge on the field too as he is trained by Todd Pletcher; owned by Winstar and ridden by Calvin Borel (I haven't heard anything from Calvin in the press but I would think that Super Saver is the early favorite to be his mount in The Derby).
Super Saver's breeding and race record indicate that he shouldn't have any problem with The Derby distance.
Here's a link to last November's Kentucky Jockey Club S.-G 2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX6GfU_tdoY