Hey, I've put away the snow shovel and ice scrapers...My NCAA bracket broke apart into pieces ( thanks Huskies). So now plenty of time to focus on the Run for the Roses.
We ranked 'em from 10th....down to our top, number one pick....at least number one for now:
10. WIldcat Red- gritty runner, very game, but is he equipped to handle the mile and a quarter Derby distance ?
9. Samraat - tenacious, also game. Second place finish in the Wood offers hope.
8. Intense Holiday- huge victory in the Risen Star, followed by a runnerup effort in the Louisiana Derby. Really likes Fair Grounds and will transfer that ability over the Churchill strip?
7.Candy Boy- Derby points might end up an issue as he is currently holding on at 19th. Was a well-beatened third in the Santa Anita Derby .
6. Cairo Prince- He's the wild card in this bunch. The Prince was the winter favorite to take the roses til his disappointing 4th in the Florida Derby. Lack of points may have him pointing to the Preakness as he is currently 20th on the leaderboard.
5. Danza- Up and comer on the Fab Five list. Danza ( named for actor Tony) answered the "Who's The Boss" question at Oaklawn as he just romped in the Arkansas Derby for trainer Todd Pletcher.
4. Wicked Strong- finally put it all together with his Wood Memorial triumph. His late closing punch could really help on Derby Day, when he could again pounce on what could be a fast pace.
3. Constitution - Florida Derby win was very good experience as he overcame a tough challenge from Wildcat Red. Will try to break the " no races at age 2" Derby jinx.
2. Hoppertunity - hey he's trained by Bob Baffert, who knows the road to Louisville so well. Finished a distant second to Calfornia Chrome in the Santa Anita Derby
1. California Chrome - after seeing the results from the Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby, he will probably be an even bigger favorite for the Run for the Roses than he was prior to those contests. Clearly the top pick. Victories in the San Felipe and Santa Anita are easily the best pair of preps posted by any other 3-year-old. Those wins were jaw-droppers.