Enlightened Trails update (Gulfstream Park , 3/30/19)

Time to see how the South divisions of my Enlightened Trails play out. The divisions in both Trails wrap up with their respective races.

GULFSTREAM PARK OAKS:

Top 3: 3-4-5 Point Of Honor, Bella Ciao, Champagne Anyone
Overlays: Bella Ciao
ABC: 3/4,5
My odds: Point Of Honor 1-1; Bella Ciao 9-1; Champagne Anyone 14-1
Bella Ciao owns top pedigree of the field (Flatter/Anandi, out of Anabaa). Ran a big 87 last time out dropping out of a Grade 3 event to a 75k optional claimer. Ran wide in that race; she should have won, having been close all the way.
Champagne has yet to win a graded race. He placed 4th in the Golden Rod, 3rd in the Forward Gal, and 3rd in the Davona Dale. All the while, she’s placed in the 80s for speed ratings. She’s one of two fillies to realize a small new top compared to last year. This last closer will need a somewhat fast pace throughout the race to win. Adds blinkers for the first time.

FLORIDA DERBY:
Top 3: 3-11-7 Harvey Wallbanger, Garter and Tie, Maximum Security.
Overlays: Top 2 plus Bodexpress
ABC: 3,11/7,8/5
My odds: Current 22-1; Everfast 22-1; Harvey Wallbanger 2-1; Maximum Security 6-1, Bodexpress 9-1; Garter and Tie 2-1.
Indeed a two-horse race, and all to the longshot overlays. Harvey Wallbanger did become a bounce risk, but a nice gain to 95 while moving up from maiden class to Grade 2, winning the Holy Bull. 6 works in prep in the 8 weeks off, last 3 very fast, including a bullet.
Garter and Tie has an 8-2-2-2 record, all at GP. Best track speed of the field, 103, acheived in December in the Smooth Air Stakes. 6th last out in the Holy Bull, and off since. Blinkers off for the first time in his career.
Bodexpress is still a maiden after 4 races with varied success. Ran a 97 last time out with a wide trip and a bumpy start.

Dubai World Cup Day card analysis, picks

At long last, my analysis of the 8-race Thoroughbred portion of the Dubai World Cup card for Saturday 3/30.

Working against unknown variables for speed figures and some inability to access some trips, I had to turn to other variables to determine who would be in my odds profiles, and, ultimately, who gets my contender spots and picks.

GODOLPHIN MILE
Top 3: 6-9-5 Muntazah, Logrado, Heavy Metal
Overlay: Logrado
ABC chart: 6,9,5/7,3,10,12
My odds: Heavy Metal 2-1 Muntazah 7-2 Logrado 7-5 Coal Front: 30-1.
Logrado a prior winner while cutting back in distance, wears blinkers for the first time. Lone source of true value here.

DUBAI GOLD CUP, turf, 2 miles:
Top 3: 4-7-9 Platinum Warrior, Sharpalo, Cross Counter. Big longshots to upset the favorite out of the top 2 spots.
Overlays: Platinum Warrior, Ispolini, Sharpalo
ABC chart: 4,7/9,6,1,5,10
My odds: Marinaresco 16-1 Platinum Warrior 9-1 Prince of Arran 16-1 Ispolini 19-1 Sharpalo 3-1 Cross Counter 8-1 Gold Mount 16-1
Platinum Warrior has won twice in Ireland and also the Grade 2 San Marcos at Santa Anita in February. Prior win with stretch out in distance, he has blinkers removed for this race. He’s also waiting nearly 2 months for this race, longer than others stretching out.
Sharpalo has a poor winning record, tho has been a bridesmaid, finishing 2nd 9 times over his 34 races. Had a fast troubled trip last out in the Dubai City of Gold, and is sneakily recovering in pace since his 2018 layoff.

AL QUOZ SPRINT, 6 furlongs, turf
Top 3: 1-4-6 Stormy Liberal, Mazzini, Brave Smash No hope for the favorites here.
Overlays: Same as top 2.
ABC chart: 1,4/8,6
My odds: Stormy Liberal 4-5 Mazzini 9-5 Brave Smash 19-1 Blue Point 19-1

Stormy Liberal had won several close finishes in Cali in 2018 and 2019. A fantastic 32-12-10-1 career mark. Switching back to Joel Rosario, with whom he had won the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint in 2017. Bit of a troubled trip last time out in a 67k allowance race at Santa Anita last month, but a nice speed figure. Gets tongue-tie equipment change here.
Mazzini a seasoned veteran on the UK circuit, plus 3 races here in Dubai this season with 2 wins. Only horse in this field with ‘exploding’ pace, a small new top since before turning 6. With his bounce in pace last out in the Nad Al Shebe Turf Sprint, i’m willing to play the bounceback angle. Also, he sports the fastest pace pattern of this field.
Brave Smash, bred in Japan, races in Australia, making his Dubai debut. Owns the fastest speed for 6 furlongs of this field, a score he matched twice before in his career. He was known as Sunlight up until now, and won the Seppelt Wines Newmarket Handicap under his old moniker last time out on 3/9.

UAE DERBY, 1 3/16 miles, dirt.
Top 3: 6-11-1 Divine Image, Van Beethoven, Walking Thunder. A return to less valued horses but not without something to work for.
Overlays: Van Beethoven
ABC chart: 6/11,1/13,3,8,12,14
My odds: 2,3,8,12,13,24 all 22-1. 6: 6-5. 11: 4-1 1: 12-1 4: 29-1.
Van Beethoven a decent record in 9 starts, 4 of which were at the Grade 2 level in the UK. Has the fastest speed pattern of this field. Switching back to regular rider Ryan Moore.
DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN, 6 furlongs, dirt.
Top 3:10-3-4 Fight Hero, XY Jet, Promises Fulfilled .
Overlays: Fight Hero, Promises Fulfilled, Nine Below Zero. Take these with a few grains of salt, as the odds-on morning line-favorite, Roy H, was scratched. It would create a new morning line, which changes how I wager this race.
ABC chart: 10,3,4/2,7,5
My odds: Imperial Hint 19-1 XY Jet 2-1 Promises Fulfilled 5-2 Drafted 14-1 Nine Below Zero 14-1. Fight Hero 4-1.
Fight Hero has raced mainly in Hong Kong. Owns a prior win with a similar drop in weight carried as prior (133 to 126)
Promises Fulfilled enters as the speed horse of the field. He won last year’s Fountain of Youth Stakes, plus the Grade 3 Amsterdam, the Grade 1 Jerkens, the Grade 2 Phoenix, and was 4th last time out in the BC Sprint. That particular race was a troubled trip, but still posted a very fast speed rating. Tongue-tie added.
Nine Below Zero, since his layoff following his 3YO campaign, had fared rather well racing in Dubai. He is recovering in pace and should continue to be competitive, and maybe even win.

DUBAI TURF, 9 furlongs.
Top 3: 2-9-6 Dream Castle, Lord Glitters, Mountain Hunter. Lots of value under the favorite
Overlays: Southern Legend, Lord Glitters, Mountain Hunter, WIthout Parole.
ABC chart: 2,9/6,12,3,1,7
My odds:
Mountain Hunter definitely belongs on the podium. Racing at Dubai much of his career, he has 3 lifetime wins on the turf here. He and Dream Castle are the two pace progress horses, accomplishing a small new top better than their prior efforts the year before. Won the Wheels and District One World Class Run in his last 2 races here.
Lord Glitters 15 of 19 in the money lifetime; last win was last summer in a Grade 3 event in York. Fast troubled trip last time out, finishing 6th in the Grade 1 QE2 Stakes at Ascot; this was back in October.
Southern Legend is the speed here, and shares fast time for the distance. Good pace pattern here too.
Without Parole is waiting since September to stretch out, addes cheekpieces (a bit like blinkers, in which a horse can see in front and sides, but not behind).

DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC, 12 furlongs on turf.
Top 3:6-3-1 Rey de Oro, Magic Wand, Cheval Grand
Overlays:None to be found. Frankly, I can’t throw out a single horse among these 8. But this is truly Rey De Oro’s race to lose.
Best of the rest is Magic Wand, who was 2nd in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational last time out. Prior to that, a 4th in the BC Filly/Mare Turf. He’s waited this long to stretch out from 8.5 furlongs.
Cheval Grand is the one surprise. He shares fastest speed figure for the 12 furlong distance and is definitely the fastest of this field.
ABC chart: 6/1,3,4,5,7,8

DUBAI WORLD CUP, 10 furlongs, dirt.
Top 3: 1-9-12 Gunnevara, New Trails, Thunder Snow.
Overlays: Gunnevara, New Trails,
ABC Chart: 1/3,4,5,9,12
I do feel Gunnevera should own this race. Should bounce back over his 6th-place finish in the Pegasus World Cup. Blinkers off, tho adds tongue-tie and visor.
New Trails 2-for-5 in the meet and not only is recovering in pace, he’s due to bounce back after a 4th last out in the Al Maktoum Challenge. Loses visor for this race.
Coming up, my take on 6 of the stakes races at Gulfstream Park.

2019 NCAA tournament bracket analysis and picks

Similar to bracket analyses here from the past, I use a similar method for figuring out who will win out. I have 3 brackets, with teams chosen using grouped variables. A fourth is used to set a consensus.

Bracket 1 involves school and coach’s record in the tourney, and # of upperclassmen that ever suited up for a game this season.

http://freebracketchallenge.1.mayhem.cbssports.com/brackets/1/98a0eb886ae7

Upsets: Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio State

Bracket 2 takes into account the Sagarin ratings (record vs top 25), strength of schedule vs better non-conference teams, and closer locale for the team involved (unless both must travel a long distance)

http://fantasy.espn.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2019/en/entry?entryID=33626230

Upsets: Minnesota, Vermont, Gardner-Webb, UC Irvine,

Bracket 3 involves stats from teamrankings.com: Offensive and defensive effectiveness, % differential between 2PT and 3PT shooting, and TO per possession.

https://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/t1/2734869?exp_reg=1&b=sb

Upsets: Belmont, Old Dominion.
Here’s how the consensus bracket turned out:

https://sports.usatoday.com/ncaa/brackets/bracket/7D452714E94CF60E/

No real upsets within the Sweet Sixteen. Lowest seeds getting through include Villanova, Marquette and Maryland.

Enlightened Trails update (Fair Grounds, Sunland Park)

You have to love this time of year, as MLB slinks into view via Tokyo….and March gets Mad with the Madness. Yes I have a post about my 4 brackets coming later tonight. This post focuses on the Enlightened Trails. This weekend’s version involves Fair Grounds and Sunland Park.

FAIR GROUNDS OAKS: 3YO fillies, 8.5 furlongs, 400k purse. Grade 2.
Top 3: 6-1-2 Eres Tu, Speedette, Serengeti Empress.
Overlays: Eres Tu, Speedette
ABC chart: 6/1,2/4,8
Throw-outs: 3,5,7
This race promises some very good value with overlays over favorites.
Eres Tu barely qualifies as an overlay, but there she is. For her 3YO campaign, she was 2nd in the Silverbulletday, 3rd in the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra. Both races set new tops. She is the lone late closer, and likely needs a fast pace that collapses. 4 local works, 2 very fast, 1 a bullet.
Speedette finally broke maiden while debuting at 3, and setting a 4th straight small new top. Waiting since 1/21 to stretch out in distance. Track bias should be kind; 38% of all races at this distance have been won by her stalking style, and 19% from posts 1 through 3.

LOUISIANA DERBY: Grade 2 event, 3YOS, 9 furlongs, 1000k purse.
Top 3: 3-6-8 Limonite, War Of Will, Country House
Overlays: Limonite
ABC chart: 3/6/2,4,8
Throw-outs: None!
Another good and competitive race all around.
Limonite was 3rd in the KY Jockey Club, first time on a non-fast track and scored a 92. 3 months later, he threw in a solid 87 finishing 5th in the Risen Star here on 2/16. 4 local works, 1 bullet. Looked great in the Risen Star first after layoff, with a good gain on the leader and sharper 2nd call. It probably helped that he got a nice jockey change as well as shipping credentials, and a move from a sloppy track to a fast one.

SUNLAND PARK OAKS: 200k purse, 3YO fillies going 8.5 furlongs.
Top 3: 5-9-4 Backflash, Bellafina, Peaceoutyourhonor
Overlays: Peaceoutyourhonor. The morning-line high priced horse deserves a good look here. She did go unplaced 3 of her last 4 races. What I do like, and you know about this angle from me as I play it enough times, is that she bounced soon after scoring a small new top that was better than her 2YO score.
Backflash is the top pick for me here. 4th in the Trapeze (EDT points), a win vs 50k optional-claimers, and 2nd in the Island Fashion here last out on 2/24. Best pedigree here (Medaglia d’Oro/Time Top Tap, out of Tapit) Definitely best of the rest last time out, she had no chance vs the winner. Hoping she improves off the 74 score.

SUNLAND PARK DERBY: 9 furlongs for this Grade 3 event, 800k purse for 3YOs.
Top 2: 1-4 Musto Gusto, Wicked Indeed. I can’t put enough trust in the other horses.
Overlay: Collusionist. Winner of the Silver Cup Futurity at Arapahoe, 2nd in the Gold Rush Futurity (EOT points). Disappoined first race at 3 vs 19k allowance horses, then 6th in the Mine That Bird Derby. That latter race actually represented a small new top compared to age 2.
ABC chart: 1/4

That’s how I see these races. Coming up, how I see March Madness.

Rebel Stakes, plus Enlightened Trails update, 3/16/19

Into the latter stages of the Enlightened Trails, I look at the Laurel Park
representative tracks for both, plus both divisions of The Rebel Stakes.
BEYOND THE WIRE STAKES: 1 mile, 3YO fillies, 100k purse.
Top 3: 8-5-2 Our Super Freak, Afleet Destiny, It Justhitthe Wire
Overlays: 8 Our Super Freak,
Throw-outs: 4,6 Discreet Sister, Pat’s No Fool
ABC chart: 8/5,7,3,2
Only race of the 4 I’m covering that has one horse with a clear advantage. I’m not
sure Our Super Freak should even be an overlay coming down from a morning-
line of 5-1. She’s more like 4-5. She appears to the best speed horse here. Last 3
BRIS figures: 82,80,77. It’s a pattern that definitely ranks best of these. Last time
out in the Wide Country on 2/16, first race after 7 weeks away, she improved in
her 2nd call speed and gained a bit on the leader.
The way the morning-line appears, there just isn’t much value to be found among
my contenders. But I like the value in my top 3 amongst the comparative
favorites.
My odds: Afleet Destiny, Crafty’s Dream and It Justhitthe WIre: 9-1. Las Setas:
11-1. Destiny Over Fate: 14-1. Our Super Freak: 4-5.

REBEL STAKES, First Division: 8.5 furlongs, 3YOs, 750k purse.
Top 3: 2-9-4 Long Range Toddy, Improbable, Easy Shot
Overlays: Extra Hope, Easy Shot, Proud Nation, Classy John
Throw-outs: Corruze, Ninth Street, Galilean
ABC chart: 2,9,4/1,7,5
My odds: Improbable 5-2; Extra Hope 7-2; Long Range Toddy 7-1; Easy Shot 7
-1; Classy John 8-1; Proud Nation 11-1.
Long Range Toddy is 6-3-1-1 lifetime. Winner of the Springboard Mile, 2nd in
the Smarty Jones at Oaklawn on 1/25, then 3rd in the Grade 3 Southwest on 2/18.
His 92 score in the Smarty Jones is best OP score of this field. It’s also a small
new top compared to his Springboard Mile run last year.
Easy Shot, after finishing his 2YO run by breaking maiden status, ran 5th in the
Grade 3 Sham, and 3rd in the Grade 3 RB Lewis. Both of those races were at Santa
Anita, and the latter saw him move from a 3rd consecutive 84 score to a small
new top of 89. 4 works since the RB Lewis, all at SA, last 2 were bullets.
Extra Hope was 4th in the Grade 3 Bob Hope, 3rd in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos
Futurity, and winner of an 80k optional-claimer at Santa Anita last time out,
1/31, kicking off his 3YO campaign. That last race represents a new small top.
He gained 18 points at the 2nd call compared to previous, and seized the lead at
that point, winning out by 3.25 lengths. I have to wonder if the very fast pace of
that race, and/or the sloppy track made a big difference in his winning.
Regardless he’s waiting the longest of these to stretch out in distance.
Proud Nation enters still a maiden. Failed with blinkers first time out to start his
3YO campaign, dropping to a 42 and a 9th place finishing vs 93k maidens. My
only real reason for liking him is the slight track bias. 17 of the 56 races run at
the distance have been won by pure sprinters, more so than other types. 6 of the
56 have been won in posts 4 through 7.
Classy John has run competitively only in state-bred company. Winner of the LA
Juvenile and LA Futurity, 2nd in the Premier Prince, with a small new top of 92.
1st or 2nd in 5 lifetime races. Like Proud Nation, he can benefit from track bias
via his pure speed ability.

REBEL STAKES, Second Division, 8.5 furlongs, 3YOs, 750k purse
Top 3 7-5-9 Our Braintrust, Game WInner, Kaziranga
Overlays: 3,4, 9 Parsimony, Jersey Agenda, Kaziranga
Throw-outs: 6,8: Omaha Beach, Gunmetal Gray
ABC chart: 7,5/10,9,4
Our Braintrust: 5 for 5 in the money lifetime. 3rd last time out in the Grade 3
Withers, with 4th straight increase in BRIS speed to 101. It was his first race
without front bandages, as well as beyond one mile and versus Graded company.
It was on a pace that was consistently fast. He did have some traffic trouble in
the Withers despite the triple-digit BRIS number. I feel he can run just as fast
without the trouble. Blinkers on for the first time.

Kaziranga, granted, for a pure sprinter, hasn’t been one to find the lead. But I like
how he responded last time, first race after layoff. He increased his speed at 2nd
call as well as gain on the leader. For his first time beyond a mile, in a fast pace,
he did manage 5th. He previously won first off layoff while breaking his maiden.
A dark horse for sure, but I have always like the positive 2nd race after layoff
angle.

Parsimony is still a maiden after 7 starts and 4 2nd place finishes. First stakes
race of any kind, making his 2nd turf to dirt switch. 2 races prior he set a new
small top of 88, bettering his 2YO best of 87.

Jersey Agenda bounced from 91 to 82 last time out in the Grade 3 Southwest
here. I like the track bias angle with him (See Proud Nation, Rebel division 1 race)
Captain Von Trapp: Set a small new top of 90 last time out in his first route race,
vs 50k optional-claimers. Consistent runs between 81 and 90 in his 5 races, 2
wins and 2 2nds.

PRIVATE TERMS STAKES, 8.5 furlongs, 3YOs, 100k. This is the final race in the
Minors division for my Enlightened Derby Trail. Winner is in my mythical
Kentucky Derby, joining Six Shooter, Broka, and Anothertwistafate.
Top 3: 5-3-1 Makes Mo Cents, Alwaysmining, Tybalt
Overlays: Makes Mo Cents, Dixie Drawl
Throw-outs: Still Dreaming
ABC chart: 5/3/6,1,2
My odds: Tybalt 8-1; Dixie Drawl 10-1; Alwaysmining 2-1; Joevia 5-1; Makes Mo Cents 5-2; Red Gum 44-1
Makes Mo Cents has raced just once, here at a sloppy Laurel track, 7 furlongs with an 83 BRIS. That was on 1/19. This deep closer was 6 lengths behind the leader at 2nd call and closed to win by 1 length. He’s waited 7 weeks to stretch out. In this race, he’s the lone deep closer and enters with 4 local works, 1 was very fast.

Tybalt sports a top pedigree in this field (Kitten’s Joy/El Prado, out of Tale Of The Cat). Last run in the Miracle Wood here at Laurel, he matched his lifetime best with a 93, running 6 wide and finishing 3rd.

Red Gum has won three of his last 4, breaking maiden status in the process. Coincidentally, the three races since claim by Kelly Rubley were on non-fast tracks. Last time out, his run of 92 is best Laurel speed for this field. There is risk of bounce with the move up in class.

Dixie Drawl ran 2nd in his maiden debut vs 50k level maidens. Won with an 80 at the 40k level, first at a route. 75 of the 220 races run this meet at 8.5 furlongs have been won by pure sprinters. Also, 40 races were won by posts 1 through 3.

2019 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager analysis

With one shot to get it right, there’s also just 2 races that will tip the scales in some way toward a very likely Oaks appearance.
I’ll use the same variables as with the other pools… Class, CD pace, longest distance win, best AWD numbers, binomial pace, and evidence of pace progression at age 2.
Here are the rankings:
7th: SERENGETI EMPRESS: 4 wins in 6 races, including the Ellis Park Debutante (98 BRIS), the Grade 2 Pocahontas at CD (92 BRIS), and the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra (94), her 3YO debut.
6th: CHASING YESTERDAY was to run in the San Felipe, tho that race has been postponed. 4 wins in 5, including the Grade 1 Starlet, the Desi Arnaz, and the Anoakia. 7th in the Grade 1 Spinaway. The win in the Anoakia was evidence of pace progress.
5th: I had to split hairs between Chasing Yesterday and POINT OF HONOR. I rank the latter horse here because of the overall pace….93 and 94 in her 2 lifetime starts. The Suncoast Stakes win was her 3YO debut. Definitely one of the faster fillies here. Also has good pedigree (Curlin/Zayanna, out of Bernardini).
4th: BELLAFINA already ranked well in the predicted odds. 5 wins and 1 2nd in 7 lifetime, including the Grade 2 Sorrento, the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, the Grade 1 Chandelier, and the Grade 2 Santa Ynez and Las Virgiennes. Her lone blemish was a 4th-place finish in the BC Juvenile Fillies, tho it was a nice 92 there at CD. I rank her as the fastest filly of the bunch.
Now for my top 3, which will be wagered on with exactas plus field to each other. I will wager win bets on my eventual top 3 that are about 6-1 or worse by 3pm Sunday.
3rd: RESTLESS RIDER: 6-3-3-0 lifetime. Winner of the 100k Debutante at CD with a 91, 2nd in the Grade 1 Spinaway, winner of the Grade 1 Alcibiad, 2nd in the BC Juvenile Fillies (96), 2nd in the Grade 2 Golden Rod, first time on a sloppy track. Yet to race at 3. Positive pace progress identified. One of the fastest of the 23.
2nd: LIORA is 6-2-1-1. Winner of the Grade 2 Golden Rod (89 BRIS at CD), 4th in the Silverbulletday, 2nd in the Rachel Alexandra, matching her 2YO best score of 89. Positive pace progress identified. Best AWD scores of the field (Candy Ride/Giant Mover, out of Giant’s Causeway)
Top selection is Jaywalk, a highly regarded filly who won the BC Juvenile Fillies at CD with a 103 score. In her 3YO debut last week, she bounced to an 85 in the Grade 2 Davona Dale. Still ranks as one of the fastest fillies of this field of 23.
3 fillies of the 23 are in Saturday’s Grade 3 8.5 furlong Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park: Motion Emotion, Marathon Queen and Power Gal. For sake of this wager, I like Power Gal a bit. She does have good pedigree and did reveal positive pace progress. Should she win, it just might get her into the mix. But that’s before determining the pace parameters. There is, at cost, a Brisnet feature that does reveal the speed figures hours after the race. I’ll definitely need to that for several races involving horses in both future pools.
I don’t like Orra Moor but she is running in the one-mile Busher at Aqueduct, a listed stakes event.
Even if she wins, she still lacks evidence in the categories to be a factor for this future wager.

I will give you my take on the Honeybee and Busher races late on Friday.

2019 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 analysis

Now to the fun part of the weekend, with the pair of future wagers!
On the Derby side, we’re up to Pool 3. A recap of what I’ve wagered on so far.
Pool 1:
Win bets on Cairo Cat 59-1
Game Winner 5-1
Improbable 17-1
Knicks Go 44-1
Vekoma 36-1

Win bets in the Sire Future Wager:
Cairo Prince 30-1
Candy Ride 7-1
Giant’s Causeway 47-1
Into Mischief 7-1
Uncle Mo 23-1

Pool 2:
$2 win bets on
War Of Will 17-1
Tax 63-1
Knicks Go 78-1
Signalman 28-1
Maximus Mischief 38-1 (whom is now off the Trail)
$1 exactas between ‘field’ (5-2), Game Winner (5-1), Improbable (7-1), and War Of Will.

Not sure I’d bet any further on Knicks Go at this point, nor Tax.
Cairo Cat may be a true bust…hasn’t run yet at 3. No word anywhere about him.
Improbable, Tax and Vekoma are top 20 in actual Derby points but certainly will need more.

Looking at the Triple Crown nominations, here’s whom I have that are alive to the Derby from the sires:
Cairo Prince (11): Admire, Cairo Cat, Cairo Cutie, Castle Casanova, Dyn, Harmon, Mihos, Napoleon’s Empire, Oncewewerebrothers, Shazier, World Affairs
Candy Ride (8): Americandy, Capernaum, Game Winner, Get The Prize, Kaziranga, Mr MIke, Shared Legacy, Vekoma
Giant’s Causeway (3): Higgins, Magnificent McCool, Sweet Giant
Into Mischief (15): Chess Chief, Comedian, Corruze, Honest Mischief, Incorrigible, Instagrand, Into Morocco, Market King, Maximus Mischief, Mr Ankeny, Owendale, Punchline, Rowayton, and 2 unnamed colts, one out of Ford Gallop, the other by Morningbird.
Uncle Mo (11): Bandon Woods, Fifty Over, Forty Under, Galilean, General Mo, Good As Money, King For A Day, Machine Learning, Mo Mississippi, Mo Reserve, Scalper

Now for the Pool 3 rankings…..
8th: HARVEY WALLBANGER is one of just a few late closers here. Won the Grade 2 Holy Bull at Gulfstream following a 10 week layoff, in his 3YO debut. It was a nice gain from his runs in the 80s prior to a 95. Ran an 86 and 81 at Churchill in the races prior, breaking his maiden in November. He is being pointed to the Florida Derby
7th: CODE OF HONOR won the Grade 2 Fountain Of Youth at GP last time out with a 95. He’s had considerable time off between all of his races. 2nd in the Grade 1 Champagne, where he posted his initial 95 score. Positive pace progress indicated with that race. He should be in either the Florida Derby or the Wood Memorial.
6th: DREAM MAKER, as mentioned in my prior post, is a horse I do like in the Tampa Bay Derby. 83 in his maiden debut at CD. Showed positive pace progress from there at age 2, with an 85 in the Hopeful. One of the better AWD numbers here (Tapit/To Dream About, out of Monarchos). He scored his lifetime best with a strong 91, winning in his 3YO debut in a 50k optional claimer event. Always bet favorably, he should be rather interesting should he come close to that 91 score and a top 4 finish.
5th: SIGNALMAN might get another look from me. He’s not to run until the Blue Grass Stakes. Grade 2 winner of the Kentucky Jockey Club at CD with a 95. Was 3rd in the Breeders Cup Juvenile with a 99. Those 2 races showed his early promise in gaining pace strength. Bounced to 7th and an 87 in his 3YO debut in the FOY.
4th: IMPROBABLE won’t be in the San Felipe this weekend. His 3-race undefeated mark is undisturbed. 92 in his maiden race, a 99 win in the Street Sense at CD, and a 100 in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity. One of the faster horses of this field of 23. Maybe he gets pointed to the Rebel, which could be run in 2 divisions.
Top 3, whoever it shall be, will be the primary subject of win bets, and definite exactas to each other and the field selections.
3rd: TAX is still rather attractive. Grade 3 winner of the 9-furlong Withers last time out, in his 3YO debut. 3rd in the Remsen prior to it. 83 in his maiden debut. Very good AWD numbers (Arch/Toll, out of Giant’s Causeway). I rate him 2nd fastest of this field. Next race should be the Wood Memorial.
2nd: WAR OF WILL now has won 3 straight, including this year’s Grade 3 LeComte, and Grade 2 Risen Star. Last 3 races, 96 and a pair of 94s. Broke maiden just 3 races back at CD with a strong 94. Showed pace progress even before this, finishing 5th in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf, with a score of 89. Best AWD numbers of the field (War Front/Visions Of Clarity, out of Sadler’s Wells). He is Louisiana Derby bound.
Top choice here remains GAME WINNER. Undefeated in 4 races; winner last out at CD in the Grade 1 BC Juvenile, scoring a 103. Superb pace progress between each race. Yet to race at 3. Good AWD numbers (Candy Ride/Indyan Giving, out of AP Indy). I rate him the speed of this field of 23.

Coming up in a bit, my take on the single Kentucky Oaks pool.