Friday, April 1, 2011

The Florida Derby

To Florida we go for, what has been over the last five years, the most important prep race for the Kentucky Derby. Barbaro, Big Brown, Quality Road and Ice Box have taken the Florida Derby. This year it's between Soldat, Dialed In, To Honor and Serve, Stay Thirsty and the aptly named sprint sensation Flashpoint. That's Uncle Mo above who will not run in Florida against his stablemate Stay Thirsty. This year's prep races started with a bang in the Fountain of Youth and have since petered out with mostly lackluster performances. Maybe I'm not being fair to horses like Watch Me Go and Pants on Fire. I'm sure their connections don't share my opinion. Still, the breakout performance I've been waiting for, I'm still waiting for. And maybe that just means I haven't been looking in the right places. Right now Uncle Mo's Breeder's Cup race seems the best. But there'll be a lot of speed in the Kentucky Derby and Mo will have to rise to the occasion and not let up.  He certainly looks and runs like a champ.

The powers that be at Gulfstream usually scrape the track for their big day of racing culminating in the Grade I Florida Derby. And maybe there's a connection between the foot issues previous winners have had and maybe not. I hope they don't scrape it. We don't need another Santa Anita. Here are my selections for the big race.

Flashpoint will undoubtedly set the pace. I can't see the connections trying anything new with this guy. Soldat should be in good shape and have good position on him. The question is where will Dialed In be? Closers have done poorly this prep season, but if Soldat and Flashpoint lock horns he could fly by. To Honor and Serve and Stay Thirsty are gonna have to beat me. I don't like either. One could hit the board if Flashpoint burns up. So for me it's between the two prep sensations: Soldat and Dialed In. I'll go with:

Dialed In

btw My cat Nikita is starting to get angry about the fact I keep painting horses, so I told her I would put a picture of her on my blog.