While top ranked Derby horses were expected to solidify their credentials this weekend, this years' trend only continued, with the more highly touted 3 year-olds shying from the spotlight. We've been waiting for break-out performance all year.
We certainly didn't see greatness from any of the favorites this weekend. Tune in later for the Florida Derby.
The highlight of the weekend turned out to be PREMIER PEGASUS, in the San Felipe STAKES (G2) at Santa Anita By far the most visually impressive prep so far this season, the Fusaichi Pegasus colt coasted to an 8 length win over JAYCITO. I'm dropping him in at #3.
|Premier Pegasus, (shown here in Hollywood Prevue). Photo: Alex Evers/EquiSport Photo 1/500 @ f/3.2, 200mm|
|Premier Pegasus and Alonso Quinonez|
As disappointing as the favorites have been this year, Premier Pegasus has proven to be a bright spot. JAYCITO and BRETHREN both lost stock yesterday, while UNCLE MO really proved nothing. My recurring theme has been how the favorites seem to be backing up. I say "This 2 or 3 race training method of getting fresh horses to the Derby is NOT working for most."
Jaycito, who finished 7th in the BC Juvenile has given me no reason to be impressed. Brethren, who beat a lackluster field in the Sam Davis, couldn't keep pace with a (barely) better field Saturday.
UNCLE MO easily handled a field of 4 rivals in a $100,000 workout disguised as a horse race. Aside from a bump at the start before moving to the front, the race was not noteworthy. Uncle Mo set pedestrian splits, (:25.53 and :49.58), before easily outdistancing the field with a final quarter in 22 4/5.
|Uncle Mo wins Timely Writer. Photo: Joe Ganley/EquiSport Photos 1/1250 @ f/4, iso 500, 185mm|
Well, okay, he's still the favorite. Everybody else is going in reverse.
WATCH ME GO, the surprise winner in the Tampa Bay Derby, now gets a spot in the Top 21 by virtue of earnings. Trainer Kathleen O'Connell seems to have a clear direction in mind. "I’ll have to talk to the owner, but I’m sure right now he’s thinking roses," she said.
|Watch Me Go on trail. Photo: Amber Chalfin?EquiSport Photos 1/1600 @f/5.6, iso 400, 300mm|
"THE WORD" DERBY TOP 21 for 3.14.2011
Rank Horse Sire
1 UNCLE MO (Indian Charlie)
2 SOLDAT (War Front)
3 PREMIER PEGASUS (Fusaichi Pegasus)
4 MUCHO MACHO MAN (Macho Uno)
5 STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini)
6 GOURMET DINNER (Trippi)
7 TO HONOR AND SERVE (Bernardini)
8 ASTROLOGY (AP Indy)
9 SANTIVA (Giant's Causeway)
10 JAYCITO (Victory Gallop)
11 SWAY AWAY (Afleet Alex)
12 ARCHARCHARCH (Arch)
13 ROGUE ROMANCE (Smarty Jones)
14 DIALED IN (Mineshaft)
15 BRETHREN (Distorted Humor)
16 ANTHONY'S CROSS (Indian Charlie)
17 WATCH ME GO (West Acre)
18 TOBY'S CORNER (Bellamy Road)
19 FLASHPOINT (Pomeroy)
20 SILVER MEDALLION (Badge of Silver)
21 SWEET DUCKY (Pulpit)
Wendy and I are keeping an eye out for participants for Capture the Light - Equine Photography Workshop, presented by EquiSport Photos, May 3-5, 2011.
This is a great destination workshop in Lexington, Kentucky for beginning and intermediate photographers. Some of the great learning topics are outlined in our blog.
That's it for now... mw