Okay, I’m going to spoil it here and now. California Chrome is not my number one.
In fact, he doesn’t crack the top five. There’s a new number one this go around, CONQUEST TITAN, who is one of three on my list pointing for the April 12 G1 Arkansas Derby. I could be Mr. Cynical, but I also saw it fit to put two other horses who were in action in yesterday’s Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial ahead of California Chrome. See below to see who, as for the most part the bottom six spots are stable, mostly because I just can’t find too many other good options.
We’re four weeks away from the Kentucky Derby now, and intensity is ratcheting. So is the hate mail against me for not jumping on the California Chrome bandwagon. Time will tell who’s wrong, but it should be an entertaining month, with two more 100 point (to winner) preps left to contest.
The Author is pleased for the third straight year to be a member of the “Derby Dozen” panel for WirePlayers. Each member of the panel chooses and then ranks twelve of the best Kentucky Derby Contenders. In addition, there are comments from members of the panel. The list is taken fairly seriously; the comments however are more snarky than serious. This year, in addition, horses 1-10 will represent my ballot in the NTRA Media poll, when said poll commences. NTRA poll results will be available from that site and tweeted on Mondays/Tuesdays, two days after the list below, if possible.
As this list is published before the final list is published including all the panelists, a link to the final ballot will be provided once it is available, usually the Wednesday or Thursday after this poll is submitted, four or five days after.)
Update: April 9: Full Wireplayers story and ballots here.
Okay, enough disclaimers and jibber jabber. Without further ado, here’s the Derby Dozen. (Week ending April 6)
1. CONQUEST TITAN Still waiting for his first turn off the speed carousels of Florida.
2. COMMISSIONER One of my top three pointing to Arkansas whose Sunland Derby was better than it looked.
3. BAYERN The “Curse of Apollo” is in play, but he’s wonderfully bred to possibly be Bodemeister redux.
4. WICKED STRONG He’ll have to live up to his namesake to overcome the “Curse of the Wood Memorial Winner”
5. HOPPERTUNITY Has the gameness and the trainer, but still not buying his breeding for ten furlongs.
6. CALIFORNIA CHROME Sooner or later on the Triple Crown trail, the fact his sire never won around two turns will catch up to him.
7. WE MISS ARTIE Prepare for a month of Ken Ramsey shrills and thrills.
8. INTENSE HOLIDAY His early stretch bobble cost him the LA Derby.
9. VICAR’S IN TROUBLE New Orleans is back to being a Derby prep black hole. What a shock.
10. CONSTITUTION I had to include a Tapit. Please don’t judge.
11. SAMRAAT A poor man’s Hoppertunity: game but not so nicely bred for ten furlongs.
12. CHITU Assured a spot in the Kentucky Derby gate spot based on his Sunland Derby win, but should be pointed the the Met Mile.
Got any good cbontenders? Don’t see your favorite? State your case, drop a comment, and let me know.
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