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Monday, March 14, 2016

ZJ's Kentucky Derby Dozen #7 (3/22)


Moving and shaking this week as my former #1 Exaggerator was banished to the bench and I no longer consider him a contender for The Derby. While he made a menacing move during the running of the San Felipe, it looked like he blew a tire after the wire as he had zero gallop out while bolting to the outside fence. I see that as limitations rather than building blocks, so he's gone.

He is being replaced on the list with the winner of the San Felipe - Danzing Candy who went unchallenged on the lead carving out solid fractions but I was even more impressed as he galloped out with Mor Spirit a quarter mile in front of the field.

Also run the weekend was the Tampa Bay Derby which on paper looked like a good race but turned out to be a Pletcher Parade as his runners ran 1-2. Neither of those runners deserve having their names mentioned as neither should have any influence on the outcome of the KY Derby. Brody's Cause was involved here, but I knew Dale Romans had backed off his training over the previous month fearing he'd peak too soon and he was woefully defeated in what amounts to a pure prep. He was not in my Top 3 after I handicapped the race and I was correct. He will get a lot of fitness out of that race as he presses forward to The Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland for his final prep.

My new #1 contender worked out today and finished like a freight train just as he did in his last race. He reminds me of a previous Derby winner with his powerful stride and he looks to take another step forward. Its starting to feel like a year where someone will need to stay out of trouble during the Derby and fly past them all down the lane. The Rebel will help with more clarity after this weekend.

So here we go - ZJ's Derby Dozen #7

12. WHITMORE - adds pizzazz to Rebel field
11.  SHAGAF - moves on to the Wood next
10. DANZING CANDY - Santa Anita Derby up next
9. MO TOM - needs a step forward next out
8. MATT KING COAL - big chance to win the Wood
7. GUN RUNNER - versatile colt progressing nicely
6. BRODY'S CAUSE - stepping stone prep at Tampa
5. CHERRY WINE - may take same baby step in Rebel
4. NYQUIST - ships for cash grab in FLA Derby
3. MOR SPIRIT - nice move forward in San Felipe
2. MOHAYMEN - needs to get faster stepping up
1. SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS - long live the king

So there it is - another week closer to the 1st Saturday in May.

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