Start Thinking Derby – 9 Days Away

As we enter the 9 day warning, it’s really time to start thinking about who you like. No, really, I’m serious. No more putting it off and waiting. – I have spoke to handicappers from around my area and this is the mode of thought. I would venture to say that 8 out of 10 horse players I know don’t have a clue who they like. Well kiddies, if you’re going to bet the Derby, you’ll have to start some deep thinking. The picture was never really clear for the run to the roses, and believe it or not this may be a very good thing. That elusive price you’ve been seeking may be just around the corner. – I’m going to give you a little something to think about. A reason why they fit or why they don’t. Sit back, and keep an open mind. We’re going to start handicapping the Derby.


Lightly raced son of Tale of Ekati has yet to run a bad race. He is trained by up-and-comer Joe Sharp, and has the services of one of the best morning workout hands with wife Rosie Napravnik. – He has 4 races to his credit and was only beaten 3/4 in the Keith Gee Memorial on the turf last year. He is peaking at the right time and his works are very solid. I would have liked to see three races in 2017, but he may be doing just fine without the road work. He gets Mike Smith and his chances have shot right up the charts. – Bottom line, this colt fits nicely.

Classic Empire

Very strong son of Pioneer of the Nile and is 6/7 ITM (his off the board effort was when he tossed his rider in the G-1 Hopeful at Saratoga). I had questions about distance, but his commanding victory in the Arkansas Derby was impressive and stamped his ticket as a legit player.


Son of Malibu Moon, has had an up and down journey. After a short break in January, he looks to be getting his game together at the right time. Mr. Derby Victor Espinoza in the irons and may be coming of age at the perfect time. I have always had a close eye on the left coast and love to see them travel back to Churchill. – He won’t surprise me one bit after his fast closing effort in the Santa Anita Derby.

Irish War Cry

This son of Curlin has been on the road since he’s been racing. He has three races in 2017 and you can toss out his Foutain of Youth as it was a clunker. Other than that he is perfect. Hard to scratch that record, but his win in the Wood Memorial. A perfect stalking trip but did he beat a strong field? You be the judge.