I have to stick to my handicapping guns. I don't like horses who race a mile and a quarter who have been off over 30 days. That line of thinking was much better 30 years ago before trainers started
racing horses like they are in Europe, and before such phenomenal training methods like hyperbaric chambers were used by "clean" trainers. But still, those who raced within 30 days have a distinct advantage over those who haven't.
So I am eliminating these horse from finishing 1-2: Revolutionary, Golden Soul, Mylute, Giant Finish, Lines Of Battle, Itsmyluckyday, Orb (yes, Orb), and Will Take Charge.
Now that I have the race down to 11 contenders, time to eliminate the slower ones, or the ones that appear farther off from a peak race. Those are Overanalyze, Frac Daddy, and Fallen Star.
So now we have eight, and to be honest, on figures, they are inseparable to the point that trip will mean just about everything. That being stated, value is key. That means eliminating Goldencents and Verrazano. Gun to head, I like the latter better, for what it is worth.
I Tweeted that Normandy Invasion will win in a romp, but that was before he ran off with his exercise jockey in the morning, so I've downgraded him to third. I am now leaning heavy on Palace Malice to win the Derby. The distance
doesn't seem to be a problem, and coming off an artificial surface might just give him a huge fitness edge, and he seemed to just be short in his last. I can't say that Pull The Pocket hasn't influenced my decision to rate Vyjack high, but he needs to put the pom poms down because the 19 post might make it very difficult for Vyjack to have the trip needed to win. Oxbow has had three 10 posts in a row and now gets the rail in the Derby. This could mean the shortest trip around the track for jockey Gary Stevens. Java's War, who beat my selection in the Blue Grass maybe peaked a race too soon, and his last to first effort including a terrible start has sucker's bet written all over it, but he just can't be dismissed today, and Charming Kitten just seems to be a fringe contender, but a perfect trip could mean roses just the same. He did show good turn speed in the Blue Grass.
10-20-5-2, that is my four horse box.
Go Palace Malice, but more importantly, it would be nice to see a horse compete for a chance at the Triple Crown in the Belmont this year.
Here is the 2013 Blue Grass Stakes: