Thursday, February 26, 2009

Derby Sorting in FOY and Sham

Two Derby preps bring two fields of 12 together. I know one thing both races will show - the 20 or so horses that don't have the chops to become the next Derby champ. 

Check the other blogs for deep analysis. I won't bother with such probing diagnosis here because the Fountain of Youth is too tough to single a winner out and the Sham really doesn't show any real competition for The Pamplemousse. 

The Fountain of Youth has several horses with limited experience, but with very fast Beyer speed figures:
  • Notonthesamepage - 114 Beyer winning the Spectacular Bid Stakes
  • Capt. Candyman - 101 in winning the Grade II Hutcheson
  • Taqarub - 103 in winning Winkfield Stakes
  • This Ones for Phil - 116 in winning the Sunshine Millions Dash
The problem, all of the above speed figures were earned in  sprints - nothing beyond 7 furlongs.

My Road to the Roses stable has Notonthesamepage, so I'll be routing for him, and he just might have a chance if the horses to his outside encounter some trouble into the first turn. The rail and the lead are two advantageous positions to hold at Gulfstream.

If I bet on the race (and I probably will include at least four horses in my pick 3s and 4s), I'm lookng for Theregoesjojo and Beethoven  to pick up the pieces if a three- or four-way speed duel presents itself. 

In the Sham,  with just one graded stakes winner entered, even horses coming off a maiden special win have lined up with a chance to earn a Derby post. While there is no such thing as a sure thing in horse racing, it might take The Pamplemousse to fall down to lose the Sham. There is no other proven front-runner and every Tom, Dick and Harry just seem to be taking a shot here. If he is anywhere around even money, The Pamplemousse is a steal. 

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