We are four Saturdays from the Kentucky Derby and the latest edition of the Wire Players Derby Dozen Poll has been released and we have a new comer to the top spot this week, Gemologist, a son of the handsome Tiznow pictured to the left.
Gemologist comes in off a strong, gritty performance in the Wood Memorial, just edging Alpha, our sixth highest ranked colt. Five for five, he was piloted on a perfect trip by Castellano and dug in up the stretch when Alpha extended. He's everything we've come to expect from the progeny of Tiznow and he is a key part of a deep group of three year olds that makes this year's Derby season really exciting.
Greatness requires competition,and Tiznow raised himself to greatness by defeating Giant's Causeway in the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2000. Giant's Causeway's son, Creative Cause is our second choice this week, dropping down one spot after getting nipped by a nose by I'll Have Another. It's been 23 years since the Santa Anita Derby sent a champion on to win the roses. That winner, Sunday Silence. (We'll call this the six degrees of separation Derby contenders, as a certain Tiznow lived on a street called Sunday Silence, but I digress)
That very handsome son of Distorted Humor is the winner of the 2005 Travers Stakes, Flower Alley, who was followed in 2006 by Alpha's sire, Bernadini. Flower Alley's boy was as gutty and gritty as Gemologist, digging in against two hard charging colts to take the Arcadian prize.
I watch horse races over and over again and shake my head sometimes at the Beyer figures that are given out. I agree with Jeff Frank of the Miami Herald, this horse is a beast.
Graded stakes earnings will play a part in dictating a very deep field of quality thoroughbreds that enter the starting gate in Kentucky. The Turk will be ramping himself up this month in an attempt to decode the riddle and pummel the tote board.
Have fun friends. Turk Out!
I'd be remiss in not mentioning the sire of the Turk, Papa Turk, seen here with The Turk and Little Turk on Travers Stakes Day 2007. Bloodlines mean something.