Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Nomination Is In: The Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and The San Felipe

The Kentucky Derby Point Race should take on some interesting dynamics today, as several presumptive favorites take the dirt in what should be their penultimate prep races before the Kentucky Derby. Fifty points for winning and 20 points for Place makes this must see TV.

There are many ways to the Kentucky Derby: The Tampa Bay Derby is the path that Street Sense took to roses while at Santa Anita, Fusaichi Pegasus used the San Felipe as a springboard to achieve the same result. Winners of the San Felipe read like a Who's Who of The Turk's favorites over the past decade or so: Point Given, Medaglia d'Oro, Pioneerof the Nile, Sidney's Candy, Premier Pegasus and Creative Cause. That's some list!

Let's get it on!

There is plenty of interesting pace factors going on within The Tampa Bay Derby; I'm favoring a closer, Dynamic Sky to charge past Verrazano, who should be coming off the pace himself. Who is leading at the top of the stretch, I dunno. I'd like Falling Sky in that role, but I'm not sure after breaking from the nine slot.

Dynamic Sky doesn't seem like a Kentucky Derby winner in the least; Ontario bred, Mark Casse trained, he seems more like a really solid Woodbine runner than a dirt monster. I can't ignore the Sam Davis at the same distance at this track and I'm looking for more of the same, hopefully better.

Verrazano looks and seems the part; I just prefer to see them do it before I'm ready to anoint them, something Pletcher's runners seem to have happen to them.

Honorable Dillon has four races, four improving Beyers, good work, but needs to really show something as he stretches out 2.5 panels of distance. He seems comfortable stalking at shorter distance, not sure how Lanerie will play it for Trainer Kenneally.

Purple Egg is training exceptionally well, but like Honorable Dillon, is making the jump to route.

I'm looking for value in the Top Four, expecting the two classiest runners to take the top spots. That seems to be my theme here as well as the San Felipe.

The San Felipe's field isn't anywhere near as deep as the Tampa Bay Derby. Goldencents and Flashback should strike the top of the stretch together and take a hard run at each other. I am a huge Goldencents fan already, I think the horse is gutty, but Flashback seems the more talented I think he wins today.

I'm looking for Omega Star and Tiz a Minister to clean up what's left. The gelding son of Candy Ride, Omega Star seems to have some race potential and a step forward here would really keen my future interest. Tiz a Minister should have plenty of speed to target as he makes a deep close. Carving needs to show something today for Baffert's barn.

Have fun with today's races.

Turk Out!

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