10. We Miss Artie
Artie Schiller- Athena's Gift by Fusaichi Pegasus
Jockey: John R. Velazquez
Trainer: Todd A. Pletcher
Owner: Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K.
Derby Points: 60
Class: Worries here about his class on dirt. He hasn't shown much on dirt as he shouldn't his pedigree screams turf. Churchill does tend to play like a synthetic track, and lots of synthetic type horses do take to the track well. This horse on the other hand doesn't seem like much on synthetic or dirt. His effort in the Spiral was less than spectacular, and it has proven to be a pretty unsatisfactory prep as the horses he was struggling to get by all ran up the track in the Bluegrass Stakes. Though there is no doubt he is talented his best running will be done on the grass and at distances up to a mile and an eighth.
Pedigree: His pedigree screams turf his sire Artie Schiller was a very talented Breeders Cup Mile winner, and his mother was also a pretty talented mile type grass mare. His mother was fifth in the 2008 Virgina Oaks on the turf. Though there are facets in his pedigree that have some dirt influence with Fusaichi Pegasus on his bottom side I still feel that's not enough dirt influence, and this one will be much better suited on the turf in the future.
Overall Opinion: Another with a pedigree geared towards a mile, and this one screams grass. He is still a talented colt, but I don't think he is a Derby quality animal and I'm sure after the Derby he will return to synthetics and turf like he should be doing.
Final Decision: We Miss Artie is a pretender.
11. Ride On Curlin
Curlin- Magical Ride by Storm Cat
Jockey: John Kenton Court
Trainer: William G. Gowan
Owner: Daniel J. Dougherty
Derby Points: 55
Class: If he uses his closing style in the Derby this one could be seriously dangerous at a price. He certainly fits in here, and is a pretty consistent animal and one with lots of ability. I do worry just a little about distance as his last couple races have shown he's been a little tired towards the end of his races. Though in the Arkansas Derby he showed that old come from behind ability and if he comes from behind he could be eating them all up come Derby day.
Pedigree: Curlin on top gives him a good dose of stamina. His mother Magical Ride on the other hand was primarily a sprinter, and if you go back to her mother before her she was also a very talented sprinter. With Storm Cat on bottom you never really know how far they actually want to go, but with Curlin on top I think it will give him the ability to stretch out farther and maybe get the mile and a quarter.
Overall Opinion: Very talented horse, but he absolutely needs to close in the Derby if he is to have any chance at all at the roses. Could be a nice Preakness bet if he doesn't like the Derby distance.
Final Decision: Ride On Curlin is a contender.
Henny Hughes- Sea Gift by A.P. Indy
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owner: Tanma Corporation
Derby Points: 54
Class: Worries about ability here. He really struggled to get by Midnight Hawk in the Sunland Derby and Midnight Hawk has shown he may have distance limitations. Chitu is a nice individual, but I think this one may be suited towards shorter distances in the future and could be headed that way after the Derby. He is a nice individual though he just needs shorter distances probably could be a decent Dirt Mile horse in the future.
Pedigree: Henny Hughes his sire was a very talented Breeders Cup level sprinter and tends to pass that speed onto his offspring. His mother was by A.P. Indy, but she wasn't much of a distance horse and her mother before her wasn't much racehorse either. His pedigree is geared towards short distance races like most of the pedigrees in this years Derby field.
Overall Opinion: He's going to be a nice sprinter/ dirt miler in the future. He has some ability, but he is not Derby quality.
Final Decision: Chitu is a pretender.
Tune in next time as I review Tapiture, Ring Weekend, and General A Rod.