Taking a Deeper Look Part One
In these installments I'll be looking at the derby canidates, and giving an opinion on thier class, pedigree and whether or not they are a pretender or a contender; when it comes to the Derby.
1. California Chrome
Lucky Pulpit- Love the Chase by Not For Love
Career Statistics:Starts: 10
Connections:Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Trainer: Art Sherman
Owner: Coburn, Steven and Martin, Perry
Derby Points: 150
Class: No questions here at all about his class he is one of the most talented horses of this three year old crop by far. Only worries I have for this one is how hot the pace looks like it will be this year. He may not be able to rate off the pace as the only time he took dirt he ran sixth against average California bred stakes company. He usually breaks well though so if he gets off good he may be able to find a good stalking trip instead of being on the lead which he has shown he doesn't need just as long as he is just off of it.
Pedigree: His sire has produced a Kentucky Derby contender before in Rousing Sermon, but Rousing Sermon has never performed well at a mile and quarter, and he was out of an Awesome Again mare; which would make you think he could handle a distance of ground. His broodmare sire was a pretty average racehorse, and didn't seem to want distance which is very concerning. California Chrome's mother was a cheap claimer, and really doesn't seem like much on the surface. Though you have to love underdog types like California Chrome you also have to be realistic here as well. His pedigree doesn't exactly scream a mile and a quarter which could be his major red flag come Derby day.
Overall Opinion: California Chrome is a very serious racehorse, and one who could make major waves in the Derby, but I do worry about his pedigree, and ability to get a mile and quarter. Overall I still feel that he has a strong chance to outrun his pedigree.
Final Decision: California Chrome is a contender.
2. Vicar's In Trouble
Into Mischief - Vibrant by Vicar
Career Statistics:Starts: 5
Connections:Jockey: Rosie Napravnik
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Owner: Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K
Derby Points: 120
Class: I do question his class a bit, and worry very strongly that if this one doesn't get things his way he won't run his race. You have to be able to be tactical when it comes to the Derby, because almost always nothing goes the way you want it to unless you're standing in the Derby winner's circle. He tends to do his best running as the lone leader, and in this field that just isn't going to happen. He seemed to really struggle home that last quarter of a mile in the Louisiana Derby, and that really worries me because he's going to have to go an eighth of a mile longer in the Kentucky Derby.
Pedigree: His sire Into Mischief is the sire of last year's Derby contenders Goldencents, and Vyjack who both have so far shown they want no part of the Derby distance. His mother is by Vicar who was primarily a sprinter and not much else. Making his pedigree highly geared towards one mile, and not much farther than that.
Overall Opinion: Though he has shown some ability, and looks like a nice dirt mile horse I strongly feel this is one who will be wilting come the homestretch of the Derby.
Final Decision: Vicar's In Trouble is a pretender
3. Dance With Fate
Two Step Salsa- Flirting With Fate by Saint Ballado
Career Statistics:Starts: 8
Connections:Jockey: Corey S. Nakatani
Trainer: Peter Eurton
Owner: Alesia, Sharon, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing LLC
Derby Points: 108
Class: He has never run faster than a 99 Beyer which is a little concerning. I'm not usually a big numbers person, and like to look at the horse visually, but I like to see at least one triple digit performance before the Derby to at least show the horse has serious ability. I also feel this one is best on turf, and synthetic though he has two okay efforts on dirt I don't think he really likes it. He ran a pretty good race in the Bluegrass, but the race was handed to him on a silver platter, and I think he was starting to get tired nearing the wire. Though a final decision on his derby status hasn't been announced I think they are leaning towards running, and who wouldn't you usually only get one shot at the Derby why not fire it.
Pedigree: His sire Two Step Salsa was a pretty good racehorse who was able to win on both dirt, and synthetics though primarily at distances no longer than a mile. Dance With Fate's mother Flirting With Fate ran primarily at Charles Town, and took several tries to break her maiden. Dance With Fate's broodmare sire Saint Ballado was able to win on dirt though not farther than a mile and an eighth. His pedigree leans towards the short side which is also a major concern.
Overall Opinion: His dirt form is questionable and his ability to get a distance of ground is concerning.
Final Decision: Dance With Fate is a pretender.
Tune in next time as I review Wicked Strong, Samraat, and Danza.