As far as three-year-old races are concerned, last weekend proved to be a bit of a…washout (pardon the pun). Santa Anita postponed their Saturday card where PDI top ten contenders American Lion and Tiz Chrome were scheduled to go against each other in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. Additionally, the Las Virgenes was to feature PDI number 12 Blind Luck, who could be this year's superfilly version of 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Fortunately for race fans, these races have been rescheduled for this Saturday the 13th.
On a down note, last week also brought the first deletion from the Derby Trail as Winslow Homer was forced to the sidelines and will miss the Kentucky Derby due to an injury that will take two months to recover from according to his connections.
This week, we'd like to thank James Scully of Brisnet for joining the PDI and are happy to give the racing public a voice by introducing a vote via our Daily Paulick Poll.
Ray Paulick's Analysis
1 – Bob Baffert and I have more in common than a head of grey (or white) hair. Neither one of us had the patience to sit through the old TV show “Short Attention Span Theater,” and we both have a tendency to get distracted by shiny metal objects.
Actually, in Baffert's case, his distractions come from shiny, fast-moving objects like 2009 champion juvenile Lookin At Lucky, who caught his eye at Keeneland's sale of 2-year-olds in training, or Tiz Chrome (shiny metal object!), impressive winner of a maiden race at Churchill Downs last fall for Whispering Oaks Farm.
Baffert acquired the latter colt, a son of Tiznow, following that Nov. 1 maiden win, and he now races for the partnership of the Lanni Family Trust, Mercedes Stable and Bernie Schiappa. (In truth, it was actually Schiappa, a car dealer who knows a lot about shiny metal objects, that first saw Tiz Chrome.) Tiz Chrome is one-for-one for his new owners, having scored impressively in a minor stakes at Hollywood Park Dec. 19. He hasn't gone beyond 6 1/2 furlongs yet, so distance is a question, but this is a flashy colt with a lot of ability. We'll obviously know more after his next start in this weekend's Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita, rescheduled after last weekend's washout.
2 – There's a lot to like about Buddy's Saint, a son of Saint Liam who took the late-season Nashua and Remsen Stakes in New York before heading down to Florida to winter. I've always preferred late-maturing 2-year-olds as Derby prospects to those who zoom to the head of their class earlier in the season and have little improvement left in them. We'll find out in the upcoming Fountain of Youth whether the Bruce Levine-trained colt is continuing on the upswing.
3 – Lookin At Lucky is near-perfect after six starts, his lone defeat coming in a heartbreak loss in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Is this son of Smart Strike one of those early-maturing colts that the rest of his foal crop is catching up to? Recent history is not on his side.
4 – Super Saver is a colt with a lot of talent from the deep Todd Pletcher barn (we won't get into Pletcher's Derby numbers yet). Son of Maria's Mon rated on the lead while winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, but it's tough going wire to wire in the Derby.
5 – Jackson Bend finished a hard-trying second to now-sidelined Winslow Homer in the Holy Bull Stakes in his first start after being transferred to the barn of Hall of Famer Nick Zito, who does know a thing or two about winning the Kentucky Derby. Son of Hear No Evil (by Carson City) has a speed pedigree on top that should have some stamina influence from Cox's Ridge on bottom side of his pedigree.
6 – I'm not going to second-guess trainer Todd Pletcher's decision to send Rule down to Louisiana's Delta Downs, where the son of Roman Ruler won the Jean Lafitte Stakes and Delta Jackpot, the latter Grade 3 race giving him more than enough money to qualify for the Derby field. Mine That Bird came out of Sunland Park to win last year's Kentucky Derby, so maybe that will be the start of a trend of horses running for slots-rich purses en route to Churchill Downs.
7 – Indian Charlie colt Conveyance gives Hall of Famer Baffert three horses on my top 10 early-season Derby list. He's opting to send this one to Oaklawn Park for Monday's Southwest Stakes, following a hard-fought victory in the San Rafael at Santa Anita. Perhaps he'll move up on the synthetic to dirt switch.
8 – American Lion is a son of Tiznow that gives WinStar Farm a strong early hand in the Triple Crown picture. Well-traveled colt is in the hands of Eoin Harty, who knows how to bring a horse up to a big race. Like Tiz Chrome, he's only sprinted so far in his brief career, but with that pedigree (out of a Storm Cat mare) you'd have to think he'll enjoy added distance.
9 – Blind Luck's victory in the Hollywood Starlet to me was the most visually impressive win by any 2-year-old of either sex in 2009. Hard to believe cleverly named daughter of Pollard's Vision started out her career in a $40,000 maiden claimer. Doubt trainer Jerry Hollendorfer will send her out against colts, but she does have an explosive turn of foot.
10 – Early in the winter of 2006 I considered Barbaro nothing more than an outstanding turf horse, so I'm not going to fall for that trap again with his full brother Lentenor, even though it took the son of Dynaformer three tries to break his maiden. Let's see what he can do against winners.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.