Heres the updated list of my Top 10 Kentucky Derby contenders bottom to top Dave Letterman style:
Rule: Pace often makes the race especially on the first Saturday in May. One of Todd Pletchers runners will be near on the lead en route to the first turn at Churchill Downs. Whether the son of Roman Ruler travels the 1 ¬ miles to victory is the big question.
Super Saver: Another Pletcher trainee that has been a bridesmaid lately, but still makes it to the big dance. The son of Marias Mon exhibits the right running style to prevail, but may lack a big enough heart.
Line of David: Can you spell WSW (one shot wonder). Maybe. His latest winning turf to dirt performance in the Arkansas Derby rocketed him to Kentucky and was his third consecutive victory. It was a great debut on dirt, but can the son of Lion Heart do an encore wire-to-wire at Louisville? Only two have managed that in 22 years.
Stately Victor: This Blue Grass victor turned green into gold for the son of Ghostzapper, but can he do it again? Or is he another member of the WSW Club. His 40-1 odds broke the 35-1 record of Dust Commander established 40 years ago. By the way, Dust Commander won the 70 Derby.
Ice Box: Nose winner in the Florida Derby is training up to the big race. Two not-long-ago Kentucky Derby champs did the same after scoring at Gulfstream, but didnt lay off seven weeks. Tough assignment.
Mission Implzible: Another Pletcher horse surprised in Louisana Derby, making up more than two lengths in the stretch. Whether the son of Unbridleds Song, improvingÿ off fourth place finish in Southwest Stakes, decides to accept the mission will be known soon.
Sidneys Candy: Do you remember Pioneer of the Nile that captured three straight stakes last year in California? However, the son of Candy Ride led at every call in all three while the son of Empire Maker didnt make the front in the Santa Anita Derby and San Felipe until the stretch. Pioneer of the Nile was runner-up at Churchill Downs. Few go wire-to-wire. Last winner to do: War Emblem in 02.
Endorsement: This son of Distorted Humor, which has sired a slew of Kentucky Derby contenders that included 03 victor Funny Cide, won the Sunland Derby covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 2/5 fairly easily. Time was quick for only his third career start. Can he step up? Stay turned.ÿ
Lookin at Lucky: Will Luck be a Lady for trainer Bob Baffert? Troubled trips have outnumbered smooth outings since the son of Smart Strike ran second in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. Clear sailing is never a gimme in a 20-horse field? Garett Gomez must steer this gutsy runner right. No doubt he hits the board.ÿ
Eskendereya: Can Pletchers leading 3-year-old perform as well on May 1 as he has in the Wood and Fountain of Youth? The son of Giants Causeway gets an A forÿ acceleration. Meet the fifth winning Kentucky Derby favorite in the 21st Century that looks like a good bet to triumph.
By Greg Melikovs