Kentucky Derby 2013: Top 10 Rankings - March 26, 2013

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Matt Carter

March 26th, 2013

The second group of major prep races for horses on the Kentucky Derby trail have been completed and with just over five weeks to go until the first Saturday in May, it's time to look at our Top 10 list.  Without any further do, here it is.

1. Orb
2. Verrazano
3. Itsmyluckyday
4. Vyjack
5. Flashback
6. Hear The Ghost
7. Shanghai Bobby
8. Will Take Charge
9. Oxbow
10. Revolutionary

Orb checks in at number one off of his win in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, which was his third straight victory.  The son of Malibu Moon has won at nine furlongs and had a style that should fit this Kentucky Derby pace.  Look for Orb this weekend in the Florida Derby.

Verrazano has been perfect in his three career starts, highlighted by a win in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Down.  He is giving up seasoning to his rivals, but may be talented enough to overcome it.  The Wood Memorial in two weeks is his next start.

Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby will both face Orb in the Fountain of Youth this weekend and will be providing the pace for our top ranked colt.  The two come out of the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park, won by Itsmyluckyday by two lengths over Shanghai Bobby.  Shanghai Bobby was the champion two-year-old last year after going five-for-five, ending his season with a win in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

A year ago an Into Mischief-colt stood in the barn area at Timonium getting ready to be put through the sales ring.  He was big, he was gorgeous, but he was a little crazy.  One operation after the sale and the now gelding has blossomed into a top Derby contender.  Vyjack showed a new dimension when he won the Grade 3 Gotham from well off-the-pace after winning his first three starts from a stalking position.  He is one to put on the short list and will get the acid test in the Wood against Verrazano.

Flashback and Hear the Ghost are likely to meet again in the Santa Anita Derby after finishing one-two in the San Felipe.  On that day Hear the Ghost got the better of his rival, but the feeling is that Flashback has more talent.  Flashback was two-for-two in his first two starts then got caught in a speed duel in the San Felipe.  Hear the Ghost got a ready-made pace scenario and won by a half-length while Flashback ran very well to even finish second.  The horse he dueled with, Goldencents, finished fourth, beaten two and one-half lengths.  Flashback will need to learn how to relax or else Hear the Ghost will run right by him again in two weeks.

The final three on the list are two horses trained by D. Wayne Lukas and one from his former assistant, Todd Pletcher.

The Lukas-duo of Will Take Charge and Oxbow just finished one-two in the Grade 2 Rebel and the two have combined for 15 starts with five wins, two seconds and one third.  Will Take Charge got a great trip in the Rebel while Oxbow was wide for the first half of the race.  Hard to say where they fit, but this group of three-year-olds are not the best and anything can happen in a field of 20 going a mile and one-quarter. 

Revolutionary will make his next start in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds this weekend and will look to improve off his neck victory in the Grade 3 Withers.  Pletcher needs to keep his colts separate so look for him to fill the entry box for all of these prep races.

If you haven't gotten excited for the Derby yet, now's the time.