Derby 140: Horse By Horse

Molly Jo Rosen

May 3rd, 2014

by Molly Jo Rosen

A few days back, I wrote about The Derby's Coming! panic that sets in this week. And I recommended learning a few key points about 2 or 3 horses to become the Know-It-All of your group of friends. Well here's a primer to help with that!

1-Vicar’s in Trouble -         front-running type draws the inside rail (shortest distance between two points…) -         Rosie Napravnik seeking to become the first female Derby winning rider

2-Harry’s Holiday -         worst performance came last out in first try v top notch competition -         has run his best two races on this track & was claimed in his debut for $30k

3-Uncle Sigh -         adds blinkers after finishing off the board for the first time in his career last out -         owned in part by the Wounded Warrior Stable, which gives 10% of purse money to US military injured in the line of duty

4-Danza -         in off breakthrough win in the G1 Arkansas Derby -         named for actor Tony Danza, who will be in attendance for the race on Saturday

5-California Chrome -         comes in with a 24-1/4 combined win margin looking for his 5th straight win -         trainer Art Sherman road the rail car with the legendary Swaps to his 1955 Derby victory

6-Samraat -         was undefeated until a runner-up finish in the G1 Wood Memorial last out -         name is the Indian word for “emperor” or “warrior” and he is out of the mare Little Indian Girl

7-We Miss Artie -         has never won a race on dirt, but proved game in holding on by a nose in the G3 Spiral -         named for the recently deceased husband of co-owner Sarah Ramsey’s cousin

8-General a Rod -         speedster ran three big efforts in Gulfstream stakes and has run a good race here -         purchased earlier this week by longtime friends and principles in Skychai Racing and Starling Racing

9-Vinceremos -         captured the Sam F. Davis straight off his maiden win, but hasn’t been able to get back to the winner’s circle -         names mean “to conquer, to overcome” in Latin and is also the name of a therapeutic riding center volunteered at by one of the owners’ sons (and to whom a portion of the horse’s earnings are donated)

10-Wildcat Red -         front-running speedster has never been worse than 2nd in his seven race career -         out of a stakes placed mare who is a granddaughter of the great Personal Ensign

11-Hoppertunity (scratched)

12-Dance With Fate -         one of the few versatile enough to own a win on the lead, but also proven to have a successful closing kick -         strikingly handsome colt is the star of the first crop of stallion Two Step Salsa

13-Chitu -         is a half-length away from being undefeated in his five-race career -         named for the battle-tested horse of a famous Chinese warlord

14-Medal Count -         won the G3 Translyvania and wheeled back in a week to finish a strong second in the G1 Blue Grass -         living up to his pedigree: the dam side suggests early sprinting ability and being by Dynaformer suggests he’ll get better as he gets older and the distances get longer

15-Tapiture -         may have bounced last out after running back-to-back big races -         has never run a bad race here, including winning the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club as a maiden

16-Intense Holiday -         had a decent juvenile campaign, but blossomed upon arrival at Fair Grounds with two really good efforts in graded stakes company -         a dark bay colt who runs for the formidable combination of Pletcher / John Velazquez (aka JohnnyV) / Starlight Racing ~ the same team as 2012 2yo Champion Shanghai Bobby

17-Commanding Curve -         ran a monster 3rd in the G2 Louisiana Derby considering how hard he got slammed coming out of the gate -         the bay son of Master Command is less than a length away from being undefeated here

18-Candy Boy -         exploded onto the Derby scene with an impressive run in the G2 Robert Lewis two races ago -         trainer John Sadler has a habit of shipping here with ready-to-fire-big-effort runners like 2x Breeders’ Cup F&M Sprint runner-up Switch

19-Ride On Curlin -         may be the most consistent horse off the whole Derby Trail even if he never got the win: he always runs his race -         one of three horses in the Gowan barn; his exercise rider was the regular rider for Monarchos, who also broke from post 19 (and won the 2001 Derby)

20-Wicked Strong -         won the G1 Wood Memorial impressively after two sub-par starts this year -         bay son of 2007 Derby third place finisher Hard Spun is named in honor of victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings

21-Pablo Del Monte (scratched)