Derby horses holding course, Oaks posts set

Profile Picture: James Scully

May 3rd, 2016

Horses continued Kentucky Derby preparations Tuesday morning, with most either jogging or galloping at Churchill Downs, but Japanese shipper Lani did record a five-furlong workout in 1:01. And it was interesting to see the gray Tapit colt a receive couple taps of the whip to keep him focused.

Danzing Candy and Trojan Nation made their first appearance on track after arriving from California on Monday and both colts bring radically different run styles to the Derby equation, with Danzing Candy the expected pacesetter among a limited number of few front-runners and Trojan Nation a stone-cold closer in a field loaded with late runners.

Cliff Sise Jr., a first-time Derby trainer with Danzing Candy, didn’t sound too confident Tuesday morning when telling Alicia Wincze-Hughes of the Lexington Herald-Leader the owners where the main reason he decided to press on toward the Run for the Roses after a well-beaten fourth in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).

I’ll wait until Wednesday’s post position draw for final selections but am putting things together presently. There aren’t many toss-outs when considering vertical exotic wagers and I think the winner is most likely coming from the following four horses, in alphabetical order: Exaggerator, Gun Runner, Mor Spirit and Nyquist.

The prospect of value with Mor Spirit, who I expect to be more forwardly-placed than in San Felipe (G2) and Santa Anita Derby runner-up efforts, is appealing.

Post positions were drawn in the Churchill Downs’ media center for Friday’s 142nd Kentucky Oaks (G1) and three top contenders were dealt tough outside posts – Rachel’s Valentina (11), Cathryn Sophia (12) and Land Over Sea (13). I like the improving form of Lewis Bay and was glad to see the Chad Brown-trained filly receive post 3. Hope to get a price in the vicinity of her 8-1 morning-line odds.