Florida Derby romper Always Dreaming jumps to number 2 on Scully's Kentucky Derby Top 10

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TwinSpires Staff

April 8th, 2017

The Road to the Kentucky Derby is charging forward and James Scully is fired up with his Kentucky Derby Report. Scully breaks down the action each week before listing his top 20 for the Kentucky Derby. We're paring it down even more, taking the top 10 from Scully's Report and throwing in tidbits from notes and/or connections' quotes when available.

Always Dreaming's tour de force victory in the Florida Derby (G1) catapulted the dark bay son of Bodemeister from 19th on Jame's Scully's March 29 Kentucky Derby Report all the way to second in the most recent Report.

But just as one has risen, one must fall. That turned out to be unbeaten Southwest Stakes (G3) scorer One Liner, who fell out of the top 10, dropping from eighth to 11th.

Besides that, everyone moved up or down according to their positions from last week except for Gunnevera and Tapwrit, who also switched spots in the top 10.

  1. MCCRAKEN – Unbeaten late runner makes final prep in Blue Grass
    1. Sire – Ghostzapper
    2. Trainer – Ian Wilkes
    3. Race Record – 4-4-0-0
    4. :49.40 breezing 4f at Keeneland on 4/2/2017
    5. Wilkes – "I'd like to see him have a good race. He is a unique horse and he keeps amazing me."
  1. ALWAYS DREAMING – Established himself as a major player romping in Florida Derby
    1. Sire – Bodemeister
    2. Trainer – Todd Pletcher
    3. Race Record – 5-3-1-1
    4. :48.40 breezing 4f bullet at Palm Beach Downs on 3/25/2017
    5. Pletcher – "He's excellent. It seemed like he recuperated quickly after the race, cooled out good, looked good this morning, settled back here into Palm Downs and all is well. He seems to be in excellent form. I was really pleased with the way he came back to the winner's circle. It just seemed like he recovered quickly from the race and cooled out quickly and was bright and alert and happy back in his stall."
  1. TAPWRIT – Displayed terrific turn of foot winning Tampa Bay Derby, steps up in Blue Grass
    1. Sire – Tapit
    2. Trainer – Todd Pletcher
    3. Race Record – 5-3-1-0
    4. :49.20 breezing 4f at Palm Beach Downs on 3/25/2017
    5. assistant trainer Ginny DePasquale – "I hope he gets a good pace to run into and not have to be used up in a prep (for the Kentucky Derby) and have some left over."
  1. GUNNEVERA – Lost some luster with Florida Derby third, hopes to uncork late kick on Derby Day
    1. Sire – Dialed In
    2. Trainer – Antonio Sano
    3. Race Record – 9-4-2-1
    4. 1:01.80 breezing 5f at Gulfstream Park West on 3/25/2017
    5. Sano – "Gunnevera is very good, very good. He was checked by the vet and everything is very good. I'm very happy with my horse. Considering everything, it was a good race for my horse."
  1. J BOYS ECHO – Tries to back up smashing Gotham win in Blue Grass
    1. Sire – Mineshaft
    2. Trainer – Dale Romans
    3. Race Record – 5-2-1-1
    4. 1:00.69 breezing 5f at Gulfstream Park on 4/1/2017
    5. Romans – "I am more confident than I was last year. He is doing so good right now and peaking at the right time. There does not appear to be much speed in there, so he may be closer tomorrow."
  1. GIRVIN – Louisiana Derby winner not flashy but 3-for-3 on dirt for Sharp
    1. Sire – Tale of Ekati
    2. Trainer – Joe Sharp
    3. Race Record – 4-3-1-0
    4. 1:01.00 breezing 5f at Fair Grounds on 3/25/2017
    5. Sharp – "It doesn't feel bad (to have a Kentucky Derby horse). He's a talented horse. We're enjoying the ride. It's great connections and a great owner and it has been a real team effort."
  1. BATTALION RUNNER – Well-regarded Pletcher trainee makes stakes debut in Wood
    1. Sire – Unbridled's Song
    2. Trainer – Todd Pletcher
    3. Race Record – 3-2-1-0
    4. :49.30 breezing 4f at Palm Beach Downs on 4/2/2017
    5. Pletcher – "We feel like he's consistently run well fresh and we've been training all along with either running in the Florida Derby or the following weekend in mind so hopefully we have him fit enough and ready enough to run his best."
  1. PRACTICAL JOKE – Successful juvenile is in good shape with 34 points, Blue Grass reveals where he fits
    1. Sire – Into Mischief
    2. Trainer – Chad Brown
    3. Race Record – 5-3-1-1
    4. 1:00.45 breezing 5f at Palm Meadows Training Center on 4/1/2017
    5. Brown – "It's a tough race. He's going to have to be at his very best, but I'm happy with the way he's training. I'm looking for the horse to win. He needs to prove himself at this distance. What I'm hoping for is a really clean trip to give the horse a chance. If he can do it, he can do it."
  1. ILIAD – Decent second trying two turns in San Felipe, looks to move forward in Santa Anita Derby
    1. Sire – Ghostzapper
    2. Trainer – Doug O'Neill
    3. Race Record – 4-2-1-0
    4. 1:13.80 handily 6f at Santa Anita Park on 3/31/2017
    5. Private clocker Gary Young – "Iliad is very talented. He was obviously chasing what was going to be the (Kentucky) Derby winner in Mastery. Am I convinced Iliad wants to go a mile and an eighth? Not really."
  1. CLASSIC EMPIRE – 2-year-old champ appears to be thriving since leaving Palm Meadows, Arkansas Derby next
    1. Sire – Pioneerof the Nile
    2. Trainer – Mark Casse
    3. Race Record – 6-4-0-1
    4. :59.60 breezing 5f from gate at Winding Oaks Farm on 4/3/2017
    5. Casse – "Currently, the plan is I'm probably going to breeze him either Saturday or Sunday a little bit and then he's going to ship to Arkansas on Monday evening. He'll arrive there Tuesday."

Always Dreaming photo courtesy of Kenny Martin/Adam Coglianese Photography