Hanson: Horses of interest on Kentucky Derby Day

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 4th, 2018

We'll have additional opinions on the Kentucky Derby Day card a little later, but here are horses of interest in several of the undercard stakes.

Race 6 -- Humana Distaff (G1)

AMERICAN GAL (#8, 7-2)  ran perhaps the best race among the top four finishers in the Madison (G1) at Keeneland, doing all the pace work while under consistent pressure and yet only yielding by a neck at the finish. She was coming off a layoff dating to August that day, should progress off that run, and Jose Ortiz will have options from this post as she's also proven capable leading or stalking the pace.

Race 9 -- American Turf (G2)

CAPTIVATING MOON (#9, 6-1)  is a horse we've liked and used in his last two starts at Keeneland and Tampa. He closed well to finish second to the speedy Gidu at Tampa two back, and last time was just up for the same placing in a race dominated by the wonderful Analyze It. There's no one of that caliber in this field, and the hope is Geroux can work out a better trip this time than he did in either of his two prior runs.

Race 10 -- Pat Day Mile (G3)

MASK (#8, 4-1)  is my official top selection, but MISSISSIPPI (# 5, 10-1) is a horse that could be overlooked for the gimmicks. He's a track-and-distance winner from last November, was a good second to subsequent Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Noble Indy to start the year, and simply wasn't good enough to keep pace with Audible and Hofburg going nine furlongs in the Florida Derby (G1). Needs to quicken to threaten some of these, but has the look of a capable exotics kicker.

Race 11 -- Old Forester Turf Classic (G1)

SYNCHRONY (#7, 5-1)  blossomed over the winter at Fair Grounds, and today has the opportunity to move up the pecking order among U.S.-based turf males. He faces a stern challenger in Beach Patrol, a near champion last year and runner-up in this race last season, but a horse could need a race having not run since the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1).

(Hodges Photography)