Aikenite - The Derby Trial was his first good showing since the Breeder's Futurity at Kee last October. He lost his next 4 races by a combined 30 lengths. In the trial he got the hot early pace (:22.6 & :45.2) that he needs to have any chance but still came up 3 lengths short. I don't know if the slop helped or hurt his chances but based his showing in the previous four races, I'd have to say it helped. He's an underlay at 20/1.
Schoolyard Dreams - couldn't handle Rule in the SFDavis. Couldn't handle Odyssey in the TBDerby, And when he finally ran up against a few Derby contenders in the Wood, he couldn't handle any of them. He has definitely shown ability but not against the best of the crop. I suppose he could be good enough to get the Show money but it's iffy.
Pleasant Prince - Showed nothing in the FOY but showed a lot in the Fla Derby where he was beaten a nose by the horse that finished 2nd in the Derby. That has to flatter this pony. He didn't show much in the Bluegrass and there was no excuse except it was on poly and with his extremely low BRIS turf potential fig (96), it's possible he hated the surface. He didn't show much in the Derby Trial even though the pace set him up for a big run. Maybe he didn't like the slop. The horse has shown potential on a dry dirt track if there's a hot pace to run at - but it sure doesn't look like that's going to happen Saturday.
Northern Giant - just a maiden win on the resume and that's enough for me.to toss him.
Yawanna Twist - seems to have the running style needed in a field like this - lay a couple lengths off a moderate pace and make a move down the stretch. In the Gotham he did just that - was 4 back with a furlong to go, made his move and missed by a length. In the ILL Derby he ran up against a snail pace and had no chance to run down the speed ball who got loose on the lead. At 30/1 on the ML, I'm going to use him underneath in the gimmicks.
Jackson Bend - A whole lot of handicappers expected more out of this horse than what he showed in the derby, and I was one of them. The first thing that went wrong was the start - he was used to being very close early but there were at least 10 horses in front of him at the first call due to the suicide pace set by Conveyance. The second, and more important, thing that went wrong is the jock tried to make up all that ground in the next quarter mile. JB's times for the first two quarters and the third quarter were :48.2 & 1:11.0. (11 lengths back behind a :46 pace and 3 lengths back behind 1:10.2). That equates to a :22.8 quarter. He still had 6Fs to go but his next quarter time was :28.4 and that tells the story. With a smaller field and a more moderate pace he figures to have an excellent chance to be somewhere in the top four finishers. He'll be on the tickets.
Lookin At Lucky. Joe Btfsplk looks like Gladstone Gander next to this pony. (All you old folks can explain to the younger crowd who those characters are). Personally I think Baffert was a hypocrite to announce after the Derby that he knew the horse had no chance after drawing the 1-hole then fire GG for giving him a bad ride. But I do understand the frustration when you have arguably the best horse in the race only to see him get mugged twice during the race for the 2nd time in a row. Prior to those last 2 races he beat everything they threw at him. I believe if he gets a clean trip - he wins.
Super Saver - got to hand it to this horse and Calvin Borel - 8 back after a half mile, Calvin went the next quarter in :23 flat and within a half length lead of the leader - and the rest, as they say, is history. I have it in the back of my mind that even jockey's can figure out that if Calvin is on the rail, the only strategy you need is to box him in by sticking as close to the rail as you can. (Hint: Jackson Bend won't be on the rail to help out.) SS is my 2nd choice for the win.
Caracortado - Who?
Pady O'Prado - I didn't see this horse as a top stakes horse. I still don't, even after his Show finish in the Derby. Without that suicide pace I don't think this horse would have gotten a call much less a check. One career victory and he's 9/2 in the Preakness? I'm from Missouri and he hasn't shown me he can handle this class.
First Dude....... Last place.
Dublin. Go back and read Jackson Bend again - then consider this: In the Derby he was 17 lengths back after a half mile that went in :46. He was 2+ back after 6Fs that went in 1:10.4. That equates to a :21.6 quarter. Can anyone tell me what that did to his chances of being a threat the rest of the way? Class? Buehler? Class? He still finished 7th - 7 lengths back but considering what he did early in the race that's almost astonishing. The switch to Prado was justified and this one goes on the tickets too.