Ranking my Kentucky Derby picks

April 29, 2018

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By Ron Gurfein

I will list the top 20 candidates to be in the Kentucky Derby draw this week in the order of my selections. I thought it would be interesting to include the purchase prices as yearlings and 2-year-olds in training as well as most recent works and Beyer numbers.

1. Justify
7-2 Baffert / Smith; $500,000 KeeSept; won Santa Anita Derby 107
4/27 Sa 7f 125.20b 1/1
– Remains number one, picture perfect

2. Magnum Moon
6-1 Pletcher / Saez; $380,000 KeeSept; won Arkansas Derby 98
4/27 CD 4f 47.40 h 4/75
– Can press the top pick to the limit

3. Mendelssohn
6-1 O’Brien / Moore; $3,000,000 KeeSept; won UAE Derby 106
No listed work
– Great colt, may have traveled too much

4. Audible
6-1 Pletcher / Castellano; $175,000 Stga $500,000 FTF March; Won Florida Derby 99
CD 4/27 4f 49.40b 39/75
– Great Florida Derby, I lost interest when Velasquez jumped ship

5. Vino Rosso
15-1 Pletcher / Velasquez; $410,000 Kee Sept; Won Wood Memorial 98
CD 4/27 4f 47.20h 1/75
– Decent card, could be a contender

6. Bolt d’Oro
8-1 Ruins / Espinoza; $630,000 FT Sta Aug 2nd; Santa Anita Derby 102
SA 4/22 7f 124.20h 1⁄3
– A player if he is at his very best

7. Good Magic
12-1. Brown / J. Ortiz; $1,000,000 Kee Sept; Won Bluegrass 95
Ke 4/21 4f 48b. 8/77
– Great connections, would need lots to go his way

8. Solomini
30-1; Baffert / Pratt; $270,000 Kee Sept; 3rd Arkansas Derby 92
SA 4/23 3f 35.20b 1/36
– Baffert is a lot smarter than I am, but he hasn’t looked as good this year

9. Noble Indy
20-1; Pletcher / na; $45,000 Kee Sept; Won Louisiana Derby 95
CD 4/27 5f 101.60b 24/43
– Okay, but really never beat anyone

10. My Boy Jack
30-1; Ke.Desormeaux / Desormeaux; $20,000 Kee Sept; Won Stonestreet Lexington 90
– No works since last race; must improve although last was a good one

11. Free Drop Billy
30-1; Romans / Alborado;. $200,000 KeeSept; Placed 3rd in Bluegrass 89
CD 4/21 5f 59.00b 1/57
– I liked his last start, but has to be faster

12. Hofburg
20-1; Mott / I. Ortiz; Not Auctioned; 2nd Florida Derby 94
PP 4/22 101.4b 1⁄6
– Lightly raced came from the clouds in the Derby will improve

13. Lone Sailor
50-1; Amos / Graham; $120,000 KeeSept; 2nd Louisiana Derby 95
CD 4/27 48.00 b. 13/75
– This combo is great when I bet against and that’s what’s happening here

14. Combatant
30-1; Asmussen / Santana Jr; $320,000 KeeSept; 4th Arkansas Derby 92
– No works
– Cannot recommend

15. Promises Fulfilled
50-1; Romans / Lanerie; $37,000 KeeSept; 9th Florida Derby 47
CD 4/21 5f 59.20 b 4/52
– Last starts was an abomination, why is he here?

16. Enticed
30-1; McLaughlin / Alvarado; not auctioned; 2nd Wood Memorial 93
Palm Meadows 5f 100.25b. 2/6
– Needs more speed

17. Flameaway
30-1; Casse / Lezcano; $400,000 StgAug; 2nd Bluegrass 93
CD 4/21 5f 100.40b. 12/52
– Very smart conditioner, not entered for show

18. Instilled Regard
30-1; Hollendorfer / na; $110,000 KeeSept. $1,050,000 OBS Mar 4th; Santa Anita Derby 90
SA 4/21 5f 101h 37/98
– Paid 10 times the yearling price at two just trying to get even

19. Bravazo
50-1; Lucas / na; No auction; 8th Louisiana Derby 64
CD 4/20 6f 115.40bg 1⁄3
– Cannot recommend

20. Firenze Fire
50-1; Service / Lopez; No auction; 4th Wood Memorial 81
Bel 4/21 3f 39.70b. 35/38
– Not today

Hopefully it will be a quiet week and the best colts will remain in one piece and draw well. Next Friday I will add final notes and the week’s happenings in my Ask the Guru column and on Sunday explain why I was a genius or a dolt. Have a wonderful week.

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