A Derby Top 10


It's all about Uncle Mo. Ranked at the top of this list since my first ranking on Jan. 2, the champion of the crop last year is still wearing that crown.

And it is firmly in place following his victory in the Timely Writer last weekend.

Following is the third edition of “Classics Corner” for the class of 2011, with the previous ranking on Feb. 16 listed in parentheses.

1. Uncle Mo (1)

He did not work up a sweat in the Timely Writer, which amounted to a public workout at one mile.

Unbeaten in four starts, his final race prior to the Derby will come in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 9 at 1 1/8 miles.

The Derby is at 1 ¼ miles on May 7, and there are legitimate questions about his pedigree on that score.

However, he would not be the first good one to outrun his paper, and he may be so much better than his contemporaries that it might not matter.

2. To Honor and Serve (2)

Pedigree is not a concern with this son of Bernardini, who tired to third in his debut on Feb. 26 in the Fountain of Youth.

He raced with good energy until the final furlong, the mark of a youngster who really needed the race.

Trainer Bill Mott knows how to get this guy to run his best at 1 ¼ miles on Derby Day.

3. Premier Pegasus (new)

Do not even try to ignore his blowout victory in the San Felipe.

Making his first start around two turns, he swooped by the leaders on the Santa Anita stretch turn and improved his position in the lane.

A repeat of that performance in the Santa Anita Derby on April 9 will send him to Kentucky as one of the top contenders.

4. Soldat (new)

Made a major statement going wire to wire in the Fountain of Youth to establish his favoritism for the Florida Derby on April 3.

His sire War Front was a sprinter, but Soldat will go to Kentucky with three straight wins this year at 1 1/8 miles if he wins the Florida Derby.

No other horse will go post-ward in the big one with that credential.

5. Stay Thirsty (new)

Impressive victory in the Gotham in his 3-year-old debut. Was second in the Hopeful Stakes last summer.

6. Dialed In (4)

Followed his brilliant Holy Bull score with a perplexing second to older horses in an optional claimer.

He is still a work in progress, and he has a great teacher in trainer Nick Zito.

Appears headed for the Florida Derby.

7. Sway Away (new)

Powerful late rally got him second in the San Vicente at seven furlongs in seasonal debut, beaten less than a length by The Factor.

Finishing 2 ½ lengths behind him in third was Premier Pegasus.

May start in this weekend's Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park for two-turn debut.

8. Mucho Macho Man (new)

Looked real good winning the Risen Star at Fair Grounds, getting to stretch his legs in the long stretch.

Due to return in the Louisiana Derby on March 26.

9. Santiva (10)

Very promising return when second in the Risen Star.

Has good two-turn form and may go next in the Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 16.

10. Gourmet Dinner (new)

While winless in last three, he has kept good company while placing in the Holy Bull and Fountain of Youth. Plans for him are uncertain at this writing.

Class Notes

Astrology made the first two lists, but has yet to race this year.

Anthony's Cross comes off a nose victory in a rather weak edition of the Robert B. Lewis on Feb. 12 and may next start in the Santa Anita Derby.

Archarcharch, winner of the Southwest, could make a big move up the list if he wins the Rebel.

Silver Medallion posted a solid win in the El Camino Real Derby, but has yet to race on dirt in his career.

Rogue Romance has been temporarily sidelined with a minor foot injury and will miss the Louisiana Derby after his third in the Risen Star.

by Michael Veitch
from saratogian.com


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