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Thursday, May 2, 2013
Hot List: 139th Kentucky Derby




By Shawn Rychling, Hot List Staff

This weekend's races, Saturday, May 4, 2013

139th Running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs

(5) Normandy Invasion (A) rallied nicely into a slow pace to run second to Verrazano in the Wood Memorial. He's been training well and Chad Brown should have him ready for a top effort third off the layoff. May need a quicker pace than is expected to close as there are no speed demons in the field, but he is capable of rating midpack and doesn't have to rally from the clouds. We're always looking for value and this one is the play. (3) Revolutionary (A) has won three straight with his maiden score the fastest. Talented, but has lingered near the back of the pack in his two recent races and weaving through a 20-horse field is a tall order. Of course, he does have Calvin Borel on his back which helps the cause and has shown perhaps the best turn of foot in the stretch among all the top contenders. (16) Orb (B) did everything right while winning three straight at Gulfstream and like our top pick he can wait in midpack to make his run coming off the far turn. Just might wind up in a stretch duel with our top pick. (14) Verrazano (B) is unbeaten in four starts and will likely be near the lead as he usually is, but the pace is sure to be faster than he has experienced in his prep races. We also think 10 furlongs is a difficult task for a son of More Than Ready.

Last Weekend's Races

Derby Trial, Churchill Downs

As we probably already knew coming in, there won't be any Derby starters coming out of this race, but Todd Pletcher showed off his strong 3-year-old bench running 1-2 with a pair of talented colts. Forty Tales rated in midpack behind hot fractions of :22.48 and :45.07. Jockey Joel Rosario watched Titletown Five move too early into the pace and waited with a 5-wide rally of his own, gaining the front just inside the 1/8th pole. Forty Tales tired a bit late in the race, but had enough to hold off stablemate Capo Bastone to win by a neck. Capo Bastone might have been a bit unlucky as he missed the break and had to rally from last. He tipped out from behind the tired frontrunners at the 1/8th pole and showed a nifty turn of foot in deep stretch. Longshot Ruler of Love ran a good race when you consider he was close up to the fast pace and looked to be fading before re-rallying to get the show. With five likely starters for the Derby, Pletcher won't need his exacta from this race, but one or both may show up in the Preakness two weeks hence.

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Hot List Key

A List: A preferred horse to watch
B List: Secondary horse to watch
*C List: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 1st through 3rd
*D List: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

Do you have questions? Email Bob at ehalt.b@sbcglobal.net.

Shawn Rychling grew up around harness racing before a trip to Saratoga Race Course for the Travers Stakes hooked him on the Thoroughbreds. So began a 22-year tradition of attending the Midsummer Derby and soaking in all that Saratoga has to offer. Shawn works with Bob Ehalt on the daily compilation of the Hot List.