The race is on for The Kentucky Derby. My favorite is Corinthian. This horse is a handful, a handful of talent and a handful of tempermental horse! Despite Corinthian’s hot-headed and rude behavior before a race, he keeps winning, which tells you how talented this colt is. He was scheduled to make his first start of the year in the Aventura Stakes, but was scratched when he threw a tantrum in the gate, sustaining several scrapes. Corinthian takes after his sire, Pulpit, who was known to lose his cool before a race. But he also seems to have inherited Pulpit’s talent, and with two straight wins, he looks ready to mark himself as a decent Derby contender. Who said difficult horses are not any fun?
Here’s todays updated Derby Dozen per BloodHorse.com:
Steve Haskin’s DERBY DOZEN
Updated Mar. 21, 2006
Will keep him in the top slot by the slimmest of margins only because he was there before. He’s obviously the horse to beat in the Santa Anita Derby, but still want to see a bit more; he’s had it pretty easy so far.
Rebel was a powerhouse, almost freaky, performance. He continues to improve despite having run at least once in every month for the past nine months. How long can he keep going? He did drift out noticeably in the stretch.
He threw a shoe in the Tampa Bay Derby and it obviously affected his performance. He was bottled up in traffic early, tossing his head around, and then was spinning his wheels on the far turn. Loses nothing in defeat.
His running style is what you look for in a Derby horse. He makes the same run at the same place every time, and it’s the place where most Derbys are won. He needs only to straighten out his head to instill confidence.
BOB AND JOHN
Similar to Bluegrass Cat in that this was a good learning experience in a race he could afford to lose. Got hammered at the break and was taken out of his game plan. Made a strong wide move and got a bit tired late.
San Felipe was more like it. He showed what he’s capable of when he’s able to relax. It was only a question of getting him to use his talent without fighting his riders. Now he just has to prove he can do it consistently.
He’s still a bit lazy and immature and requires a lot of encouragement. He was being pushed hard a long way out, but he does keep coming and should get better with maturity and added distance. This was a big step forward.
There isn’t much to say about him until the Blue Grass. Now that he’s had his slight regression coming off a blazing sprint debut he has to start moving forward, and needs to look like a Derby horse in the Blue Grass.
It’s difficult not putting an undefeated graded stakes winner higher, but he still needs to answer some major questions. Even if he wins the Florida Derby, will he be toughened and seasoned enough to overcome two layoffs?
CAUSE TO BELIEVE
Lack of competition is the only question, and we probably won’t know how good he really is until Derby Day. But with his consistency, versatility, and toughness, he’s going to be tough no matter who he runs against.
He ran the same kind of race First Samurai did in his two-turn debut. The 1:07 3/5 in the Hutcheson, combined with his being taught to relax, dulled him a bit in the Gotham, but he tried hard and gained a lot of experience.
His fourth in the San Felipe was a huge step in the right direction. Coming off six-furlong races, he fought hard between horses and never quit. He’s bred to stay and he’ll be farther back next time. Could peak on Derby Day.
I will not change my horse with any that treads but on four pasterns…When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk. He trots the air, the earth sings when he touches it, the basest horn of his hoofs is more musical than the pipe of Hermes…When bestride him I soar, I am a hawk…