This morning we got to see many of the Derby hopefuls hit the track at Churchill Downs. Todd Pletcher sent out all five of his qualified horses and there was a big difference from top to bottom in the quality of their works. Classic Empire has looked decent on the track, but I wouldn’t call it the look of a champion. Gunnevera has looked prepared and decent since he showed up at Churchill. For a horse that has been in training since last Summer, Gunnevera is going to be more prepared and experienced then most horses in this field but he also may be a bit overused as a young racehorse.
Here are some surprising horses that I think will OPT OUT of the Kentucky Derby.
#1 – Malagacy
Sadly, I think this horses workout was simply just not good enough to change Todd Pletcher’s mind whether he should start on May 6th. I think he is a very good miler, but the distance is the biggest question mark. There is a very good chance Pletcher points Malagacy towards the Preakness or some other stakes race for 3-year-old’s that fit him a little better.
#2 – Patch or Battalion Runner
It was very apparent in Patch’s workout that he was not up to the class of Tapwrit. It looked like Tapwrit could put him away at any point, and I think that will trigger Todd Pletcher to start just three horses in the Derby. Patch could possibly still get the nod if Battalion Runner misses the Derby do to very lackluster performance this morning. Battalion Runner was very poor and looked like he had no interest in being on the track this morning. Pletcher needs to decide who he will send with Tapwrit and Always Dreaming or whether he only goes with the two. My personal opinion is that Battalion Runner should get the nod.
#3 – Girvin
We found out that Girvin has a quarter crack in one of his hooves and that is not what you want to hear leading up to the Derby. Foot problems have ended so many great horses chance at dawning the roses on the first Saturday of May. I feel bad for Joe Sharp and Rosie Sharp-Napravnik, I was really rooting for them. Hopefully, they can figure something out and get him the starting gate.
#4 – Cloud Computing
Has already announced that they are pointing in a different direction.
#5 – Conquest Mo Money
Was not nominated for the Triple Crown and will point to a later classic race or something else.
As of April 28th, the starting field for the Kentucky Derby looks like it will be this
- Classic Empire
- Irish War Cry
- Thunder Snow(IRE)
- Always Dreaming
- Practical Joke
- J Boys Echo
- State of Honor
- Fast and Accurate
- Battle of Midway
- Patch/Battalion Runner
- Lookin At Lee
- Royal Mo
OUT: Cloud Computing, Conquest Mo Money
LIKELY OPT OUT: Girvin, Malagacy, Patch/Battalion Runner