MALAGACY and BATTALION drop out of the 2017 Kentucky Derby. LOOKIN AT LEE and SONNETEER next in line.

As predicted earlier in the week, Malagacy, a 3-year-old colt by Shackleford, opted out of the Kentucky Derby to point towards the Preakness Stakes. Stablemate of Malagacy, Battalion Runner, a 3-year-old colt by Unbridled’s song out of the Tapit mare Tamboz, also opted out of the Kentucky Derby after he put in a very poor workout on Friday.

Todd Pletcher did make it clear that Malagacy will train to run in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico which is run on May 20th.  Battalion Runner could also start in Maryland, but after the recent poor workout, he will have to show a lot more in the mornings before Pletcher decides to start him anywhere.

Lookin At Lee, a 3-year-old colt by Lookin At Lucky out of Langara Lass, has not shown a whole lot in his campaign as a 3-year-old, but his late running style could suit him well in the Kentucky Derby if he gets the pace scenario he needs. The problem is there may be better closers in the race, but it will all come down to who gets the trip needed.

Trainer Steve Asmussen uses a number of jockeys across the country, but he could stick with Luis Contreras. He has a high win percentage in route races and it can’t hurt to have a rider who knows how to save energy for the final three furlongs in a race that is run longer than any of these horses have ever gone.

Sonneteer, a 3-year-old colt by Midnight Lute out of Ours, earned a trip to the Kentucky Derby by getting his nose down on the wire ina the Rebel Stakes to earn 2nd place points. He then followed that up with an uninspiring 4th place effort in the Arkansas Derby that earned him enough points to be a fringe candidate for the Derby. Lucky enough for the Desormeaux clan, they have a shot to win on the first Saturday in May, but it’s an extremely long one. If Sonneteer cashes as the winner in the Derby, the IRS is going to have the biggest payday of anyone.

5 days left – the time is just flying by this year, Good luck handicapping!

For free past performances of the Kentucky Derby, check out other articles on my blog and website.

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