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Apr 23, 2004


By: Joe Girardi

            Well we are almost here, Derby Day. The preps are all run the jockeys have jockeyed for position and now we are just waiting for “My Kentucky Home” to be played and the gates to open. Well before we go too far let us give you our final top five list.

  1. IMPERIALISM- Probably won’t see him atop many Derby lists right now but this colt by LANGFUHR should command respect. Since shipping to the West Coast he has two wins and a second (via D’Q) and has shown that he can run down some quality horses. His powerful late kick should come in handy with the amount of speed that should line up on Derby Day and if he can get to his preferred outside part of the track he will be the one to beat at a square price.
  2. TAPIT- They don’t call him the “mad genius” for nothing. Michael Dickinson has a knack for getting horses to do things that don’t seem possible. For example just take a look at DA HOSS some years back in the Breeders’ Cup. This colt by PULPIT has all the talent in the world and showed it at two, but bad shins, respiratory problems and lack of racing were a problem heading into the Wood. All TAPIT did was drop far back, circle the field while racing wide and get up for the score over a track that was favoring speed. With that race under his belt there should only be further improvement down the line and will be right there come the first Saturday in May.
  3. MASTER DAVID- Had only two preps heading into the Wood and ran very well to finish second behind TAPIT. Did get a solid rail trip that day but should move forward off that effort and is trained by Bobby Frankel; beware.
  4. LION HEART- As clear as it may seem that he can’t get the Derby Distance you must remember not too many in the race will get the distance either. He has all the talent in the world, he has high early speed and he continues to work well. If he dispatches the rest of the speed in the Derby the rest may be left with too much to do in the stretch.
  5. WIMBLEDON- With the race so wide open it is hard to pick the last few that would make this list. However, the best jockey in the world, Jerry Bailey decided on this horse over his other choices and that is good enough for us. Also the fact that he won the Louisiana Derby easily and may have bounced in the Santa Anita Derby is another reason to put him on this list. The final reason is that he will be tracking the leaders from close range and may get the jump on the deep closers.

Good Luck to all on Derby Day!



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