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2008 Top Kentucky Derby Contenders

2008 Top Kentucky Derby Contenders 12 years 4 months ago #75824

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FCR has updated the list March 2

2008 Kentucky Derby Contenders

The Top 5 Contenders Ranked. Followed by the rest of the contenders listed alphabetically below.

#1 PYRO - Worked 6 furlongs at the Fair Grounds in 1:140 breezing which was a bullet best of 6 on the morning of February 25. He should be absolutely wound tight and ready to fire like a rocket late in the Grade 3 Louisiana Derby. Won the Grade 3 Risen Star on February 9 at the Fairgrounds. He was very impressive in victory as he was dead last as they turned for home and then weaved in and out of horses like they were standing still. Pyro came home the last 1/4 in a fierce 22.3! "Unbelievable," jockey Shaun Bridghmohan said, watching the replay of the stretch run afterward. "I never even hit him." It was more impressive seeing that he made such a great late move coming off a slow pace. He's been training with stablemete CURLIN which might just be a genius decision by trainer Steve Asmussen. Had a nice 2yo season finishing 2nd in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and in the Grade 1 Champagne. This PULPIT colt has never finished off the board in 5 career starts. He obviously has a very strong late move and has the ability to lay 2nd flight off of a fast pace.
VIDEO: Risen Star Stakes (G3) | VIDEO: Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1)
NEXT START - Fair Grounds Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 8 at Fair Grounds.


#2 EL GATO MALO - Showed his usual relaxed running style as he sat behind the slow pace (:234, :500, 1:142, 1:382) in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on March 1 at Santa Anita going 9 furlongs. Because "THE CAT" had to find room late, COLONEL JOHN got the jump on him for the stretch run. He was running down that rival late and even though he finished 2nd he did look like he was going best. A very big race is expected next for this very talented colt. He is pointed for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 5. Has been sharp in the am. On February 15 "The Cat" worked 6f in a nice 1:11.4 over the Santa Anita main track.On February 9 he worked 5 furlongs in :58.3 breezing at Hollywood Park. The West coast clockers rarely give the "breezing" notation so this work was exceptional. EL GATO MALO is Spanish for "The Bad Cat", is the gelded son of EL CORREDOR and is undefeated after 3 career starts. Of those three include the Grade 3 San Rafael going 1 mile on January 12 at Santa Anita (a track record performance) and the 1 mile $75k Gold Rush at Golden Gate on December 15. He has not been asked to run his best yet which means there's no telling how good he really can be. Very promising.
VIDEO: Sham Stakes (G3) | VIDEO: San Rafael (G3)
NEXT START - Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 5 at Santa Anita


#3 WAR PASS - Made a victorious 3yo debut in a non-condition $60k allowance as he won easily and effortlessly going 8f at Gulfstream on February 24 (Fountain of Youth card). The heavily favored 1-9 shot broke right on top at the start and was hard held by Cornelio Velasquez. Even though CV looked like a statue on him, WAR PASS ran the 2nd quarter mile in a swift :22.3 and came home the final quarter in :24.2 while still never being asked to run. The champ remains a perfect 5 for 5 on top. Had been smokin' in the a.m. in prep for his 3yo debut including a 4 furlong move in a blistering :46.4 over the deep training track at Palm Meadows on February 2. Won the 1 1/16 miles Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile which is no longer a jinxed race. Also won the Grade 1 Champagne at a mile in New York. This CHEROKKE RUN colt remains undefeated after 4 lifetime starts and is trained by the very capable Nick Zito. The colt is pure speed.
VIDEO: Allowance Race at Gulfstream | VIDEO: Breeders. Cup Juvenile (G1)
NEXT START - Tampa Bay Derby (G3) March 15.


#4 COOL COAL MAN - This colt has shown the ability to stalk the pace no matter how fast or slow it is dictated by the early leaders. That run style should prove to be a big asset in a race like the Kentucky Derby where a clean trip means a lot. "COOL" Burst on to the scene with a game victory in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth by a 1/2 length. He sat second flight in the race and was just 2 lengths back at the 2nd call. Took over on the stretch turn and fended off a gritty ELYSIUM FIELDS down the lane. He improved his final time for 9 furlongs by 8 lengths over his 3yo debut at Gulfstream (also a win) in a 2nd level allowance event on January 26. Has 2 wins as a 2yo before coming up rank in the Jockey Club Stakes. Nick Zito has this son of MINESHAFT on his best game right now and there is the nagging question whether or not he has peaked to early or just beat a bunch that needed the race. If he's really that good it won't matter.Owned by Robert Lapenta who also has WAR PASS.
VIDEO: Fountain of Youth (G2) | VIDEO: Allowance Race at Gulfstream Park (Jan 26) |
VIDEO: Allowance Race at Churchill Downs (Nov 3)
NEXT START - Florida Derby (G1) on March 15 at Gulfstream


#5 COLONEL JOHN - Showed his versatility while pressing a slow pace (:234, :500, 1:142, 1:382) in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on March 1 at Santa Anita going 9 furlongs. His positioning made a big difference as he got the jump on EL GATO MALO at the top of the stretch and hung on for the win by just a 1/2 length. Winstar Farms and Eoin Harty have to be pleased with the win even though he was getting run down by EL GATO MALO late. This was his first start as a 3 year old and should be able to move forward off of this effort as he is pointed for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 5. Showed a nice work tab recently including a 7f bullet on February 19 and a 5f drill in :58.3 (bullet best of 60 that morning for 5f) at Hollywood Park on February 7. Got up for 2nd in the Grade 1 $750,000 Cash Call Futurity going 1 1/16 miles over the all-weather surface at Hollywood Park on December 22. Won the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes at the same distance and track in November. This son of TIZNOW has an awesome late kick and is bred top and bottom (TURKOMAN - damsire) to run a classic distance.
VIDEO: Sham Stakes (G3) | VIDEO: Cash Call Futurity (G1)
NEXT START - Santa Anita Derby (G1) on April 5 at Santa Anita

The Rest Of The Contenders Listed Alphabetically - View entire list at

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