Brisnet Nuggets for The Kentucky Derby, undercard and other weekend stakes races.
Morning line favorite, I Want Revenge is the BRIS Prime Power selection for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby (G1). Rated five points ahead of Dunkirk, I Want Revenge is also top ranked in the Speed Last Race, Back Speed and Late Pace Last Race categories found in the Ultimate Race Summary. The very impressive winner of the Wood Memorial (G1) in his last start, I Want Revenge has tactical speed, is seasoned and should have no problem with the Derby distance. The only question he has to answer is whether he can reproduce his fast dirt form over an expected off-track.
Joint third top Prime Power rated Friesan Fire has already proved his ability over a sloppy track when winning the Louisiana Derby (G2). Like I Want Revenge, he has good speed and has plenty of experience and is ranked top in the Average Class Last 3 in the Ultimate Summary.
The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) will precede the Derby. The field of ten is headed by last year's winner, Einstein who is the morning line favorite. While deserving that position having won the Santa Anita H. (G1) in his last start, Einstein is rated only fourth on the Prime Power rankings. Top on the Prime Power is the Bobby Frankel trained Proudinsky who also comes out top in the Current Class and Late Pace Last Race summary categories through his impressive, albeit narrow, victory last out at Fair Grounds from a near impossibly wide post. Proudinsky has proved himself on soft turf and is a juicy 6/1 on the morning line.
The Humana Distaff (G1) brings a facinating match-up of Informed Decision, Secret Gypsy and Game Face who all won graded races last time out. Secret Gypsy is top on Prime Power and has the best "E1 and E2" pace figures and is the expected pace setter. However, with decent E1 and E2 and stronger "LP" , or late pace figures, Game Face may have the edge while Informed Decision will be running late.
Visit (GB) is the morning line and Prime Power pick for the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) but her recent form has been sub-par. Indeed she is only ranked eighth of the field of 11 in the Current Class summary category and a better choice may be the second top Prime Power pick, Sugar Mint. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee competed at the highest level in Europe before shipping to California where her last start resulted in an impressive allowance win at Santa Anita. Sugar Mint also has the top Early Pace Last Race rating and is a 6/1 morning line chance.
Several fillies opted for the Eight Belles S. (G3) which will be race seven instead of the previous day's Kentucky Oaks. These include favorites Four Gifts and Just Jenda but longshot consideration should be paid to Lady's Laughter. A winner over this track last year, Lady's Laughter is rated just seventh in the Prime Power but is top on the Speed Last Race, Current Class and Early Pace Last Race categories in the Ultimate Race Summary.
The first stakes race of Derby day is the Churchill Downs S (G2) in which Kodiak Kowboy is the strong favourite. The winner of the Carter H. (G1) last time out, Kodiak Kowboy has good early and late pace figures and is the top rated on the Prime Power.
Saturday's featured race at ARLINGTON PARK on the second day of their meet is the Richard Radke Illinois Owners Stake for three-year-olds and up going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Veteren Fort Prado has recorded eight victories over this course and is coming off a brief freshening -- a angle at which his trainer Chris Block wins at 20 percent. While the top picked on the Prime Power, Fort Prado has not won since 2007 and a better chance may go to his stable mate Free Fighter who is top on Current Class having won his last start at Fair Grounds.
CALDER'S featured 10th race is the Snurb S. for three-year-old fillies over five and a half furlongs. First Passage cost $1.2 million as a yearling and broke her maiden at Gulfstream in March. She is the Prime Power Pick and her strongest opposition may come from Cassidy's Pride who ranks top in the Speed Last Race, Back Speed, Current Class and Average Class Last 3 categories in the Ultimate Race Summary.
Official Kentucky Derby handicapping reports now online at Brisnet.com - Wizard, Ultimate PPs and much more - click here
Tim Holland 5-1-09.