April 15th 2009- As the derby inches closer and closer, its time to start looking at who I believe has the best chances of bringing home the roses this year.
I will discuss 3 different horses everyday. I will start off with my personal favorite at this point ;Pioneerof The Nile, this 3-year old colt out of Empire Maker,trained by Bob Baffert; has been nothing short of impressive. With 4 consecutive wins on the west coast; the most recent he brought home the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. The only question laying upon Pioneer is whether or not he can adapt to the dirt surface at Churchill Downs. Every other start he has had has been on the synthetic track. I personally dont think this will effect Pioneer at all, and we shall see when he works out soon at Churchill.
Next I will look at I Want Revenge the 3 year old son of Stephen Got Even. Revenge has also been very impressive his last two times out. Winning the Gotham Stakes and Wood Memorial both at Aqueduct. So Revenge dosen’t bring up the question about how he will take to the dirt, already running and winning on it. He has worked at Churchill Downs, he worked an easy half-mile in 50 seconds on a sloppy track, with Joe Talamo aboard. Trainer Jeff Mullins said “They had to let I Want Revenge run, he was about to tear the barn down.” I like that sign, he is ready to get out and get it done.
Last we will look at Friesan Fire, this 3 year old colt out of A.P. Indy and is trained by J. Larry Jones. Fire is the recent winner of the Louisana Derby over a sloppy track. He also has ran great on the dirt, and has also worked out at Churchill breezing 5 furlongs in 1:00 2/5. Jones had this to say about the workout,””He went very well; this was just a prep for Sunday when he will have a long work of a mile,” Jones said.” Jockey Gabe Saez also commented on the colts workout,”Saez was also pleased. “I thought he worked well. He handles this track well and he is getting better and better all the time.” Fire is coming off 3 straight wins and is looking mighty sharp leading up to May 2.