iInstead of rolling out a traditional Top 10 list, we’ve decided to give it a little twist this year. Eric DeCoster and Eric Solomon are going to have a friendly competition, choosing a fantasy stable of ten prospects for the Kentucky Derby. The Derby Points will determine the scoring, so if a winning horse in a player’s stable wins a 50 point race, the player gets 50 points. Any horse not selected into a stable will be available to pick up “on waivers” after each week, leading up to the Derby. The scoring for the Kentucky Derby will be 200 points to the winning horse, 80 points to the second place finisher, 40 points for third, and 20 points for 4th. Each week, we’ll post some thoughts and rationale for managing our stable.
|Eric D’s Stable||Eric S’s Stable|
|Mo Donegal||Smile Happy|
|Pioneer of Medina||Messier|
|Happy Jack||Summer is Tomorrow|
|Crown Pride||Barber Road|
|Tiz the Bomb||Taiba|
|Total Points: 455||Total Points: 664|
Eric Solomon’s Stable: (Derby Eve Update):
After months of planning and preparation, the 148th Kentucky Derby is less than 24 hours away. We had seven horses between the two stables that we sorted out between the two of us. I added Zozos and Summer is Tomorrow, both who could be part of the pace scenario in the early stages, which hasn’t been the worst place to be in recent Derby history.
Since 2014, every horse who crossed the wire first, was in the first or second flight of horses going into the first turn. I have plenty of horses in my stable that fit that bill. I think Taiba, Messier, White Abarrio, Zozos, Charge It, and Summer is Tomorrow are all candidates to be in the front half of the field on the first turn. We saw an aggressive pace in the Oaks, proving the track is fair and a closer can get home. In that scenario, I have Zandon, who is probably the best of the late runners in this field.
Ultimately, I feel good about my stable going into the Derby. Messier is the horse who is my Derby pick, thinking the he could wind up getting the right trip. His win in the Robert B. Lewis was probably the most impressive individual race on the Derby Trail. I thought he was used a little harder than he might have wanted to be in the Santa Anita Derby, trying to keep pace with Forbidden Kingdom in a small field. I think Charge It has a ton of upside, and I loved the way his rider, Luis Saez, was riding yesterday. I hope everyone enjoys the race tomorrow and I wish all the riders and horses a safe journey!
Eric DeCoster’s Stable (updated 5/6):
I can’t believe we’re already here, but couldn’t be more excited for tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby. It feels like the most wide open race in a decade and that only means more excitement (and hopefully less drama).
As we’ve learned over the past few weeks, my squad fell apart into the final preps. Thankfully filling out the starting gate gives me a shot, but of course most of those remaining are still pretty big prices. Of those I’ve picked up, I feel best about Tawny Port to maybe grab me some underneath points if all goes well for him. As for the rest of my stable and how they can get me into win contention, I still hold some decent cards to Eric S.’s strong stable. Mo Donegal and Epicenter both have the ability to win this race, but their biggest questions relate to what trips they can get. I’m expecting a pace on the quick side, which would definitely be of big benefit to Mo Donegal if he can stay out of trouble. Epicenter has been praised for the “versatility” he showed in the Louisiana Derby, but to me he will need to be even more versatile to find favorable positioning in this year’s Derby.
The others in my stable leading into this week were Simplification, Crown Pride, and Classic Causeway. A quick side note, I held on to Classic Causeway with the hope connections would get Derby fever and re-insert him into the race, so I’m glad that played out to plan. He probably won’t run well though. However, I do really like Simplification in this race. His adaptability has been his strong suit, he has immense ability, he had excuses in his Florida Derby effort, and he fits on figures. Crown Pride has been well regarded in the lead-up and I think it’s fair on talent, but I think his gate antics will be his undoing here.
As for why I picked up the horses I did, once again I’m sensing a very quick early pace in this year’s race. Therefore, I thought picking up some longshots who will sit well off the pace could benefit me. All things considered though, I’m banking on Simplification, Mo Donegal, and Epicenter to carry me on Saturday. Good luck everyone!