Instead 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|
|We The People||In Due Time|
|Rattle N Roll||Forbidden Kingdom|
|Stolen Base||Barber Road|
|Early Voting||Ethereal Road|
|Total Points: 165||Total Points: 180|
Eric Solomon’s Stable:
After a week off, we’re back with three Derby points races this weekend. There are two hundred point races, the Louisiana Derby and the UAE Derby, and one fifty point race, The Sunland Derby. I find myself in a tricky spot this weekend. After having three starters in the Risen Star last month, I have no one running this weekend. Meanwhile, Eric D. is holding a strong hand, with the most likely winner of the Louisiana Derby, Epicenter, and Breeders’ Futurity winner, Rattle N Roll. I like Zozos, Pioneer of Medina, and Galt more than Rattle N Roll in that race, but with as good as Epicenter has been, it is hard to really think of those three as serious win candidates.
Further complicating matters, it was announced this week that four Baffert horses have been transferred to other trainers, thus making them eligible for the Derby (if they qualify with enough points). I really don’t have a strong opinion in the UAE Derby, and while Slow Down Andy has the class advantage in the Sunland Derby, I don’t think he’s a lock there. While I wanted to find a horse running this weekend to replace Happy Boy Rocket, I’ll take a calculated risk and move Messier into my stable. While he won’t race this weekend, I think this gives me a potent 1-2 punch in the Santa Anita Derby in two weeks. His win in the Robert B. Lewis was a dominating performance which was the only prep race to net the winner a triple digit Beyer figure. He certainly has the looks of a horse that could be special. If he can run back to that race while running for Tim Yakteen, he’s likely going to be the favorite for the Derby.
Eric DeCoster’s Stable:
In the last update I discussed my chances to catch Eric S with some good performances in the Tampa Bay Derby, and the result overall helped me get back into the game. Classic Causeway dominated in what could be his final prep for the Kentucky Derby and Shipsational put in an excellent third with another wide trip. He was just a neck away from second, which is frustrating given that would’ve put me even closer heading into the final round of preps, but points are points and still gives me some hope heading into his next start (plus, I hit the tri cold, so I also needed him to not finish second).
This next week is pivotal as we move into the first 100 points preps and I’ll be represented by Epicenter and Rattle N Roll in the Louisiana Derby. Epicenter will be the rightful heavy favorite and I’ll be shocked if he isn’t earning major points, and Rattle N Roll should step up big time second back from the layoff and with some added distance. I’m hoping for a nice 1-2 finish here to bolster my point total heading into the next two weekends that will feature my entire stable at some point.
The one change I made heading into this week is swapping out Barese and bringing in We the People. I still really like Barese and think he has a shot to run well in the Wood, but my fantasy stable is already well represented in there with the likes of Mo Donegal and Early Voting, both in extremely strong form, and I also needed to spread out my stable to other preps. With We the People dominating in his first two runs he has set himself up for a showdown with the talented filly Secret Oath in the Arkansas Derby, but I honestly think We the People is the better of the two and am expecting an impressive Arkansas Derby win to lead into the First Saturday in May.