Derby Stable Showdown – Week 6 – Eric DeCoster Vs. Eric Solomon

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
Classic Causeway Zandon
Simplification Charge It
Emmanuel Messier
Epicenter White Abarrio
We The People In Due Time
Blackadder Forbidden Kingdom
Shipsational Morello
Stolen Base Barber Road
Early Voting Secret Oath
Total Points: 275 Total Points: 180


Eric Solomon’s Stable: (Week 6 Update)

There are three big races this weekend, guaranteeing a lot of action in our Derby Stable Showdown Contest. My goal this weekend is just to stay within reach of Eric D’s stable. I opted to take Messier last week, which should give me a very strong hand in the Santa Anita Derby next week. I’ll likely have both Smile Happy and Zandon in the Blue Grass next week and Morello in the Wood Memorial as well. In Due Time is likely headed to Kentucky or New York, giving me as many as six going next week, all having a decent chance of winning their respective races. However, there’s a legitimate possibility that Eric D. could sweep these races this week, so I’m hoping for a decent performance from my quartet, to avoid digging a deeper hole.


The Arkansas Derby is an interesting race. From a visual perspective, Secret Oath has been the most impressive three year old at the meet at Oaklawn this season. Her three wins have been absolutely dominating performances, showing off the freakish ability that her sire, Arrogate, possessed. Taking on the boys is a huge test, but I think it’s one that she’ll be up to, which is why I added her to my stable this week. I considered trading Barber Road for Tiz The Bomb, who’ll likely be favored in the Jeff Ruby Steaks on Saturday. I ultimately decided to stay put since that race feels very wide open to me. I think Barber Road will hit the board in the Arkansas Derby, giving me some points, whereas a small bit of trouble at Turfway could be the difference between winning and finishing off the board. 


The Florida Derby is a wild contest this year, and between the two of us, we have the four major contenders covered. In my write up of this race for the ITM Kentucky Derby Blog, I have Simplification as my top pick, so in terms of the contest, I’m definitely nervous for this race. Eric D’s two runners have better posts and more of a foundation than my pair. I do think Charge It has the potential to be a special horse, based on his first two career starts. Whether or not a race like this is too much too soon remains to be seen. White Abarrio feels like the wild card in that race to me. His last race in the Holy Bull was a much better effort than what we saw from him as a two year old. If he can run back to that race, he’ll be awfully tough. 


Eric DeCoster’s Stable:


A super exciting weekend ahead for this competition, with both of us really well represented by some of our leading contenders. Even more so, many of our horses are facing off against each other, so there will be a mad scramble for points as it relates to both the actual Derby trail and our fantasy stable battle. 


I’m represented in all three of the Derby preps this weekend, and have multiple runners in two of those races. The Florida Derby has my personal top two for the Kentucky Derby in it in Classic Causeway and Simplification, both of which have a huge chance to add points even if they don’t win. I’ll be doubly represented in the Jeff Ruby Steaks as well, a race I targeted as an opportunity to pick up major points in our competition. I added Stolen Base after a strong runner-up in the Battaglia Memorial, thinking Tiz the Bomb was going to prep on the dirt for the Derby (because Ken McPeek said he was going to), but now I am a bit nervous he could take points away from my horses. I decided to add Blackadder and take out Rattle N Roll to have another good chance in the Ruby. Once again, I feel good both of my horses in there could pick up quality points even without taking it all home, and could really use it as Eric S. is without a runner in that spot. Finally, in the Arkansas Derby, I think We the People has a big chance to blow that one open. 


As it relates to changes other than adding Blackadder, it was announced that Shipsational suffered an injury while prepping for the Florida Derby this weekend. I figured since I’d already worked out one change this week and had enough horses in the rest of the preps, I’ll wait until next weekend to figure out who I will replace him with. 

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