HRI's Triple Crown Power Rankings

The HRI Triple Crown Power Rankings is a consensus opinion of HorseRaceInsider's editorial staff compiled and written by executive editor John Pricci. It is an amalgam of achievement and opinion relative to the merits of the 2013 Triple Crown. The HRI Triple Crown Power Rankings will be adjusted each week following significant prep race developments.

All Hail Conquering Pharoah

SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY, April 12, 2015—That’s it, right? All done? No more preps?

Finally, just two weeks of “just what we wanted, well within himself, couldn’t be doing any better” workouts leading up to the big dance and all that’s left is the betting.

Yes, being a little facetious because workouts at Churchill Downs do mean a lot: If it were possible, you could have asked Charlie Whittingham. Now you could speak with Carl Nafzger, or Graham Motion, or… But first things first:

Commented on a thread here that I wanted to see another dimension, and I did: I see the immediate future up ahead. It’s like you’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.

It’s a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's a signpost up ahead: your next stop: the Tri-light Zone.

What was confirmed Saturday at Oaklawn Park is that American Pharoah is rate-able, I think. I don’t know for sure because, like in the Rebel, he was, for all intents, just out there galloping and playing.

I have no idea what’s left in the tank. In the interests of full disclosure, I don’t even know where his tank is.

I also don’t know about his feet, or tendons, or whatever it is/was that kept him out of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. All I know is that in two starts this year he has the look of being "one of the ones." We shall see.

So what happens in terms of non-qualifying dosage, 4.33, or how he handles race adversity, gets bumped hard leaving the gate, draws the rail? Actually, you could ask that about any of them, dosage notwithstanding.

I’m not going to compare American Pharoah to the great three-year-olds of history. I’ve made up my mind only to be very excited every time he’s about to run, just to see if—ya’ know--somebody makes him run hard.

And, so, guess who leap-frogged stablemate Dortmund, who was elevated to #1 right after the Santa Anita Derby official sign was lighted? Why it the Kentucky Derby favorite, of course.

American Pharoah won as expected, showing perhaps more than what was expected, leaving impressions in each beholder’s eyes. Yes, the next obstacle is much bigger, the hurdle much taller, the competition much stiffer…by the gate full, no less.

Arkansas Derby runner-up Far Right ran his way into the Derby picture in more ways than one. The always solid/fast Derby pace and distance will work to his advantage.

In the Coolmore Lexington, it would be hard to argue with those who say "switch trips, get a new winner." But that’s the worst type of red-boarding.

It’s just enough to know that Baffert has another three year old of some quality, and that Donworth is a top prospect, indeed, but that Divining Rod belongs in the sophomore conversation. His victory elevated his stock and that of the Tampa Derby winner, Carpe Diem.

Kentucky Derby Power 10, Week 6:

1. American Pharoah: the unanimous choice of HRI staffers.

2. Dortmund: Must improve on perfection.

3. Carpe Diem: Just looks the part, doesn’t he?

4. Materiality: Top talent; very tall order.

5. Firing Line:
Dortmund’s measuring rod is plenty good enough.

6. International Star: Thank you for hitting me, sir. May I have another?

7. Frosted: Nothing’s changed since last week; there’s more there, there.

8. Upstart: Will benefit from Derby pace; what to make of missed work another issue.

9. Mubtaahij: Dark horse of all time?

10. Far Right: The right-way runner-up to Derby favorite.

Written by John Pricci - Comments (14)


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