HRI Derby Power Rankings
Rk.
Horse
HRI
Rating
Equiform:
Last Figure/Top

Next Start

 
1.
War Pass
139
73¾/79¼T
Tampa Bay Derby 3/15

Commentary: Saturday‘s Tampa Bay Derby, the champ’s penultimate Kentucky Derby prep, is pivotal. It’s not that fans and observers expect him to be seriously tested. In fact, the opposite’s probably true and that’s just what trainer Nick Zito would want: An easy race in which he shows an affinity for rating comfortably around two turns and getting him to the Wood Memorial with plenty left in the equine tank.

2.
Pyro
133
74½/77T
Blue Grass Stakes 4/12

Commentary:
In most respects his Louisiana Derby victory was comparable to his Risen Star. But unlike his season’s debut, Shaun Bridgmohan had the colt closer to the pace, pushed the button twice, tested his mount’s patience while awaiting room, but still had little difficulty showing his superiority until better colts come along. He sits atop the first NTRA Derby Poll, and closed the 4-1 favorite in Derby Futures Pool 2, but it’s War Pass who remains the unanimous choice among the HRI staff.

3.
Denis Of Cork
126
74¾T
Wood Memorial 4/5

Commentary:
The barn called an audible and decided to skip Saturday’s Rebel Stakes in favor of the Wood Memorial or Illinois Derby, according to Bloodhorse.com’s Steve Haskin. Surprising decision in terms of the experience factor, but well conceived if trainer David Carroll is correct in his assessment that the extra time will help him more in the Derby. The sky’s still the limit, but the waters are about to get a whole lot deeper.

4.
Colonel John
125
72/73T
Santa Anita Derby 4/5

Commentary:
Remains the West’s best hope to break through in “America‘s Race.” Never worse than second in five career starts, he showed a new dimension winning the Sham; attending a slow pace from close range. From a visual perspective, his tough trip, strong-finish placing in the G1 Cash Call Futurity made it appear as if a late-rally style would be his best game. Such versatility is invaluable in the three-year-old racehorse.

5.
Cool Coal Man
122
75½T
Florida Derby 3/29

Commentary:
Zito’s second colt in the HRI Top 10 is developing right before our eyes. But the trainer feels the colt needs the extra two weeks between the Florida Derby and Blue Grass. Hard to argue with a Hall of Famer who’s had two horses draped in roses. Scheduled to work Wednesday, Zito is helping the colt recover from consecutive 9-furlong efforts.

6.
Elysium Fields
122
74¾T
Florida Derby 3/29

Commentary:
His maiden win came at 9 furlongs and his two-move Fountain of Youth placing to Cool Coal Man at the same distance was first rate. Most El Prado offspring are middle-distance types, some are long-winded. This late developer didn’t get good until Barclay Tagg tested him at longer routes. Tale Of Ekati dropped out of the Top 10 after his disappointing Louisiana Derby, but Tagg remains on the trail with him and ship to the April 5 Wood. If it was good enough for Funny Cide…

7.
Georgie Boy
115
75½T
San Felipe 3/15

Commentary:
Saturday’s San Felipe will indicate much about his ability to get two turns successfully, but until he clears that hurdle he must live with the reputation of a stretch-running sprinter. But his class is undeniable, he has enviable juvenile foundation, and his San Vicente, while at seven-eighths of a mile, has to be seen to be appreciated. He’s just a runner.

8.
El Gato Malo
115
75½T
Santa Anita Derby 4/5

Commentary:
Craig Dollase has managed him brilliantly and the horse responded by running well every time out. Bottled up on the fence in the Sham Stakes, he angled out sharply for room at headstretch and pushed a more than willing Colonel John to the limit, taking two steps to Colonel John’s one in the final sixteenth. Stylish, high class and genuine, but is that the stride of a 10-furlong stayer? If so, it would go against type.

9.
Court Vision
114
73¼T
Undecided

Commentary:
Nothing much has changed since his promising late-run third off moderate fractions in the Fountain of Youth, including his future schedule. Bill Mott is now considering three options for his second--and likely final--Kentucky Derby prep; the Florida Derby, Wood or Blue Grass. With only two preps, his second start needs to be an excellent tightener. What better surface than the one over which he won the 9-furlong Remsen at two?

10.
Visionaire
106
74¼T
Blue Grass Stakes 4/12

Commentary:
You had to see his Gotham victory to believe it. In fact, everyone had to see his victory in the Gotham to believe it. But down the stretch he came, emerging from the fog to nail the blinkers-aided Texas Wildcatter on the post. The colt’s connections decided on the Blue Grass next because, like Cool Coal Man, they want more time between starts and believe he’ll recover quicker if his final prep came on Polytrack.


*=Equiform sprint figure
T=Equiform Lifetime Top
/=Most Recent Equiform Figure/Lifetime Top