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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.


HRI’s Derby Power Rankings 03-18-2008


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

Next Start

 
1.
Pyro
136
74½/77T
Blue Grass Stakes 4/12

Commentary: Climbs to the top spot by virtue of the shocking performance by War Pass at Tampa. If the juvenile champion is going in another direction, this is the lone colt that ran fast enough at 2 to be considered a legitimate pre-Derby favorite, even this close to the big event. But the road is getting hotter as it lengthens and while there’s some interest in this weekend’s slate, it’s the two weeks after that that will provide a clearer picture.

2.
Colonel John
128
72/73T
Santa Anita Derby 4/5

Commentary:
Despite the clear victory of Georgie Boy in the San Felipe, this long-winded colt still remains the West’s best hope. Never worse than second in five career starts, he showed something of a speed dimension in the Sham. Versatility is invaluable in the three-year-old racehorse and his training regimen continues to please trainer Eoin Harty.

3.
Cool Coal Man
124
75½T
Blue Grass Stakes 4/12

Commentary:
As we said last week, Zito’s colt is developing right before our eyes and nothing has changed except for a recent workout, his first since the Fountain of Youth. But the trainer feels the colt needs the extra time between starts and the Blue Grass is still nearly three weeks away. Suddenly the best of Zito’s sophomores?

4.
Georgie Boy
123
72½/77½T*
Santa Anita Derby 4/5

Commentary:
Saturday’s San Felipe proved that this talented colt has the ability to get two turns successfully, but then so did the two rivals behind him, also suspected to be sprinter/miler types. But as we said earlier, his class is undeniable, has enviable juvenile foundation, and his two starts this year have been first rate. Next up, nine furlongs.

5.
War Pass
123
63/79¼T
Wood Memorial 4/5

Commentary:
Last week HRI noted that the champ’s penultimate Kentucky Derby prep is pivotal. It still is, but not as we suspected. The Wood Memorial, or maybe even the Holy Bull--if Nick Zito decides to go that way--might suddenly decide if this colt even makes it into the Louisville starting gate. At the moment, we’re treating the Tampa Derby as a throw out. Some horses simply don’t handle Tampa Bay Downs, which might explain the slow start and poor performance. The key word is might, as in the might-y have fallen.

6.
Denis Of Cork
121
74¾T
Wood Memorial or Illinois Derby 4/5

Commentary:
The barn called an audible, skipped the Rebel Stakes, and was flattered when Sierra Sunset, runnerup to Denis in the Southwest, won Saturday’s mile and a sixteenth convincingly, earning a excellent Equiform figure. As noted in Poll 3, it was a surprising decision to skip the race but a good plan if trainer David Carroll is correct that the extra time will be beneficial on Derby day. Gutsy call.

7.
Elysium Fields
121
74¾T
Florida Derby 3/29

Commentary:
Has improved noticeably with nine-furlong racing and suddenly Barclay Tagg is pushing the right buttons. Tale Of Ekati dropped out of the Top 10 last week after his disappointing, albeit troubled, Louisiana Derby, but Tagg remains solidly on course with this Florida Derby runner, Tale Of Ekati for the Wood Memorial and Tampa Derby hero Big Truck, who’s coming at the right time and is a possibility for the 1-3/16s miles Holy Bull.

8.
El Gato Malo
116
72¼/75½T
Santa Anita Derby 4/5

Commentary:
Craig Dollase has managed him brilliantly and the horse has run well and continued to train very well in Southern California. Recall that he was surrounded while on the fence in the Sham before angling sharply at headstretch to push Colonel John to the limit. Stylish and genuine, the Santa Anita Derby will answer the nine furlong question. Of course, after nine comes 10.

9.
Court Vision
114
73¼T
Wood Memorial 4/5

Commentary:
Nothing much has changed since his good late-run third in the Fountain of Youth except that Bill Mott finally has made his decision: The Florida Derby and Blue Grass are out, the Wood, over the surface of his most compelling victory, is in. And Garrett Gomez has made a decision, too, committing to the Remsen winner for the Wood. HRI expects he will run near tops at Aqueduct, peaking four weeks later in Louisville.

10.
Visionaire
108
74¼T
Blue Grass Stakes 4/12

Commentary:
Like Cool Coal Man, Visionaire’s connections have decided on the Blue Grass next because they want more time between starts and believe their colt will recover quicker if his final prep came on a Polytrack surface. No one should second guess Michael Matz too vociferously, having been there before with Barbaro and knowing that he can train a horse to peak on Derby day. His brilliance may be questionable; his pedigree is not.


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


Written by John Pricci - Comments (1)

 
 

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