By Nick 2/7/2020
This is a current list of horses I feel have the best chances to win this year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby. This list is subject to change as far as additions and subtractions go. For more analysis of the derby preps purchase the nickborg.com derby preps newsletter.
Dennis Moment- Showed brilliance in his performances as a 2-year-old by winning on the lead & also from off the pace & in both cases winning quite easily, looking like he had a lot of energy left in the tank. His BC stumble out of the gate can happen to anyone & most importantly it didn’t cause an injury. He has an excellent trainer in Dale Romans & his group have been on the Derby-trail before, knowing how to get a horse ready for the big race.
Storm the Court – Speedster had Blinkers added for his effort in the BC Juvenile at 1 1/16th miles & broke on top, led all the way into the stretch, then battled the entire stretch, fought gamely every step of the way to the wire & lasted for the victory by a head. Does he get even better with the Blinks or does he learn to rate allowing him to get a longer distance? He is bred to get a distance so it will be interesting to see if he can learn to rate to insure getting the classic distances.
Anneau d’Or – Rallied to duel the entire BC Juvenile stretch & came up a head short & that was after coming in off only one career race, his debut, a Maiden turf winning effort at 1-mile. On December 7th he followed his BC effort with a stake race effort at LosAlamitos Racecourse over a wet surface. He sat a nice trip on the rail, stalking in 3rd position, was then able to swing out on the turn and came with his run but didn’t seem to fire his best effort as he finished 2nd being outfinished. To date Anneau has shown much fight & tenacity thus far in his performances, while being bred to get the classic distances on both sides of his pedigree. He figures to keep improving with each passing race. Right now, there is no telling how good this colt can be, love how he hard he tries, fights to the end. Right now his top is Immeasurable.
Tiz the Law – Made his 3-year-old debut a winning one through his victory in the Holy Bull. This New York Bred is now 3 for 4 thus far in his career, handled by the same trainer, Barclay Tagg & stable that got New York bred Funny Cide to the Winner’s Circle in the 2003 Kentucky Derby. Tiz makes this list showing brilliance in his effort in The Champagne Stakes, run at one-mile at Saratoga, winning by 4-lengths, getting the last 1/4 in :24 3/5ths seconds, which is a very good final quarter, especially for a 2-year-old in just his 2nd career start. Further, considering Tiz is well bred on both sides of his pedigree to get the classic distances, he should keep showing improvement as the distances get longer. Several times Tiz has encountered some sort of adversity in his races which should only help him if he faces it once again in Kentucky. Right now the sky is his limit for Tiz The Law.
Structor – Won the BC Juvenile Turf at one-mile and is 3 for 3 thus far in his career, all on grass. However, oddly enough he might be better bred for a dirt surface! His sire, Palace Malice achieved his stardom on a dirt surface as well as his Grand Dam, More Than Ready, both being Structor’s most relevant runners within his most direct pedigree. Based on this information there is no scale or table to weigh the ability of Structor at this time. We will need to see him race on a dirt surface to have more insights into his abilities and/or inabilities if any, on a dirt surface. But for right now he could be anything! He has won 3 grass races to date and from 3 different running positions, pressing the early pace, stalking the early pace and from near the back of the pack in the early going. Chad Brown is the now trainer, time will tell.
Silver Slate – His race in the Lecomte was very impressive. Finished a strong 2nd after finding himself being pushed around at the start but managed to get in stride and found a hole late on the far turn, going 5-wide through, rallied strongly but the leader was already gone. This was only his 3rd career start, making me feel that he looks to have tons of potential. His effort looked much more like a more experienced, seasoned horse. His next effort will be very interesting because if he moves forward in his next start, he figures to join the top tier of Derby contenders.
Thousand Words- Looked good in The Robert Lewis making his 3-year-old debut and just his 3rd career start. Seemed to be hard used in a race where he stalked a soft pace and had to be asked to get home first. He was coming in off a huge effort where he battled from start to finish so he might have had some fight taken out of him in this prior effort. Will be interesting to see how he comes out of this last effort. However right now has to be included in the top tier of Derby contenders.