JC / Railbird


Thursday Notes

Since Odysseus is now #3 on my Kentucky Derby top 10, it was with some relief that I read trainer Tom Albertrani plans to give the Tampa Bay Derby winner, not a seven-week layoff, but another prep before the Kentucky Derby:

We’re probably going to work him either Thursday or Friday, see how he is, and then make a choice between the Blue Grass or Arkansas Derby.

With Rule dropping to #7, largely due to his apparent inability to rate and subsequent third-place finish in the Florida Derby last Saturday, Eskendereya moves to #1. We’ll find out in the April 3 Wood Memorial, which drew 61 nominations (PDF), if the position is deserved.

PDI top 10 for 3/23/10: 1) Eskendereya 2) Lookin at Lucky 3) Odysseus 4) Dublin 5) Sidney’s Candy 6) Caracortado 7) Rule 8) Awesome Act 9) Discreetly Mine 10) Fast Alex Noble’s Promise

The Louisiana Derby is the most significant of three Derby preps scheduled this weekend. Thirteen are entered, including Risen Star winner Discreetly Mine. Not among the starters, intriguing allowance winner Fast Alex: The colt suffered a shin injury and “might be sidelined for a couple months.” (For more about this weekend’s races, sign up for the HRF Derby Prep Alert emails.)

In non-Derby news: David Milch’s “Luck” starts filming at Santa Anita on March 29. “Mr. Mann expressed a strong desire to shoot much of this pilot while we were running live.” The pilot is expected to air on HBO in early 2011.

Monday Notes

Derby prospects: The one move I made with confidence on this week’s PDI top 10 was bumping Tampa Bay Derby winner Odysseus from #8 to #3. That was an easy call after the colt, making his first graded stakes start, showed such gutsiness in surging late after falling back at the top of the stretch and looking well beaten. Tampa Bay Downs released the photo (via Twitter), which put Odysseus barely a nostril ahead of Schoolyard Dreams:


The gently-handled Rebel winner Lookin at Lucky makes his first appearance, while Dublin drops to #7. Drifting out in the stretch, he didn’t look like a horse who wanted more distance, but I’ll give the son of Afleet Alex one more race. Discreetly Mine drops off, but remains on the watch list, pending the Louisiana Derby. (View the 2010 prep schedule and results.)

Top 10: 1) Rule 2) Eskendereya 3) Odysseus 4) Lookin at Lucky 5) Sidney’s Candy 6) Caracortado 7) Dublin 8) Awesome Act 9) Radiohead 10) Fast Alex

Questions: Does Radiohead have a quarter crack? There’s a rumor … Will Odysseus start in the Kentucky Derby off a seven-week layoff? Trainer Tom Albertrani is considering the possibility …

Distaffers: 15-for-15 Zenyatta is still pointing to next month’s Apple Blossom Invitational, beaten-by-Zardana Rachel Alexandra is not. Beyer speed figures for the three: Zenyatta, 102; Zardana, 101; Rachel Alexandra, 100.

Elsewhere: Omnisurface Stars updates and the “Volcanic” NTRA.