American Pharoah up, Texas Red out in AP's Derby Top 10
A win in Arkansas and a workout in California created a little shuffling on the Run to the Roses Top 10 list of Kentucky Derby contenders.
American Pharoah is up to No. 3, Texas Red is out.
The big news was the decision to pull one-time Derby favorite Texas Red off the Derby trail because a nagging foot abscess forced him to miss too much training time. Despite the colt's workout at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, trainer Keith Desormeaux said Tuesday he doesn't want to push his Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner.
American Pharoah, meanwhile, is riding high after a 6 1/4-length romp over the slop in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park last weekend. He's up one spot after his highly anticipated 3-year-old debut. His stablemate, Dortmund, remains No. 1 with a 5-0 record - giving three-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert a powerful 1-3 punch less than seven weeks before the Derby.
Tampa Bay Derby winner Carpe Diem holds the No. 2 spot.
Dortmund's final prep is the Santa Anita Derby on April 4, and it's likely American Pharoah will go in the Arkansas Derby a week later to keep the colts apart until they show up in Louisville. Baffert, though, says, ''We never rule anything out.''
Carpe Diem, one of trainer Todd Pletcher's three horses in the Top 10, will keep his distance from both and run next in the Blue Grass on April 4.
International Star is the newcomer this week, at No. 10. The winner of the Lecomte and Risen Star is set to run next in the Louisiana Derby on March 28.
There are two Derby qualifying races this weekend, the Spiral at Turfway Park on Saturday and the Sunland Derby in New Mexico on Sunday. Each is worth 50 points to the winner, 20 for second, 10 for third and 5 for fourth.
Imperia is the likely favorite for the Spiral in a full field of 12; Firing Line is the likely top choice for the Sunland Derby.
Here's our Top 10:
1. Dortmund (Bob Baffert, trainer; Martin Garcia, jockey): Still the one to beat. A perfect 5-0, and Baffert says he's getting even better. ... Won San Felipe in last start. ... Next start: Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita (April 4). ... Derby future odds (pool 3): 9-1.
2. Carpe Diem (Todd Pletcher, John Velazquez): Tampa Bay Derby winner has won 3 of 4. ... Still training in Florida before final prep in Lexington. ... Next start: Blue Grass, Keeneland (April 4). ... Odds: 10-1.
3. American Pharoah (Baffert, Victor Espinoza): Why worry? 3-year-old debut a smash - 6 1/4-length romp over slop in Rebel. Back out West prepping for likely return to Arkansas before Derby. ... Next start: Arkansas Derby, Oaklawn Park (April 11). ... Odds: 8-1.
4. Upstart (Rick Violette, Jr., Jose Ortiz): Five weeks between races, plus no shipping in New York likely to keep horse in Florida for final prep. ... Worked 6 furlongs in 1:13.40 at Palm Meadows on March 13. ... DQ'd to second for interference after finishing first in Fountain of Youth. ... Next start: Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park (March 28). ... Odds: 15-1.
5. Far From Over (Pletcher, Manuel Franco): Worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.30 at Palm Beach Downs on March 14. ... Withers win came against El Kabeir. ... Next start: Wood Memorial, Aqueduct (April 4). ... Odds: 13-1.
6. El Kabeir (John Terranova, C.C. Lopez): Gotham win on March 7 gives owner Ahmed Zayat another top contender (he also owns American Pharoah). ... Next start: Wood Memorial. ... Odds: 47-1.
7. Itsaknockout (Pletcher, Luis Saez): Worked 4 furlongs in 49.58 at Palm Beach Downs on March 14. ... Has 3-0 record after being declared winner of Fountain of Youth via DQ of Upstart. ... Next start: Florida Derby. ... Odds: 30-1.
8. Firing Line (Simon Callaghan, Gary Stevens): Worked 5 furlongs in 59.80 seconds Sunday at Santa Anita. ... All set for trip to New Mexico for next race. ... Has two close calls against Dortmund on resume. ... Next start: Sunland Derby (Sunday) ... Odds: 29-1.
9. Far Right (Ron Moquett, Mike Smith): Smarty Jones and Southwest winner skipped Rebel in favor of one more prep. ... Next start: Arkansas Derby (April 11). ... Odds: 31-1.
10. International Star (Mike Maker, Miguel Mena): Lecomte, Risen Star winner worked 5 furlongs in 1:02.83 at Gulfstream Park on March 14. ... Next start: Louisiana Derby, Fair Grounds (March 28). ... Odds: 22-1.
Keep an eye on: Bolo, Classy Class, Imperia, Prospect Park, Mr. Z.
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