Pletcher will send the Dixie Union colt Delhomme to the starting gate as the 2-1 morning line favorite. He also has the Mike Repole coupled-entry of Overanalyze and Micromanage at 4-1 morning line odds.
Of those three, I like Delhomme the best. Delhomme has yet to run in a stakes race but he should be able to make the step up in class and stretch out to 9-furlongs.
His sire, Dixie Union, won the 8½-furlong Norfolk Stakes (G2) and the 9-furlong Haskell Invitational Handicap (G1).
The damsire of Delhomme, Out of Place, was 6-6-5 in 21 dirt routes with multiple stakes race second and third-place finishes and a win in the 9-furlong Clark Handicap (G3).
In his last race, Indy’s Illusion ran mid-herd tracking fast fractions and made a nice move in the stretch to break his maiden on his third attempt and win by 1½-lengths at Belmont Park on October 4.
The time of 1:38 and change for the one mile race over a muddy track was not that impressive but Indy’s Illusion received a 90 Brisnet Speed Figure and I believe he’ll improve off of that effort.
With A.P. Indy as his sire and Mr. Prospector as the damsire, Indy’s Illusion will not have a problem stretching out to 9-furlongs and if he improves off his last race, he’ll be very competitive.
His Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile is an outstanding 96.25 but I’ve seen a lot of 2-year-olds that, for one reason or another, failed to live up their breeding. Time will tell.
Normandy Invasion comes into the Remsen with an impressive 9¼-length maiden-breaking romp at Aqueduct on November 2.
Tapit, the sire of Normandy Invasion, was a decent lightly-raced router with a win in the 8½-furlong Laurel Futurity (G3) and 9-furlong Wood Memorial Stakes (G1) en route to a ninth-place finish in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
Boston Harbor, the damsire of Normandy Invasion, was the 1996 champion 2-year-old and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1), Breeders' Futurity (G2), Bashford Manor Stakes (G3), Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (G3) and Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes.
Normandy Invasion received a 92 speed figure for his performance in his last race and I look for him to be competitive in the Remsen.
Like his sire Hard Spun, who was a gritty competitor on the 2007 Kentucky Derby trail, Vegas No Show showed a lot of spirit in his last race when he was cut off multiple times in the stretch but rallied for second, two lengths behind the undefeated Medaglia d’Oro colt Violence.
Turkoman, the damsire of Vegas No Show, was a pretty good middle-distance horse that won the Affirmed Handicap (G3), Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap (G1), Oaklawn Handicap (G2), Widener Handicap (G1) and Tallahassee Handicap.
Turkoman is also the sire of Turcomedy – the second dam of Vegas No Show.
Lord Carson, the damsire of Vegas No Show, competed mostly in sprints but he sired the 2000 Remsen Stakes winner Windsor Castle who turned out to be a good middle-distance runner and winner of the 9-furlong William Donald Schaefer Handicap (G3) in addition to several graded stakes second and third-place finishes.
A sharp bullet work out at Belmont on October 28 could have Vegas No Show primed to run a good race and I look for him to be competitive in the Remsen Stakes (G2).
With three Thanksgiving celebrations this weekend, I’ll try to post about the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G3) which is at Churchill Downs on Saturday. But I make no guarantees.
I briefly looked at the entries and I thought that Java’s War and Uncaptured looked good but more analysis is needed.
The Remsen Stakes and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes are qualifying races for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. The winner of each race will receive 10 points, second-place finisher will receive 4 points, third-place finisher gets 2 points and the fourth-place finisher gets 1 point.
The updated Kentucky Derby leaderboard will be posted sometime this weekend.
Good luck with your picks and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving everyone.
Kentucky Derby 2013 Leaderboard
(Updated November 25, 2012)
Individual Leaders, total points
Shanghai Bobby, 20
Power Broker, 10
River Seven, 10
Bern Identity, 4
Capo Bastone, 4
Dynamic Sky, 4
Frac Daddy, 4
He’s Had Enough, 4
Know More, 4
Normandy Invasion, 4
Al Waab, 2
Dewey Square, 2
Indiano Jones, 2
Java’s War, 2
Five Iron, 1
Pataky Kid, 1
Quinienne Monarque, 1
Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2), Newmarket, September 29, 2012
3. Al Waab,2
Frontrunner Stakes (G1), Santa Anita Park, September 29, 2012
1. Power Broker, 10
2. Know More, 4
3. Capo Bastone, 2
4. Carving, 1
Foxwoods Champagne Stakes (G1), Belmont Park, October 6, 2012
1. Shanghai Bobby, 10
2. Goldencents, 4
3. Fortify, 2
4. Archwarrior, 1
Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Keeneland, October 6, 2012
1. Joha, 10
2. Dynamic Sky, 4
3. Java’s War, 2
4. Pataky Kid, 1
Grey Stakes (G3), Woodbine, October 7, 2012
1. River Seven, 10
2. Tesseron, 4
3. Indiano Jones, 2
4. Five Iron, 1
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1), Santa Anita Park, November 3, 2012
1. Shanghai Bobby, 10
2. He’s Had Enough, 4
3. Capo Bastone, 2
4. Fortify, 1
Delta Downs Jackpot (G3), Delta Downs, November 17, 2012
1. Goldencents, 10
2. Bern Identity, 4
3. Mylute, 2,
4. Hightail, 1
Remsen Stakes (G2), Aqueduct, November 24, 2012
1. Overanalyze, 10
2. Normandy Invasion, 4
3. Delhomme, 2
4. Quinzieme Monarque, 1
Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2), Churchill Downs, November 24, 2012
1. Uncaptured, 10
2. Frac Daddy, 4
3. Dewey Square, 2
4. Tesseron, 1