• Will final preps chalk out?

    POSTED Apr 12, 2012
    Although any of the Lexington (4/21 at Keeneland), Jerome (4/21 Aqueduct), or Derby Trial (4/28 at Churchill) Stakes could yield a Kentucky Derby starter in the two weekends between this one and the first Saturday in May, it is more likely that the field will mostly be set following the Blue Grass Stakes and Arkansas Derby on Saturday.

    My prediction is that the bubble horses in danger of being left out of the Kentucky Derby starting gate because of insufficient graded stakes earnings will like the results of the Blue Grass better than the Arkansas Derby since I foresee champion Hansen padding his bankroll in the former with Bodemeister earning enough to get in the gate and knocking someone else out with a win or second-place finish in the latter.

    The TCI boys weigh in on this weekend's action as well as give me a special gift from WinStar's Elliott Walden, who has noticed that I haven't had a lot of love for the farm's Tiznow colt, but at least I have a parting gift if he beats me again.

    In other graded stakes scenarios a la the last weekend of the National Football League season, Isn't He Clever and Optimizer need only third-place finishes to have enough graded stakes earnings, so a Bodemeister, Isn't He Clever, Optimizer tri box with Bodemeister in one of the top two spots is the bubble horses' worst nightmare. I like Secret Circle enough to say that's not the most likely scenario, but it certainly could happen.

    What does Toga Tout thing? Well, he's rooting for Bob Baffert "heart attack and all" and expects the Racing Hall of Fame trainer's two entries to make up at least two third of the trifecta with the aforementioned Bodemeister and Secret Circle. Too bad Oaklawn doesn't offer the ill-fated omni. Toga Tout could crush the Baffert pair.

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