Kentucky Derby Power Rankings: Week of March 17

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Another late one folks, but I figure it's given all of us here at ADTSTC to watch the week's happenings and rank accordingly. With March Madness in full swing, it'll be nice to rank something other than college basketball teams. Here's your ADTSTC Top Ten:

1. Itsmyluckyday (9.50 points)

Itsmyluckyday continued his preparation for the Grade I Florida Derby this week, breezing a relaxing half-mile (in 49.40, 19/63) for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. Since his impressive victory in the Grade III Holy Bull, where he took down Shanghai Bobby, Itsmyluckyday has been doing nothing but working out at Calder waiting for his title defense later this month.

2. Verrazano (9.00 points)

The favorite in the third (and final) Derby future wager looked more than impressive in his graded stakes debut earlier this month at the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby. Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form describes Verrazano's performance in his last start by saying he "looked like he was toying with rivals..." Todd Pletcher has not worked his trainee since his win at Tampa Bay Downs, but will most likely start preparing soon for a start in the Grade I Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct on April 6.

3. Oxbow (6.00 points)

Seeking redemption for his disappointing performance in the Grade II Risen Star Stakes last month at Fair Grounds, Oxbow climbs the rankings ladder once again. His more-than-impressive second-place running in the Grade II Rebel Stakes has put the D. Wayne Lukas prospect back on the map. Lukas has mentioned he would like to keep the son of Awesome Again at Oaklawn Park to round out the prep season with the Arkansas Derby on April 13.

T4. Vyjack (5.25 points)

After keeping himself unbeaten with an impassioned performance in the Grade II Gotham Stakes, Vyjack looks poised to continue dominance on his home turf when he shows up for the Wood Memorial in two weeks. Word is he's turning some heads while working out, highlighted by a 59.07-second five furlongs on Aqueducts inner track yesterday.

T4. Orb (5.25 points)

Shug McGaughey remains high on this son of Malibu Moon, and with a string of very impressive workouts at Payson Park the colt seems to be keeping in stellar form. Orb will go in the Florida Derby later this month, where he'll get the chance to knock off a couple giants in Itsmyluckyday and Shanghai Bobby. If he shows up and finishes well, Orb could be a very attractive contender for many folks come Derby Day.

6. Shanghai Bobby (4.50 points)

The two-year old champion continues to wait for his shot to redeem himself while he works out at Palm Meadows for trainer Todd Pletcher. He's been breezing pretty mildly since his defeat in the Grade III Holy Bull in January, but drew some attention with a breeze of five furlongs in 1:00.14 (2/26) earlier this week. It seems like Pletcher is going to start getting Bobby back into peak racing form leading up to the Florida Derby, where he'll have to battle a few of the nation's top horses.

7. Will Take Charge (3.75 points)

This son of Unbridled's Song launched himself into the Derby-contender conversation with a tough win in the Rebel Stakes last week. He gives trainer D. Wayne Lukas, who also trains Oxbow, a one-two punch along the Derby trail. The finish in the Rebel was nothing short of breathtaking as the two Lukas trainees battled stride for stride to the wire. A good many eyes were opened with Will Take Charge's performance, and the colt went from backburner to forefront on the list of Derby top contenders. It's rumored that Will Take Charge's next outing could be the Grade I Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 13.

8. Flashback (2.13 points)

Bob Baffert's prospects have fluctuated this season, with Den's Legacy, Code West, and Super Ninety Nine suffering some impressive victories and some disappointing defeats. Flashback was doomed in his last outing as he was forced (as most observers attest) into a tiring duel down the stretch in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita earlier this month. Garrett Gomez will handle Flashback in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

9. Goldencents (2.00 points)

The other celebrity to lose out in the San Felipe Stakes was Doug O'Neill's top prospect. O'Neill has continued working Goldencents at his normal six-furlong training distance, but the colt didn't post a particularly impressive time (six furlongs, handily, in 1:16.00 6/6) in his most recent drill. He'll take on rivals next month in the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.

10. Code West (1.88 points)

Flashback's stablemate will look to avenge a defeat in last month's Grade II Risen Star Stakes by returning to Fair Grounds for the Grade II Louisiana Derby on March 30. His most recent workout was a six-furlong drill at Santa Anita, posting a time of 1:12.40 (3/16).

First Five Out

T11. Den's Legacy

T11. Normandy Invasion

13. Revolutionary

T14. Hear The Ghost

T14. Super Ninety Nine

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