This week's power rankings are the first to reflect the rankings provided by each And Down The Stretch They Come writer. Horses were ranked 1-10 (with four to five 'other' nominees) and provided corresponding points based on rank in individual polls. Polls were then summed and averaged and the horses were ranked according to their points average. Here are your ADTSTC Top Ten:
1. Itsmyluckyday (10.00 points)
Itsmyluckyday averaged a perfect-ten across polls, making him a unanimous number one. After his impressive triumph in the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes on New Year's Day, the son of Lawyer Ron has worked extremely well for trainer Eddie Plesa. He's pointed toward the Grade I Florida Derby, the first race in the Second Leg of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series, where he'll stare down two-year-old champion Shanghai Bobby for the second time this year.
2. Super Ninety Nine (7.25 points)
It's always difficult to peg which Baffert trainee will emerge as the preeminent Derby contender. Earlier it seemed to be Power Broker, then Den's Legacy broke onto the scene, and Code West and Super Ninety Nine were still waiting in the wings as the calendar flipped to 2013. After a 11 1/4-length thumping in the slop of the Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn, Super Ninety Nine emerged as the top contender from the Baffert barn. He recorded a blistering workout earlier this week (4 furlongs in 46.40, handily, 1/44) and looks to be headed to the Grade II Rebel Stakesnext Saturday at Oaklawn.
3. Verrazano (6.38 points)
After the heartbreak of losing Violence and the diminishing preeminence of Shanghai Bobby, Todd Pletcher has got to be excited about three-year-old sensation Verrazano. Without any graded stakes experience, the More Than Ready colt still has much to prove. However if his demolition of the field in a one mile AOC at Gulfstream last month is any indication of things to come, the hype is warranted. He recorded a bullet drill two weeks ago at Palm Meadows (5 furlongs in 59.21, breezing, 1/38) and will saddle-up for the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby on Saturday.
4. Orb (5.75 points)
Shug McGaughey has launched into the flashing lights of Derby watchers everywhere when Orb took down Pletcher-trained juggernaut Violence in the Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes last month. The colt has wins at 1 1/8 miles and1 1/16 miles, showing that he's got the legs and lungs to run Derby distance. McGaughey seems to be giving his trainee a break after his FOY win, with no published workouts since that race. The Florida Derby and Wood Memorial are both possibilities as next-starts for the son of Malibu Moon.
5. Goldencents (3.88 points)
Doug O'Neill's Derby goals are pretty lofty these days. After the success of last year, O'Neill is out to recapture Triple Crown glory. His best shot could be with Goldencents, most recently the winner of the Grade III Sham Stakes at Santa Anita. It looks like the colt's route to the Derby will run through Santa Anita, as O'Neill will run him in the Grade II San Felipe Stake on Saturday. He looks more than prepared with five consecutive bullet workouts since his win in the Sham.
6. Revolutionary (3.50 points)
After his gutsy win the the Grade III Withers Stakes last month at Aqueduct, this son of War Pass seems to be one of the tougher colts on the Derby trail. It took the Pletcher trainee four tries to break his maiden, but after his first win, it was onto a graded stakes victory and a spot on many a top-ten list. Since his Withers win, Revolutionary has some lackluster workouts at Palm Meadows with four-furlong times of 48.43 and 49.85. His next start looks to be the Louisiana Derby at the end of this month.
7. Shanghai Bobby (3.25 points)
Like so many two-year-old champions, Shanghai Bobby's hype has been squashed with a dud of a three-year-old debut. The spoils of victory went to Itsmyluckyday as he legged out Bobby on New Year's Day. However, while second place isn't a win, it is a far cry from a loss. Shanghai Bobby will get another crack at rivals as he'll go in the Grade I Florida Derby at Gulfstream later this month. If he can score a victory there, he'll almost certainly be right back on top of the contender list
8. Vyjack (2.75 Points)
Vyjack might have been the least talked-about undefeated horse of 2013 before scoring a win in the Grade II Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct last weekend. Previously he won the Grade II Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct in January. After beating out a strong field in the Gotham, which included top Derby prospects Normandy Invasion and Overanalyze, Vyjack is starting to attract some well-deserved buzz. Trainer Rudy Rodriguez hasn't drilled his colt since his win, but he'll undoubtedly start gearing up shortly in preparation for the Grade I Wood Memorial on April 6 at Aqueduct.
9. Flashback (2.63 points)
Flashback will look to piggyback on his impressive victory in last month's Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes, as he takes on a tough field in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita. He's prepared exceptionally well, scoring a pair or bullet workouts for trainer Bob Baffert (6 furlongs handily in 1:11.00 & 5 furlongs breezing in 59.00) and has the experience at the 1 1/16 mile distance. He'll need to outrun some classy competitors in Goldencents, Tiz a Minister, and Omega Star if he wants to score a second consecutive graded stakes victory.
10. Code West (2.38)
Code West ran second to the 135-1 shocker I've Struck a Nerve in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes two weeks ago. While most are turning their attention to the late-charging longshot winner, Code West ran on heck of a race. He pressed the pace through most of the track and made a great charge to the wire until being beat by a nose by the winner. Previous to that race, he was beaten by Super Ninety Nine in an AOC at Santa Anita. The son of Lemon Drop Kid will try for his first graded stakes victory in the Louisiana Derby later this month.
First Five Out:
11. Normandy Invasion (2.38)
12. I've Struck A Nerve (2.38)
13. Overanalyze (1.88)
14. Palace Malice (1.25)
15. Charming Kitten (0.75)
Others Receiving Votes:
Tiz a Minister, Power Borker, Oxbow, Elnaawi, Falling Sky, Tiz The truth, Gombey Dancer, Dry Summer, Titletown Five, Delhomme
Which Horse in the "First Five Out" do you think deserves a spot in the Top Ten?
Normandy Invasion (8 votes)
I've Struck A nerve (5 votes)
Overanalyze (4 votes)
Palace Malice (4 votes)
Charming Kitten (2 votes)
23 total votes