G3-Bay Shore (chart): Eightyfiveinafifty, Hurrican Ike, Remand
G3-Excelsior (chart): Goldsville, Nite Light, Seniors Pride
G1-Wood Memorial (chart): Eskendereya, Jackson Bend, Awesome Act
G2-Arcadia Handicap (chart): Compari, Fluke (BRZ), Battle of Hastings (GB)
G1-Ashland (chart): Evening Jewel, It's Tea Time, She Be Wild
G3-Skip Away (chart): Arson Squad, Wingedlie, Helsinki
G1-Santa Anita Derby (chart): Sidney's Candy, Setsuko, Lookin At Lucky
G3-Illinois Derby (chart): American Lion, Yawanna Twist, Backtalk
G1-Carter Handicap (chart): Warrior's Reward, Musket Man, Munnings
G2-Oaklawn Handicap (chart): Duke of Mischief, Win Willy, Jonesboro
G2-Portrero Grand e (chart): Ventana, Gato Go Win
G2-Providencia (chart): City to City, Andina (IRE), In the Slips
The Beyer figure for the Wood came up at 109, virtually ensuring that Eskendereya will be the betting favorite in the Kentucky Derby.
If you are a fan of Lookin At Lucky you've got to be happy about yesterday's results because it will likely cause the Baffert trainee to go off at a lot better odds than if he'd won the Santa Anita Derby and if Eskendereya had come up with a dull effort in the Wood. As it stands now, and depending on what happens in Arkansas and Kentucky next Saturday, Lookin At Lucky could be the second, third, or even fourth choice on the board. I'm guessing he'll be no lower than third choice.
As for the Santa Anita Derby winner, Sidney's Candy, I'm still not a believer in this colt's chances to win the Derby. Perhaps that means I'll be ripping up tickets on the first Saturday in May. Rule, Conveyance, Discreetly Mine, and Sidney's Candy all have the same problem - none of them have ever shown the ability to win by coming off the pace and none of them are likely to get an easy, uncontested lead at Churchill.
If you're a fan of colts like Dublin or Noble's Promise (I beginning to become a Noble's Promise fan despite his questionable distance pedigree), the prospect of odds around 10/1 or higher on Derby day are quite enticing. My take on Noble's Promise is that he's been right with Lookin At Lucky very single time that they have raced. And while he's never been able to get the best of his rival, he's shown that he can run with him. I gotta think that one of these days he's going to come out on top.
Both Noble's Promise and Dublin are likely starters in this Saturday's Arkansas Derby.
American Lion's win in the Illinois Derby adds yet another speed element to what should be an already crowded front-end on Derby day. I think that's an important fact when you consider proven stalkers like Eskendereya and Endorsement. Both of those colts have run big races by sitting just off the pace behind one or two other horses. In the Derby they could run the same fractions and end up sitting behind seven or eight other horses. That's going to be a big change for these young colts to experience.