There are three Derby preps on Saturday: the San Felipe at Santa Anita, the Gotham at Aqueduct, and the Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs. We’ll have previews of all three on the site in what should be a very interesting day on the Derby trail.
(We also owe you recaps of the Risen Star, Southwest, and Fountain of Youth and those will all come out, along with recaps of Saturday’s races, beginning on Sunday).
We’ll start with the San Felipe, which probably has the most star power but is also, at least in our opinion, the least interesting of the three races from a betting perspective.
Let’s take a look at the field.
#1 Bolt d’Oro (2-1) – First of all, we agree with the morning line that has this horse, who was third with a very wide trip at 3-5 in the Breeders Cup Juvenile, as the second choice and McKinzie as the 8-5 favorite. Bolt d’Oro, who does bring in Javier Castellano to ride for this race, missed a scheduled start in the seven furlong San Vicente and has apparently has been a bit up and down in his training for his first start in four months. Plus, among trainers, we’ll tend to trust Bob Baffert over the inexperienced Mick Ruis. Bolt d’Oro did draw well and he does get some pace to attack, but we prefer McKinzie to win.
#2 Lombo (8-1) – Lombo stretched out from 6.5 furlongs to win the Lewis going 8.5 furlongs last month, setting a strong pace and wiring the field. That said, he beat a far weaker field than this one and has to deal with other pace in this race.
#3 Ayacara (8-1) – We liked Ayacara last time and he ran pretty well, making more of a grinding move in a race won wire to wire. Still, he was inside all the way saving ground, and the pace was fast. It was a decent effort and he is improving. We’ll have a few McKinzie / Ayacara exactas, but it’s hard to see him jump all the way up and win.