Kentucky Derby Watch

Posted: April 10, 2007

Nobiz Like Shobiz showed improved focus with the addition of blinkers to capture the Wood Memorial on Saturday at Aqueduct. Cowtown Cat bested the Illinois Derby field for trainer Todd Pletcher. Merv Griffin's favored Cobalt Blue likely raced himself out of the Kentucky Derby with a bad showing in Chicago. Tiago, a half-brother of 2005 Kentucky Derby shocker Giacomo, played the spoiler's role to take the Santa Anita Derby and pay $60.60. Tiago is trained by John Shirreffs and was ridden by Mike Smith. Now he will head to Louisville. The $750,000 Blue Grass at Keeneland and the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park top this Saturday's final preps for the 133d Run for the Roses.

Here is staff writer Craig Donnelly's top-10 list for the May 5 running of the Kentucky Derby.

Horse                   Trainer       Jockey       Comment

1. Street Sense          Nafzger      Borel         Juvenile champ tops solid Blue Grass field; won                                                       Tampa Bay Derby after layoff with strong late kick.

2. Curlin               Asmussen   Albarado   Perfect in two impressive starts and romped at                                                       Oaklawn in Rebel; heads Arkansas Derby field.

3. Hard Spun          Jones       Pino          Locally owned winner of five of six starts. He will skip                                                 the Blue Grass Stakes to work out at Churchill Downs.

4. Great Hunter          O'Neill      Nakatani      Chester County-bred convincing in return score.

                                             He will enter the Blue Grass Stakes next.

5. Nobiz Like Shobiz    Tagg         Velasquez   Captured Wood Memorial in determined effort with                                                    blinkers; he is set for the Derby.

6. Circular Quay          Pletcher      Velazquez   He has a slow fuse but can fly in the stretch; he needs                                                 help with the pace on Derby day.

7. Scat Daddy         Pletcher      Velazquez   He earned honors as the top 3-year-old this winter                                                    in Florida; peaking at the right time.

8. Notional             O'Neill      Albarado   He backed up a pair of wins with a runner-up finish in                                                 the Florida Derby; same connections as Great Hunter.

9. Cowtown Cat          Pletcher       Jara          He wired modest opposition in the Illinois Derby after                                                 Gotham score; showing steady progress.

10. Any Given Saturday Pletcher       Velazquez    Outfinished by Nobiz in the Wood; nosed by Street                                                    Sense previously.

Others to consider: Chelokee, Deadly Dealer, Tiago, Dominican.

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