Denk on Horses Derby contender profiles
Profile: Comma to the Top
Watching training in the rain. (Eclipse Sportswire)
Comma to the Top has run 13 times, the most of any horse in this year’s Kentucky Derby. His six victories also top the field.
The bad news is that all of those wins came last year when Comma to the Top was one of the better 2-year-olds in the country. He has two fourth-place finishes and a second in 2011.
Comma to the Top was initially pulled from consideration for the Kentucky Derby after his connections expressed doubt in his ability to get 1 1/4 miles. That concern lingers. His pedigree tilts heavily toward speed, and he has been battling on the front end and tiring in shorter races so far this year.
His most recent race, a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, was a sharp effort. Comma to the Top set fractions of 22.81, 47.33, and 1:11.53 seconds. He ran his final three-eighths of a mile in 37.13 seconds. He was in position to win the race, but he could not hold off lightly raced Midnight Interlude in the final yards. He will face that rival again in the Derby.
Comma to the Top has excellent speed, but he has not passed a horse in the stretch since his debut. That means he will either have to learn a new trick or outrun all the other speed horses in the Derby. Either way he will need improved stamina in the lane if he is to be anything but a pace casualty.