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Kentucky Confidential

Derby Day: Scheinman vs. Andrews

Grade 1 $300,000 Humana Distaff

John Scheinman “Action” Andy Andrews

Shotgun Gulch not only is double tough but gives you the added benefit of a high price because of her unknown connections. Grade 1 winner is in the best form of her life and will give Hilda’s Passion no margin for error. No reason to ignore the price, and Churchill workout was lights out. Hilda’s Passion is a deserving favorite and has been nearly invincible since epic score in the slop last summer at Saratoga. Freshened for this, although the slop work was exceedingly slow. Otherwise, no knocks against her, and she certainly is the speed. Sassy Image has three wins in four starts on the track. Been freshened up for this since dull try in one-turn mile against Awesome Maria at Gulfstream Park. Workouts are fast, and if she can remain in contact she can hit the board or score at a nice price.

1. Shotgun Gulch
2. Hilda’s Passion
3. Sassy Image

Hilda’s Passion looks to control this field from gate to wire. The only filly or mare in this group with triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, and they have been back to back. Has this field over a barrel. Evening Jewel is the only million-dollar earner in the field. With two good tries over the surface, she could benefit in the favorites falter. Shotgun Gulch looks for second straight Grade 1 victory for the small C.R. Trout outfit. Got over the track well in her morning work April 30. Don’t see why she wouldn’t make a late bid.

1. Hilda’s Passion
2. Evening Jewel
3. Shotgun Gulch

Grade 1 $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic

John Scheinman “Action” Andy Andrews

The early scratch of Little Mike changes this race’s pace dynamic dramatically, and likely increases the chances of Smart Bid. Motion runner loves the distance and should gallop comfortably and close to pace-maker Get Stormy. Will need best to win, but a decent price may be offered. Moryba was beaten as the favorite at the Fair Grounds, but his form cannot be faulted. Little Mike scratch benefits him as well, as he will be able to track pace comfortably. Talent is there and Mott retains faith in Desormeaux. Prince Will I Am is versatile and talented and also should not be hurt by the change in the pace with the scratch. Capable of winning it all, and is a Grade 1 winner against straight 3-year-olds at the distance.

1. Smart Bid
2. Moryba
3. Prince Will I Am

Get Stormy is a recent Grade 1 winner at a mile and a Grade 2 winner at the distance at Saratoga, where he ran a lifetime best. Coming off a smart score, where he was left alone to control the pace. Does best running when they leave him alone, and that’s what it looks like he’ll get here. Prince Will I Am should sit a good trip. He was facing some tough 1 1/2-mile horses last time out. A mile and an eighth is more up his alley. He has closed before into soft paces. Teaks North had a very odd prep for this, an overnight stakes race at Aqueduct that was a mile on the dirt. He is, however, a Grade 1 winner on the turf. Blinkers added to keep this gelding focused.

1. Get Stormy
2. Prince Will I Am
3. Teaks North

Grade 1 $2 million Kentucky Derby

John Scheinman “Action” Andy Andrews

No horse in the field has appeared to grow up more in the past several weeks than Florida Derby runner-up Shackleford. This colt looks like a fast, giant monster, and he has been spitting bullet workouts in preparation. Ideally drawn in post position 14. Exercise rider Tammy Fox says this horse will easily rate off the pace, and that’s good enough for me. Has plenty of speed to get a good stalking trip and plenty of stamina on the dam’s side from his Kentucky Derby-winning grandfather Unbridled. Gives trainer Dale Romans, who grew up near Churchill Downs, his first Kentucky Derby. Animal Kingdom plowed through the field, from last to first, in the Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway Park like a fearsome alpha dog. They just moved aside as he came charging. Passed critical test working beautifully on the dirt for the first time April 30. Trainer Graham Motion pushing all the right buttons lately. Lightly raced, expertly handled. Master of Hounds has won just once in seven tries, a maiden score at Tipperary, but he has shown class. His second by a nose in the UAE Derby was a superb effort in a field of 14; nothing wrong, either, with his close-up sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last November. Wild card must take to dirt, but Kingmambo offspring run on anything. Master pilot Gomez in the irons.

1. Shackleford
2. Animal Kingdom
3. Master of Hounds

Animal Kingdom. Out of possibly the hottest young sire going now, Leroidesanimaux. No real dirt runners, but adding the Kentucky Derby would put this stallion through the roof. As for the race, I see Animal Kingdom sitting mid-pack, eight or nine lengths off the pace on the outside, clear of trouble. Makes winning move at the quarter pole. Mucho Macho Man lost a shoe coming out of the gate last out and still ran a good third. So this guy fires every time. Should also sit a good trip outside and have first run at the speed horses. Archarcharch. Not really worried about the one hole. Court will just take a hold and let the others cross and clear him, and then he will settle into a nice spot in the clear 12 lengths off the early pace. In the end, he comes running, flying for third.

1. Animal Kingdom
2. Mucho Macho Man
3. Archarcharch

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