Now we all know it is way too early to be making any type of realistic Derby predictions but these are the races where many Derby hopefuls get their start. The likes of Secretariat, Affirmed, Afleet Alex and Scat Daddy all have a Sanford Stakes win on their resume. These two-year-olds will be fun to watch this summer as they grow and prepare for the new "Road to the Kentucky Derby" point system instead of the traditional graded stakes earnings system. This new system doesn't actually go into effect until the fall so some of these young guys can get a race or two under them this summer before the competition really begins. The next race to keep an eye out for is the 6 1/2 f Saratoga Special(G2) in a few weeks, where another group of two-year-olds look to show what they have.
It was disappointing to say the least hearing the news about I'll Have Another, the day before his Triple Crown bid. The latest victim, Union Rags who was reported to have a tendon issue a couple of weeks ago, was officially retired this past weekend. On top of all this, Bodemeister came down with a fever and has been put on DL for the time being. With the top three-year-olds out, this coming weekend should be wide open for the 1 1/8 mile Jim Dandy(G2) at Saratoga and the Haskel Invitational(G1) at Monmouth Park. It will be interesting to see the draw as the fields will not be set until later in the week.