Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Thanksgiving and Christmas have again passed us by in the blink of an eye. As we approach a new year, many would like this past year to be a distant memory. 2012 had its moments of joy but was overshadowed by a slew of disappointing and ill-timed injuries to the three-year-old class. We are once again left with too many "what if's", but this past year I'll Have Another, albeit briefly, provided the racing world with a glimmer of hope that one day we will again witness a Triple Crown winner.

January 1, the mark of a new year is also a special day for the current two-year-old class since it marks their third birthday. The Derby is only four months away and a new class of three-year-olds are set to chase after the points this year as 2013 ditches the bankroll in favor of the new Kentucky Derby Point System. Over/under at 50 for the minimum amount of points it will take to claim 1 of the 20 starting spots?

Undefeated Shanghai Bobby leads the way with 20 points as there are currently 34 two-year-olds that have a point to their name. More prep races with higher points at stake are right around the corner and there is still no guarantee who will be loading the starting gate come the first Saturday in May. These next four months are going to be exciting to follow, especially with the addition of the new point system put in place. Pay attention because you never know when you might miss the next Champion or better yet a Triple Crown winner.

Mystified Ticket's 2013 Hi-5 Derby Contenders

-Bern Identity 4 pts
Contended in every race he's been throw into. This experienced colt has finished in the money in all six of his starts. His pedigree doesn't carry much weight when it comes to the distance, but showed in his two-year-old campaign that he wants to run. A promising second in the 1 1/16-mile Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) after a not-so-good trip makes him a very interesting colt to watch. Look for him to be in the mix on Derby Day.  NPS: 1/26 1m Holy Bull(G3)
*My two-year-old pick at 50-1 in the Wynn Future Book 12/26/12

-Normandy Invasion 4 pts
An impressive runner-up by a nose in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen (G2). He came flying from the back of the field to lose out in a photo. If he posts a similar result his next time out, the son of Tapit will become an instant Derby favorite.  NPS: Not Yet Determined

-Uncaptured  10 pts
Only one blemish on this son of Lion Heart's resume keeps this colt from being undefeated (7-6-0-0). Coming off back-to-back wins over the Churchill track to close out his two-year-old campaign certainly is an added bonus come May 4.  NPS: 2/2 1/16m Sam F. Davis(G3)

-Violence 10 pts
Undefeated in three starts over three different tracks at three separate distances (stretching out each time) gives no reason not to like this colt. One of many in Pletcher's barn this year that looks to make a splash in the Derby.  NPS: 2/23 1/16m Fountain of Youth/Risen Star(G2)

-Shanghai Bobby 20 pts
Undefeated in five starts. Triple digit BRIS Speed ratings in two of those five starts. Soon to be two-year-old champion. All of those accolades but the odds are against him. Street Sense in 2007 is the only horse to win both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby. It was impressive how he fought back in the stretch of the Juvenile and all eyes will be on this colt the first time he stretches out past 1 1/16 miles. The 1 1/4-mile distance is the question mark but will likely have the points to claim a spot in the Derby and try to prove the doubters wrong.  NPS: 1/26 1m Holy Bull(G3)

Other Contenders:
-Power Broker
-Dewey Square
-Frac Daddy
-Fury Kapcori
-Capo Bastone
-Officer Alex

*Picked top four fillies in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Kauai Katie finished 4th showing she didn't have the distance in her and is slated to cut back to a sprint on her birthday (1/1) in the 6f Old Hat (G3). Had Shanghai Bobby pegged in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Power Broker swung extremely wide around the first turn taking himself out of the race but managed to get up for 5th...