Monday, February 25, 2008

2008 Risen Star Stakes, Fair Grounds, 2/9/08

The experts are lining up behind Pyro as the early pick for the 2008 Kentucky Derby, and he was also tied for favorite-status with War Pass in the first Derby Future book. When people get this excited about a Derby prospect, my reflexive contrarian response is to bet on another horse, but boy, oh boy, get a load of Pyro's extremely convincing victory in the G3 Risen Star Stakes: last place and pinned to the rail at the top of the stretch, swinging out five-wide into the lane, and taking off like a rocket to win by open lengths. Wow.

In spite of this Herculean performance, it's hard to ignore the fact that Pyro has been beaten three times by the as yet undefeated War Pass (click here for the past performance charts of all the Derby contenders). Trainer Nick Zito is planning to enter War Pass in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. Can you guess where Professor Paulie will be on Saturday, April 5?