Friday, May 3, 2024

2000 Guineas & Kentucky Derby 2024

 Ah, the smell of the roses in May... Saturday is epic horse racing day as the 2000 Guineas and Kentucky Derby crown the first stars of the Classic crop on turf and dirt. It could be a historic day for the Coolmore boys as they are very well poised to strike in both Classics with City of Troy and Sierra Leone. But let's get in more depth into those 2 races.

City of Troy starts his sophomore year with the greatest expectations of any horse since Frankel. Superlatives have come and gone elevating the son of Justify to near Frankel-esque levels. His 3 wins last year were visually impressive and the excitement exacerbated by the boastful remarks of connections. If he's trained on, he will crush the race. The vibes from the yard look very positive and it's hard for nay-sayers to find anything to say against the horse; maybe the odds are prohibitive but throw those away and you are looking at a form that is just incomparable to the field. Rosaillon might prove a better sprinter than miler when looking at his pedigree, so I wouldn't go close to him for the win. Notable Speech is from Charlie Appleby's yard and thus cannot be discarded but he's never run on the lawn. I think Task Force might be one apt for the places as he looks an improving Frankel out of a top-class mare.

The Kentucky Derby might be very tactical this year given the prevailing wet conditions. Whoever gets into that lead could go from start to finish and I have Dornoch in mind. He will have no problem winning the dash from gate 1. On pure strength and form, the best horses look to be Sierra Leone, Fierceness and Forever Young. Sierra Leone has the best kicking finish of the field and starting from gate 2 will be a problem for such a strong closer. If he can get a clear trip, he will win but there are chances that he faces a wall entering the straight. Fierceness crushed all in the Florida Derby but since he alternates the good and the bad, it's hard to be fully confident that he will show his A game in Kentucky. I will have no problem tossing and laying him on the day. Then, there is Forever Young, the undefeated UAE Derby winner from Japan. How good is he and how will he like the slop? His Japanese trainer has won 2 Breeders Cup, so why not the Derby? His draw in 10 is ideal for this closer and provided his jockey takes to the Churchill track and have him in a good spot, he can shock this field If there is a non-American horse that will win the Kentucky Derby one day, it will be a Japanese one. Forever Young could be the one.

Win: City of Troy, Sierra Leone/Forever Young