Brian Nadeau is back this year to offer insight and analysis on this year’s road to the Kentucky Derby. A handicapper at Horseplayer Now and Capital OTB, he’ll analyze every official Derby points race and the three Triple Crown races, back at Brooklyn Backstretch for the sixth year.
Santa Anita: The GIII, $150,000 Robert Lewis at 1 1/16 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points 10-4-2-1)
by Brian Nadeau
With the wet weather over the past month taking its toll, it’s no surprise to see a short field that doesn’t include any of the California heavyweights, which leaves this one ripe for the taking by a potential up-and-comer. And while the pickings are slim, it looks like #5 SHEER FLATTERY will take all the beating off a relatively fast track and distance win in the slop last time, in what was his two-turn debut for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Blinkers on could bridge the gap for #2 IRAP, who was 4th, some 4 3/4 lengths behind the pick last time, but has run well in both two-turn starts on the main tack and should be up close throughout. Taking a short price on #1 ROYAL MO isn’t recommended, as he could take all the worst of it as the inside speed and needs to run a lot faster than his Del Mar maiden win to factor. If the pace gets too hot then #3 DANGERFIELD will have a chance to pass them all, but he’s earned his reputation with minor, non-threatening rallies in a few graded stakes and needs to step up here.