Del Mar: The $100,000 Shared Belief at 1 1/16 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 50-20-10-5)
Del Mar gets into the Kentucky Derby prep action with the Shared Belief, which is likely to have just four after the expected defections of Uncle Chuck and Anneau d’Or, who are looking out of town for their next starts. That leaves us with is a heavy favorite in #5 HONOR A.P. (8-5), the GI Santa Anita Derby winner that is clearly the West Coast’s best hope for Louisville, especially since this Honor Code colt is in the patient hands of Shirreffs and seems to be improving by the day and should win this even though the A-game won’t come out until September 5. The obvious main danger, if you can call him that, is #6 CEZANNE (7-2), who is trading more on his $3.5 million purchase price than his 2-for-2 record for Baffert, as this son of Curlin hasn’t really impressed or run fast and was tiring late in his AOC win going two turns at Los Alamitos Race Course last time, something that won’t make the heavy chalk next door sweat any. Baffert also starts #2 THOUSAND WORDS (8-1), a son of Pioneerof the Nile that was a distant second to Uncle Chuck in the GIII Los Alamitos Derby last month and doesn’t seem to have progressed off his win in Santa Anita’s GIII Robert Lewis in February. It’s pretty obvious that #4 KISS TODAY GOODBYE (15-1) is only here because of the short field, as this Cairo Prince colt was last of 10 in an SA AOC when facing winner for the first time in his last for Kruljac.
#5 Honor A.P.
#2 Thousand Words
#4 Kiss Today Goodbye