Brian Nadeau’s Road to the Triple Crown: The Ellis Park Derby

Ellis Park: The $200,000 Ellis Park Derby at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: (50-20-10-5)

by Brian Nadeau

Brian handicaps at Capital OTB and Horseplayer Now, and he’ll offer analysis and selections of Derby points races, hoping to make us all a little money as we head to the Belmont Stakes. Follow him on Twitter here.

Keeneland photo

The Kentucky Derby prep trail winds its way to Henderson, Kentucky—obviously—with the Ellis Park Derby, and while the race drew a robust field of 13 (12 will run), it’s all about the heavy favorite, #4 ART COLLECTOR (4-5), who is at or right near the top of many Derby lists off his dominant win in Keeneland’s GII Blue Grass last month, and while this is nothing more than a prep, and Drury won’t have all the screws tightened with Louisville looming, the reality is that even 70% of this son of Bernardini is better than 100% from anyone else here. The rest of these aren’t much at all, so just maybe #1 TRIDENT HIT (30-1) can blow up the exacta for Walsh, who rarely runs them where they don’t belong, which says this son of Tiznow, who has only two starts under his belt, might be coming into this the right way off a decent second in an Indiana Grand AOC on the Indiana Derby undercard, and this ground-saving post won’t hurt, either. The much more likely exacta partner is #12 SHARED SENSE (9-2), who enters off a sharp GIII win in the aforementioned Indiana Derby for Cox, and while ‘Art is a month better than anyone this son of Street Sense just beat, he did do it the right way, so if he can navigate a trip from this wide draw, he’s clearly the main danger. If nothing else, you get some class from #10 ATTACHMENT RATE (20-1), as he’s nibbled in a slew of graded stakes for Romans and has some tactical speed, which means that this Hard Spun colt should be in a good spot when they hit the far turn.

 Selections:

#4 Art Collector

#1 Trident Hit

#12 Shared Sense

#10 Attachment Rate

 

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