Verrazano: Making Kentucky Derby History Won’t Be Easy

When the undefeated three-year-old colt Verrazano won the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York, on Saturday, he also earned the chance to make history in next month’s Kentucky Derby. Verrazano made his first career start on New Year’s Day, winning at Florida’s Gulfstream Park by nearly eight lengths, and in…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Santa Anita Derby

Santa Anita: The GI, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles #1 Flashback: Highly touted Baffert runner won the battle but lost the war when he dueled through suicidal fractions with fellow rival Goldencents and succumbed late in the local prep, the GII San Felipe in March. and will need to settle a bit…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Wood Memorial

Aqueduct: The GI, $1 million Wood Memorial at 1 1/8 miles #1 Chrisandthecapper: Late addition to the field is clearly overmatched and is an easy toss, but oddly, he might hold the key to the race, as he could project as the speed of the race and the one to keep heavy favorite Verrazano honest…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Florida Derby

Gulfstream Park: The GI, $1 million Florida Derby at 1 1/8 miles #1 Shanghai Bobby: The reigning 2yo champ enters off a two-month break after suffering his first career defeat when second to fellow rival Itsmyluckyday in the local GIII Holy Bull and will try to prove he’s got the stamina to be a top…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Louisiana Derby

Fair Grounds: The GII, $1 million Louisiana Derby at 1 1/8 miles #1 Hip Four Sixtynine: Recent MSW winner going six furlongs over the track looked like a new horse with blinkers removed, but steps way up and seems completely overmatched in this deep GII. Stretch runner was a well-beaten fifth in his lone route…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Spiral

Turfway Park: The Grade III, $550,000 Spiral at 1 1/8 miles A wide-open renewal of the Spiral will certainly give handicappers trouble as several promising, albeit unproven, runners meet the starter. On paper there’s enough pace to think it sets up well for a stalker/closer, so let’s see if #8 GENERAL ELECTION can build on…

Brian’s Derby Preps: The Rebel

Oaklawn Park: The Grade II, $600,000 Rebel at 1 1/16 miles #2 Carve: Lightly raced gelding looked like a new horse last time off the Asmussen claim, when he exploded in deep stretch with the addition of Lasix in an optional claimer to run his career mark to 2-for-2, with both wins coming over the…