2010 Triple Crown Candidates/Hopefuls
Looking for 2010 Triple Crown Hopefuls? With the Kentucky Derby less than a month away, it is time to take a look at this year’s top contenders
The 2010 Derby prep race season has been one of the best in years with quite a few dramatic finishes and some surprising upsets. It is now time to move onto the most exciting part of the season; the Triple Crown races. The Kentucky Derby; the first and most prestigious of the crowned jewels will be run on Saturday, May 1st followed by the Preakness on May 15th, and the Belmont on June 5th.
The last Triple Crown Champion was Affirmed, who won all three races in 1978. Since then, 11 horses have managed to win the first two legs, but have failed to win the longest of the three races; the 1 ½ mile Belmont. The last horse that won the first two legs was Big Brown back in 2008.
Here is a preview of my top five horses that have a legitimate shot at being the next Triple Crown Champion
Trainer Todd Pletcher could have as many as six horses running in this year’s Kentucky Derby, but his best prospect by far is Eskendereya. This horse started his three year old season with a one mile allowance win at Gulfstream in early January. In his next race he won the grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes. He became this year’s odds-on-favorite to win the Derby with his impressive win in the grade I Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
Lookin at Lucky
After winning five out of six starts as a two year old including the grade I Delmar Futurity and the CashCall Futurity, Lookin at Lucky won the Eclipse Award as the 2009 Champion Two Year Old Male. This year he won the grade II Rebel Stakes and finished third in the grade I Santa Anita Derby. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Garrett Gomez, he will most likely go off as the second favorite in Kentucky.
This West Coast colt, trained by John Sadler has already won a trio of big races this season all at Santa Anita Race Track; the grade II San Vicente Stakes, the grade II San Felipe Stakes, and the grade I Santa Anita Derby. He will now try and keep the magic going in his next three races starting with the Derby. It is expected that Joe Talamo will be his jockey for that race.
Trainer Nick Zito is very high on this horse as he has shown the stamina to handle the distance of a race like the Belmont, which has been the stumbling point of many a Triple Crown threat. Also to his credit was his ability to bounce back after a fifth place finish in the grade II Fountain of Youth with a huge victory in the grade I Florida Derby.
After winning the grade II Gotham at Aqueduct in his three year old stakes debut, some of the early luster has worn off of this horse after a third place finish in the Wood Memorial. Trainer Jeremy Noseda still believes this horse has what it takes to be right in the mix in all three of these races.
The wager there will NOT be a Triple Crown Winner is -1600. The wager there will be one is +800. This year I believe two contenders; Eskendereya and Lookin at Lucky have the best chance at pulling off this feat. Unfortunately, whichever one of these horses wins the Derby will have to contend with the other in the next two races. None the less I am going out on the limb and predict that Eskendereya will be the next Triple Crown Champion.
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