Hot List: Derby Trial

April, 25, 2013

This weekend's race, Saturday, April 27

Derby Trial, Churchill Downs

A year ago, it was Paynter. Now trainer Bob Baffert has returned to the Derby Trial with another freakishly fast colt who is making just his third career start -- and this time he may improve on a runner-up finish in 2012. (3) Zee Bros arrives in Kentucky off a speedy maiden win at Santa Anita and has enough zip to lead from start to finish in this one-turn mile. (1) Officer Alex started 2013 with a pair of dismal efforts but has rebounded since then and the late kick he flashed while taking an Oaklawn sprint stakes bodes well for his chances at a mile. (4) Forty Tales disappointed while racing wide in the Swale at Gulfstream and may perk up here. (9) Titletown Five has hopes of advancing to the Kentucky Derby but his last two races indicate he'll be spending next Saturday in his stall. The only reason for optimism involves a powerful maiden victory at Churchill Downs that might indicate a fondness for the racing surface. He'll need that and more against this bunch.

Last weekend's races

Lexington Stakes, Keeneland

About the only thing to come out of the Lexington was a Hot List choice for the … 2014 Ben Ali at Keeneland. As much as we enjoyed watching Winning Cause return $15.60 as the Hot List top choice in the Lexington, we didn't see anything in the race compelling enough to change our opinion about the Kentucky Derby. The time was mediocre, and with a 3-for-3 record over Keeneland's synthetic main track Winning Cause seems a better bet for the Lexington track's stakes for 3-year-olds and up than the Run for the Roses. The only other horses worth watching are Pick of the Litter, who was third, and Sunbean, the 5-2 favorite who ended up fifth. Both horses' past performances indicate a preference for dirt over an artificial surface and we'll put each of them on our B List to follow them in their next race.

For daily Hot List selections, click here.

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Hot List Key

A List: A preferred horse to watch
B List: Secondary horse to watch
*C List: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 1st through 3rd
*D List: Went down 2 or more betting notches and finished 4th or worse
* - 4 or more betting notches if 11-1 or more.

Do you have questions? Email Bob at

• Bob Ehalt grew up a few furlongs from Belmont Park and has followed horse racing as a fan, turf writer or owner since 1971.
• Has won three Associated Press Sports Editors awards and was the recipient of the '09 Breeders' Cup media award for outstanding social media.



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