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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Code West, Young Man

 It's not quite April Fool's Day, but I think I found my Derby horse.

Code West, a Lemon Drop Kid colt out of a Saint Ballado mare could be my guy. My apologies to the connections. I'm not a huge Baffert fan, all right so I'm not a fan at all, but this horse looks like he has the goods. I'm hoping his 2013 Kentucky Derby Odds will stay north of double digits, but a big performance this weekend in the Louisiana Derby could end that for good.

So what do I like about him? I think the more he stretches out the better he will get. His sire, Lemon Drop Kid won the Belmont in 1999, foiling Charismatic's Triple Crown chances, so we know he can go long. His dam's sire, Saint Ballado sired 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam, who won the Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park that year. The fact that he is trained by Baffert certainly doesn't hurt and I've heard nothing but good things about owners Gary and Mary West in my travels.

He'll have to make some noise this weekend, however, as he currently sits with 20 Kentucky Derby points on the Road to Louisville and will require a top three finish to have a legitimate shot at a Derby gate. Even then, a third place finish and the 20 points might not be enough to qualify him without another race. If that's the case, he'll be my Preakness horse!

Code West
His second place finish in the Risen Star behind long shot Ive Struck a Nerve provided him with his current point total, but he'll face the talented and likely favorite Revolutionary from Team Pletcher; and a few other intriguing entries. Palace Malice, another Pletcher-trainee, who finished a nose behind Code West in the Risen Star, also returns to add to his 10 point total. Two other colts who could be Code West spoilers include Mylute, a Midnight Lute colt who finished less than three lengths behind Code West and Palace Malice in the Risen Star. West Point sends Ground Transport into graded company for the first time. He's a Big Brown colt that has two consecutive wins on the Fair Grounds track.

So, we'll see if I can push through my so-called Derby horse to the next level with a big effort this weekend. The Baffert/Garcia connections are solid and he comes in third off the layoff, always a good angle to use.



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