It’s a full field of three year olds in the $200,000 G3 Canadian Derby from Century Mile in Alberta and I have some thoughts on each of them and who I think will win. There are twelve colts and geldings entered to run 1 1/4 miles, and I like to pay close attention to horses who can sit near the front or mid-pack and save ground.
Here is the field:
#1 Clancy’s Pistol - He doesn't have much early speed but the inside draw may improve his chances. He does like to pass horses so that helps. The inside post gives him the best chance to save ground.
#2 Red Knobs - This looks like an interesting purchase by Diodoro. He ran a couple of nice races at Churchill Downs early in his career, including a third place finish in the G3 Iroquois. He should be sitting close if not vying for the lead.
#3 Great Escape – It is unlikely that the two Diodoro horses will battle with each other early, and it helps that they drew right beside each other. This colt is just a one time winner but was game in the Manitoba derby.
#4 Gunfighter - Also a one time winner, his usual running style may suit this race well. In a race with several speed horses, he should be able to relax off of the pace and pass a few of them late. His pedigree suits going a mile and a quarter.
#5 Asyoubelieve - This guy likes to win. Although he has never raced outside of Alberta, he has amassed a very strong record and will add Lasix for the first time. He has finished in front of several of the other runners.
#6 Above and Beyond will travel a distance of ground for just the second time. It's difficult to envision him winning this race, but he did draw a good post for his running style. He will need to find a way to save ground if he doesn’t try to get to the front.
#7 Sea Splendour has shown an affinity for winning, but he definitely steps up into tougher company in the Derby on Saturday. He would be a surprise.
#8 Soaringforthesun - The Vancouver invader certainly has a nose for the wire. His early speed served him well at Hastings Park, but he is going to have to be extra sharp to clear to the front here. Maybe he will try coming from just off of the pace like he did to win his maiden last year.
#9 Flashfordani stepped up well when trying a distance of ground in the Count Latham. It looks like he is a relaxed horse and the rider can use him in whatever way is best in the race. Trainer Greg Tracy knows how to train horses for a race like this.
#10 Prayforpeace was the favourite in the Manitoba derby but was disappointing when finishing fourth. It's possible that he doesn't want to go this far so distance is definitely a concern.
#11 Itsmyday will have to step up in a big way to be competitive in this field. He ran a surprising second in the Count Latham and is improving at the right time. Since adding blinkers three races ago, he has shown much more interest and has finished his races well.
#12 Regal Riot - While he does have everything it takes to be competitive in this race, he drew the outside post and that is going to be a challenge. He possesses early speed but it's not going to be easy to work out a ground saving trip.
- Best for the Distance: #1 Clancy’s Pistol, #4 Gunfighter
- Best Current Form: #2 Red Knobs, #3 Great Escape, #8 Soaringforthesun
- Top Three Selections: #2 Red Knobs, #4 Gunfighter, #3 Great Escape