First Derby horse arrives on Churchill grounds// Master Of Hounds may throw name in Derby hat// Dialed In better be on Saturday

Photo: Churchill Downs

There’s probably not much buzz around the Twin Spires right now. It’s only one Derby horse. It’s only unheralded Decisive Moment. Nonetheless, his presence in stall 12 of Barn 41 this morning serves a reminder that the Kentucky Derby, less than 6 weeks away, is fast approaching.  Prep races from here out are serious, of the grade one variety. Jockeys (and their agents) are prepared to scratch, claw, and burn bridges for mounts. Trainers are racking their brains over timing, graded earnings, travel, surfaces, equipment changes, and all other matters related to squeezing their colt into the 20 horse field// Aidan O’Brien from across the pond didn’t make it easier for anyone as he announced the Derby is a possibility for Master Of Hounds, who finished 2nd in the UAE Derby. His appearance on the crowded graded earnings list elbows out whoever will assume the #21 spot, plus adds another potential starter with real dirt questions// Matt Gardner makes a good point that Nick Zito possibly misjudged the campaign for Dialed In.  Seeing as the graded earnings mark to make the Derby is higher than usual, he will need a strong performance in the Florida Derby to make the gate in Louisville// In his weekly column, Steve Haskin makes a case for those horses who didn’t win last weekend’s preps but still showed promise: Elite Alex, Crimson China, Astrology, and Nehro.  Elite Alex and Nehro will have to run in the Arkansas Derby in order to get more earnings, while Astrology could end up there too, although only for fitness purposes// To Honor And Serve worked a bullet at Payson in preparation for this weekend’s Florida Derby. That field looks to be a relatively small 6 to 7 horses// Cris Collinsworth is this week’s celebrity top 10 for the Courier Journal// more…

·       O’Brien aims high with Master Of Hounds (UK Press Association)
·       Did Zito make a mistake with Dialed In? Is Fla Derby must win? (And Down The Stretch They Come)
·       Zito hopes to be Dialed In this Spring (Albany Times Union)
·       Under The Radar: Nehro (DRF)
·       Uninspired [Weekend Derby Preps] (EquiSpace)
·       Latest Derby prep winners long shots for roses (Lexington Herald Leader)
·       Making sense of my Kentucky Dery Top 10 (
·       Swift Warrior late nominated to Triple Crown (Downey Profile)
·       Kentucky Derby 137 Update (Brisnet)

·       Wynn Las Vegas 3/28 (Courier Journal)

·       Steve Haskin’s Derby Dozen (Bloodhorse)
·       AP Top 10 (AP)
·       Jack McKinney’s Top 20 (Daily Racing News)
·       Thoroughbred Times Media Poll (TTimes)
·       Cris Collinsworth’s Top 10 (Courier Journal)
·       (By the way, my Top 5 did not change)

·       To Honor and Serve: PPTC- 4F- 49:00- B- 1/18
·       Bowman's Causeway: GP- 4F- 49:20- B-11/25
·       Travelin Man: PMM- 4F- 48:40- B- 3/26
·       Arch Traveler: PMM- 5F- 1.01:30- B- 2/8
·       Albergatti: SA- 5F- 1.00:40- H- 29/69
·       Uncle Sam: HOL- 5F- 59:00- H- 1/15
·       Anthony's Cross: HOL- 6F- 1.12:20- H- 1/5

·       Florida Derby probable field: Arch Traveler, Bowman’s Causeway, Dialed In, Soldat, Stay Thirsty, To Honor And Serve. Possible: Watch Me Go
·       Santa Anita Derby probable field: Anthony's Cross, Bench Points, Comma to the Top, Indian Winter, Mr. Commons, Offlee Wild Boys, Premier Pegasus, and Silver Medallion. Possible: Celestic Night