Mixed signals on The Factor// Soldat sharp// Nakatani goes with the “now” horse

George Bolton, co-owner of The Factor, feels it’s unlikely his colt will be entered in the Kentucky Derby.  However, a recent quote from Bob Baffert suggests the door is by no means closed, as he raved how well The Factor galloped at Churchill// Soldat had a sharp work at Palm Meadows that had trainer Kiaran McLaughlin thinking roses.  If the rain never ends in Louisville, The French Soldier could get some serious consideration based on his January effort in the slop at Gulfstream. Alan Garcia was also confirmed as the Derby rider// In other jockey news, Corey Nakatani has chosen to ride Nehro over Comma To The Top// With impending rain in Louisville Saturday, Animal Kingdom’s workout will be moved to Keeneland// Todd Pletcher reports Uncle Mo’s appetite is getting better// As a point of clarification, I said yesterday Silver Medallion would enter the Derby picture with a win or place in Saturday’s Lexington Stakes.  A place would put him in spot #22, so no guarantee, but he would still have a realistic shot with impending defections// Aidan O’Brien still has May 7th circled on the calendar for Master Of Hounds and plans to ship the horse to Louisville May 3rd, which doesn’t give him much training time on dirt// more…

Derby Field as of April 21st (no changes from yesterday)
In: Archarcharch, Brilliant Speed, Decisive Moment, Dialed In, Midnight Interlude, Mucho Macho Man, Nehro, Pants On Fire, Santiva, Soldat, Toby’s Corner, Twice The Appeal
Most likely in: Master Of Hounds, Stay Thirsty
50/50: Comma To The Top, Uncle Mo, Animal Kingdom, The Factor, Jaycito, J P’s Gusto
Outside looking in: Watch Me Go, Shackleford, Twinspired, Silver Medallion, Anthony’s Cross

The Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G3): entries, pps, video, and handicapper picks here
Jerome Stakes (G2): entries

·       Baffert still a Factor? (ESPN)
·       Master Of Hounds’ Derby plans firming up (Bloodhorse)
·       Kentucky Derby spot the goal for Silver Medallion in Lexington [and other news on Uncle Mo, Animal Kingdom, Soldat] (DRF)
·       Derby return a dream come true [Twice The Appeal] (Albany Times Union)
·       The elusive Triple Crown (Power Cap Blog)
·       Wax on, wax off (Equispace Blog)
·       Thursday news and notes (Left At The Gate)
·       Day at the races April 21 (NY Daily News)
·       2011 Kentucky Derby contenders early look (Doc Sports)
·       Kentucky Derby Report April 21 (Brisnet)
·       Video: Derby Watch April 21 (DRF)
·       The Jerome could prove a key Preakness prep (Zipse At The Derby)
·       Randy Moss to host NTRA Derby webcast (Bloodhorse)
·       2011 odds to win the Kentucky Derby (Jimmy Boyd’s Locksmith Sports Picks)

Handicapper Picks:
·       Sophomore spotlight: Lexington and Jerome (The TDN Blog)

·       Greg Melikov’s Top 10 (Horse Racing News)
·       Jack’s Top 20 (Daily Racing News)

·       Soldat: PMM- 5F- 59:00- B- 1/2