Castellano on ‘Invasion’, Gomez on Vyjack for Kentucky Derby// News and picks for Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass// 3 key workouts// more…

A day after the major jockey dilemma of the 2013 Kentucky Derby was resolved, more contender mounts were finalized Thursday. After John Velazquez’s decision was made to ride Verrazano instead of Orb, attention turned to Javier Castellano and his choice between Wood Memorial (G1) runner-up Normandy Invasion and Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Revolutionary. He chose Normandy Invasion primarily because of how close he was to beating likely Derby favorite Verrazano. Todd Pletcher says he’ll wait until after the weekend to decide who gets the leg up on Revolutionary. Top jocks still available include Rafael Bejarano, Mike Smith, Rosie Napravnik, and three-time winner Calvin Borel. It won’t be Garrett Gomez, who committed Thursday to riding Wood third place finisher Vyjack. Perhaps Gomez was forced to show his hand, but I would think he’d have a good chance of getting the call on Revolutionary, a colt who is generally more highly regarded. Too late now// Handicappers are beginning to weigh in on Saturday’s Derby point races. To be honest, I don’t find analyzing the Blue Grass (G1) a very calming experience. A case can be made for and against almost all of the entrants and given the polytrack surface and recent history of the race, everything points to this being a coin toss. Picks for both the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby can be found below// Rydilluc had an official 7-furlong breeze Saturday so it was bit surprising when another official workout popped up Thursday, two days ahead of the Blue Grass. Trainer Gary Contessa sent the son of Medaglia d’Oro for a short 3-furlong work he called “a walk in the park”// Itsmyluckyday, a colt who is flying a bit under the radar after his runner-up finish in the Florida Derby (G1), posted a 5-furlong work at Calder Thursday// On the West Coast, Sunland Derby (G3) victor Govenor Charlie put in serious preparations at Santa Anita for trainer Bob Baffert// more…

Upcoming Kentucky Derby points races:

Blue Grass (G1)
1 1/8 Miles
Time: 5:40 PM ET
PPs: Click here

Arkansas Derby (G1)
Oaklawn Park
1 1/8 Miles
Time: 6:28 PM ET
TV: NBC Sports
PPs: Click here


Itsmyluckyday- CRC- 5F- 1.01:00- H- 1/9
Rydilluc- KEE- 3F- 37:40- B- 9/9
Govenor Charlie- SA- 4F- 48:20- H- 6/25

AP Top 10 (AP)