1 - Street Sense - This horse is a monster and he LOVES the Churchill track. Hard to go against him. Putting him on top.

2 - Circular Quay - This horse loves to run. Watch his works. He runs very smoothly, like he is coasting, but he is really moving! Will hit the board w/ good trip.

3 - Great Hunter - I think this one is a wonderful colt. Can even see him upsetting the top one w/ good trip. Will bounce back!

4 - Nobiz Like Shobiz - Nice big colt with awesome pedigree. I believe added distance will help (longer stride and can stay with the best of them).

5 - Hard Spun - Little bit under the radar. Hasn't been talked about all that much. Think he will run a big race at a good price and can run with any of these top ones.

6 - Scat Daddy - Doesn't do much wrong. No he hasn't hit the 100 beyer mark and I don't think he will win it, but Steppenwolfer and Jazil did not hit the 100 beyer mark and ran well. Think pace will set up nicely for this one.

The closers look to be up against it this year. I do not see a particularly fast pace developing. Stormello is capable of blazing early, but his connections said they want him to rate. Cowtown Cat can set the pace, if it is a snails pace. Hard Spun is quite capable as well, but has shown the ability to rate. Nobiz Like Shobiz can lead the way, but he too is not speed crazy.

What this all adds up to is big trouble for the horses at the back of the field. The pace will likely be reasonable, :23 - :24 for the opening quarter, :47 - :48 for the opening half and 1:11 - 1:12 for the first three quarters. The winner, in my opinion, will be either in the first or second flight of horses.

I have a list of 12 stats that were shared by the last 14 Derby winners. Eight of the 12 were shared by all 14 and the other 4 were shared by 13 of the last 14 Derby winners. The only horses that meet all 12 are: Cowtown Cat, Hard Spun, Nobiz Like Shobiz and Scat Daddy. No horses meet 11 of the 12, but Liquidity meets all of the 8 that were shared by 14 of the last 14 Derby winners. Maybe it is just a coincidence, but all of the above mentioned horses also fit the likely pace scenario. For the record I like Hard Spun as of now, but post position and workouts next week still need to be factored in.