Kentucky Derby 140 Contenders, Borderline Horses & Throwouts – Part IV

CANDY BOY (Stalker, 25/1)

The John Sadler trainee made a smashing three year old debut, rallying from just off the pace to score in the G2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.  Off that solid performance he was one of the betting favorites in the G1 Santa Anita Derby, where he stalked the pace in third throughout, faded at the top of the lane, and then came again to narrowly get the show spot.  He crawled home in :38.2 and was beaten nearly 9 lengths by Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome.  Stevens has indicated that they will take him further off the pace this time around.

Candy Boy is out of a dam who was a minor stakes winner in California going long, but there is little in the pedigree to predict a top performance in the Kentucky Derby.  You have to like Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens being in the irons for a top California barn, but this colt has never set foot outside of Southern California. You simply can’t include everyone, and Candy Boy is a toss based off his last race.

KYD_Candy Boy

Form: Questionable

Status: Throwout

Value Line: 25/1

VICAR’S IN TROUBLE (Speed horse, 15/1)

Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, this colt exits a smashing win in the G2 Louisiana Derby.  Despite what some other sources have reported, this colt set a very honest pace in that Fair Grounds race as he took the field gate to wire.  What I don’t like to see is the way he finished, coming home in a slow :38.3 for the final three furlongs (3/8ths of a mile).  In his prior start, the Risen Star Stakes, he made a big move from off the pace to contend at the 1/8th pole but collapsed in the final furlong.  In both of these starts, he switched back to the ‘wrong’ lead in deep stretch, typically not a good sign.

On the positive side, he is one of only two horses in the race (the other being the favorite California Chrome) who sports two triple-digit BRIS Speed Ratings this year of 104 and 103, respectively.  He is trained by Mike Maker, who on a national scale is one of the best horsemen in the country.  The media is probably praying that this horse doesn’t win, as Maker is a man of very few words.  He lets his horses do the talking, as evidenced by his 26-percent win rate.

A lot people question this horse’s ability to get the distance, with his sire Into Mischief being one of the questions.  Into Mischief was a really nice horse who never ran worse than 2nd in six career starts.  He won going long in the 2007 G1 CashCall Futurity and he is a half brother to superstar and route horse Beholder, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Vicars in trouble PPs

Form: Sharp

Status: Contender

Value Line: 15/1

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is an 18-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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