Revisiting a KY Derby Dark Horse

handicapper Justin Dewby Justin Dew

Word on the street is that this ‘dark horse’ earned a Thorograph number just a half-point slower than Magnum Moon in the G1 Arkansas Derby. This isn’t surprising considering how wide Solomini was throughout the race. So if you like Magnum Moon (and I don’t), or if you think Solomini is a fighter who will handles the distance (and I do), then perhaps you need to give another look to the “other Baffert horse” in the Kentucky Derby field.

In a previous post, we discussed how well Solomini has run against some of the more highly-regarded horses in this crop. But for a quick refresher…

He finished in front of Bolt d’Oro in the Breeders’ Cup…

He finished in front of McKinzie and Instilled Regard in the race at Los Al….

Off the layoff, he managed to run 2nd to the fitter Magnum Moon while encountering some trouble in the Rebel…

And he did what he did in the Arkansas Derby (see above).

Also, even though I’m not a fan of Combatant, it’s worth noting that Solomini was passed by Combatant in both of the Oaklawn preps, but Solomini came back and re-passed him both times. I’m not saying that demonstrates extreme talent, but it does show he isn’t a quitter.

If there is a negative with regard to Solomini, it’s that he hasn’t ever wowed us and it’s no guarantee that he has made the necessary jump from age 2 to age 3 that it usually takes to be competitive in the Kentucky Derby. That said, I get the feeling that if they take him a little further back in the Kentucky Derby, he might be able to make a sustained run and surprise some people. And we’ll almost certainly see odds of 20-1 or higher. He’s an intriguing longshot in my book. And he’ll be on most of my tickets.