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Weekend Preview II: The Santa Anita Derby

I’ll start off by saying that I don’t believe in curses. True, it’s been a long time since the Santa Anita Derby winner saw the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle (not since Winning Colors and Sunday Silence made it two in a row), but I think it’s time to put that legend to rest. It will certainly be harder now with the surface change, but I don’t believe that was Colonel John’s problem last year when he finished sixth – he certainly proved later that he could run on real dirt – more that he just wasn’t the right horse on the day.

It’s entirely transparent that I hold this opinion because of my high opinion of The Pamplemousse – yes, I would have preferred to see him run on dirt before heading to Churchill Downs, but he just continues to impress. I believe he will do more of the same tomorrow when the Julio Canani trainee finally gets to face off against Bob Baffert’s charge, Pioneerof the Nile – even with the addition of a rabbit. I think it will be quite interesting to see if said bunny changes The Pamplemousse’s front-running style; it’s not a bad thing for him to face now, instead of in May.

I believe Chocolate Candy is being very much overlooked and will hit the board – whether he finishes second behind The Pamplemousse remains to be seen. I like the way the field has drawn, with Chocolate Candy on the rail, Pioneerof the Nile and his rabbit in the middle and The Pamplemousse on the outside – this is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

It would be great to see Alex Solis go into the Hall of Fame with a live Derby shot – maybe he’ll break out a bottle of his wine if The Pamplemousse wins.

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