Still none better than `Nobiz'

March 05, 2007|By John Cherwa | John Cherwa,Orlando Sentinel

The annual guessing game known as "Who's going to win the Derby?" hit full stride over the weekend with no clear favorite emerging after a couple of Kentucky Derby preps in Florida and California.

Over the next two months, some clear favorites likely will emerge. But there's one thing to remember: The favorite rarely wins on the first Saturday in May.

Scat Daddy rallied late and beat Stormello by the smallest of margins to win the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park in South Florida.

Despite finishing third, the Tribune newspapers Triple Crown panel placed Nobiz Like Shobiz in the top spot after the inaugural week of this year's poll. Nobiz ran a difficult race, being forced three wide for most of the 1 1/8 -mile race.

Scat Daddy was voted second place in the poll just ahead of Great Hunter, who easily won the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.

Stormello had enough votes to pick up fourth in the poll. Street Sense, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner last year, is fifth. However, history is against him, as no horse that won the juvenile as a 2-year-old has come back the next year and won the Derby.

This week should help shake things out a little with three Derby preps. Circular Quay (eighth) goes in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds in New Orleans and Summer Doldrums (10th) runs in the Gotham Stakes at New York's Aqueduct. A third prep, the El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows in Northern California, rounds out the weekend schedule.

John Cherwa writes for the Orlando Sentinel.

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