Kentucky Derby Notebook

Apr 2, 2002 6:52 AM

SPIRAL STAKES: Another big jockey change, D’Amico off, Eddie D on. Got the win in a perfectly timed ride on Perfect Drift. This race also included Saratoga Blues, who ran like he had the blues and eliminated him from the already muddled picture. Three horses finished on the wire with Azillion placing second and Request for Parole third. I think you can safely pitch all Spiral entrants from the Derby picture.

RUSHAWAY STAKES: Mr. Mellon ran a powerful race to win going away at 11/16. Improving colt trained by the ever-talented E. Walden is moving forward by leaps and bounds and is definitely a horse to keep tabs on.

BEST OF THE WEEK: That honor belongs to Essense of Dubai, who rallied from last under jock F. Dettori to win drawing away. Most trainers this time of year have no idea if their horse can run 1¼ miles, yet this guy ran it in 2:02.90 on the same day the older horses did it 1.72 seconds faster in the World Cup Still don’t think they can ship from Dubai and win the Kentucky Derby, but the day will come. With this year’s race shaping up as being wide open. Essence could be the answer at a big price. Don’t dismiss.