By Dick Downey
Private clocker Gary Young, who's known to speak his mind, gave his assessment of the field in the upcoming Santa Anita Derby.
He started off with Hear the Ghost, winner of the Grade II San Felipe.
“Hear the Ghost benefited from a really good trip,” said Young. But, "I don’t get to see him work (at Betfair Hollywood Park).
Young was less enthusiastic as he went down the list.
“I think Goldencents might be on the other side of midnight. Super Ninety Nine, too," he said. "Tiz a Minister is a good claim, but I think he benefited from the way Flashback and Goldencents ran like it was a match race in the San Felipe.
“Storm Fighter is a nice horse but he got a little washed out in his works when I last saw him. I think he might be biting off a little bit more than he can chew."
What about Grade I FrontRunner winner Power Broker, who's making the first start of the year in the Santa Anita Derby?
“Power Broker is a talented horse, but they might be rushing him. He doesn’t like any dirt in his face. His post position and how the race is run will be big determining factors with him. He’s as talented as most of the horses in the race, but I think he might be hurrying."
Young didn't comment on owner/breeder/trainer Myung Kwon Cho's Dirty Swagg, who figures to be the longest shot in the race.
And that leaves us with...Flashback, who will probaby put in his final work for the race on Monday.
“Flashback is the most talented 3-year-old we have out here," Young said. "He would be the pick.”