Road to the Triple Crown Throwdown: Southwest

Ed DeRosa of takes on TDN’s Steve Sherack and Brian DiDonato as they handicap each prep race leading up to the GI Kentucky Derby. The three will make $100 Win/Place bets – highest bankroll after the Lexington S. wins.

DeRosa: Saturday Noble Indy settled for third after some traffic trouble in the stretch of the Risen Star, while Choo Choo was fifth in the El Camino Real Derby. Bankroll: $770.

GIII Southwest S. I went into the Smarty Jones opposing Mourinho but left Oaklawn thinking he’d be tough in the Southwest, and no one who shows up here makes me think the result will be any different. Hate chalking out for the weekend, but I can’t just stab. Selection: #4 Mourinho (2-1).

Sherack: Saturday Principe Guilherme finished far back after a wide trip in the Risen Star. Paved (+$530), closer than last time, got the job done at Golden Gate with room to spare. Bankroll: $750.

GIII Southwest S.Combatant continues to improve with every start and should really appreciate a much different pace scenario in this speed-laden contest than what played out when chasing Mourinho home after that one was allowed very easy early fractions in the Smarty Jones. Son of Scat Daddy is primed for a breakout performance. Selection: #10 Combatant (6-1).

DiDonato: Saturday Supreme Aura never looked comfortable in the Risen Star, but Paved (+$530) sat a perfect trip in the El Camino Real Derby to prove best against the boys. Bankroll: $2240.

GIII Southwest S. Zing Zang is probably the ultimate “wise guy” type and very possibly a trap, but he’s one of the few confirmed closers in a race full of speed. He was just much too far back last time, but seems poised to turn in a career best. Hopefully it’s good enough. Selection: #8 Zing Zang (15-1).