Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kentucky Derby Run for the Roses by Deborah Dolen

There are many horses in this race, but just the same, many that have never ran on dirt or performed well on dirt - process of elimination is the best way to figure the outcome of the 2011 Kentucky Derby. The track is wet and expected to stay wet, and that will matter. I will get to the horses that only know or prefer grass or synthetic turf in a moment. If you are betting in the Derby try to pick your top six and stay flexible. A few contenders always get scratched at the last minute, so stay flexible. I tend to pick my top six-so last minute exits do not affect my positioning so much.

The favorites right now for the Kentucky Derby are Nehro [19], Twice the Appeal [3], Pants on Fire [7], in that order. Twice the Appeal normally would not be a huge contender, but the jockey, Calvin Borel, former three time Derby winner, (in the last 4 years) sure is. Mucho Macho Man [13] has also proven himself on dirt, and Dialed In [8] who is another favorite, because he is coupled with Jockey Julien Leparoux. Comma to the Top [6] is one I like and Archarcharch [1] - but he is on the inside and I do not think that is a good position for Archarcharch at all. A lot of people like Soldat [17] but I am not sure why because dirt tracks are not his bag. Brilliant Speed [2] is kind of a long shot favorite and I like him.

Picking by Jockeys

If we just picked this race by the Jockey it would be Midnight Interlude [15] with Victor Espinoza, Twice the Appeal [3] Calvin Borel, Animal Kingdom [16] John Velasquez and Dialed in [8] Jockey Julien Leparoux.

Uncle Mo, photo above, who has been a huge favorite simply is not in the running. Uncle Mo is my Secretariat. I had the good fortune to walk and groomed Secretariat when I was younger at Saratoga, then onto Belmont and then the Meadowlands. Uncle Mo has been having serious gastrointestinal issues, and after being looked at by three different vets - they agree he is in no shape to run. His owner is concerned at Uncle Mo's lack of responsiveness to his meds.

Master if Hounds [11] and Animal Kingdom [16] have never ran on dirt and it is supposed to be a wet track. Brilliant Speed [2] and Twin inspired [10] prefer turf or synthetic and never performed well on dirt.

I did not mention 4, 5, 9, 12, 14 and 20. Let's look at them: Stay Thirsty [4] Decisive Moment [5], Derby Kitten [9], Santiva [12] Shackelford [14] and Watch Me Go [20] because they are all long shots for verygood reasons.

Upsets could be Stay Thirsty [4] and Archarcharch [1] who is either going to make it or break it on the inside of the tough first gate.

My betting? I select a few ways and then box them, usually on a trifecta.

Performance: Nehro [19], Mucho Macho Man [13], Archarcharch [1], Pants on Fire [7].

Jockey's: Dialed In [8] Julien Leparoux, Twice the Appeal [3] Calvin Borel, Midnight Interlude [15] with Victor Espinoza, Animal Kingdom [16] John Velasquez.

Lucky Numbers: [3] Twice the Appeal, [4] Stay Thristy [6] Comma to the Top [19] Nehro

Like Names: Brilliant Speed [2,] Twice the Appeal [3], Comma to the Top [6,] Archarcharch [1]

Click here to see more about the horses

Post Derby Results: Animal Kingdom [16] just proved you can win the Kentucky Derby even if you have never ran on dirt. The beauty of Animal Kingdom was the Jockey was supposed to be Uncle Mo's Jockey. John Velasquez was tired of being scratched at previous Derby's and claimed the 2011 Run for the Roses as his own. My first two performance picks were on target and in order. So no more betting by lucky numbers or cool names for me!

Click here to see more about the horses

1 comment:

  1. Yep, I will be in Saratoga for the Traverse