The 132nd Kentucky Derby
10th @ Churchill Downs-All carry 126
2. Steppenwolfer...Albarado...Seems just a cut below these. I liked him earlier in the year at Oaklawn, but was impressed by Lawyer Ron running away from him. Downgrade due to that. One of many with a shot at 5th or 6th.
3. Keyed Entry...Valenzuela...This horse wants no part of 10 furlongs. You know it, I know it, and by 6:10 pm everyone else will know it. No knock. Just not the right spot.
4. Sinister Minister...Espinoza...Burned up Keeneland just to accentuate the fact that they needed to replace that Merry-Go-Round a long time ago. Now he's coming off the race of his life at a track that will not reward him for the kind of race he just ran, against several others that will try to run the same race. Too bad, so sad. You go to the back of the pack. After this, his replaces the picture next to the word "bounce" in the dictionary.
5. Point Determined...Bejarano...Here's the Baffert horse that many are touting. I'm not sure I know why, and his reports this past week haven't been favorable. It's too contentious to take any but the best value here. Love Rafael, but this is too soon for this guy.
6. Showing Up...Velasquez C....Not nearly experienced enough to survive victorious in what he is about to face.
7. Bob And John...Gomez...It's hard to tell what he got out of the Wood. It was a nice effort, but the track condition won't be anything like that on Saturday. He should have a nice tactical trip which will leave him the most likely Baffert entrant that can crack the exotics.
8. Barbaro...Prado....The most likely winner, all things considered, including post position. By all reports flourishing tremendously at Churchill. Not surprising, given his record and handling thus far. He'll most likely run a career best race today, and it will be good enough to win. Racing luck always plays a part, and that will be his undoing, if he is to be undone.
9. Sharp Humor...Guidry...Will be one of many searching for that early lead. He's game, so expect he'll last through most of it, but none can avoid the burnout after a torrid Derby meltdown pace.
10. A.P. Warrior...Nakatani...Not entirely sure he wants to go this far this soon. Another one of many who could finish 5th or 6th.
11. Sweetnorthernsaint...Desormeaux...Quiet rumors that he has been sore this week didn't away me off of him. I jumped off the bandwagon just before for reasons I can't quite nail down, except for I feel he's going to regress after his last. Bottom of exotics only.
12. Private Vow...Bridgmohan...Both Ragozin and Thorograph are pointing to a career best for this horse today. That would put him in the very thick of things, at a last reported 38-1 in early wagering. After his Breeders Futurity win at Belmont last fall, he looked on the fast track to favoritism here. The track obviously took a detour this winter, but today this horse makes his presence felt, in a major way. It's been a long and winding road.
13. Bluegrass Cat...Dominguez...Another whose fortunes took a severe detour this winter. He may need more time to shoehorn himself back into the picture. If he runs well here, look out in the Preakness!
14. Deputy Glitters...Lezcano...The Tampa race looks isolated, and like he won't make it back to that level anytime soon.
15. Seaside Retreat...Husbands...Did someone say retreat?
16. Cause To Believe...Baze...Impressive NorCal career before running into buzzsaw in Illinois. Probably a cut below these.
17. Lawyer Ron...McKee...Has had it nice and easy this winter. Busting everything that came within shouting distance in Arkansas. Last race came up a bit slow, and he may already be over the top. He will have to beat me without my backing. I can't bet them all!
18. Brother Derek...Solis...Early wagering had him at 9-1 on Oaks day. Give me 9-1 Saturday and I'm standing at attention in line. Actually think outside post will help him relax. His ability to get close to the rail will ultimately determine his chances. He's got that Royal Alydar blood. You know I like that!!!
19. Storm Treasure...Flores...Ran a bang-up effort chasing loose cannon in the Bluegrass. Not unusual for Keeneland also-rans to show up here running the doors off of similar. Broke his maiden on this track. his best puts him close. An explosion gets the whole thing. Both at astronomical odds.
20. Flashy Bull...Smith...Didn't back up his Fountain effort with a Florida Derby showing. Not a good bet he'll run well enough here to make a difference.
Brother Derek has done nothing wrong all year, and appeared to lose support over the last few weeks. At 9-1 I will unload. At 5-1 I'll be happy. The battle with Barbaro should be epic!
Barbaro has blossomed into a full-blown racehorse just in time for the BIGgest race on the planet. He looks like a model on track these past few weeks. You are witnessing the birth of a major force in this sport. Will not be surprised if he wins, and wins easily.
Private Vow allegedly sitting on a monster. I like that info at 30-1. I will use in major spots and even in the pick 4.
1. Brother Derek
3. Private Vow
4. Bob and John, Sweetnorthernsaint, Storm Treasure, Bluegrass Cat
Best of luck everyone!
© 2006 bBra