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Las Vegas, NV -- It's finally Kentucky Derby time! The big race finally comes our way this Saturday, May 5th from Churchill Downs. The top three year olds on the planet will once again duke it out for not only their share of the $2 Million purse but also the prestige of being named Kentucky Derby Champion.
Perhaps the strongest crop of three year olds in history has been narrowed to 20 plus an alternate. They will go 1 1/8 miles on Churchill Downs main track. Let's take a look at all 21 and the credentials that brought them to the biggest race on the calendar in order from the favorites all the way down to the long shots. Truth be told - anyone can win this race!
The Kentucky Derby is race 11 on Churchill Downs Saturday card with a post time of 6:24. The race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.
Bodemeister - Bob Baffert trained Bodemeister stamped his ticket to the show with a super-impressive 9 ½ length win in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn on April 4th and before that finished a close second in the Grade 2 San Felipe. Bodemeister won a Maiden Special Weight on February 11th and was second in a similar race on January 16th both at Santa Anita. He is peaking at the right time and starting from a very favorable six hole.
Union Rags - Union Rags has won four of six career starts - a second in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile by a nose to Eclipse Award winner Hansen and a third last time out in the Grade 3 Florida Derby being his only blemishes. Among the wins is the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes on February 26th at Gulfstream, the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont in October and the Grade 2 Three Chimneys Stakes at Saratoga in August. If not for a third last time out, Union Rags would be the favorite!
Gemologist - Todd Pletcher trained son of two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow has five career starts - 5 wins including the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes last time out on April 7th and the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on this track in November. Gemologist has the pedigree, the training and the results to land in the favorites section!
Dullahan - most recently won the Grade 1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14th and before that finished second to Howe Great in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes after finishing fourth at the Grade 1 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November. He also has a win at the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October. Dullahan is peaking at the moment but is known more for his work on turf/synthetic surfaces.
Alpha - finished second to Gemologist last time out in the Wood Memorial and before that had two straight wins - the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct on February 4th and the Count Fleet Stakes in January. His last appearance at Churchill Downs resulted in an 11th in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile however.
Creative Cause - has a Grade 1 and two Grade 2 victories in his career and has yet to finish worse than third in eight career starts. He was second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby last time out on April 7th and before that won the Grade 2 San Felipe. He is as consistent as they come and he does have a history on this track - a third at last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Hansen - Eclipse Award winner for two-year-old colts Hansen has been beaten just twice six career starts - a second at the Grade 3 Holy Bull and a second last time out in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes on April 14th! Hansen's impressive wins include last year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct on March 3rd.
Daddy Nose Best - most recently won the Grade 3 Sunland Derby on the heels of a very impressive win at the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate on February 18th. He has won three of his last four races and has turned in some sizzling work recently on this track.
I'll Have Another - has been very impressive as of late with two straight wins - the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby last time out on April 7th and before that the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on February 4th. He is one of the "under the radar" entries that could win it all from post 19.
El Padrino - won the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on February 25th but followed that up with a disappointing fourth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby in his last prep for this race. Todd Pletcher trained El Padrino was on quite a roll having won both starts this year before the Florida Derby. He has recorded three wins a second and a third place finish in five career starts.
Take Charge Indy - results include G1-Florida Derby (1st); G1-Breeders' Cup Juvenile (5th); G1-Breeders' Futurity (4th); G3-Arlington-Washington Futurity (2nd) but it is his most recent win in the Florida Derby that has put him on the map!
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Went The Day Well - comes into the Derby having won two straight races - the Grade 3 Vinery Stakes on March 24th in impressive fashion and before that an Maiden Special Weight race at Gulfstream on March 3rd.
Daddy Long Legs - breaks from the dreaded rail but comes in having won the Grade 2 U.A.E Derby after an unflattering 11th in the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup. In five career starts he has three wins.
Sabercat - won the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes in November but followed that up with a disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes March 17th and a third most recently in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby - a result that secured his place in this race.
Rousing Sermon - was deemed a contender at the beginning of the year bus since has just two third place finishes in three starts - the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby last time out and the Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on February 4th. In March, Rousing Sermon was a disappointing fifth in the Grade 2 San Felipe.
Liaison - Liaison had a tremendous juvenile campaign but has since faltered - a sixth, a fourth and an eighth in his graded stakes action in 2012. Last time out, Liaison was over nine lengths behind I`ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby.
Trinniberg - has raced twice in 2012 and has won both - the Grade 3 Bay Shore and the Grade 3 Swale Stakes. The draw-back is pace - Trinniberg is a pure sprinter who will have issues over the Kentucky Derby length.
Done Talking - won the Grade 3 Illinois Derby last time out. Impressive when you see that he finished 10th in the Grade 2 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct and was fourth before that in the Grade 2 Ramsen Stakes also at Aqueduct.
Prospective - finished a disappointing sixth in his final tune-up in the Blue Grass Stakes on April 4th but before that had won two of three races - the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and the Pasco Stakes with a second place finish in between in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes on February 4th. His most recent result is certainly a red flag ahead of the biggest race on the calendar!
Optimizer - has a second and two ninth place finishes in his last three starts and is the long shot in this race!
My Adonis - is the alternate in this race after a pair of respectable finishes - second in the Grade 3 Gotham and third in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes.
Race 11 on Churchill Downs's Friday card with a Post Time of 6:24 PM.
|1||Daddy Long Legs||C. O'Donoghue||A. O'Brien|
|2||Optimizer||J. Court||D. Lukas|
|3||Take Charge Indy||C. Borel||P. Byrne|
|4||Union Rags||J. Leparoux||M. Matz|
|5||Dullahan||K. Desormeaux||D. Romans|
|6||Bodemeister||M. Smith||B. Baffert|
|7||Rousing Sermon||J. Lezcano||J. Hollendorfer|
|8||Creative Cause||J. Rosario||M. Harrington|
|9||Trinniberg||W. Martinez||B. Parboo|
|10||Daddy Nose Best||G. Gomez||S. Asmussen|
|11||Alpha||R. Maragh||K. McLaughlin|
|12||Prospective||L. Contreras||M. Casse|
|13||Went the Day Well||J. Velazquez||H. Motion|
|14||Hansen||R. Dominguez||M. Maker|
|15||Gemologist||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher|
|16||El Padrino||R. Bejarano||T. Pletcher|
|17||Done Talking||S. Russell||H. Smith|
|18||Sabercat||C. Nakatani||S. Asmussen|
|19||I'll Have Another||M. Gutierrez||D. O'Neill|
|20||Liaison||M. Garcia||B. Baffert|
|AE||(AE) My Adonis||E. Trujillo||K. Breen|
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