Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
As Kentucky Derby 139 draws near everyone is asking themselves who is
the top candidate, who has the best chance to get to the wire first. Many look
at this year’s class and wonder who has the best pedigree, speed, and stamina.
Itsmyluckyday, the choice of Dead Heat Debates’ Laura Pugh,
may have fast Beyer numbers, but how much does that really matter? Horses running in the derby need more than
just Beyer numbers, they need both speed and stamina to get the full 10
furlongs. That’s why my choice for the
derby has been the same all along, and that is Orb. I’ll compare the two horses and prove that
Orb will outrun Itsmyluckyday.
First off, let’s look at the pedigrees. It’s obvious that Orb has the pedigree more
consistent with a runner who is going to have some stamina. The broodmare sire for Itsmyluckyday, Doneralie
Court, was more of a seven furlong specialist. Sure, we know about the accomplishments of Lawyer Ron, but on the dam
side, I just don’t see the ability to get the distance. With
Orb it’s a whole different story. Now
while Malibu Moon himself didn’t accomplish much, he still has A.P. Indy and
Mr. Prospector in his bloodline. His
broodmare sire, Unbridled, needs no introduction as we all know he won both the
Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. That’s quite a resume.
Now let’s look at the current accomplishments of both
horses. Itsmyluckyday does have five
wins, of which four of them were against much inferior competition. His main win, in the Holy Bull, was against
derby hopefuls Shanghai Bobby and Frac Daddy. His most recent defeat was against a rising star and popular derby pick,
my choice, Orb. Now Orb has been
completely on fire since his maiden victory late last year. In fact, he hasn’t lost at all. Four wins in a row, each time taking a step
up in class. In his most recent race,
the Florida Derby, he simply had to stalk the moderately slower pace, swing four
wide on the turn, and bring it home. Orb has won from the rail and from the middle posts. I think he is in a perfect spot to take down
Finally, Orb has been posting some fantastic workouts since
the Florida Derby. He has trained twice
at 4 furlongs and once at 5 furlongs. One of his 4 furlong works was in a quick 47.4 in his final tune-up for the big race.
Orb is the obvious choice, and I’m confident he has a better
chance at getting the distance in the derby.
The distance factor was present in the Florida Derby. Yes, Itsmyluckyday won at a mile and 1/16 in
the Holy Bull, but when he added a sixteenth to 1 mile and 1/8, he couldn’t
last. I have a feeling that he will have
an issue with the full ten furlongs in the derby. Orb on
the other hand has been winning impressively in each start with added
distance. Shug will have him more than
ready for the big race.