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HRN Original Blog:
Dead Heat Debates

Kentucky Derby 139 is Pletcher's to Lose

Todd Pletcher 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
Over the years, trainer Todd Pletcher has started many horses in the Kentucky Derby, and over the years he has also proven that it is not quantity, but quality, that wins. Over his illustrious career the decorated trainer has only won the Derby once, after starting 31 horses in America’s most prestigious race. This year he is back again, but this time he holds his strongest hand ever.
 
Pletcher brings a total of five horses into Kentucky Derby 139, with a possible sixth, two of which will probably be among the top three post time favorites. Entering the Derby, none of his horses have finished worse than third in their final prep, while four are coming off of victories.
 
His top two are the unbeaten Verrazano and Louisiana Derby winner, Revolutionary. The former lacks the seemingly essential juvenile foundation to win the Derby, but has all the brilliance one could ask for. Verrazano began his career on New Year’s Day, romping by seven lengths in a Gulfstream maiden. He followed that up with a 16 length route in an allowance, before trouncing the Tampa Bay Derby field in his first stakes try. In his latest start, and final prep, he won his first grade one in the Wood Memorial, against two solid Derby contenders in Vyjack and Normandy Invasion. He had a fantastic work, in his final serious exercise over Churchill downs, and will be piloted by Pletcher’s number one jockey, Johnny Velasquez. If there is a horse that can break the Apollo’s curse, it would be this one.
 
Revolutionary is not as big or as flashy as his stablemate, but here is a horse that has it all. A good foundation, two Derby preps, and can win in traffic or while circling the field. The one time this colt caught a good trip he won going away with a 102 Beyer. He has the services of the King of Churchill Downs, Calvin Bo-Rail, and since arriving to Churchill he has done nothing but impress. His gallops look good and his works look spectacular. If the pace is anywhere near fast, you can better believe he will be closing like a rocket, and with Calvin on his back he’ll be taking the shortest route possible, skimming up the rail.
 
Pletcher’s other horses Palace Malice, Overanalyze, Charming Kitten, and Winning Cause all have legit shots, but the two that could make the most noise are Palace Malice and Overanalyze. Palace Malice could easily be deemed the most unlucky horse on the trail. Plagued by bad trips, the only two times he had a clear trip he was either running over Polytrack or caught a merry-go-round for a surface. He is always right there, always full of run. It is quite possible that this son of Curlin could finally have his breakout race in the biggest one of all.
 
Overanalyze can either be the most brilliant horse you have ever seen or the flattest. He follows a pattern of win, lose, win, lose and right now he is on track for a loss, that is if you believe he will follow the pattern. If you watch him train, however, he looks ready to deliver. His last start he was seen romping in the Arkansas Derby, and as of recently, Arkansas has had quite the influence in the Kentucky Derby. Another thing to like about the son of Dixie Union are that his best races have come at nine furlongs, a distance he is unbeaten at. He is one of the few that should have no trouble with the extra furlong. Hopefully Todd has found a way to get this one to string together back to back good efforts, if he has then we had better watch out because this one on his best day is dangerous to underestimate.
 
As can be seen, this is not the typical group of Pletcher Derby entrants. This group does not consist of colts that had excellent juvenile form, but then lacked accomplishment at three. These horses are accomplished and they are peaking. If there was ever a year that Pletcher were to dominate the Derby, 2013 would be it.
 

 

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Older Comments about Kentucky Derby 139 is Pletcher's to Lose...

Lose he will.
the horse im most intrigued by in a gambling sense is kitten, i think he gets in the top 4
  • SolRivera · I agree. Kitten has been screaming for more distance. Kitten also always seems to be gaining on t he leader, which is a very good sign that he is still improving. He is also bred top and bottom for ten furlongs. Even though his final serious workout on the dirt was not very inspiring, his wet tracK Tomlinson figure (357) is very encouraging. Rain is in the forecast for the first Saturday in May. · 519 days ago
Not sure how the race will unfold, but I totally agree that Pletcher has never brought a group this strong.
If his horses run out of the top 3, the super will pay 600-700k
He has never brought a group this strong. He's had a few nice horses, but recently, his best shots have been taken out due to injury. This year, he doesn't have a barn full of sprinters. They are legit horses and should make an impact if they are lucky enough to get clear trips.
Dery & Oaks.
Every time I see this picture I think he is giving the finger xD I think this is his year in both the Derby and Preakness.
He's certainly loaded, but his contingent does not contain my top pick.
to complete a huge SF
i for one will have 2 maybe 3 of his colts in my tri box
Pletcher will take more than one of the top three finishes.
I think this is pletcher's year.

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Meet Laura Pugh












 

For as long as i can remember I have always loved horses and writing. The first race I ever watched was War Emblem's Preakness Stakes, but I didn't really start to get into racing until the next year where watched and cheered Empire Maker through the Derby, and yes, the Belmont.

I didn't begin writing until a few years later, when I created my own blog Horsin' Around. It didn't take long for me to realize that my niche was stirring the pot and creating heated debates, especially during the time of Big Brown vs Curlin and Rachel Alexandra vs Zenyatta. I was a Curlin and Rachel fan.

Now I am here under the name of Dead Heat Debates, and hoping to live up to that name. Have fun and let the opinions fly!