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2014 Kentucky Derby: Trending vs. Descending

 

In thirteen days we will arrive at the 2014 Kentucky Derby. The road you have to take to get there is long, grueling, plagued with detours and injuries, but for some it is also littered with unexpected surprises and honest victories. Although the gate will be full it doesn’t always mean that any contender can win. This year, it is unlikely that half the field is even ready to go 10 furlongs.

 

But the show must go on. The final qualification race has been completed so we turn our attention once again to the talking points of the derby and the things that are trending vs. descending.

 

The Coolmore Lexington Stakes is the only Wild Card race in the Kentucky Derby Points Qualification Series this year. Although the idea of a last ditch effort to qualify sounds attractive, this year had no impact on the Kentucky Derby field or the top 20 standings.

 

Coming in, there was only one horse that had scored qualifying points, Ami’s Holiday, winner of the G3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine last October. In order to put pressure on Vinceremos, the horse holding the final spot with 20 points, Ami’s Holiday would have to win. If that were to happen the son of Harlan’s Holiday would own the tie breaker with about a $50k more in non-restricted graded stakes earnings.

 

Watching Vinceremos drop from number 20 to 21 would have been interesting but it didn’t happen. Ami’s Holiday finished 4th. In all likelihood owner Ivan Dalos and trainer Josie Carroll would have passed on the Kentucky Derby anyway. So, the Wild Card series faces an unfortunate reality. No starter in last year’s Derby Trial or the 2013–14 Coolmore Lexington Stakes made it to the Kentucky Derby. Therefore, the Wild Card race is descending.

 

It was an interesting decision by Bob Baffert and the owning partners of Midnight Hawk. A win in the G3 Sham, 3rd in the G2 Robert B. Lewis followed by runner-up finishes in the G2 San Felipe and G3 Sunland Derby sounds pretty good. If you look at the horses that beat him, Candy Boy, Chitu and California Chrome, and how many points he scored, 52, he would seem like a legitimate Kentucky Derby longshot.

 

But they needed to see more before they made the call. Credit to team Midnight Hawk. After he lost a comfortable lead to Dynamic Impact in the final furlong of the G3 Illinois Derby it’s pretty clear that he is not ready for 1 ¼ miles. Nothing is official but it’s unlikely that we will see Midnight Hawk in the Kentucky Derby. Even if he did get the nod his status on the subject would be the same; descending.

 

As for his chances in the Preakness Stakes, I’d say it’s too early to tell, and he might still be a contender.

 

If Midnight Hawk opts out of the Derby, the 20 point club will add another member to the field. Because I think this is all but guaranteed, you can go ahead and pencil Harry’s Holiday in as the next horse in.

 

Not only is Harry’s Holiday trending, but so is his trainer Mike Maker. If this son of Harlan’s Holiday gets the green light by his connections he will join General A Rod and Vicar’s in Trouble to complete the trio of Maker starters. Harry’s Holiday is currently at Churchill Downs where he breezed 5F in 1:01.60 on April 5. If I had to guess, I’d say Harry’s Holiday will be racing on May 3rd. If not, Commanding Curve, trained by Dallas Stewart, will be given the opportunity to fill the number 20 spot.

 

At this time every year, there’s this awkward thing we all hate; no more qualification races and two weeks before we reach Derby day. Therefore, what will be trending until the post position draw and morning line odds are the two T’s, traveling and training.

 

Training

 

California Chrome

LA      4/19    4F      47.80


Wicked Strong

BEL     4/17    4F      49.62


Samraat

BEL     4/18    4F      49.12

 

Hoppertunity

SA      4/18    5F      1:00.20

 

Candy Boy

SA      4/19    5F      59.80

 

Vicars in Trouble      

CD      4/17    5F      1:00.40

 

General A Rod

CD      4/17    5F      59.80

 

 

Traveling

 

Candy Boy and Hoppertunity are all set and ready to ship out of California on Monday. On Tuesday Intense Holiday, We Miss Artie and Wildcat Red will head north from Florida.

 

California Chrome and Dance with Fate will stick around out west for an additional week before heading to Churchill Downs on Monday, April, 28. That same day the New Yorkers, Samraat, Uncle Sigh and Wicked Strong, are also expected to arrive in Louisville.

 

Off the Derby Trail

 

It was reported and confirmed on Saturday morning that Cairo Prince has now joined Constitution as having to miss the Kentucky Derby due to injury. Both injuries appear to be minor so we wish them and their connections a speedy recovery as we hope to see them return to racing later this year. 

 

Rider Changes 

 

With the defection of Cairo Prince jockey Luiz Saez will ride Wildcat Red in the Kentucky Derby. That now leaves Rafael Bejarano without a mount. Because Bejarano had never been in the irons it doesn't compare to the rider change with Ride on Curlin. Calvin was up first and more often but Jon Court rode him last. No matter, the three time Kentucky Derby champ gets the nod. 

 

Due to the injury of Constitution Todd Pletcher is an unexpected bind with his top 2 jockeys, John Velazquez and Javier Castellano. After Constitution's win in the Florida Derby with Javier up Johnny V moved from We Miss Artie to Intense Holiday. Now, all that's left for Castellano is a mount on We Miss Artie. 

 

Finally, Corey Nakatani has committed to the Blue Grass Stakes winner Dance with Fate thus moving Irad Ortiz into the saddle with Uncle Sigh. His brother, Jose, is expected to remain aboard Samraat.  

 

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Older Comments about 2014 Kentucky Derby: Trending vs. Descending...

Chitu and Tapiture both worked today for the Derby. Looks like they both may be entered. Not good news for Pablo Del Monte. Good news for all who bet exacta KDFW in pool 1 watiing for a refund.
ok... If that's the case Amino, I'd be happy for a refund. I hope Roses is right about that.
If Pablo gets in the exacta in pool 1 is on!
coyne... are you listening? :D
That's right...if anyone did bet the exacta in pool 1 I hope you kept your ticket for a refund since the rules state minimum 3 betting interests.
Amazing Rita, Ride on Curlin is the ONLY stand alone betting interest left in pool 1. I only bet pool 2 or 3 for that reason and pool 4 has no value.
I have an exacta for the Oaks, Fiftyshadesofgold at 27-1 over Untapable.
Youre right Roses4U, I've got CC at 30-1 in an exacta box with the field from KDFW pool 2, I am hopeful and crossing my fingers on that one.
Also trending is anyone with a future exacta with the field. Cairo was the only individual betting interest in all 4 pools and Midnite Hawk was in 2 pools. Vinceremos, Harry's Holiday and Commanding Curve are part of the field in all 4 pools.

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About Me

Meet Bryan Brinkmeyer – Chicago, IL

 

Growing up I spent a lot of days in the Bluegrass State. Although I was born and raised north of the mighty Ohio River in Southwest Indiana, I was still next door to thoroughbred racing; Ellis Park, Henderson, KY 

 

Likewise, the first Saturday in May was always a celebrated family event. As my two brothers and I got older the battle for picking the next winner began to heat up. In 2000, I made my inaugural Kentucky Derby appearance. Since then I’ve made it an annaual tradition because there’s no other city or weekend in the racing world like Louisville, KY on Derby Day. 

 

Although the story of a Kentucky Derby winner is legendary, following a champions trail is what The Kentucky Derby Post is all about. The coverage begins when the 2-yr-old preps commence but it does not quit racing until all results are official, the field is set, the picks are made and the roses are worn. But that’s not all because the road doesn’t stop on the First Saturday in May. The elusive quest for the next Triple Crown has reached 35 years so I invite my readers to remain in the saddle through all three legs as we await the next Champion of Champions. Cheers.

 

 

Kentucky Derby 2014

2013 Kentucky Derby