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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

12 Set to Clash in Kentucky’s Blue Grass

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 24

The field was drawn today for Keeneland’s historic Blue Grass Stakes with 12 three-year-old colts entering to run for the winner’s share of the $750,000 in the traditional Kentucky Derby prep. Heading the field will be last fall’s Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes winner, Santiva. The bay colt is trained by Eddie Kenneally and will be ridden by Eclipse Award winning jockey, Julien Leparoux.  In his only start of 2011, Santiva finished a solid second to Mucho Macho Man in the Fair Grounds’ Risen Star Stakes back on February 19. He will break from the number 3 post and has been installed as the 3-1 morning line choice.

Others lining up to tackle Santiva in the 1 1/8 mile race over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface include the 5-1 morning line second choice, King Congie.  Trained by Tom Albertrani, the son of Badge of Silver has earned his reputation with three consecutive excellent performances on the grass including a stakes win in the Tropical Park Derby. The Blue Grass will mark his first try on a synthetic surface, but Keeneland’s main course often plays friendly to turf horses.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has already won the Blue Grass twice in the past six runnings with Bandini and Momba, will have three chances for the win with the celebrity chef, Bobby Flay owned Sensational Slam, the recent maiden winner Praetereo, and the Canadian bred Queen’splatekitten, who will break from the far outside with jockey John Velazquez.

Others expected to draw support at the windows include Wilkinson, a Neil Howard trained son of who Lemon Drop Kid, who accounted for the Lecomte Stakes this winter, and Brilliant Speed, who like King Congie enters with solid turf form. Both colts are listed as 6-1 co-third choices on the morning line.

The field is rounded out by Mike Maker’s pair of Twinspired and Joes Blazing Aaron, Newsdad, Willcox Inn, and Crimson China.

Twelve horses are entered and each of them has a chance to win, and throwing any single horse out in this field could be a mistake. On paper Santiva (#11 on HRN's 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders) would seem to have an obvious class advantage over his competition. He ran well in his only trip at Keeneland when he finished 2nd in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity last October, and he is the only horse in the field considered to be a major contender for this year’s Kentucky Derby. Being considered the horse to beat has not meant much in recent editions of the Blue Grass though. Upsets in the Blue Grass have become the norm, and that was bore out last year when the Mike Maker trained Stately Victor scored at odds of 40-1.


 

 

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Older Comments about 12 Set to Clash in Kentucky’s Blue Grass...

i think king congie will be able to pull of a win and upset santiva. today while I was in school the name king congie just popped into my head from out of nowhere. It seemed familiar but I couldn't figure out where i heard the name from. turns out he is in the blue grass. was it a sign? i don't know but im not sold on this santiva colt yet.
You and me both, John.
I know Santiva has been pointing for this race but I will keep an eye on Wilcox Inn's odds.
Any prep is fun to watch, but I am ont going to try and handicap the winner. I will Santiva, because he is still one of the horses on the Derby trail that could still move this race.
Oh no, I am not dismissing anyone in this field ... especially in the context of turf or synthetics. I think what JohnBravo was saying, and I agree, is that there is a big question what the Blue Grass result on this surface means to the Derby. Although you are correct in pointing out that Paddy did run well in Louisville. By the way, Paddy only had one win going in, but it was the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes in which he ran 1:45 2/5 for the 9 furlongs!
the crazy thing about the pic above is that Bridgmohan is the only jock to win on this horse yet he is not in the saddle.
My point is no one was talking about Paddy this time last year... he just broke his maiden the race before the blue grass...just because someone is unfamiliar with the horses or that the horses are up and coming doesn't mean they wont make any noise in the derby. The derby is by far wide open this year with a very inconsistent field. Don't dismiss these just yet is all i am saying
Paddy O'Prado is no normal turf horse ... can't wait to see him back this year!
Sure worked out good for Paddy O'Prado last here who finished runner up in this race...
That would be nothing new for recent editions of the Blue Grass.
Basically if Santiva doesn't win the purse will award some second tier or grass horse enough earnings for the Derby

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.