First let’s start off with my initial reactions to the Oaks
Draw. Dreaming of
, a filly with plenty of natural speed drew well in the now, 10
horse, field. She is outside of the main speed of Midnight Lucky and Beholder.
Her stablemate, Unlimited Budget also has some speed, so it looks like she will
get the perfect trip, stalking a solid pace.
while next to the two main speed balls, still drew well. She is not a need the
lead type, even though that is where she has been in her most recent starts.
She will most likely apply pressure to the top pair or sit to Dreaming of
Julia’s inside and stalk. Princess of
position won’t hurt her, as she likes to close. She can only
benefit from a very likely speed duel.
The losers during the draw were Midnight
are fillies who want the lead, both fillies who possess an overabundance of
natural speed. If you own or train a horse like these two, a horse that needs
the lead, is very fast, and is very competitive, this isn’t what you want to
see. The two are likely to hook up in a speed duel and possible tire each other
out. Another horse who, I think was unlucky, but to a lesser extent, was Closed
is a filly who likes to be
in front as well. The fact that she drew away from the speed is a good thing.
The fact that she will likely have a clear trip, with no dirt being kicked in
her face is also a plus, however can she rate off the lead? If not she will
have to be used in order to clear Unlimited Budget and Dreaming of Julia, if
she can she will still be very wide on the first turn and possibly the second.
Overall it looks like the Todd Pletcher has a fantastic
chance not just winning, but even taking second and third, if his fillies prove
good enough. Others like Midnight Lucky and Beholder may have to work and prove
their mettle if they are to pull off a win.
Now for the 139th
Kentucky Derby. We all know the
one post is the one everyone dreads, and it looks like the unlucky horse this
year is Black Onyx
This one doesn’t have great tactical speed and is a mid-pack runner. He will be
in and among the traffic early if he doesn’t break running or take back to avoid
the crush coming from the gate.
and Will Take Charge
also didn’t fare too well. Will Take Charge likes to stalk while Vyjack likes
to run about mid-pack. Both could get caught very wide throughout the entire
race. While horses have come from the 20 post to win the Derby, the same cannot
be said for 17. Neither has been very productive, and horses without tactical
speed are at even more of a disadvantage this far out.
get very desirable posts. Drawing inside of the rest of the speed, especially
when those horses are Verrazano, Falling Sky
and Itsmyluckyday is not something one hopes for. Both will have to be used and
both will face a great deal of outside pressure.
Landing on the lucky side of the
coin were all of Pletcher’s horses, once again. Verrazano
likes to be on the outside of horses and he will be there, while not starting
too far out. The final spot in the first gate means he’ll have some buffer
room, meaning the chances of getting pinched are slim. If he breaks clean he
should have a great trip. Revolutionary
drew the three post, not normally one I would like, but he is a very agile
horse, can come from anywhere, and with Calvin Borel riding, he’s right where
he needs to be.
also drew well, with the only speed to his outside being Verrazano and Falling
Sky. The latter will want to go up on the lead and may try to clear him, but
that shouldn’t be much of a bother, seeing as how Itsmyluckyday is normally
content to sit and stalk. Verrazano does have speed, but will probably be
content just to track Itsmyluckyday.
There is still handicapping left
to be done, but at first glance I would go with Dreaming of Julia for the Oaks
and either Verrazano or Itsmyluckyday in the Derby. Good Luck to you all and