Here we are less than 3 weeks to the Derby and there is no favorite in sight. We have seen a variety of horses win prep races; each had us talking until they lost the race after. We have jumped on band wagon after band wagon with no real place to set up camp. Here are my thoughts going into the Derby:
1. Dialed In-Of course I am going with Dialed In. Unlike all of the other horses that have come and gone I have not seen a disappointing performance from him. I can not only make excuses for his loss that day but I saw him rebound in the Florida Derby. This horse is getting better and better, he has been challenged and schooled and he is ready for the BIG TIME.
2. Nehro- I was so impressed with this colt’s second place finish I am throwing his name in the hat. He really charged down that stretch and finished very strong in the Arkansas Derby. He looked great doing it too; very powerful acceleration.
3. Uncle Mo- He was the favorite and it may be a sentimental pick, but I am throwing him in there. We all watched this horse win race after race. We wondered if he could go the distance, if the two turns would affect him, what he would do in a battle and if he can handle being pushed for more. All of those questions were answered during the Wood, he failed that day but he also learned something. I am hoping he bounces back to at least finish second or third. I think he will, so I have to throw him in there.
This year has been no easy task for the bettors of the Derby trail; we have seen so many changes in the three year old crop. This year we all put our faith in a horse that did not even start his campaign till March, and that was in an overrated allowance race against…well nobody really. With the closing of each prep race, we had to jumble up our top 3 contenders because these horses never did what we thought. I usually place my bets on a jockey and horse combination and I couldn’t even do that this year because of all the musical jockeys going on.
The colts are not the only ones ‘toying’ with us, the fillies have done there share too. I was pretty confident that nobody was going to beat Kathmanblu in the Oaks and now I am left second guessing. Here are my top three:
1. Kathmanblu- I still think this filly can get it done. No matter what or where you ask her to run, she comes up just like Blind Luck. She never backs down from a fight, win or lose. I think all of her races have been great efforts. I like horses that do not quit and she does not quit. She is my sentimental favorite because I have been rooting for her since the Breeder’s Cup last year. But I am not too worried I have cashed a few tickets based on a horse being my sentimental favorite. I do think she has it in her, but my next two may just be too much for her to pass.
2. R Heat Lightning- I was never a big fan of hers, but she is making it very hard to avoid her, winning her last two starts against some pretty good company. Since she has won her last two, I am willing to throw out her defeat in the Forward Gal.
3. Joyful Victory- I really like this filly. While the Oaks buzz is just catching up to her, I think she would be a great horse to throw into my mix. Will she win? Probably not, but finishing behind R Heat Lightning puts her into the trifecta and that is where she will see my money. Not to mention the fact that her jockey kind of has a reputation of being phenomenal with the ladies.
This is what I have leading into the first week of May. I know, I pretty much have the favorites in each, but I just don't see any other horses. So again, unless it rains these are going to be my picks. I don’t see anything changing (God willing) so this will be the end of my talks till I blog about Dialed In’s win in the Kentucky Derby. Next week I think it would be a great idea to relax and blog about the nominations for the hall of fame.