Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 13
The Chaos Theory – “You hit a pool ball, and it starts
to carom off the sides of the table. In theory, that's a fairly simple system,
almost a Newtonian system. Since you can know the force imparted to the ball,
and the mass of the ball, and you can calculate the angles at which it will
strike the walls, you can predict the future behavior of the ball. In theory,
you could predict the behavior of the ball far into the future, as it keeps
bouncing from side to side. You could predict where it will end up three hours
from now, in theory. But in fact, it
turns out you can't predict more than a few seconds into the future. Because
almost immediately very small effects-imperfections in the surface of the ball,
tiny indentations in the wood of the table-start to make a difference. And it
doesn't take long before they overpower your careful calculations. So it turns
out that this simple system of a pool ball on a table has unpredictable
behavior.” As described by Ian Malcolm, from Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park.
Ian Malcolm was a smart man. Anyone trying to handicap
the winner of the 2011 Kentucky Derby all spring knows he was on to something
with the Chaos Theory. These horses, made of flesh and blood, simply are not
doing what we expect them to do one week to the next. Having said that, I blog
about the horses, and more specifically, for the past few months I blog about
the 2011 Kentucky Derby, therefore I feel I need to make some tough decisions.
I follow them, I watch them, and I handicap them. No
matter that I can’t confidently throw out almost any of the twenty horses that
will run; I am prepared to select one horse as my top pick for the Derby. I owe
that to my readers. The colt I have landed on is Nehro.
I like Nehro because he seems to be approaching the
Derby in the right way. The Zayat Stables’ runner was unheard of a few months
back. After a few non-descript efforts to begin his career, the Steve Asmussen
trainee woke up. He won a late February maiden coming from way back to win by 4
½ at Oaklawn Park to get things rolling. He announced himself with a bang-up 2nd
place finish in the Louisiana Derby, again rallying stoutly in the stretch to
get himself in the picture in the million dollar race. For his final prep,
Nehro closed sharply on the outside to just miss to Archarcharch in the Arkansas
Derby. Each race looks better than the last, and only the wire coming too soon in
Arkansas cost him victory in possibly the strongest of all the Derby preps. Any
further improvement for the son of Mineshaft would make him awfully tough to
beat in Kentucky.
I like Nehro because it looks like ten furlongs will be
right up his alley. His sire Mineshaft was a champion who had no problem at the
classic distance, dominating his foes in the Suburban and Jockey Club Gold Cup.
As strongly as Nehro has finished in each of his nine furlong efforts, I have
more confidence in him handling the demanding 1 ¼ mile distance of the Derby
than any other horse in the race.
I like Nehro because he reminds me of past winners of
the Kentucky Derby. Well bred horses like Ferdinand, Alysheba, and Strike the Gold did not enter the first Saturday in May with sparkling records. But like
Nehro, they arrived in Louisville with the look of being improving, powerful athletes, who would finish
strongly and flourish at the extended distance of the Derby.
And if those reasons are not enough …
I like Nehro because I don’t particularly love anyone
else in this field.