Yesterday was the Kentucky Derby Post Draw
so I guess that means that I can’t put it off any more. I have tried to wait
till the very last moment to announce my top 5 Derby Picks, but the time has
come. There are so many horses in this field that could win the Derby picking
out five of them as your favorite is no easy task, but here they are.
#5 Wood Memorial runner up, Alpha- I always
thought this horse could be a strong contender in the Derby if he figured out
his gate issues and it looks like he has. Pulling post 11 is the worse post for
this son of Bernardini because he will be the first to load along with Daddy Long Legs. I was thinking about tossing him after the draw, but I think he was
very good in the gate last time out and I am sure McLaughlin has been schooling
him. I also think that the pace of the race may set up for exactly what Alpha
is looking for. So with all that, I am keeping him on my ticket.
#4 Spiral Stakes Winner, Went the Day Well-
This horse was never on my radar but after watching him win the Spiral and
seeing such a great post position I put him in my top 5. I was not a fan of his
because I was never that big on Animal Kingdom. The connections tell us he is a
few strides better then Animal Kingdom but truth be told, he better be because
this year’s field is better than the one faced by Animal Kingdom. I don’t think
he will find much trouble with his draw, I don’t think distance will be an issue;
I think the horse is fresh and relaxed and ready to go so for that reason I am putting him on my ticket.
#3 Sunland Derby Winner, Daddy Nose Best- I
went back and forth on this horse but checking out the pace that should be in
this race, I think he could be your winner. This race should set up for his
hard closing style with the likes of Hansen and Trinniberg speeding off early. I
think you may have a perfect storm brewing for a Daddy Nose Best Derby win. You
have a horse that is getting over the track impressively, with a good post (not
that it matters with a closer), in a race that is going to have a very fast
pace for this closer to run at down the stretch and what I think is the best
closing jockey in the nation. I will gladly take my 20-1 chances on this horse.
#2 Arkansas Derby Winner, Bodemeister- The
way this horse won the Arkansas Derby says it all, how can you not like this
horse? He was so relaxed when he won the Arkansas Derby, he looked like he was
just floating over the track at his leisure and he just happened to be in a
race. I never saw his jock really ‘ask’ for anything from this horse so it is
all saved up for this Saturday. But, I think he is going to need it. In the
Arkansas Derby he had things his own way, out on the lead, setting the pace, no
trouble…I don’t know if it will unfold that way for him this Derby day. That
being said, this horse is a very talented horse and should be able to overcome
whatever is thrown at him. That is what I am betting on anyway. I know he doesn’t
have the experience, but not only do I think this horse has the chance to break
the long standing Derby rule but if he stays health there is no telling what
other 34 year old droughts he may break.
#1 My pick since last November, Union Rags-
I know that when we are placing our money on horses there is no room for
emotional bets, but I don’t care. I was so impressed with his second place
finish in the Juvenile. He was so close and covered SO MUCH ground. I thought
for sure as he stretched out longer, the better he would be. I thought, ‘if
they could just teach this horse to run straight down the lane, he would be
dangerous’. They must have taught him just that because he won the Fountain of
Youth going straight. He was impressive, but this is a game of ‘what have you
done for me lately’ and that win has been forgotten a little. Then came the
Florida Derby, where he was sure to win but Castellano would make sure that
didn’t happen. My Union Rags was boxed in right out the gate and had nowhere to
go. Once he found a hole, he started with his long strides toward the finish
line, it was too late but I think that may have been his most educational race.
He was put in a position that you just can’t train for, but he knows what it is
like to find trouble and his jockey definitely learned something that day.
So there are my favorites for the Derby,
till next week I wish you all the best of luck!