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Who Will Win the 2011 Kentucky Derby?

Uncle Mo - Breeders' Cup Juvenile topstory
Twenty horses entered a wide open renewal of the Kentucky Derby on Wednesday morning and post positions will be drawn later in the day. Let's take a look at the players and attempt to put them in the proper perspective...

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Dialed In - One-run closer has no edge in this spot. Will likely have to weave his way past 19-horses to get the job done and won't offer enough wagering value. Most effective as a late running sprinter?

Uncle Mo - Fitness is an issue with a one-turn prep in March and a tiring show finish in the Wood Memorial. He came out of his last with a GI tract infection and missed some training time. Juvenile champ seems below his best at the moment.

Live Longshots:

Pants On Fire - Moderate pace helped his cause in Louisiana Derby. Lost ground late in all other fast track dirt starts but is training well and could outrun his odds under Rosie Napravnik. Romped in lone wet track start.    

Santiva
- Troubled Blue Grass flop followed career top in Risen Star. Lone win was a graded score at Churchill Downs last fall and he can go much better in the Derby. 

Shackleford - Pace player has looked strong in the mornings under the Twin Spires. Distance is a question but he seems to be coming up to the race in fine order.
















Stay Thirsty
- Did not like blinkers or the heat in Florida last time. Gotham Stakes winner is bred to handle the trip and is the most expensive entrant at $500,000. Maturity is an issue but he has some talent and could surprise. 

Twice The Appeal - Can Derby legend Calvin Borel help this one? Took seven tries to break maiden and ran for a tag late last year. Obviously much better now but seems a cut or two below the best. Probably rates higher on a wet track.

Twinspired - The only Blue Grass pace player to be around at the finish. He is getting better for Michael Maker but still must prove he can handle dirt. 

Mystery Horses:

Animal Kingdom - Four career races and all but one work on synthetic or turf. His lone dirt drill at Churchill Downs was solid but it remains to be seen how he will handle the footing on race day. 
















Master of Hounds
- Never raced on dirt and has only started once this year. He is bred to run all day so ten furlongs is not an issue. 

Pretenders:

Brilliant Speed - Synthetic/turf specialist showed nothing in two dirt starts. Rode the closer friendly bias to upset Blue Grass tally.

Comma To The Top - Likely Derby pacesetter controlled the pace in the SA Derby but could not hold on in that nine furlong affair over a speed conducive oval. The hard knocking gelding is 0-for-3 this year and has distance limitations.

Decisive Moment - Did all of the pace dirty work in the Spiral and looms an early factor once again. He has yet to win behind a mile and will probably falter at some point.

Derby Kitten - Synthetic/turf lover was beaten 27-1/2 lengths in his lone dirt try and seems up against it at Churchill Downs.

Watch Me Go -  Won a below par renewal of the Tampa Bay Derby and came back to disappoint in the Illinois Derby. He will probably stalk the pace before fading into the sunset.

Value Contenders:

Archarcharch - Two graded wins this year including the Arkansas Derby. Strong pedigree, running style versatility, and plenty of seasoning. He has been in steady training since last fall and the Derby will be his 5th start of the season.

Mucho Macho Man - Consistent colt is youngest member of field. He owns fine early-pressing speed and appears best routing. Nice distance progression in his three preps and has been working on stamina in recent morning activity.

Soldat - Exacta player in his first seven outings. Florida Derby flop was a surprise but he is training forwardly and the Fountain of Youth hero has every right to bounce back to form.

Wise Guy Horses:

Midnight Interlude - Unraced juvenile is improving for Bob Baffert. He exits a watered down renewal of the SA Derby and might take too much money based on connections. 

Nehro - Will make his 3rd start in 6-weeks on the first Saturday in May. He remains eligible for an entry level spot and could be overbet for Steve Asmussen.


 

What the Nation is saying about Who Will Win the 2011 Kentucky Derby? ...

Soldat is shot,his form cycle is at rock bottom:5 horse race with DI on top for me:arch:MI:Nehro:POF:
not much for the turfer horses going to dirt without running on the surface before hand in a big race like the deby.
I like Soldat, especially if the track is off
big four, Dialed in, Uncle Mo, Nehro and Soldat, use and win big!!
I concur with the Master Of Hounds selection. 3 dry spells broken here: 1) European horse 2) Gomez finally wins the Derby 3) the "Dosage Ratings" are back!!!
Master of Hounds takes the roses back to Ireland for Ballydoyle. He's raced, and ran extremely well, against better competition than he's facing in the Kentucky Derby. He's faced stablemate Roderic O'Connor twice in Ireland. Finished better than him the first time, and finished 2nd to his win the next. Roderic O'Connor a G1 winner of the Gran Criterium at Longchamp in France, and 2nd to the beast known as Frankel in the G1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. Master of Hounds also 3rd himself in the G1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. Finishing behind the very talented Casamento for Godolphin, and 2nd in that race was another talented stablemate in Seville. But it was MOH's run in the UAE Derby that was the real attention getter. Mugged right on the wire by the brilliant Godolphin filly, Khawlah, who won both the UAE Oaks and the UAE Derby while in Dubai. I think the tough competition that MOH has already faced in Europe and Dubai gives him a really big edge in this race. JMO.
master of hounds
Archarcharch-who was that other Arch horse that won a mile and a quater at Churchill in the fall? WAS IT BLAME he beat some mare!!

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