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Breeders' Cup 2017

HRN Original Blog:

The Factor -- Your Kentucky Derby Favorite?

This is it!  The final two major Kentucky Derby preps of the season and what a one-two punch lined up for Saturday.  Five of Horse Racing Nation’s Top 20 Derby Contenders will be competing in these G1 races headlined by Arkansas Derby favorite, the razor sharp, The Factor, currently ranked #2 in our rankings and gaining on Uncle Mo, one who’s stock is falling after the disappointing finish in the Wood Memorial.


For those of you that have been following this blog, we have been rating each of the Kentucky Derby preps before and after they have been run.  After evaluating the Arkansas Derby field, we have given it our highest rating and it ranks as THE top Kentucky Derby prep run this season.  The Factor will, once again, own the pace and gets another distance test, which should pose no challenge.  If, for whatever reason, Uncle Mo doesn’t make it into the Derby field, The Factor’s win probability increases as Derby contender speed types fall by the wayside.


Ever since Santiva’s success in the Breeders Cup Futurity at Keeneland and in the Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs, he became my early choice as a top win contender for the Kentucky Derby.  With only one race since November 27th run eight weeks ago, the connections have certainly placed a lot of value in running a “fresh” horse in the Derby.  He’ll have to impress to continue to get my vote.  The pace for this race is projected to be quite slow, so favorites, Santiva and Wilcox Inn will need every bit of their late turn of foot (and then some) to overcome this unfavorable pace scenario.


You can count on this…at least one of the top finishers in these prep races will hit the board in the 2011 Kentucky Derby.


Here’s the breakdown of the final major Derby preps and the assignment of our exclusive HRN Super Screener Quality Rating:


Oaklawn Park -- G1 Arkansas Derby1 1/8 miles dirt

Field Size = 13

Number of Graded Stakes Winners: 4

Number of Graded Stakes Placed: 8

BRIS Pace Par:  First Call = 96; Second Call = 107

Projected Pace:  First Call = 92; Second Call = 104

Energy Distribution Profile of Field: Heavily stacked with closers

Morning Line Favorite:  The Factor (CURRENT HRN RANKING: #2)

Shutty’s Top Three Picks: The Factor, Elite Alex, Alternation

Hit-the-Board Bomber Pick:  JW Blue


Notes: This race tops our ranking for all Derby preps run to date.  Very deep, high quality field with significant Derby implications.  The Factor looks awfully tough having easily handled 6 others in here he last faced in The Rebel.    


Keeneland – G1 Blue Grass Stakes 1 1/8 miles Polytrack

Field Size = 12

Number of Graded Stakes Winners: 3

Number of Graded Stakes Placed: 7

BRIS Pace Par:  First Call = 96; Second Call = 107

Projected Pace:  First Call = 88; Second Call = 92

Energy Distribution Profile of Field: Loaded with closer types

Morning Line Favorite: Santiva (CURRENT HRN RANKING: #12)

Shutty’s Top Three Picks: Wilcox Inn, Praetereo, Santiva

Hit-the-Board Bomber Pick:  Joe’s Blazing Aaron


Notes: This one ranks as HRN’s  4th or 5th highest rated Derby prep of the season.  The prevalence of turf and synthetic types knocks this one down a bit.  With not much pace on, give some regard to the only speed horse in this race to have gone the 1 1/8 distance, Joe’s Blazing Aaron.  Wilcox Inn and Santiva have to impress here to be considered live Derby win contenders.



Come back to this blog Tuesday and we’ll take a look at this high-profile prep to see if trips, biases and pace/speed rating outcomes will alter our HRN SUPER SCREENER QUALITY RATING.


Want to make $150 doing what you already do?  Check out the incredible offer on our home page from TVG.  Just bet $250 a month and get $50 in return for each of the first three months after you open an account. It’s that easy! 


Go now to HRN's 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders Power Rankings to see who the fans are rating as their top choices and cast your own votes!  Kentucky Derby 2011 Contenders.







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Older Comments about The Factor -- Your Kentucky Derby Favorite?...

did uncle need one tuner
I am watching Archarcharch, I think hes my favorite! :D
I know everyone will tell me I'm crazy, but my favorites are The Factor (which is not crazy), and if will show up... Comma to the Top. I don't know why do I like this horse, but he has this little some some. But I count Willcox Inn too.
Elite Alex and Joes Blazing Aaron... I need a winner.
Willcox Inn and Sway Away for me ... good luck everyone!
call me crazy, but how about j w blue as a bomber? or caleb's psse guess he is more of a long shot though. numbers looks like it is factor's or swayawy's race. sleeper maybe elite alex, but needs to step it up.
Both the Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes are coming up as great betting races. Would love to hear who you are tabbing as the best bombers to hit the board.

About Me

Mike has been a passionate horseracing fan for over 30 years. He received his “handicapping education” through countless hours of deciphering the mystery that is embedded in every race. It was the tough beats at the window, however, that propelled him to never make the same mistake twice (well, maybe three times).

As Managing Partner of Horse Racing Nation, Mike serves as investor, business advisor, staff handicapper and developer of handicapping content.

Handicapping the Derby has always been one of Mike's favorite endeavors.  He spends weeks compiling notes, speed figures and analysis in preparation for the big race.  In 2010, his HRN pals pushed him into packaging his time-tested methods into what became the 2010 Kentucky Derby Super Screener, an e-book that became extremely popular with HRN readers and was downloaded over 3,000 times.   

In preparation for the 2011 Derby, Mike will be "Rating the Preps" each weekend on the Derby trail.  The goal will be to build a good picture for which prep races are most likely to produce the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner.   

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