Notice it says OTD. I live in Louisville. Can't help myself.
It's that time of year. The Run for the Roses. Saturday is the 134th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. I had the privilege of attending the draw for the post this evening at 4th Street Live in Louisville (about a block from my office). This years field is as even as ever. No one had a great showing during the prep races and any of them has a good chance to win.
The favorites are Big Brown, 3-1 (even though they chose to start out of the 20 hole), Colonel John, 4-1 and Pyro at 6-1.
There are those that say Big Brown lacks experience, only running 3 races but going 3-0 in those starts. His last run, the Florida Derby (GI) - Gulfstream Park on 3/29 was an excellent race where he easily took the win by 5 lengths.
Colonel John (6-4-2-0) has a decent shot at placing after winning by a nose in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) - Santa Anita on 4/5. This will be the Colonels first run on dirt, always before running on Polytrack. His training time at Churchill this week (5 furlongs :57.80 B 1/62) have been excellent, making him a must play in any any exotic.
Pyro started out the prep season in excellent form, finishing 2nd in both the Champagne (GI) - Belmont Park and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (GI) - Monmouth Park. His next two races (Louisiana Derby (GII) and Risen Star (GIII), both 1st place finishes at Fair Grounds) looked to cement his spot as the colt to beat. Then came a very disappointing 10th place at the Toyota Blue Grass (GI) - Keeneland. Naysayers started dropping Pyro in their rankings saying he would finish in the Derby. Pyro's first 4 races (2-1sts, 2-2nds) all came on dirt, same as Churchill Downs whereas his 10 place finish at Keeneland was on Polytrack. Definitely a horse to watch and worth a decent win bet or across the board.
As for me, I'll be spread out on Pyro, Big Truck (a horse I've been watching since last fall at Belmont Park, same problem with polytrack as Pyro), Colonel John and a side on Eight Belles, the only filly in the race. Only three fillies in the 133-year history of the Kentucky Derby have won the race (Winning Colors in 1988, Genuine Risk in 1980 and Regret in 1915). Eight Belles starts out of the 5th slot and at a morning line of 15-1 is a fun choice.
Below are a couple picture I took with my phone. Also, at the bottom, is the complete field for the 134th Run for the Roses.
Big Brown owners consulting with jockey Kent Desormeaux before their draw.
From left to right, Reece Davis, Randy Moss, big time jockey Jerry Bailey and Nascar driver Dale Jarrett on the set of ESPN coverage of the post draw.
|1||Cool Coal Man||Julian Leparoux||Nick Zito||20-1|
|2||Tale of Ekati||Eibar Coa||Barclay Tagg||15-1|
|3||Anak Nakal||Rafael Bejarano||Nick Zito||30-1|
|4||Court Vision||Garrett Gomez||Bill Mott||20-1|
|5||Eight Belles||Gabriel Saez||Larry Jones||20-1|
|6||Z Fortune||Robby Albarado||Steve Asmussen||15-1|
|7||Big Truck||Javier Castellano||Barclay Tagg||50-1|
|8||Visionaire||Jose Lezcano||Micahel Matz||20-1|
|9||Pyro||Shawn Bridgmohan||Steve Asmussen||6-1|
|10||Colonel John||Corey Nakatani||Eoin Harty||4-1|
|11||Z Humor||Rene Douglas||Bill Mott||30-1|
|12||Smooth Air||Manoel Cruz||Bennie Stutts, Jr.||20-1|
|13||Bob Black Jack||Richard Migliorie||James Kasparoff||20-1|
|14||Monba||Ramon Dominguez||Todd Pletcher||15-1|
|15||Adriano||Edgar Prado||Graham Motion||30-1|
|16||Denis of Cork||Calvin Borel||David Carol||20-1|
|17||Cowboy Cal||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||20-1|
|18||Recapturetheglory||E.T. Baird||Louie Roussel III||20-1|
|19||Gayego||Mike Smith||Paulo Lobo||15-1|
|20||Big Brown||Kent Desormeaux||Rick Dutrow, Jr.||3-1|