This weekend I have seven horses racing from my virtual stable at www.roadtotheroses.com. It is the last chance for a few of my horses to make a convincing move for the Kentucky Derby presented by Yum Brands! Show me the money (so they qualify).
War Pass, Court Vision, Giant Moon, Tale of Ekati, Anak Nakal, El Gato Malo and Z Humor are in my stable and have races April 5th. This weekend will be the last chance for many of these horses to place a stake in the Derby.
I have followed Pyro, Giant Moon and El Gato Malo since July of last year. Pyro and El Gato Malo have solid placement in the Derby. Giant Moon has made an impression on me and takes good pictures, so I would like to see him in the race.
So the Illinois has El Gato Malo and the Santa Anita Derby has Z Humor and holy crap, what do I do, because five horses are in the Wood. So who did I make active in my virtual stable? I kept El Gato Malo and Z Humor active, since they are the only representatives from my stable in each of their races and I think they could win. Less confident with Z Humor though. War Pass, Court Vision, and Giant Moon will be active for the Wood.
The BIG Picture for the Derby
Pyro is my choice across the board, as War Pass and Big Brown will set the pace. Wire to wire is always an option, but Pyro will be pushed from behind by El Gato Malo. That is my prediction. Court Vision and Smooth Air will hold the middle along the race as Cool Coal Man will look for those who tire along the way around the track. Colonel John will be commanding the middle pack of Court Vision and Smooth Air.
Now you also consider the bandwagon. I tend to go against the grain often times, but Big Brown has less experience among this level of competition, compared to many other horses in this level of racing. Not to take away from his very impressive win in the Florida Derby. The bandwagon traveled originally from War Pass and then to Pyro...I just have to say that you need to make some educated guesses, not handicapping on who's hot and who's not in the prep races. War Pass has lost one race thus far. Pyro has finished in style in several races. So don't tell me they are over hyped. In his credit, Big Brown has come through in all three of his starts with first place finishes, but the level of competition is higher in the Triple Crown Trail. Big Brown better be built to beat the best.
Curlin and Big Brown both started from Post Position 12 in their races last weekend (March 29). Big Brown was the first horse to win the Florida Derby from PP 12 and Curlin did the same in the Dubai World Cup. My coworker Mark stated "It matters more in the construction of the track in Florida, than the one in Dubai." But this is an exciting coincidence to observe, that two horses did something new and created a whole lot of excitement. Well, Curlin really didn't have to try too hard to be honest, but that is fine, that is how good he is, or maybe it's just his looks...that always helps too.
Back on subject; Make sure you examine who has rocked on the dirt track, with the Derby located at Churchill and being ran on dirt. There have been a lot of synthetic track horses nominated. Can they run in slop? April Showers could always pop up and create interesting track conditions. The Breeders' Cup was a prime example of some sloppy racing. I like to also bet by trainer as a fallback. Who is the best guy to prepare their horse for a race on the dirt track of Churchill Downs?
Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen:
Denis of Cork
Cool Coal Man
El Gato Malo
Go Visit Jason Shandler's Blog for Triple Crown Talk. He has much deeper discussion on his predictions and thoughts about the Kentucky Derby and the trail to the triple crown.
The bowler hat, a.k.a. the "Derby", was designed by the hatters James and George Lock of Mr. Lock of St. James's Street, a firm founded in 1676 and still in business as of 2007, and was dubbed by them early on as the "iron hat". read more...
- file photo