Kentucky Derby Analysis - Exceed the Speed

With so much speed entered in this year's Kentucky Derby, you have to consider that stalkers, and closers who sit just off the pace this year could pull out a victory. The catch is…with so much speed, you have to wonder if the mass traffic jam of tired horses will allow the one or two speed horses who have either stamina, or a second gear, to gallop ahead. Secondly, I wonder if off-the-pace horses will be able to clear the tired speed horses.

I will know who really looks ready to win in the post parade, but by the time the Kentucky Derby post parade happens, I will already have my bets placed.

My Quick Derby Picks pre-draw

Union Rags

Middle Ground:
Take Charge Indy
Daddy Long Legs
I'll Have Another

Off the pace:
El Padrino

Creative Cause
Daddy Nose Best

My Derby Picks post-draw

Take Charge Indy and Optimizer both will sit off the pace, so it is not necessarily a bad thing if they are boxed in early due to being on the rail. A fast break is not needed.

Bodemeister, Union Rags, Trinniberg, and Hansen will want to break very fast at the beginning and if these four can hit the front first, well, good luck catching them. I think Bodemeister will have the stamina, and Union Rags the will to win. Hansen and Trinniberg just don't have "it" in my mind. That is not to say Hansen is not a great horse, he is.

Gemologist will have to get around the crowd to get up to the front, but this will be the first big test for him. I think he does have the will and competitive nature to fight hard. I hope I'm not proven wrong.

Daddy Nose Best, El Padrino, Sabercat and Dullahan all have fitting post-positions for their running styles and with the speed going first, as long as they don't get caught trying to keep up with the speed, and sit back with a focused ride, they'll be there towards the end.

I want to really cheer on Daddy Long Legs and I'll Have Another. I do not like their post positions at all. It may take a miracle ride to push forward along the rail for Daddy Long Legs, but if he does…then he can cancel out the speed horses in the stretch. I'll Have Another will always have a chance, I may take a chance but am not sold with his post position. I am sorry to say I do not think Liaison will be able to overcome the 20 post position.

How will the horses who have not come from behind handle the dirt in their face and bumping? This is the true test. With ten horses that are proven, how many will show up in the Kentucky Derby final exam?  I am personally hoping a horse that has the stamina to win the Belmont.

Inside Tips:

Seeing Dullahan on the track swayed me to bring him into my Kentucky Derby picture. He is super strong and very fit. Same thing with Gemologist and El Padrino when they arrived yesterday…they looked very comfortable and quite formidable.

Of the horses I saw on Wednesday, I was a little disappointed in Optimizer's look, but I think he will still hit the board. Not win. I have watched other jog videos of Optimizer and he absolutely likes Churchill Down's track and jogs focused, in the bit.

I was impressed with Union Rags' presence. He did seem to be slightly stressed and more sweaty than the other hoses, not sure if that is a bad indicator though. Just look at Shackleford, he tends to get worked up but can perform despite that.

I wish I could have seen Sabercat and Daddy Long Legs.

OAKS Picks:
1) Believe You Can
2) Broadway's Alibi
3) On Fire Baby
Oaks Lily, if she gets in

Rank horses in the Kentucky Oaks!


Leave a Comment:



Had it not been for Trinniberg's presence in this Derby, I believe that the race could end up as an anti-climax. The addage "pace makes the race" is true if the pacemakers are drawn out of their comfort zone. I firmly believe that if the first half mile is run in 47sec or slower, one of either Bodemeister, Hansen or Take Charge Indy will compress the race into a six furlongs sprint and not be caught. However with the fleetfooted Trinniberg in the race, the chance of that happening is very slim, thus we are likely to see a truly run race from start to finish. May the best horse win in such a scenario. My fancy is Union Rags.

03 May 2012 4:06 PM

That is a pretty nice analysis. I had heard the rumblings on Trinniberg being present, but I like your full explanation of why his speed is key. I was kind of leaning, if that were to happen, on Bodemeister's turn of foot and Union Rags' will. I still like closers with such pace. If not to win, to round out those tickets. Not all of the speed and stalkers will have gas left in the stretch.

03 May 2012 4:31 PM
Don from PA/DE

Take another look at "Gem" last win at CD in Nov, that is how is going to run and probably win this race, who knows who else will be there behind him at the finish line

03 May 2012 5:21 PM
Lammtarra's Arc

No mention of Prospective?...Big fan of this Mark Casse horse.

03 May 2012 6:30 PM

My list:

1- TAKE CHARGE INDY, since he was 2

2- GEMOLOGIST, we don´t know so far how good he is

3- ALPHA, because he has talent and beautiful blood for greatness

4- HANSEN, is the champion and is brave

5- WENT THE DAY WELL, they say is better than Animal Kingdom... Hmm

My longshot: OPTIMIZER. Come on, is Lukas card.

03 May 2012 7:03 PM

I agree that Prospective looks great and is the definite Derby sleeper. He has looked solid on the track. I have to ask is he in form with his blue grass performance?

03 May 2012 11:11 PM
edgardo cruzet

Physically Imposing Fifty Proof

Same here. Not a mention at all.

04 May 2012 12:28 AM
big john t

I saw Creative cause listed as iffy. He's the most consistent horse in the race, except for Gemologist. I think he'll be there at the end. If the track is muddy everything is out the window and you should put your money on El Pedarino.

04 May 2012 8:20 AM

Funny what we see. I do not see Union Rags demonstrating a will to win. I see him wandering around the track, not focused on the horse his rider wants him to run down (BC) or refusing to quicken when a 10-ft-wide path opens before him.

He came through on the rail in one of his juvenile races. Maybe something traumatic happened to him in training that we haven't heard about. Whatever the reason, he does his best when on the extreme outside, and this is a terrible handicap in a huge field.

04 May 2012 10:13 AM

I look for the winner to be a horse with late closing ability and Dullahan and Daddy Nose Best are the two I like most. I think Bodemeister would need to go wire to wire to get the win and if he can do that with Trinniberg and Hansen applying pressure then I think he becomes a strong triple crown threat. Safe trip for all.

04 May 2012 2:55 PM

So I hope everyone used my Kentucky Oaks picks =)

04 May 2012 6:34 PM

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