The first Saturday in May is almost upon us. This is the day that horse racing lovers, such as myself, look forward to every year. Of course, the gamblers look forward to this event as well, even though the Super Bowl, and NCAA sports are the events most gambled on. I am talking about the “Super Bowl” for three year old thoroughbreds, the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby has been run since 1875 at Churchill Downs, in Louisville Kentucky. Since Aristides, the first horse to win it, many greats, such as Swaps (1955), Seattle Slew (1977), and Secretariat (1973) have won it. On the other hand, some average horses have also won it, such as Sea Hero (1993), and Mine the Bird (2009). Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980), and Winning Colors (1988) are the only fillies to have won the blanket of roses that adorn the winner’s back.
Who will win it this year in 2013? Good question. This year has been a bit different in that there is a new rule for qualifying to get into the 20 horse Derby field. In past years, a horse (besides being Triple Crown nominated) had to have enough graded earnings (earnings from graded stakes). This year, a new system is in place where horses running in prep races that are assigned points. This applied to both the Derby and the Oaks. Points were awarded based on the race. The real kicker was that points for the Oaks could not be applied to the Derby, and vice versa (obviously, the males could not run in the Oaks).
Anyway, this year’s Derby is full of story lines. Jockey Gary Stevens just came out of retirement, and he is riding Oxbow in the Derby. Trainer Todd Pletcher has almost a third of the field under his watch. D.Wayne Lukas, a multiple Derby winner trainer who was “the man” back in the late 80′s to early 90′s, is back in the game. Doug O’Neill, last year’s Derby winning trainer is back with Goldencents (partly owned by Louisville Coach Rick Patino). The horse’s jockey, K.Krigger could be the first black jockey to win the Derby since 1902. Krigger is from St. Croix. Rosie Napravnik could become the first female jockey to win the roses aboard MyLute.
There is a ton of exciting story lines.
Well, now is when I make my picks and analysis.
Here we go.
Kentucky Derby (G1). Saturday, May 1, 2013.
Purse: $2,000,000; 1 1/4 miles
PP. Horse, Trainer, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Black Onyx. K. Breen, J. Bravo (50-1)
Poor guy to be on the rail. May be a live long shot. I loved his sire, Rock Hard Ten. The Rushaway Stakes was alright though.
2. Oxbow. D.W. Lukas, G. Stevens (30-1)
If the track comes up muddy, I’d pay a bit more attention to this horse. Good to see Stevens back in the irons.
3. Revolutionary. T. Pletcher, C. Borel (10-1)
Borel knows this track like the back of his hand. He can get to the rail, where he loves to be. Revolutionary closed nicely in his win in Louisiana . I like him quite a bit.
4. Golden Soul. D. Stewart, R. Albarado (50-1)
Can’t see this one hitting the board. Toss.
5. Normandy Invasion. C. Brown, J. Castellano (12-1)
He became the “wise guy” horse after his closing kick in the Wood, when people started falling off the Verrazano bandwagon. I like this horse quite a bit. I think he will hit the board at the very least.
6. My Lute. T. Amoss, R Napravnik (15-1)
As much as I would love to see Rosie make history, I don’t think this will be it.
7. Giant Finish. T. Dutrow, J. Espinoza (50-1)
A Giant Toss. The horse was entered just to be entered as he had the points, keeping out the also eligible Fear the Kitten (who can get in if someone scratches by Friday).
8. Goldencents. D. O’Neill, K. Krigger (5-1)
Can O’Neill do it again? Can Mr. Krigger make history by being the first black jockey to win the Derby since Jimmie Winkfield, from Lexington, KY in 1902. The first 15 of 28 Kentucky Derbies were won by black jockeys. In fact black jockeys dominated the sport until 1896, when segregration became law. In fact, Krigger, from St.Croix, became the first black jockey to win the Santa Anita Derby aboard Goldencents.
Depending how the race sets up, and if Goldencents can carry his speed the entire 1 1/4 miles, this horse might have a shot.
9. Overanalyze. T. Pletcher, R. Bejarano (15-1)
I was never impressed by this horse.
10. Palace Malice. T. Pletcher, M. Smith (20-1)
He finished 2nd in the Bluegrass right after he didn’t run so well in the Florida Derby just to qualify. I am not so sure he will fare so well in the Derby just 3 weeks after the Bluegrass.
11. Lines of Battle. A. O’Brien, R.Moore (30-1)
Horse ran in Dubai back in March. I’d stay away.
12. Itsmyluckyday. E. Pleasa, Jr. E. Trujillo (15-1)
Ran well in Florida, defeating Two Year Old Champion Shanghai Bobby in the Holy Bull, and handing that horse his first defeat. “Lucky” got the doors blown off of him by Orb in the Florida Derby last time out. Could surprise.
13. Falling Sky. J. Terranova II, L. Saez (15-1)
Will “fall” to the back of the pack. Toss.
14. Verrazano. T. Pletcher, J. Velasquez (4-1)
People jumped off his bandwagon after his victory in the Wood Memorial because he didn’t win going away. He did show a new dimension. He showed he could battle back when challenged. Use in exotics.
15. Charming Kitten. T. Pletcher, E.Prado (20-1)
Not too impressed with this horse.
16. Orb. C.MacGaughey, J. Rosario (7-2)
I LOVE this horse. Love the trainer. Very impressive horse. Definitely use in your exotics.
17. Will Take Charge. W.Lukas, J.Court (20-1)
His dam is Take Charge Lady. He is a hard worker. I am not fond of his outside post, but I think he can get a piece if he has a good trip.
18. Frac Daddy. K. McPeek, V. Lebron (50-1)
Nice horse. If you like long shots, I would bet on him.
19. Java’s War. K. McPeek, J. Leparoux (15-1)
Not since Strike the Gold in 1991 has a Bluegrass winner gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. This is a nice horse with a nice pedigree. He is sired by War Pass. Good trainer. Leparoux is on fire.
However, I don’t see this horse with the roses.
20. Vyjack. R. Rodriquez, G. Gomez. (15-1)
Finished third in the Wood. He had a lung infection, but he made it here. He tries real hard. However, I am not too high on him.
The horses I am pulling for: Revolutionary, Orb, Verrazano, and Goldencents
The Winner of the 139th Running of the Kentucky Derby will be: Orb
Well, that is the field and my analysis for the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby. I will be watching NBC’s coverage this Saturday to find out who will be wearing the blanket of roses, and who will be the only horse this year to have a shot at racing’s Triple Crown.
Now, let me sit back and enjoy a Mint Julep, or two.
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan