To my readers, and my fellow horse racing fans, it is that time of year that we all love. It is time to get out the Spring costumes. It is time to smell the roses. It is time for us ladies to get our Derby hats all spruced up. Don’t forget the good old Kentucky bourbon and the mint juleps.
It is Kentucky Derby Week, as one might have guessed.
This Saturday, May 4th, will be the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby. Yes, technically, it’s the YUM! Brands Kentucky Derby, but I think a race that has been running since 1875 having a sponsor is just silly. Call me old school, but I guess with this economy, it is necessary.
After the Derby Draw, I will be posting my Derby picks and preview blog. I believe the Derby Draw will be today, May 1st.
Past winners have been 2009 Horse of the Year, Rachel Alexandra, SilverBulletDay, Rags to Riches, and most recently, Believe You Can, who was ridden by the great female jockey Rosie Napravnik, who became the first female rider to win the Oaks.
Who will win it this year? I will have the field below, courtesy of http://www.drf.com , and will give a brief comment on whether I think the entrant has a shot. My comments will be underneath the horse, with her jockey.
Here we go.
Purse: $1 million; 1 1/8 miles; Grade 1
Post, Horse, Jockey, Morning-line odds
1. Silsita, G.Stevens, 20-1
The Todd Pletcher trained filly’s only stakes win comes in the Bourbonette Oaks (G3). Doesn’t impress me.
2. Midnight Lucky, R.Bejarano, 9-2
I really like this horse. Bob Baffert trains her. She has done nothing wrong yet. She is undefeated. I would put her in the exotics.
3. Beholder, G.Gomez, 7-2
This is the horse I absolutely love. She’s owned by Spendthrift Farms, and was named Champion 2 Year Old Filly last year. She won the Santa Anita Oaks in her last start.
4. Unlimited Budget, J.Castellano, 7-2
Owner Mike Repole and trainer Todd Pletcher team up again to present this undefeated Street Sense filly. She was awesome in the Fair Ground Oaks. Watch out for her
5. Seaneen Girl, R.Napravnik, 20-1
This filly is by Spring At Last, and is from the stallion’s first crop. Jockey Rosie Napravnik, who rode Believe You Can to victory in the Oaks last year is the jockey. Possible long shot to me.
6. Princess of Sylmar, M.Smith, 20-1
This filly, after some debate, will be in this race, per her trainer Todd Pletcher (How many entrants does this guy HAVE in BOTH the Oaks and the Derby anyway?). “Sylmar” had a four race win streak broken, when she finished second in the Gazelle (G2).
If you like to play long shots, “Sylmar” may be your horse.
7. Pure Fun, J.Leparoux, 30-1
Trained by Kenny McPeek, and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Pure Fun’s lone stakes win was the Hollywood Starlet, back when she was a 2 year old. She finished out of the money in the Lexington Stakes against males. This is a toss.
8. Dreaming of Julia, J.Velazquez, 3-1
This is Stonestreet’s entrant. If you remember, Stonestreet, after their late owner, Jess Jackson, make the purchase, campaigned along with trainer Steve Assmussen, the great Rachel Alexandra to 2009 Horse of the Year honors. In fact, it was right after Rachel won the 2009 edition of the Oaks by an estimated 20 lengths, that the purchase was made.
Dreaming of Julia, with John Velasquez up is an amazing horse. The Todd Pletcher trainee just smashed the field in the Gulfstream Park Oaks by over 20 lengths in her last start.
If “Julia” runs near that race back on Friday, racing might just be looking at another superstar.
9. Rose to Gold, C.Borel, 15-1
This filly has been very consistent. In her last few starts, she has finished either 1st or 2nd. There is one time that she has finished out of the money. She has Calvin Borel, who knows Churchill Downs like the back of his hand. I do see that the races she won are not very flashy.
10. Flashy Gray, J.Alvarado, 15-1
Just got word that Flashy Gray has been scratched.
11. Close Hatches, J.Rosario, 6-1
Wow. This filly has pretty short odds in comparison to what she has accomplished. She’s only run 3 times this year, and is undefeated. I guess the fact that Rosario is the hot jockey right now has something to do with why this horse has relatively short odds.
The three fillies whom I am cheering for (in no particular order): #8. Dreaming of Julia, #4 Unlimited Budget, and #3. Beholder
The filly that I think will be wearing the garland of lilies: Beholder
Well, that is my prediction for the Oaks. The next blog will be the prediction for the Kentucky Derby.
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