ThoroughbredZone’s Kentucky Derby 139 Close Up & Preview–In Post Position Order
1) Black Onyx –
2) Oxbow – Oxbow settled behind in the Arkansas Derby and was never heard from again that day. Regardless of where he was going to break in the Derby, Oxbow is headed to the front early. Gary Stevens has almost no choice breaking from the two hole. He had every chance to win the Rebel, but could not hold off Will Take Charge. He faces a daunting task in the Kentucky Derby.
3) Revolutionary – Revolutionary comes into the Kentucky Derby after a gutsy win in the Louisiana Derby. Revolutionary is a battle tested colt, who has shown determination and grit in both his Withers and Louisiana Derby wins. He has been working well and his gallop outs have been strong. He drew a favorable inside post-position and there is no doubt that Calvin Borel was pleased with that. Revolutionary should be fine if the track is wet. He should be going well late. A Top Threat For Win
4) Golden Soul – One of the last horses to draw into the Kentucky Derby. He improved to finish fourth in the Louisiana Derby behind Revolutionary, Mylute and Departing. And that effort stamped his ticket to Churchill Downs. Golden Soul is facing a huge class test, but he should be passing horses as they begin to go backwards in the stretch. Golden Soul ran a big race in his debut at Churchill Downs last November. Wet track is a bit of an unknown, but Mr. Prospector on the bottom is a big plus. If you are looking for a bomb underneath, he is your horse. User
5) Normandy Invasion – Normandy Invasion was going well late in the Wood Memorial, in a race that did not have the fastest splits. He galloped out past the winner Verrazano that day. He has been doing well in the mornings at Churchill Downs. Indications are he will be a bit closer to the pace in the Kentucky Derby. He will need to take another step forward in his progression on Saturday. He is a contender, but I am not as high on him as I was two weeks ago. He was visually impressive in the post-parade on Wood Memorial day. I will still use this horse on tickets. User
6) Mylute – Mylute took the blinkers off and gave Revolutionary all he could handle in the Louisiana Derby. He was no match for Revolutionary in the gallop out. Fan favorite Rosie Napravnik will be in the saddle. He will be making his third start into his current form cycle. Does he bounce off the big Louisiana Derby effort? Resume is a little light, but all things considered–looks like a horse that fits the bill to use underneath in exotics. User
7) Giant Finish – New York bred Giant Finish was the last horse to enter the Kentucky Derby field. He ran third behind Black Onyx in the Spiral. Jose Espinoza will be on board, but Giant Finish faces a very difficult task. He does have some speed and he should not be too far away from the early pace setters.
8) Goldencents – Doug O’Neil will try to have another Kentucky Derby winner in Goldencents. Fast colt exits a win in the Santa Anita Derby. He has a forward running style and the possibility is there he will try to go all the way on the front end. He should like a wet track. Rick Pitino is part owner of Goldencents. Kevin Krigger is also trying to become the first black jockey in 111 years to win the Kentucky Derby. Goldencents has the speed and is a threat. Goldencents will get the acid test in the final furlong. A Top Threat For Win
9) Overnalayze – Overanalyze has one of the best resumes of any horse in the race. A two-time Grade II winner at age two. Rafael Bejarano has the mount and is no stranger to Churhill Downs. Like others, Overnalayze will be making his third start into his current form cycle. Overanalyze has won on four different tracks already–Saratoga, Belmont, Aqueduct and Oaklawn. He has had one race at Churchill Downs. He ran third in the Iroquois last October. I tossed that race. He is continuing to move forward. Overanalyze should not have an issue with a wet track. Overanalyze is looming under the radar. Dangerous. Upset Special
10) Palace Malice – Dogwood Stable’s Palace Malice will add blinkers for the Kentucky Derby. He is coming out of the Bluegrass Stakes, where he had a decent trip, but was nosed out by the late charging Java’s War. Rain is forecast for Saturday–any moisture in the track will upgrade Palace Malice’s causes. The son of Curlin has a versatile running style, but promises to be in striking distance turning for home. A very intriguing long shot. Don’t discount. User
11) Lines of Battle – The mystery horse finally arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, but was in still in quarantine as of Thursday. Made it to the track on Friday. He is coming off a win in the UAE Derby. He should be okay with the mile and a quarter trip. He also has breeding that suggests he will be able to handle the dirt. He will be getting Lasix for the first time. He still has too many questions. Connections tried same route last year with Daddy Long Legs and it did not work out.
12) Itsmyluckyday – Itsmyluckyday is the most experienced horse in this year’s Kentucky Derby. ThoroughbredZone’s #1 horse on first Kentucky Derby 12. He has had seven races as a 2-year-old. He will be making his first start since getting beat by Orb in the Florida Derby. He has had plenty of time to recover from that race and has a solid foundation. He has a good running style, which should have him not too far off the front runners in the early going. Should be one of the horses to get first run on the pace setters. He has the credentials to be a big player in the race. A big, seasoned thoroughbred. Sports a win over a sloppy track at Calder. Distance is the only issue I have with him. A Top Threat For Win
13) Falling Sky – Falling Sky set the pace in the Arkansas Derby before fading out of it. He has been working forwardly in the mornings. He looks to be another one who will be part of the early pace scenario. He is a son of Lion Heart who ran second to Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby over a sloppy track. He should be able to handle an off track, but distance and class look to be his biggest issues.
14) Verrazano – The undefeated Verrazano drew a favorable outside post-position. Verrazano was installed as the 4/1 co-favorite in this year’s Kentucky Derby behind Orb, who was installed the 7/2 favorite. This was a surprise to many. Verrazano is a talented colt, but faces some questions. He is unraced at two, which is a big knock. He won the Wood Memorial, but he did not win it in the way some would have like to have seen. Another question is, has he already run his best race, and will the distance be too much? He is actually the oldest horse in the race, being born on January 27. John Velazquez will be in the saddle. I still have respect for this very good looking undefeated colt. User
15) Charming Kitten – Charming Kitten will be making his first career start on dirt. He ran a game third to Java’s War in Blue Grass Stakes and galloped out well with Java’s War. Charming Kitten was paired with Revolutionary in the mornings at Churchill Downs. The Ramsey’s have a consistent performer on their hands with Charming Kitten. He is a horse who should do his best running late. User
16) Orb – The morning line 7/2 favorite will break from the outside in post-position 16. Joel Rosario should have no issues getting a good spot for Orb with that far outside post. Orb is coming off two big wins in the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, where he was full of steam coming down the stretch and running on well. Orb is not stone closer and can run closer to the pace if he needs to. He has been working up a storm at Churchill Downs. All signs point towards a big effort on Saturday from this son on Malibu Moon. Always has his game face on when he digs in. He should like a wet track. Top Threat For Win
17) Will Take Charge – Will Take Charge is one of two D. Wayne Lukas entries in the race, the other being Oxbow. Will Take Charge is coming into the Kentucky Derby off a long lay off. He won the Rebel back in March over his stablemate Oxbow. He has four listed works since that race, but faces a tall task coming off the bench in a race like this. Jon Court will have the mount.
18) Frac Daddy – Frac Daddy is one of two Ken McPeek colts to be in the race. The other is just below–Java’s War. Frac Daddy has been working well in the morning. He is returning to his home track, where he has run his best races. Frac Daddy is coming off a second place finish to Overnalyze in the Arkansas Derby. Frac Daddy looks to be a horse moving in the right direction. User
19) Java’s War – Java’s War was an ultra impressive winner of the Blue Grass Stakes a few weeks ago. He broke poorly and trailed the field, before launching a wild 7-wide rally to circle the entire field to win. Julien Leparoux will have his work cut out for him breaking from post-position 19, but will only have one horse to worry about to his outside in Vyjack, who should bounce right out of there. Java’s War is well bred on the bottom to run all day. Winning from out here with a horse that does not break well is asking alot, but he should be going well late. User
20) Vyjack – The Rudy Rodriguez trained Vyjack will break from way outside. Big Brown won from post-position 20 in 2008. But Vyjack is not Big Brown. Nonetheless the big strong gelding has a solid resume. His only loss was in the Wood Memorial, where he finished third behind Verrazano and Normandy Invasion. I’m still a little worried about some health issues he had after the Wood Memorial. Mixed feelings. He also sports a win over a sloppy track. User
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