2012 Kentucky Derby Cheat Sheet
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder
Not to worry, we have a 2013 Kentucky Derby Cheat Sheet!
2012 Kentucky Derby Replay
All of a sudden Kentucky Derby time has rolled around and you haven’t been paying attention. For shame, especially when we’ve made it easy for you with our Derby Prep Alert!
Paying attention to the prep season that starts at the beginning of the year is certainly one of the better ways to feel prepared for the Derby, but because we like you, we want you to feel ready for the big day (but subscribe to the Derby Prep Alert for next year, ok?).
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of this year’s field by post position including the morning line odds.
1. Daddy Long Legs (30-1) – International mystery horse and winner of the Grade 2 UAE Derby in Dubai has the advantage of running further than the rest of the field. However, he’s only had one start this year and his post position won’t help him.
2. Optimizer (50-1) – Thought to be better on turf, he raised eyebrows when he closed for second in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes two starts ago. He followed up that effort up by finishing 20 lengths behind favorite Bodemeister in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby.
3. Take Charge Indy (15-1) – Got a dream trip winning the Grade 1 Florida Derby over Union Rags. He has great breeding and gets the jockey known as “Mr. Derby,” Calvin Borel, in his favorite spot on the track: near the rail. His price is likely to drop but it would probably be much lower in a year with a less talented field.
4. Union Rags (9-2) – Has a knack for traffic trouble, but usually has been able to overcome it and that experience could come in handy in a 20 horse field. While he’s received many a very favorable review in the mornings at Churchill, he doesn’t have a killer pedigree for the distance but certainly could get the job done.
5. Dullahan (8-1) SHOW (3rd Place) – Half brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird displayed his explosive late kick while winning the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes. He has proven turf and synthetics form, but has yet to win over the skeptics about his ability to do the same on dirt despite turning in solid efforts.
6. Bodemeister (4-1) PLACE (2nd Place) – Absolutely dominated in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. While he has a great distance pedigree and drew a good post, the pace scenario plays against him: he’s led wire to wire in all of his wins and there are two other speed horses in the field. If he does it he would be the first winner since 1882 to have not raced as a 2-year-old.
7. Rousing Sermon (50-1) – Yet to return to his stakes-placed 2-year-old form, he appears to be looking good in the mornings at Churchill and certainly has displayed the ability to come running late. Does not have a slam dunk distance pedigree.
8. Creative Cause (12-1) – Classy California shipper with one of the better distance pedigrees beat buzz darling Bodemeister in the Grade 2 San Felipe and lost by a nose to I’ll Have Another in Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Was training well in California but had a shoe misfortune on the flight, however worked OK at Churchill on Monday.
9. Trinniberg (50-1) – Talented front-running sprinter has never raced beyond 7-furlongs (the derby is 10-furlongs). No doubt about his talent, but the real question is rather or not he’ll hang around long enough to fill your trifecta or superfecta.
10. Daddy Nose Best (15-1) – Steadily gathering wise guy steam between his nice win in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby and the excellent impressions he’s been making in the mornings.
11. Alpha (15-1) – After racking up a string of wins, he finished a game second to undefeated Gemologist last out in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. He overcame some traffic trouble in the process, which is always something you want to see in a Derby contender. In addition to making a great impression in the mornings, he has possibly the best pedigree for the distance in the field.
12. Prospective (30-1) – Spent the prep season in the money at Tampa Bay Downs but didn’t fire last out in the Grade 1 Blue Grass. He might appreciate return to dirt and has received favorable reports from morning training at Churchill. Will certainly be a price if you like him.
13. Went the Day Well (20-1) – Big shoes to fill for the connections of last year’s winner. Nice win last out in Grade 3 Vinery Spiral Stakes, the race Animal Kingdom used to prep, but he hasn’t impressed in the same way his stable mate did in the morning. He does have proven dirt form.
14. Hansen (6-1) – Reigning Juvenile Champion put away Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup last year at Churchill. His front-running style and pedigree won’t do him any favors, but with his white coat he will be easy to spot in the field!
15. Gemologist (6-1) – Somewhat untested despite being undefeated in five starts but appears to have the will to fight, plus he loves the track at Churchill. He also has one of the better distance pedigrees and has been noted as looking extremely good since arriving at Churchill.
16. El Padrino (20-1) – Bounced last out in the Grade 1 Florida Derby after two of wins. Has been in the shadow of his undefeated stablemate, Gemologist but has a great pedigree for the distance.
17. Done Talking (50-1) – Upset winner of the Grade 3 Illinois Derby has not performed well in stakes company otherwise. Feels like more of a fluke than “getting good at the right time” but he’s made a positive impression in the mornings.
18. Sabercat (30-1) – Has yet to live up to his 2-year-old success, but made up a fair amount ground last out in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby with a respectable final quarter time. Impressed in his Monday workout and could be sitting on a nice effort.
19. I’ll Have Another (12-1) WINNER – Has been somewhat of a mystery this year with only two races. Super game winning the Grade 1 Santa Anita and looks to have the will for a fight. Has a nice pedigree for the distance but he could’ve gotten a better post position.
20. Liaison (50-1) – Another one who has yet to return good form as a 3-year-old but at least the post position won’t hinder his running style all that much. While his works have steadily improved at Churchill, he would need to really step-up.
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