2012 Kentucky Derby Race Preview
LOUISVILLE, KY (ATS Consultants) - The 138th Kentucky Derby goes May 5 from Churchill Downs and here is a preview of the contenders for Saturday’s race.
The favorite is Bodemeister at 4-1, trained by Bob Baffert and second choice is Union Rags at 9-2, trained by Michael Matz. Listed below is a look at each horse, his dosage, profile, and an analysis.
Bodemeister, by Empire Maker out of Untouched Talent, by Storm Cat, bred in Virginia
Owner: Zayat Stables
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Mike Smith
DP/DI/CD=9-9-1-0-2 3.00 0.72
Comments: Bodemeister will be either the favorite or the second choice and after that amazing Arkansas Derby win, we wouldn’t be surprised if he rolled to victory this weekend at Churchill Downs. However, a horse that didn’t run at 2 hasn’t won the Derby in 130 years. That’s a lot of history there. Derby-winning jockey Smith (Giacomo) and Baffert (Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem) team up and hope to guide the son of Empire Maker into the winner circle.
Union Rags, by Dixie Union out of Tempo, by Gone West, bred in Kentucky
Owners: Chadds Ford Stable
Trainer: Michael Matz
Jockey: Julien Leparoux
DP/DI/CD=9-1-10-2-0 2.14 0.77
Comments: Yes, he ran into a ton of traffic in the Florida Derby, but clearly that wasn’t his best effort. The question is whether we’ve already seen his best as he was nearly flawless in the Fountain of Youth in February. Wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up the favorite here, as he narrowly lost at Churchill back at the Breeder’s Cup, but had a very wide trip. Trainer Matz returns for the first time since he won the Derby in 2006 with the great Barbaro.
Gemologist, by Tiznow out of Crystal Shard, by Mr. Prospector, bred in Kentucky
Owner: WinStar Farm
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Javier Castellano
DP/DI/CD=12-2-13-1-0 2.73 0.89
Comments: Todd Pletcher is back with another big time contender for Win Star Farm. This duo won the Derby in 2010 with Super Saver at 8-1, and this horse looks even better coming into the race. Gemologist is 5-5 in this career and defeated Alpha in a terrific duel in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. He’s 1-1 at Churchill Downs as he won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile back on Thanksgiving weekend. His sire, Tiznow, is the only horse to win the Breeder’s Cup Classic in back-to-back years. He’ll be heavily bet this weekend, definitely worth a look.
Dullahan by Even the Scout out of Mining My Own, by Smart Strike, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Donegal Racing
Trainer: Dale Romans
Jockey: Kent Desormeaux
DP/DI/CD=8-8-10-0-0 4.20 0.92
Comments: He may be “steam”horse this weekend, as he’s definitely peaking at the right time, winning the Bluegrass at Keeneland in very impressive fashion. Two-time derby winning jockey Desormeaux (Real Quiet, Big Brown) is looking to get back in the Derby winner’s circle for a third time. The only negative we see here is his dirt record isn’t stellar. He’s 0-3 at Churchill Downs with his best effort being a distant 4th to Hansen in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile last November. Then again, we probably said the same thing about Animal Kingdom last year, and that turned out ok.
Hansen, by Tapit out of Stormy Sunday, by Sir Cat, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Kendall Hansen
Trainer: Michael Maker
Jockey: Ramon Dominguez
DP/DI/CD=6-5-6-1-0 3.50 0.89
Comments: Speedball will shoot for the lead, and will hold on as long as he can. He’s a game horse for sure, as he was able to turn away Union Rags gamely in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile last fall. His Derby preps have been solid, as he won the Gotham, but couldn’t hold on in the aforementioned Bluegrass, as Dullahan ran by him with relative ease. That race was his first time going past 9 furlongs, and obviously that will be a challenge here as well. He’ll be on the lead, it’s only a matter of how far can he go?
Creative Cause, by Giant’s Causeway out of Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer, bred in Kentucky
Owners: Heinz Steinmann
Trainer: Mike Harrington
Jockey: Joel Rosario
DP/DI/CD=3-2-23-0-0 1.43 0.29
Comments: Southern California’s best shot at Derby glory is the Giant’s Causeway colt who fires every time out, having never finished out of the money in 8 starts. He’ll put the blinkers back on for this start, as Harrington took them off for the Santa Anita Derby, which Creative Cause just missed beating I’ll Have Another, who is another contender here. Long-time California staple Mike Harrington is looking for his first Derby winner, as is young jockey Joel Rosario. Being out of Giant’s Causeway, the 1 1/4 miles should not be an issue. Definitely a contender.
I’ll Have Another, by Flower Alley out of Arch’s gal, by Arch, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Paul Reddam
Trainer: Doug O’Neill
Jockey: Mario Gutierez
DP/DI/CD=2-4-7-1-0-2 2.11 0.50
Comments:The Santa Anita Derby winner has been somewhat overlooked among Derby contenders, yet remains a hard knocker who has virtually fired every time out. His only “bad” race was in the slop last summer at Saratoga in the Hopeful. Throw that race out, and we’ll put this one up against anyone in the field. He was 3 wide in the Santa Anita Derby, but still managed to run down Creative Cause in what was a terrific stretch He was 3 wide in the Santa Anita Derby, but still managed to run down Creative Cause in what was a terrific stretch duel. He’ll be a contender on Saturday and a great price as well. Jockey Gutierrez will be making his first Derby start
Alpha, by Benardini out of Munnaya, by Nijinsky II, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Godolphin Racing
Odds Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin
Jockey: Rajiv Maragh
DP/DI/CD=7-16-19-4-0 1.67 0.44
Comments: Alpha appeared to be on the verge of greatness after the Withers Stakes in February, but seems to have taken a step backwards even after a game second in the Wood to Gemologist. There have been some questions about his health, but Kiaran McGlaughlin wouldn’t run him if he wasn’t healthy, this we know for sure. Was beaten badly in his only Churchill start, losing by 20 lengths to Hansen in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile. His sire, Bernardini, won the 2006 Preakness while trainer McGlaughlin trained 2006 Belmont winner Jazil and Breeder’s Cup Classic winner Invasor.
Take Charge Indy, by AP Indy out of Take Charge, by Dehere, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Chuck & Maribeth Sandford
Trainer: Patrick Byrne
Jockey: Calvin Borel
DP/DI/CD=6-13-19-0-0 3.00 0.66
Comments: The Florida Derby winner will have a few things going for him this Saturday, first and foremost, he’ll have Calvin Borel on board. The three-time Derby winner (Street Sense, Mine that Bird, Super Saver) is “the man” at Derby time, so that’s a positive. Secondly, he’s perfectly bred for this distance. AP Indy & Take Charge Lady could both run all day, and both were brilliant on the track. He won the Florida Derby, but is there any way he will be alone on the lead this weekend? Probably not, but with that breeding, we’d be foolish to completely overlook.
Daddy Nose Best, by Scatt Daddy out of Follow Your Bliss, by Thunder Gulch, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Cathy & Bob Zollars
Trainer: Steve Asmsussen
Jockey: Garrett Gomez
DP/DI/CD=5-1-5-1-0 2.43 0.83
Comments: The Sunland Derby winner gets a top jockey in Gomez, a top trainer in Asmussen, but we don’t see him winning this weekend. A game winner in that Sunland Derby, but that was a Grade III and more so, he’s never ran a Grade I on dirt. He tried the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf in November, but ran 6th, beaten 3 lengths. His regular jock, Julien Leparoux, wisely chose Union Rags over this one, but Gomez is a nice consolation. Grand sire Thunder Gulch won the Derby in 1995.
Went The Day Well, by Proud Citizen out of Tiz Maie’s Day, by Tiznow, bred in New York
Owners: Team Valor International
Odds Trainer: Graham Motion
Jockey: John Velazquez
DP/DI/CD=4-1-11-0-0 1.91 0.46
Comments: The Spiral Stakes winner, trained by Graham Motion, ridden by John Velazquez, and owned by Team Valor, is coming into the Derby with not many people giving him a second look. Sound familiar? Last year, this group shocked the world with Animal Kingdom winning the Roses at 23-1. Who knows if this guy can take a step up like Animal Kingdom last year, but would you doubt this combo? After last year, we won’t.
El Padrino, by Pulpit out of Enchanted Rock, by Giant’s Causeway, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Let’s Go Stable
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
DP/DI/CD=11-5-20-0-0 2.60 0.75
Comments: El Padrino has been highly regarded for awhile now, yet seems to disappoint just when he looks to be turning the corner. For example, he was game in winning the Risen Star at the Fairgrounds, but came back and ran a dull 4th at the Florida Derby as the second choice in the wagering. Was he overrated all along, or is he still sitting on his best effort? This Saturday will go a long way in showing what he’ll be in the future.
Daddy Long Legs by Scat Daddy out of Dreamy Maiden, by Meadowlake, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Magnier, Tabor, et. al...
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Colm O’Donoghue
DP/DI/CD=11-1-3-3-0 2.43 1.11
Comments: The UAE Derby winner heads to Churchill Downs as usual, yet we haven’t had one make an impact yet. He did run in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile at Churchill last November, but failed miserably, finishing 12th by 19 lengths. Breeding-wise, he should be fine as Scat Daddy was a Derby contender in his 3-year old season. Maybe a chance to fill out your exotics on Saturday.
Prospective, by Malibu Moon out of Spirited Away, by Awesome Again, bred in Kentucky
Owner: John Oxley
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Luis Contreras
DP/DI/CD=8-5-11-0-0 3.36 0.88
Comments: Won the Tampa Bay Derby, so he has the earnings to get in, but shouldn’t be much of a factor with these. Was no factor in two starts against top competition, running sixth in the Bluegass and 13th in last fall’s Breeder’s Cup Juvenile. Don’t expect much on Saturday.
Sabercat. by Bluegrass Cat out of Miner’s Blessing, by Forty Niner, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Winchell Throughbreds
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Jockey: Corey Nakatani
DP/DI/CD=10-4-13-0-1 2.73 0.79
Comments: Improved a little in the Arkansas Derby, but was still no match for Bodemeister, being beaten by nearly 10 lengths. The Derby will be his third start after a layoff, which is usually the race where a horse improves the most, so we can’t totally dismiss this one. His sire, Bluegrass Cat ran second in the Derby in 2006. Distance will not be an issue.
Optimizer, by English Channel out of Indy Pick, by AP Indy, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Bluegrass Hall LLC
Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
Jockey: Jon Court
DP/DI/CD=10-9-17-0-0 3.24 0.81
Comments: D. Wayne Lukas is back in the Derby, but we don’t think he has much of a shot this year. Optimizer was crushed in the Arkansas Derby, losing by 20 1/2 lengths to Bodemeister. He ran a rallying second in the Rebel, so he does have some closing kick. His sire, English Channel was a monster, but he did his best running on the turn. “The Coach” will need a miracle to put this one in the winner’s circle this Saturday.
Done Talking, by Broken Vow out of Dixie Talking, by Dixieland Band, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Skeedattle Stable
Trainer: Hamilton Smith
Jockey: Sheldon Russell
DP/DI/CD=10-6-10-2-2 2.33 0.67
Comments: The Illinois Derby winner has the earnings to get in, so he’ll go in hoping for a shocking upset. His Beyer figure in that Illinois Derby wasn’t impressive compared to the rest of the field (85), so he’ll have to improve greatly to have any chance to contend in here. The only time he ran with company like this, Hansen beat him by 18 lengths in the Gotham. We’ll pass.
Rousing Sermon. by Lucky Pulpit out of Rousing Again, by Awesome Again, bred in California
Owner: Mr. & Mrs. Larry Williams
Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer
Jockey: Jose Lezcano
DP/DI/CD=5-3-10-0-0 2.60 0.72
Comments: Here’s another Southern Californian who ran his best races as a two-year old, but seems a notch below the best in here. Off the board in the Robert Lewis and the San Felipe, he did run an OK third in the Louisiana Derby, but was never a threat to win the race. Should be running late, probably won’t be enough.
Trinniberg by Teuflesberg out of Bella Dorato, by Goldminer’s Gold, bred in Kentucky
Trainer: Bisnath Parboo
Jockey: Willie Martinez
DP/DI/CD=3-0-3-0-0 3.00 1.00
Comments: Here’s an interesting placement. Clearly, this guy is a sprinter and really has no business in this field. However, he has the earnings and the owners want to give the Derby a shot. We assume he’ll shoot for the lead, and go as far as he can. His sire, Teuflesberg tried the Derby in his three-year old season and didn’t last long. His grand sire, Johannesburg was a champion sprinter in his day as well.
Liaison, by Indian Charlie out of Galloping Gal, by Victory Gallop, bred in Kentucky
Owner: Arnold Zetcher
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Martin Garcia
DP/DI/CD=1-4-5-0-0 3.00 0.90
Comments: Here’s one that Baffert was undecided on at press time, so be shure to keep an eye on the workouts to see how is working up to the race. Truthfully, he hasn’t really run well as a three-year old, his last win was in the Cash Full Futurity last December at Hollywood Park. He’s been well beaten by the likes of I’ll Have Another and Creative Cause in his most recent efforts, and perhaps he’s just not good enough for these.