2012 Kentucky Derby Predictions

The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place today, Saturday, May 5. If you’re looking for some guaranteed winners to pay off the mortgage and set up the kids’ college funds, they’re below.

WIN: Dullahan (8/1)
Apparently Dullahan likes the synthetic surfaces better than dirt but I like the trends attached to this contender. Three-time Derby winner Kent Desormeaux will have the mount today and the No. 5 post position has produced 12 Kentucky Derby winners since 1900, which is tied with the rail for most victories. Dullahan is also coming off a victory at the Grade I Toyota Blue Grass and finished second at the Grade III Palm Beach on March 11. The fact that he doesn’t have six career races under his belt scares me a little, but Dullahan has displayed great closing speed in recent races and I like him to at least finish in the money.

PLACE: Bodemeister (13/10)
Bodemeister is the favorite to win Saturday’s race, although Union Rags has the exact same odds. Either way, what attracts me most to Bodemeister is the winning combination of trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith. Baffert has won three Kentucky Derby races in his career (2002, 1998, 1997), while Smith won the 2005 Derby aboard Giacomo. Bodemeister only has four career races under his belt but he finished second at the Grade II San Felipe on March 10 and won the Grade I Arkansas Derby on April 14. No horse has won the Derby that has not run as a 2-year-old since 1888 but I like Bodemeister to finish in the money.

SHOW: Take Charge Indy (11/1)
Considering he’s 5-0 in his career, I thought long about putting Gemologist in the money. But at the end of the day, how can you go against Calvin Borel? The man has won three of the last five Kentucky Derby races and he’ll be coming out of the No. 3 post position, which means he’ll be able to get to the rail faster. Take Charge Indy is also coming off a victory at the Grade I Florida Derby in which he went wire-to-wire.

Other contenders that caught my eye: Gemologist (8/1) and Went The Day Well (25/1)
As previously mentioned, Gemologist hasn’t lost in his five-race career, while Went The Day Well is trained by H. G. Motion and ridden by John Velazquez, who were the winning pair for Animal Kingdom last year.

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2011 Kentucky Derby Predictions

Exercise rider Nate Quinonez gallops Kentucky Derby hopeful Twice The Appeal on the track during early morning workouts at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, May 5, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT HORSE RACING)

Listen, I don’t mean to brag but I’m going to anyway.

I was good last year predicting the Triple Crown – I mean, real good.

I had Paddy O’prado to place in the Kentucky Derby (he finished third) and Super Saver (the winner) listed as one of the horses to “keep your eye on.” In the Preakness, I hit Lookin’ At Lucky for the win and nailed First Dude to finish in the money, which is noteworthy since he was a 20/1 long shot to open. Finally, in the Belmont, I predicted the top three (Drosselmeyer, Fly Down, First Dude) to finish in the money, although not in the correct order.

So basically what I’m saying is that if you don’t take my picks today and wager the deed to your house, your wife and/or your dog, that’s just dumb. LET IT RIDE!!!

I’m kidding – I’m not that arrogant, although I did mange to find some luck last year in my predictions so we’ll see how I fare this year. On second thought, you may want to avoid these three…

Win: Twice The Appeal (+1000)
Like I’m going to pass on taking Calvin Borel at Churchill Downs…when he’ll be coming out of the No. 3 post position. Ha! No way. Twice The Appeal has won three of his last four races, with his latest victory coming at the Sunland Derby on March 27. He does seem a little too good to be true, but I have faith in more Borel magic happening today.

Place: Archacharch (+1200)
Why isn’t this horse receiving more love? He drew the rail on Wednesday and his odds went from +900 to +1200. Granted, the rail hasn’t produced a winner since 1988 (Winning Colors) but it still has the most victories (12) in Kentucky Derby history. It’s a prime spot and for a horse that is coming off a victory at the Arkansas Derby to be listed at +1200, this feels like a nice value. If it weren’t for Calvin Borel’s magic at Churchill Downs, I would probably peg Archarcharch to win.

Show: Dialed In (+500)
Dialed In has been the favorite all week, even though his odds continue to drop. He was listed at +350 on Monday, +300 on Tuesday, and +250 on Wednesday when the post positions were drawn. Now he’s +500, which seems like a great value to me. He won the Florida Derby in his last outing on April 3 and also took first in the Holly Bull earlier this year. The only problem is that he doesn’t have much career experience, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he won the roses on Saturday. He’s a nice-looking horse.

2010 Preakness Stakes Predictions

All right, so I was a tad off in my Kentucky Derby predictions two weeks ago. Sidney’s Candy (the colt I predicted to win) ran out of gas down the stretch and I’m pretty sure Line of David (my prediction to show) still hasn’t come out of the posts yet.

That said, my choice of Paddy O’prado to place was partly correct as he finished in the money, but third instead of my prediction of second. Had he not tired down the stretch, he would have held off Ice Box for second place, but I was happy that at least one of my predictions finished in the money. I also noted that Conveyance would probably jump out to a big lead at the front – which he did – but tire down the stretch (which he also did). But that prediction doesn’t really count for anything; I’m just trying to make myself feel a little better considering the picks didn’t pan out.

I’ll try to do better today with the Preakness, as the second leg of the Triple Crown takes place at 6:15PM ET.

Win: Lookin at Lucky (3/1)
Lookin at Lucky was the favorite heading into the Kentucky Derby, but he fought traffic out at the start and finished a disappointing sixth. That said, he spotted the field over 20 lengths, battled through traffic and still managed to finish sixth. The last horse to pull off a similar feat was Curlin in 2007, who lost to Street Sense at the 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby and then won the Preakness two weeks later. Had Lucky not drawn the awful rail position for the Derby, we might have seen a different outcome. But now that he is coming out of the No. 7 post, he shouldn’t have to battle as much traffic at the start and he can run his race throughout. If he does that, he beats the field.

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Calvin Borel: “I’m going to win the Triple Crown.”

At Churchill Downs on Saturday, jockey Calvin Borel reminded everyone who may have forgotten that he simply owns the Kentucky Derby.

For the third time in the last four years, Borel was the winning jockey at the Kentucky Derby after he rode Super Saver to victory on Saturday with a time of 2:04.45. He once again stayed close to the rail (his signature), made one move around a competitor and rode Super Saver to victory on a sloppy track.

The favorite, Lookin at Lucky, struggled out of the starting gates and wound up finishing six. Ice Box finished second after edging out Praddy O’prado, who wound up in third.

Outside of the fact that he’s won three of the last four Kentucky Derby races is that Borel won on a Todd Pletcher-trained horse. Pletcher’s struggles at the Kentucky Derby have been well documented, as he is 0-24 in nine Derby appearances. Outside of contest winner Glenn Fullerton, who won a sweepstakes that allowed him to put down a $100,000 bet on Super Saver, there may not have been a happier person at Churchill Downs on Saturday than Pletcher.

Following the race, Borel proclaimed, “I’m going to win the Triple Crown.” Seeing as how he has 4,748 wins in his career, I’m not going to argue with the 43-year-old jockey.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Summer Bird, Kent Desormeaux win 2009 Belmont Stakes

In an impressive upset, 11/1 long shot Summer Bird seemingly came out of nowhere to win the 2009 Belmont Stakes today at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Favorite Mine That Bird started off in the back of the pack and even was in last for a short portion of the race. But he made a steady push to the front by finding an opening along the rail and then down the stretch it looked like he was going to win.

But jockey Calvin Borel, who was going for his own version of the Triple Crown after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, “opened up” Mine That Bird too soon. Mine That Bird couldn’t finish the final push and wound up in third behind Dunkirk.

Had Borel waited a touch longer to turn Mine That Bird loose, maybe he would have been victorious. But obviously it’s a judgment call for the jockey and it’s hard to criticize Borel after all the success he’s had this season, although some of the commentators were opening questioning his tactics after the race.

For much of the race, Summer Bird wasn’t in the top four as he waded in the middle of the pack. But down the final stretch, he found some open ground and blazed past Mine That Bird, Dunkirk and Charitable Man to claim victory.

It was a sweet win for jockey Kent Desormeaux, who rode Real Quiet to victory in both the 1998 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. But he lost his bid to win horse racing’s Triple Crown when Victory Gallop beat Real Quiet by a nose in the final stride of the Belmont. Desormeaux also rode Big Brown to victory at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness last year, but once again lost at the Belmont.

After being criticized for “opening up” Real Quiet too soon at the Belmont in 1998, the win today was sweet justice for Desormeaux. Now Borel will be the one questioned for being too anxious with Mine That Bird.

Congrats to Summer Bird; I’m sure he screwed over bettors over everywhere.

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