Kentucky Derby 2011 Preview & Prediction

May 7, 2011

Calvin Borel chases his own "Triple Crown" today because were he to win the 2011 Kentucky Derby, he would become the first jockey ever to win three consecutive Kentucky Derby races.

If you like experience look no farther than Borel atop Twice the Appeal. Borel has already won three of the last four Kentucky Derby races, and has earned the nickname "Bo-rail" for his tendency to hug the rail at Churchill Downs.

Moreover, Borel has proven he can win on a sloppy track (remember Mine That Bird?), and his horse's Tomlinson rating of 424 is one of the highest in today's field. Thus, Twice the Appeal is a strong selection.

Dialed In is the 9-2 favorite given his big win in the Florida Derby just five weeks ago. But in a wet and wide-open derby field there is little reason to back the favorite this time. Historically, favorites rarely win the Kentucky Derby.

Archarcharch is also an intriguing horse. Many see his number one post position as a bad draw, yet this is the “winningest” post position in the history of the Derby. Archarcharch has early speed and can use it to save ground. Although his Beyer speed numbers have improved in his past three races, the real question is will they improve again today?

Nehro with Corey Nakatini atop has attracted some interest despite his outside post position (19th). Nakatini has never won the Kentucky Scrum, but as a Japanese-American he has to be a sentimental favorite given Japan's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear troubles.

I'd love to see Nakatini above my pick for the Kentucky Derby: Comma to the Top.

Comma to the Top gave Nakatini a sensational ride at the Santa Anita Derby this year. If it is a sloppy track, I like that early speed, but she also showed the capacity for some good late moves in the Santa Anita Derby as well. Veteran jockey Pat Valenzuela is up to the task so don't count this horse out. In addition, this horse has a good dosage index, a number designed to evaluate Derby contenders. When viewed in totality, this horse figures to get in the money.

Midnight Interlude is the horse of trainer Bob Baffert, who is a legend at Churchill Downs. Midnight Interlude comes into the race as the surprise winner of the 2011 Santa Anita Derby, and will be ridden by jockey Victor Espinoza, winner of the 2002 Kentucky Derby. This is one of the better horses in the field, but I don't like the fact that this horse did not race as a two-year-old. The pace may be too much for him in this race, but he is improving.

If your looking for a horse that can close the distance at the end of the race go with Soldat (German for "soldier"). The horse has good Bayer speed figures and is improving, but is coming off a long layoff and a disappointing 5th place finish in the Florida Derby, a key prep race. Soldat also has a decent dosage index.

By Joe Hammond
Contributing Writer for

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...