tballa55 wrote:that time of the year when people can read VT's posts.
Anybody who has spoken to me for more than five minutes knows that I'm a dyed-in-the-wool contrarian. Politics, social conventions, even horse picks, you name it, and I go against common sentiment. Not the case with the 137th Kentucky Derby. DIALED IN
has it all: a classic pedigree, a stout closing kick, a trainer who's been around the block, and a rider who would be Mr. Churchill Downs if not for that Calvin guy. The Florida Derby often serves as the key prep for the Run to the Roses, having produced winners Barbaro and Big Brown in recent years, and Quality Road may well have taken the 2009 edition in the slop. He's limited only by his short-distance workouts, all of which were conducted in Florida and not on the home track. MUCHO MACHO MAN
is a half brother to Macho Again, a horse who was seen on the 2008 Triple Crown trail and won a Grade 1 at age four. Baby brother finished a close third behind Pants on Fire and Nehro (both here today) in the Louisiana Derby. I'm heartened by his seven furlong work in the slop on 4/24, and can steal this race if the favorite hasn't improved since finding the winners' circle in Miami. MIDNIGHT INTERLUDE
has matured very nicely since debuting at the end of January. You'll hear a lot of talk about how him not having raced at the age of two hurts his chances (something every Derby winner in the 20th and 21st centuries have done), but that's academic here. His speed figures have gotten better with each try, and he's worked well since then in the capable hands of his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. SANTIVA
, like so many other horses here today, has a resume with many turf and synthetic races, but unlike his peers, has established himself as a dirt contender, claiming victory in a Grade 2 race over this strip last November. He ran 9th in the Bluegrass three weeks ago, but that was over Keeneland's Polytrack, and is not to be considered when weighing this guy's chances.