2008 Kentucky Derby Picks
It's the most wonderful time of the year - Kentucky Derby week! I've noticed that my Derby analysis has become much sharper since I got rid of emotion and embraced my eight step guide to picking a winner. So who's got a chance this year? Let's take a look at the questions and figure it out together.
Question 1: Is there a super horse in the race. A lot of people love Big Brown. If you're one of them, your work is done. If not, then move to number two. Personally, I don't think Big Brown has enough seasoning nor has he run fast enough.
Question 2: Are there fewer than 14 horses in the field? Nope, so it's hard to just rely on the results of recent preps.
Question 3: What's the pace going to be like? Ah, the pace. There are 3-4 horses who like the lead. That's usually enough to guarantee a quick pace and set things up for closers. With that in mind, we can narrow the potential winners to: Tale Of Ekati, Anak Nakal, Court Vision, Eight Belles, Z Fortune, Visionaire, Pyro, Colonel John, Adriano and Denis of Cork. Damn, that's a long list.
Question 4: It probably won't rain, but form on dirt, rather than synthetic surfaces is needed, which eliminates Adriano from further consideration.
Question 5: Can he (or she) go the distance. Looking at our closers, I think that Anak Nakal, Court Vision, Eight Belles, Z Fortune, Pyro and Colonel John should be able to get the Derby distance.
Question 6 is all about location, location, location. This year, it seems like the angle to take is horses coming off of synthetic California surfaces and showing good form on dirt. So, that gets us Colonel John. That also means that Z Fortune gets points for his close second to another California horse, Gayego.
Question 7 asks you to remember to take out Lukas and Baffert insurance. Given his success in the Derby, I'd lump Nick Zito into that group too. Zito trains Anak Nakal.
Question 8, finally, is all about the Derby Gods. Who has the best story? Who do the Derby Gods want to win? I suspect the Derby Gods are behind Barbaro's trainer Michael Matz this year. That means that Visionaire might have a bit of a tail wind. Likewise, I think the Derby Gods root for trainer Eoin Harty, who spent years getting his best horses taken away from him by Dubai's Maktoum family, and his horse Colonel John.
Finally, if the Derby Gods are equine, then they may just back Adriano since he's a son of A.P. Indy, who was injured on Derby morning back in 1992 and therefore didn't get to make his own run at history. A.P. Indy became a great sire, but he hasn't had a Derby winner yet. Maybe this is the year.
To me, it looks like the stars are pointing to Colonel John. But, looking at his Santa Anita Derby he looks a little one paced to me. I want a more explosive closer. So, that leads me to Z Fortune. I really like the horse that beat him in the Arkansas Derby, Gayego, but with his pedigree, outside post, and stalking style, I can't back him in the Derby. I can, however, see Z Fortune winning. Except for that name. Horses with dumb names almost never win the Derby.
So, what to do? I'm torn between Z Fortune, Gayego and Adriano. My analysis points me towards Z Fortune. My gut says Gayego and my heart says Adriano. This year, I'm going to go with my heart. Adriano for the Derby.
Posted by at May 2, 2008 12:16 AM
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|# May 2nd, 2008 8:04 AM BVBigBro|
|Thief. Z Fortune was who I liked after looking at the past performances.
I would add that horses who have not necessarily won, but have improved prior to the Derby have a record of success.
|# May 2nd, 2008 8:31 AM kris|
|I rewatched some of the preps and thought that Z Fortune looked likely to improve off of that effort, where that might have been Gayego's best effort. |
|# May 2nd, 2008 11:23 AM Squibbly|
|I don't follow horse racing, but I have enjoyed seeing your predictions and the comments of those who do. Knowing absolutely nothing, I will go with the horse that I feel has the best name. Recapturetheglory sounds too desperate and Big Brown too boring. A lot of the others are just middle of the pack names. I liked Gayego (I assume pronounced the Spanish way from "gallego", I'm probably totally wrong, but don't care) until I checked the translation. I don't think a "cowardly" or "freeloading" horse will win. So I'm going with Smooth Air. It just sounds cool. |