2011 Kentucky Derby - Four Weeks to Go
(see all of our 2011 Kentucky Derby articles)
This weekend, the Kentucky Derby trail really heats up with big races in New York and California and, uh, a lesser race in Chicago.
In New York, Derby favorite Uncle Mo races in the Wood Memorial against nine seriously overmatched foes. In California, Premier Pegasus, Jaycito, Anthony's Cross & Silver Medallion race in the Santa Anita Derby. At Chicago's Hawthorne, Tampa Bay Derby winner Watch Me Go will likely be favored in the Illinois Derby.
Team Mo has been getting a lot of push back for Uncle Mo's easy Kentucky Derby prep schedule. While his race in the ungraded Timely Writer Stakes really was nothing more than a paid workout, you can hardly fault them for running in the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Wood Memorial. They said back in November this was the race they were pointing to and it's certainly not their fault that no one is willing to face him, even with the lure of a $200,000 second place purse.
Like Zenyatta, I feel like the Uncle Mo naysayers are just being negative to be negative or because they want to be proven "right". At this point - they'll get to be "right" if Mo doesn't win the Triple Crown. Given how hard that is, they'll probably get their wish. But what a sucky person you must be to root against the incredible.
Anyway, people are suddenly saying that Mo is overrated and he hasn't run against anyone. There were seven Grade 1 races for two-year olds in North America in 2010. Uncle Mo won two of those races and defeated 3 of the 4 colts who won the other Grade 1s. He took on all comers and no one could get within 5 lengths of him.
Critics are getting their panties in a bunch over one race. I don't get it. This horse has done everything asked of him so far and he's done it in such a manner as to suggest the sky's the limit. He might flop on Saturday or in the Kentucky Derby itself, but why not let him fail before you bury him. Ugh.
So anyway, my picks for this weekend are Uncle Mo in the Wood. I expect a spectacular performance from him. I like Premier Pegasus a lot, but I don't think there's a ton of pace in the Santa Anita Derby and I have a gut feeling that Comma To The Top will take this race, but Premier Pegasus will still run well. In the Illinois Derby, I like Sour, but it's pretty much just because I think the son of Lemon Drop Kid is so cleverly named.
Posted by kris at April 7, 2011 07:21 AM
The trackback entry for this page is : http://www.inthehat.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/1993
|# April 7th, 2011 11:14 AM kris|
|Here's a link to notes on top contenders (by graded earnings) pedigrees
and here's just a refresher on what I generally look for in Derby pedigrees
|# April 7th, 2011 5:15 PM kris|
|And so it begins, Premier Pegasus is out with a hairline fracture of his cannon bone. |
|# April 8th, 2011 4:25 PM kris|
|Jaycito has a foot bruise now and may miss the Santa Anita Derby (he'd instead probably go in something like the Lexington).
To Honor And Serve is out with an injury - that's good news as he had the money to get in the Derby, but his performances this year showed he didn't belong - so this way maybe another more deserving horse can get in.
|# April 9th, 2011 7:59 AM kris|
|I am loving this idea:
|# April 9th, 2011 4:59 PM kris|
|So Mo flattened in the stretch and finished 3rd. I dunno, unless he's hurt, it's not that terrible of a race - he ran like a short horse. Here's where prior Derby winners ran in their last race:
So a 3rd isn't devastating
|# April 10th, 2011 9:39 AM kris|
|It's kind of interesting to read commentary on the race - Mo is just getting trashed.
I mean, sure, he didn't run a great race and he got tired, but he still ran his final 8th of a mile faster than Dialed In ran to win the Florida Derby. Really. That Toby's Corner horse actually ran one of the fastest closing fractions this spring and is probably a legitimate Derby horse.
Uncle Mo just really needed this race and needs to get some good work in before the Derby, but I would absolutely not write him off as a contender.
|# April 10th, 2011 7:00 PM kris|
|here's his injured foot:
They say it's minor and I'm sure it's not a big deal, but it does look like it'd be painful and annoying
|# April 12th, 2011 3:52 PM SaratogaJim|
|We'll see what happens this week. I am still a Factor guy, but then I was a Friesan Fire guy, a Hard Spun guy, an Eight Belles...... so what I am saing is that ever since Strike The Gold, I have not tagged a win derby ticket for a $$$$$, I've hit exactas, but they dont count |
|# April 12th, 2011 3:58 PM kris|
|Ha! Exactas don't count? What? Only if you don't like money :) |
|# April 12th, 2011 4:07 PM kris|
|In my fan lifetime, I've only picked Gato del Sol, Fusaichi Pegasus & Street Sense.
I had all of the bottom of the exotics last year, but left off Super Saver because I only wanted to include horses that were multiple stakes winners.
|# April 12th, 2011 7:14 PM kris|
|I really like The Factor too. If you're a Beyer guy he's heads above everyone else. |
|# April 14th, 2011 8:01 PM SaratogaJim|
|Exactas only count at the window.!!!!!
Last year I went with Ice Box, paddy with Lucky on my exactas
Damn super saver.....
|# April 14th, 2011 8:18 PM kris|
|Word - I had those three, Sidney, American Lion & Stately Victor. Damn Super Saver indeed. It's all because the guy that won the $100,000 bet put it on him. You can't mess with that if the Derby Gods want him to win. |