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#342390 - 05/03/17 10:57 PM 2017 Kentucky Derby Information
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In this thread you will find selections, past performances and information.

Good Luck with this years edition of the KY Derby !!

Feel free to post your picks as well.




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#342391 - 05/03/17 11:02 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Simply click the link to download the Past Performances.


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KYDerby.pdf (525 downloads)
Description: Past Performances


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#342392 - 05/03/17 11:14 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Wizard

* Win bet on (15) MCCRAKEN
* Exacta box (8) HENCE, (15) MCCRAKEN & (17) IRISH WAR CRY = $12 for a $2 wager
* Exactas 15 over 8-17, reverse both for 1/2 as much
* Smaller Exactas 15 over 1-5-10-11-12-13-14-16-18, reverse only 1-5-12-13-14 over 15 for 1/2 as much
* Trifectas 8-15-17 over 1-5-8-10-12-13-14-15-17 over 1-5-8-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18 = $120 for a $0.50 wager

PACE SCENARIO: Fast and Accurate, State of Honor and Battle of Midway will all contest the early lead leaving the gate with
Thunder Snow, Always Dreaming, Irap, Gormley and Irish Way Cry taking up the chase into the clubhouse turn. The second flight
of horses sorting themselves out entering the backstretch will be Girvin, Classic Empire, J Boys Echo, Practical Joke,Tapwrit,
Untrapped, Patch and McCraken. The back markers will be Lookin At Lee, Sonneteer, Gunnevera and Hence. The fractions are
expected to be lively, which will give the stalkers, mid-pack runners and even a couple of the deep closers every chance to make
to make an impact in the stretch drive.


1st Selection #15 MCCRAKEN 5-1 HERNANDEZ, JR. B WILKES


If you are looking for a 'Horse for this Course' look no further than this 3-year old son of Ghostzapper, winner of the 2004
Breeders' Cup Classic run at the same distance as the Kentucky Derby. McCracken is a perfect 3-3 over the Churchill Downs
main track, all as a 2-year old.

Trainer Ian Wilkes is not known to win with a juvenile first time starter sprinting, but McCaraken was not aware of this fact. Rating
comfortably in mid-pack, jockey Brian Hernandez shifted him off the inside in mid-stretch and with giant strides, engulfed the
front runners on his way to a convincing debut win going 6 1/2 furlongs. 4 weeks later, McCracken stretched out to 1-turn mile
and into a small stake. With a bold wide sweeping move around the far turn, McCracken took command at the top of the stretch
and drew off to another impressive win. He would face his toughest challenge November 26 in a Grade 2 stake going 2-turns for
the first time. Despite breaking from post 11 in a 12-horse field, McCracken once again passed his rivals one-by-one from well
off the pace with an impressive wide sweeping move around the far turn until drawing clear inside the 1/8th pole, winning as the
odds-on favorite and stamping himself as one of the early favorites for the 2017 Kentucky Derby.

McCraken would resurface 77 days later at Tampa Bay Downs in the Grade 3 Sam Davis. Sent off the 3-2 favorite, he did not
disappoint his backers with a 'workman like' 1 1/2 length victory. Hernandez saved valuable ground along the rail until angling him
outside midway on the far turn to begin his explosive late kick. In a career best performance in his 3-year old debut, McCracken
picked up where he left off, stretching his undefeated record to a perfect 4-4 with the Tampa Bay Derby his next stop.
17 days after the Sam Davis, Wilkes announced that McCracken would miss the Tampa Derby Derby after being diagnosed
with a 'very minor injury' to his left front ankle. He would instead be pointed for the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. McCraken
facing only 6 rivals as the 8-5 favorite, was unable to make any impact on the 31-1 upset winner Irap and Practical Joke who
was 3 lengths clear of McCraken.

It could prove to be a big mistake if you place too much emphasis on McCraken's defeat, which will be the catalyst for a far more
generous price in the Kentucky Derby. There are several sound reasons to just 'draw a line' through his Blue Grass performance.
McCracken missed some training after the Sam Davis because of the issue with his ankle. I'm sure Wilkes played it safe not
to ask him for his best in several workouts leading up to the race. For the first time in his career, McCracken raced closer to
the leaders early on than ever before. He also raced between horses in tight quarters, with horses inside and outside of him,
and seeming to dislike the lack of clear racing room with Hernandez steadying him several times to try to get him to relax. Once
McCraken shook clear of the congestion and was taken outside of horses for the stretch run, the leader Irap and Practical Joke,
who had moved into second, both had spurted well clear of the rest. McCracken did finish up well over a track surface that was
favoring speed. He simply could not accelerate enough in the final 3/8th of a mile to cut into the leader's margin but still managed
to gallop out strong past the wire.

McCraken is set for vastly improved performance in the Kentucky Derby. He will be making his third start off a layoff, which is
usually the best race in a horse's form cycle, especially off a regression. McCraken is a horse where the human connections
mean a lot to me. His trainer Ian Wilkes worked for only 2 trainers before going out on his own in 2005. Wilkes a native Australian,
worked for leading Aussie horseman Colin Hayes before taking a job in the US in 1990 with Carl Nafzger. That same year, Wilkes
played a vital role in Unbridled's Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic victories. Similar to McCraken's final Derby prep,
Unbridled also finished third in the Blue Grass. Wilkes learned under a master 'old school' horseman, to get a horse to peak
for a major stake race you are pointing for: 'you don't squeeze the lemon dry' in workouts or even 'prep' races leading up to
the big day. Wilkes has proven on other occasions that, like Nafzger, a race such as the Blue Grass, can be simply a 'stepping
stone' to the first Saturday in May.

A classic example of Wilkes training prowess was Fort Larned, winner of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic following a third-place
finish 35 days earlier in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. Both Fort Larned and McCraken are owned and
bred by Janice Whitham, who also owned the great Bayakoa, winner of 13 Grade 1 stakes including back-to-back renewals of
the Breeders' Cup Distaff. There is much to like with McCraken, who is on a short list of horses the Wizard feels can win this
year's Kentucky Derby. His workouts at Churchill in the days leading up to the Derby have all been outstanding, which just points
out his affinity for this 'quirky' racing surface.

2nd Selection #17 IRISH WAR CRY 6-1 MARAGH R MOTION H

After closing from well back to win his debut last November sprinting at Laurel, Irish War Cry showed a complete new running
style fighting off several challenges on the front end to score a nose victory in a Maryland stake on New Year's Eve stretching
out from 6 furlongs to 7f.

The Holy Bull would be Irish War Cry's first start around 2 turns and his first time running on Lasix. He stamped himself as a
'horse to watch' on the Kentucky Derby trail going wire-to-wire in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park. Joel Rosario who was aboard
for the first time, rationed out his speed, setting a very comfortable and uncontested pace. The race was over at the top of the
stretch when Irish War Cry spurted well clear of his 6 rivals on his way to an easy 3 3/4 length victory.

Bet down to the 6-5 favorite 4 weeks later in the Fountain of Youth over the same Gulfstream strip, Irish War Cry was outrun for the
early lead. Rosario was content to sit second in perfect stalking position. On the far turn, Rosario asked Irish War Cry to attack the
front runner. He had no response and instead lost ground with every stride to finish a 'head scratching' 7th, beaten 21 3/4 lengths.
Irish War Cry would have one final chance to redeem himself shipping north to Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial. The quandary
for handicappers is how to properly evaluate how a horse will rebound from uncharacteristic poor performance. The results of
the Wood Memorial would go a long way in determining if you simply had to put a line through Irish War Cry's Fountain of Youth
debacle. A jockey switch was made to Rajiv Maragh. Sent off at 7-2 odds, Maragh took Irish War Cry a couple lengths off the
lead into the clubhouse turn and got him nice and relaxed. The colt comfortably cruised up to the pacesetter's flanks entering
the far turn. The battle was on as he and Battalion Runner hooked up for their own personal duel, until Irish War Cry disposed
of his stubborn foe inside the 1/8th pole, edging clear to win by 3 1/2 lengths.

If you put a line through Irish War Cry's Fountain of Youth, he is a perfect 4-4. His decisive victories in the Holy Bull and Wood
Memorial stack up very well with the best races run by the major contenders for this year's Kentucky Derby. Trainer Graham
Motion won his first Derby in 2011 with Animal Kingdom, who upset the field at 21-1 odds, making his first start on dirt. If Irish
War Cry can once again bring his 'A' game to Churchill the first Saturday in May, I would consider him one of my win candidates.

3rd Selection # 8 HENCE 15-1 GEROUX F ASMUSSEN S


If Hence can replicate his victory last time out in the Sunland Derby, he is a major contender to win the Kentucky Derby. It's a big
'if', because Hence will have to overcome several obstacles that could stand in his way. Mind that Bird parlayed a fourth-place
finish in the little known Sunland Derby at the time, to a 50-1 upset victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Hence won't be that long
a price, but if he is to win like Mind that Bird, he will also do it from well off the pace.

Hence debuted at 6 furlongs at Saratoga. Dead on the board at 25-1, his seventh-place finish was a complete throw-out at a
distance which was far too short for him. He improved dramatically when stretched out to a route in his next 2 starts, a second
and third place finish, which were both 'better than they look on paper', especially his narrow defeat November 13 at Churchill.
After showing no early speed in his first 2 starts, Hence battled for the lead from start to finish, losing by a neck to the very
talented Greeley and Ben.

Hence would return 2 month later making his first start as a 3-year old over a sloppy track at Oaklawn. He was an entry-mate
with Calumet Farms Horse Fly with the pair running 1-2. Hence was victorious, but you had to watch the race to really appreciate
how good he ran. After stumbling badly leaving the gate, Hence settled in mid-pack racing between horses. On the far turn, he
unleashed a strong wide rally to hook his mate. In mid-stretch, Hence began to edge clear, but as soon as he began distancing
himself from Horse Fly, Hence ducked in sharply despite left hand whipping, almost hitting the rail with his rider holding on for
dear life. Horse Fly regained the lead in deep stretch looking like a sure winner, until Hence got back on stride and re-rallied
to edge clear in the shadow of the wire.

Hence was sent off at 23-1 in the Southwest Stakes 25 days later at Oaklawn. He was a no threat seventh, beaten 13 lengths,
but only the top 2 finishers did any running. One Liner easily won the race by 3 1/2 lengths and the second- place finisher Petrov
was 8 1/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher. There was a log jam for the show spot, with only 1-length separating the next
5 finishers.

Hence would ship to Sunland Park for the Sunland Derby for his final Derby prep. He could have not been more impressive
drawing off to win by 3 3/4 widening lengths at 10-1. Hence was content to lay back in tenth place far off the early leaders onto
the backstretch. Local Sunland Park rider Alfredo Juarez, who was aboard Hence for the first time, eased his mount outside of
horses and clear of any potential traffic. Juarez made a premature move midway on the far turn. He responded instantly picking
up horses one-by-one. As the field straightened away into the stretch, Hence had begun to inch clear of Conquest Mo Money
and on his way to an easy win. What was so impressive is that he could sustain that long a run and still have plenty left at the
finish with a strong gallop out past the wire.

Trainer Steve Asmussen shipped Hence to Churchill Downs soon after the race to begin training for the Kentucky Derby. He's
been adapting well to the Churchill. The key to Hence's success in the Kentucky Derby will be the trip he gets. He prefers to race
outside of horses and clear of any trouble. He is not an agile performer who can race in traffic and quickly regain his stride if
stopped. Hence appears uncomfortable racing in between horses, so that is why his rider will have to be content to keep Hence
wide throughout to avoid the possibility of a tough journey. It's the best option to give Hence every chance to fire a big shot. How
much ground he loses could prove 'key' in the end, but if everything falls his way, and the jock times his move perfectly, Hence
is clearly a danger to win the Derby at generous odds.


4th Selection #14 CLASSIC EMPIRE 4-1 LEPAROUX J CASSE M


Last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner was disappointing at 1-2 odds when fading to third in the Grade 2 Holy Bull at
Gulfstream in his 3-year-old debut when returning from a 3-month layoff. Classic Empire raced up close chasing the wire-to-wire
winner who coasted on the lead setting comfortable fractions. When asked by jockey Juliean Leparoux to go after the front runner
turning for home, Classic Empire had no response. Trainer Mark Casse said afterwards that he emerged from the Holy Bull with
a foot abscess. After recovering from the abscess, Classic Empire twice balked at working at the Palm Meadows training center
in south Florida. He was treated for an apparent back injury, then was rerouted to Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Florida where
he could return to a regular work pattern in preparation for the Arkansas Derby.

Bet down to the 9-5 favorite, Classic Empire rebounded with a hard-fought victory, stamping himself as one of the favorites for the
Kentucky Derby. He received a perfect ride by Leparoux, who got him to relax racing in mid pack between horses and covered up
until easing Classic Empire outside of horses and clear of trouble for the stretch drive. With a determined rally down the middle
of the track where the footing was best that afternoon, he edged clear in the very late stages of the race. Classic Empire clearly
benefited by a contested lively pace and a picture-perfect ride.

Classic Empire is the type of horse I will be playing against to win the Kentucky Derby. The negatives outweigh the positives.
His setbacks this year and the short 21-day turnaround between the Arkansas and Kentucky Derbies is too quick for my liking.
Classic Empire needs too much to go his way and that will be difficult in a 20-horse field with 160,000 + spectators in attendance.
He has shown a tendency to break slowly from the gate. He's not a very athletic horse who can easily overcome traffic, which he
will likely encounter. Classic Empire also does not give me the impression that he will have the same kind of late kick stretching
out to 1 1/4 miles. He is 2 for 2 at Churchill Downs which is a plus. He scored over a sloppy surface going 4 1/2 in his debut at
1-2 odds and in his second start in a Grade 2 stake at 6 furlongs on a dry track.

5th Selection # 5 ALWAYS DREAMING 5-1 VELAZQUEZ J PLETCHER T

Trainer Todd Pletcher has missed the Derby just once since 2000, in 2003, and has started 17 horses since winning with Super
Saver in 2010. He's 1-for-45 all-time in the Run for the Roses. Pletcher will have 5 horses in the starting gate in this year's
Kentucky Derby. He sent a record five starters into the Derby in 2007 and 2013, and started four in 2000, 2010 and 2014. The
stable twice had likely Derby favorites, Uncle Mo in 2011 and Eskendereya in 2010, who were sidelined just before the race.
Uncle Mo came down with an illness and Eskendereya suffered an injury.

Always Dreaming will be the colt who is expected to be the shortest price of the 3 Pletcher runner's and might even vie for
favoritism. Since moving into his barn last fall after 2 failed maiden tries, both in sprints, for his former trainer Dominick Schettino,
Always Dreaming is a perfect 3-3 for the Pletcher barn since stretched out to 2 turns. Each of these 3 victories have been
accomplished racing on or near the lead from the start and then drawing off through the stretch and winning by margins of 11 1/2,
4 and 5 lengths. Always Dreaming's Florida Derby victory was by far his finest career performance and the race which becomes
the catalyst for the strong wagering action expected on him.

He trounced a weak field in his maiden win at 1-5 odds at Tampa Bay Downs off a 5-month layoff in his first start as a 3-year old.
38 days later Always Dreaming set very slow fractions while benefitting by a speed favoring track at Gulfstream to easily defeat
7 very weak rivals once again at 1-5 odds. The Florida Derby would be by far his toughest test. At first glance, Always Dreaming
appeared a great 'bet against' because of 2 perfect trip wins against weak fields that looked 'better on paper' than what they
really were. The only problem was that there were also knocks on the other contenders in what appeared to be a weak renewal
of the Florida Derby. Always Dreaming had a tactical edge and had the looks of the type of improving Pletcher 3-year old that
was set for a career best performance making his third start off a layoff.

The Florida Derby unfolded as I expected it to, with Always Dreaming stalking a perfect target to overhaul when asked by John
Velazquez. He cruised up to take the lead without much urging at the top of the stretch and drew off to an easy 5 length victory.
With 10 more rivals in the gate that Always Dreaming will encounter on Derby Day, he will contend with a much tougher pace
scenario. How he will respond when faced with a stiff challenge from the far turn to the finish line at Churchill, are all obstacles the
son of Bodemeister will have to answer. I have never been an advocate of selecting horses in the Kentucky Derby who have not
shown they can win a fierce pace battle with horses racing inside and outside of them. These battles go a long way in developing
the 'mental toughness' a horse needs to overcome the obstacles they could face in big races with large fields. Always Dreaming
stride and his physical built implies more of a middle-distance runner than one that will excel at 1 1/4 miles.

Nevertheless, even though I have presented several obstacles that could stand in Always Dreaming's way in winning the Derby,
the fact remains that he is a steadily improving 3-year old who could simply be better than his competition, in what so far appears
at best a very average 3-year old crop. With many of this year's Kentucky Derby field having zero chance to win, Always Dreaming
certainly has things to like and I would not be surprised if he proved best. The negatives I have outlined and the fact that he will
be over-bet and Pletcher's dismal record in the Derby (2 %), becomes a strategic wagering move to look elsewhere for other
intriguing horses with merits who could 'key' a more generous payoff.


Always Dreaming has also been very unsettled in his morning workouts since arriving at Churchill. He has been fighting his
exercise rider, which has necessitated a switch to a new jockey and a change of equipment called draw reins. This essentially
provides the rider with a bit more leverage against the bit, making it more difficult for the horse to ignore his rider's cues through
the reins with the hopes have getting Always Dreaming to relax and not fight. This behavior if it continues does not bode well
for his chances on Derby day going 1 1/4 miles.

6th Selection #13 J BOYS ECHO 20-1 SAEZ L ROMANS D

I would refer to J Boys Echo as 'an all or nothing' proposition in the Kentucky Derby. If he runs a career best race and everything
set's up perfectly for him without a straw in his path, J Boys Echo has an outside chance to win at big odds and possibly hit
the board.

That's a lot to ask from a horse who has run only 1 race which merits any consideration that he is a Derby contender. That race
was 2 starts back in the Grade 3 Gotham at Aqueduct on the inner dirt track. J Boys Echo sat a picture-perfect trip, relaxing in
mid-pack, while biding his time rail on the rail entering the backstretch. A speed duel was percolating and the pace was quick to
help set up J Boys Echo closing move. He swept on by the tired leaders in mid-stretch and drew clear with complete authority
defeating 6 rivals. In the Blue Grass Stakes he was bumped at the start but recovered well enough to launch a closing rally of
which he had none.

In a 20-horse field, and having to rally from well back through traffic at a distance which could prove further than what he wants, J
Boys Echo appears up against it. I respect his trainer Dale Romans with a Churchill based runner, especially in 3-year-old stakes
races. At best, I will use J Boys Echo very small in some saver wagers only because I expect him to be in the vicinity of 30-1.

7th Selection #12 SONNETEER 50-1 DESORMEAUX K DESORMEAUX J

Trainer Keith Desormeaux will once again team up with his brother Kent, who will be aboard the quickly improving Sonneteer.
This dynamic duo hooked up with Exaggerator to finish second to Nyquist in last year's Kentucky Derby. Exaggerator turned the
tables on that rival winning the Preakness 2 weeks later.

Sonneteer has the distinction of being the only horse in this year's Derby field who is still a maiden, winless in 10 career starts. In
past years, I would not even dedicate more than a few lines with the merits of a horse likes this, but in a year where there are only
a select few I can see winning the Derby, there are many who can fill out an exacta, trifecta and a superfecta wager. Sonneteer
is one of those, and at a very big price. His last 2 starts shipping out of the state of California into Arkansas and Oaklawn Park
seemed to do wonders for him. After a troubled start, Sonneteer rallied from far back along the inside to finish a good second at
112-1. In the Arkansas Derby, the son of Midnight Lute made up ground at every call to finish fourth, beaten 2 lengths. Whether
it was his affinity for the Oaklawn dirt surface or that Sonneteer had turned the corner, he has the look of a horse who may be
able to move forward once again on the stretch out to 1 1/4 miles.

Sonneteer is a deep 1-run closer who must have a clean trip every step of the way to have any chance of hitting the board. It's
impossible for me to envision a maiden and a horse who only once has finished less than a length back of the victor in any of
his 10 starts winning the Kentucky Derby.

8th Selection # 1 LOOKIN AT LEE 20-1 LANERIE C ASMUSSEN S

Like Todd Pletcher, Steve Asmussen will also be represented by 3 horses in this year's Kentucky Derby. Lookin At Lee 'has
danced a lot of dances' with 9 career starts. He has won twice, both in sprints at Ellis Park last summer. Since then, Lookin At
Lee has been blanked from the winner's circle, even though on 2 occasions he ran very good races. His first was a second-place
finish to Classic Empire in the Grade 2 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland last October and his best race to date was last time out
when third to that same rival in the Arkansas Derby.

What is amazing to me when I look at Lookin At Lee's past performances, his 2 sprint wins he showed good tactical speed. The
speed began to dissipate with each passing start. Not even the addition of blinkers, which were added for the Breeders' Cup
Juvenile, and continuing for all 3 of his starts this year, could help get him involved in the early proceedings. Lookin At Lee had
become a dead 1 run closer who comes from 'out of the clouds'. This 'Silky Sullivan' style was on display in the Arkansas Derby,
but he was not as far back early as he was in his prior 4 starts. Lookin At Lee made up ground at every call, weaving his way
through traffic, inside and out, like a Nascar driver accelerating, while looking for a clear path to push down on the gas pedal full
throttle. If the race was a 1/16th of a mile further, Lookin At Lee may have won, which gives him a 'punchers' chance to land a
piece in the Kentucky Derby. If the fractions are quick enough and he can avoid traffic problems.

9th Selection #10 GUNNEVERA 15-1 CASTELLANO J SANO A

There is no disputing that Gunnevera is one of the most brilliant yearling purchases that the 'Wizard' can recall in recent years.
He was bought for $16,000 at the 2015 Keeneland fall sale, just $1000 more than the stud fee of his sire Dialed In.

Gunnevera had only a maiden win at Gulfstream to his credit when he shipped to Saratoga to win a Grade 3 stake as the longest
price at 9-1 in a 5-horse field. 2 starts later, Gunnevera was victorious in another Grade 3 at Delta Downs, this time as the 5-2
favorite. With 3 wins in 6 starts as a 2-year old and $771,000 in earnings, he returned 67 days later, making his 3-year old debut
in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream. Gunnevera was no match for the wire-to-wire winner Irish War Cry, finishing second, 5 lengths
clear of last year's BC Juvenile winner Classic Empire. Benefitting from a pace melt-down and a perfectly timed off the pace
rally on a track kind to closers, Gunnevera would return to the winner's circle winning the Fountain of Youth by 5 3/4 lengths
in a career best performance.

The Florida Derby would go a long way in determining where Gunnevera was in the pecking order for Kentucky Derby contenders.
He was bet down to the 6-5 favorite. As he has done in many of races, Gunnevera showed no early speed, quickly finding himself
double-digit lengths away from the front runners in the early going while angling over to the rail from his outside post. He made
up ground at every call while saving ground until angling out turning for home. Gunnevera found his best stride too late to finish
a 'no threat third', beaten 6 1/2 lengths.

Gunnevera does not give me the impression of a horse who is peaking just right for the first Saturday in May. His stride is not
fluid at all and with his lack of speed in a big field where he will certainly have to navigate his way through traffic, this makes him
very vulnerable, especially going 1 1/4 miles. Even though trainer Antonio Sano has done a remarkable job developing this 3-
year old bargain basement purchase, the 'Wizard' would be surprised if Gunnevera continues this fairy tale story with a victory
in the Kentucky Derby.

10th Selection #11 BATTLE OF MIDWAY 30-1 PRAT F HOLLENDORFER J

Trainer Jerry Holendorfer has won many Grade 1 stakes in his illustrious career, including 3 Kentucky Oaks and 2 Breeders'
Cup races, earning him entry into Racing's Hall of Fame in 2011. The one prize that has eluded him is a victory in an American
Triple Crown race. It's unlikely this year that Battle of Midway will be the one to land Hollendorfer his first. Battle of Midway has
simply not accomplished enough or run fast enough.

He started his career on January 21 and in less than 4 months has been asked to run 4 times, stretching out in distance in each
race. His last 2 races have been gritty efforts going 2 turns. After winning his debut easily in fast time while dueling from the start,
Battle of Midway was a tough trip third as the odds on favorite 22 days later stepping up into a Grade 2 stake. He made amends
March 9 making his first start around 2 turns, scoring by a neck after sitting a good stalk and pounce trip. Battle of Midway exits
his best race to date when narrowly defeated in the Santa Anita Derby. He battled 'tooth and nail' along the rail from the start,
but was unable to hold off the late charge of Gormley, in race where several 3-year olds were bunched up at the finish.

Asking Battle of Midway to go 1 1/4 miles after 2 gut-wrenching performances is just too much to ask of him the first Saturday
in May. When the summer and fall rolls around, he has the pedigree, connections and plenty of upside to improve dramatically
and become one of the better 3-year olds. There have been many Kentucky Derby winners who have run in the Santa Anita
Derby, which is usually one of the 2 strongest 'Derby' prep races each year. This is not the case in 2017. The 3-year olds racing
in southern California at best are just an average crop at this point. 'The best is yet to come' for Battle of Midway, but not on
the first Saturday in May.

11th Selection #18 GORMLEY 15-1 ESPINOZA V SHIRREFFS J

No one handicapping the Santa Anita Derby would have predicted that Gormley would be taken off the pace after racing on
or near the lead in 4 of his 5 starts. Only in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile was he further back then second after bobbling at the
start. With several confirmed front runners in the Santa Anita Derby, it was likely that Gormley would be part of the pace battle
and, in the end, lose the war.

When the field was let loose from the gate, the mad scramble into the clubhouse turn began to percolate. Gormley was one of
the interested parties for the front end, but when he was caught in close quarters between speedsters to his inside and outside,
jockey Victor Espinoza had no choice but to wrangle him back and let the other 3 speeds begin their ensuing battle. Espinoza
eased Gormley to the rail and was content to sit about 5 lengths behind the leaders while able to get him to relax down the
backstretch. Approaching the stretch, Gormley was eased of the rail and taken to the outside in pursuit of the leaders. In deep
stretch, he edged clear from Battle of Midway and Royal Mo, who did all the dirty work up front to help set up his closing run.
The fact that Gormley could rate a bit, will certainly help him in his future races. It's no guarantee that Espinoza will be able to
resort to these same tactics in the Kentucky Derby. In a large field with all the hoopla in the minutes leading up to the race,
Gormley could be put on edge. When the gate opens, he just might want to go. He has never been an easy horse to take back
and no rider is stronger than a horse whose mind is on being part of a quick early pace.

My main concern is how effective he will be racing outside of southern California for the first time. 5 of his starts have been at
Santa Anita and his career debut was run at Del Mar. I also question the quality of competition Gormley has been facing. Even
though the pace was quick in the Santa Anita Derby, the final time was not, and he was the beneficiary of those quick fractions,
running his last 1/8th of a mile in a slow :13 3/5 seconds.

12th Selection #16 TAPWRIT 20-1 ORTIZ J PLETCHER T

Kentucky Derby hopefuls can have an 'off' race in their final prep for the 'Run for the Roses'. There have been countless Derby
winners who exit a losing effort, but they either run respectable races or have some legitimate excuse. Tapwrit had neither. His
fifth-place finish, beaten 11 lengths in the Blue Grass, was simply a poor performance. The trouble line in his past performances
indicates 'unprepared for the start'. His bad gate habits have been his Achilles heel in several of his starts. This bad habit does
not bode well for Tapwrit if this occurs again in a 20-horse Derby field. Once he recovered, Tapwrit showed no run at any point,
especially in the stretch drive as the 2-1 second choice.

Tapwrit had shown steady improvement in winning 3 of his prior 4 starts, capped off with a decisive win in the Tampa Bay Derby.
His turn of foot that was on display in all 3 victories made him a major player in the Blue Grass. The fact that Tapwrit ran so
poorly, exposed him as a 3-year old who looked 'better on paper' than what he really is. He defeated a weak field with a perfect
trip in the Tampa Bay Derby and his first 2 wins were against horses who subsequently have come back to prove to be nothing
but Allowance horses at best. Tapwrit was a good second to McCracken in the Sam Davis at Tampa, but once again he sat a
perfect inside trip and was no match in the stages of the race.

Tapwrit is one of the 3 horses Todd Pletcher will be running in the Derby. He's a typical Pletcher high priced yearling purchase.
The son of top sire Tapit costs $1.2 million. Tapwrit is a very useful horse that should win stakes races down the road if spotted
correctly, but will probably not live up to his lofty purchase price as a race-horse. He does not have the 'look' of a Kentucky Derby
winner both from a quality standpoint and his ability to be able to handle the 1 1/4 miles successfully in a field of 20.

13th Selection #19 PRACTICAL JOKE 20-1 ROSARIO J BROWN C

If Practical Joke wins the Kentucky Derby, he will have to defy his pedigree that is slanted more to being most effective at middle
distances than at 1 1/4 miles. In 6 career starts, he has shown this to be a true statement.

Practical Joke showed all the qualities of a top-class juvenile in the summer and fall of 2016 and one to watch closely as a 3-
year old. He was an impressive off the pace winner as the 2-1 favorite in his debut going 6f at Saratoga. It's very difficult to win
a Grade 1 stake with just a maiden win and only 1 race under your belt, but Practical Joke accomplished this task winning the
Hopeful on closing day at the Spa. He would add another feather to his cap with a third straight win in the Grade 1 Champagne
at Belmont on October 8. Practical Joke would enter the Breeders' Cup Juvenile a perfect 3-3 showing steady improvement
stretching out in distance with each start. In the Breeder's Cup, Practical Joke would be going 2 turns for the first time. After a
troubled start and a wide trip, he rallied mildly for third, beaten nearly 8 lengths. Since his lone defeat, Practical Joke has run a
pair of seconds in both the Fountain of Youth and Blue Grass.

In defeat, his second-place finish to Irap in the Blue Grass was his best career performance. Breaking from an outside post,
Practical Joke made several moves chasing Irap, and was gaining slowly on the winner in deep stretch to miss by 3/4 of a length.
He was well clear of the 2 betting favorites McCraken and Tapwrit.

Practical Joke will enter the Kentucky Derby never having missed hitting the board in all 6 starts. He has the perfect running style
for the race where he can lay back in mid-pack about 10 lengths of the early leaders before making his move. He has never
failed to make a strong sustained rally and in the Derby, Practical Joke will do the same. The issue I have is that he has shown
that he cannot sustain it to the wire. All 3 of his wins have been around 1-turn as a 2-year old. Blinkers will be added for the first
time in the Derby to help Practical Joke from not losing his focus late. I expect him to loom dangerously turning for home, but
in the final 1/8th of a mile, he will likely not be able to sustain that run. He is trained by superb horseman Chad Brown, who will
no doubt earn a Kentucky Derby victory and likely more than one, when he decides to retire from the game. The Wizard does
not feel it will be Practical Joke who will provide Brown his first one.

14th Selection # 9 IRAP 20-1 GUTIERREZ M O'NEILL D

The trio of trainer Doug O'Neil, owner Paul Reddam and jockey Mario Guiterrez will look to win their third Kentucky Derby with
Irap. They won their first Derby in 2012 with I'll Have Another and again in 2016 with Nyquist. Irap exits a career best performance
upsetting 6 rivals in the Blue Grass at Keeneland at 31-1. He was making his 8th start that afternoon as a maiden. The closest
he came to winning prior to the Blue Grass was 3 seconds, finishing no closer than 2 lengths back of the winner. To envision him
even making the Kentucky Derby prior to the Blue Grass, or even predict he would win the race, was just a 'pipe dream'.
Irap not only won the Blue Grass, but he did it stalking early and then taking the lead on the far turn and carrying his speed on to
victory. The Keeneland dirt surface was very kind to speed, especially in 2 turn races, which played a part in Irap's success, as
well as the comfortable fractions that were set. In the Derby, Irap might get another speed favoring track, but in no way, will he
get the same favorable pace set up. The added distance will also not be to his advantage. Look for Irap to regress off his Blue
Grass victory, which will likely result in an 'off the board' finish.

15th Selection # 2 THUNDER SNOW (IRE) 20-1 SOUMILLON C BIN SUROOR S

Invades US soil for the first time from Dubai for the world class Goldolphin Racing operation and is trained by Saeed Bin Suroor.
Thunder Snow brings a 3-race win streak to the Kentucky Derby following a nose victory in the U A E Derby at Meydon on March
25 in his last start. Suroor has trained for Godolphin Racing since 1995. He is winless with 7 Kentucky Derby starters. U A E
Derby winners are 0-12 in the first jewel of the Triple Crown. The closest finish was Master of Hounds who ran fifth in the 2011
Derby. History is clearly not on Thunder Snow's side.

Thunder Snow had enough speed to race on or near the lead in both the U A E 2000 Guineas and the U A E Derby. The pace in
the Kentucky Derby will be significantly faster than what he faced in Dubai in those 2 races. Add in a 20-horse field, a new racing
surface and the climate change, and Thunder Snow is clearly up against it. He does possess a very strong pedigree on both his
sire and dam side for class, speed and stamina but his inside post draw does not do him any favors.

16th Selection # 7 GIRVIN 15-1 SMITH M SHARP J

Has yet to race outside of Louisiana in 4 career starts at the Fair Grounds. Trainer Joe Sharp has done an excellent job developing
this $130,000 yearling purchase. Girvin has won 3 races in 4 starts since making his debut December 16. His lone defeat came
on turf in his second start. What is interesting to note is that the distance of his races has increased in each start as he continues
his upward progression, capped off by a victory in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.

Girvin is not a Derby win candidate for me. His versatility allows his rider to place him in good striking position early in the race
which is a plus. This has allowed him to parlay perfect trips in his last 2 starts into victories. In the Louisiana Derby Girvin switched
to his wrong lead when taking the lead in deep stretch and looked like a tired horse when crossing the wire. He gave me every
impression that his late kick won't be as effective stretching out to 1 1/4 miles. Girvin takes a step up in class as well racing
outside of the confines of the Fair Grounds for the first time. He has been galloping in bar shoes on both front hoofs and a work
that was called off on April 25. These are major negatives that should not be overlooked.

17th Selection # 6 STATE OF HONOR 30-1 LEZCANO J CASSE M

State of Honor will be one of the 'pace players' in the Kentucky Derby. He may not be on the lead early, but he will certainly be
in the first flight of horses on the chase into the clubhouse turn. He has only won 1 race, and that came sprinting at 7 furlongs
over Polytrack at Woodbine. State of Honor has hit the board in all 4 dirt starts, with 3 second place finishes. He clearly has
found a home on dirt going 2 turns, but facts are the facts, and that is he is winless on dirt. In all 6 starts he has raced around
2 turns, State of Honor has lost ground in the stretch. In the final 1/8th of a mile of each of those races, he's lost at minimum 1
1/2 lengths and as much as 3 3/4 lengths. That does not bode well for his chances in the Derby stretching out to 1 1/4 miles,
and for that reason State of Honor is a complete throw-out for me.

18th Selection # 4 UNTRAPPED 30-1 SANTANA, JR. R ASMUSSEN S


Untrapped broke his maiden sprinting last fall at Churchill Downs notching his first and only win in 6 career starts. He has raced
4 times this year, all around 2 turns and each time in stakes company. In none of those races did Untrapped look like he was
going to win in the last 1/8th of a mile, but instead flattened out when it counted.

His most disappointing performance came last time out in the Arkansas Derby. Untrapped ran sixth, which was the first time he
finished 'off the board'. His effort that day clearly exposed him as horse that simply does not 'class up' with any of the viable
contenders in the Kentucky Derby. Untrapped also proved he has serious distance limitations. If I owned him, Untrapped would
be pointing for easier spots at middle distances. A 1-turn mile hit's Untrapped right between the eyes, not 1 1/4 miles on Saturday.

19th Selection #20 PATCH 30-1 GAFFALIONE T PLETCHER T

Todd Pletcher will be represented by 3 horses in this year's Kentucky Derby, with Patch being the least experienced with only
3 career starts. Patch made his debut January 15 sprinting at Gulfstream finishing well from far back to just get up for second.
His pedigree indicated that he would improve going a distance of ground. That's exactly what happened 34 days later, stretching
out to a 1-turn mile. Patch showed improved speed, wearing down his pace rival late and edging clear to a hard-fought victory.
Pletcher wasted no time seeing what kind of 3-year old he had in his barn, so Patch was entered in the Louisiana Derby. Going 2-
turns for the first time, the son of Union Rags ran well in defeat to finish second behind leading Kentucky Derby point earner Girvin.
Patch is 1 of 2 horses owned and bred by Calumet Farms. The more fancied Hence is the other 3-year old. In my opinion, this
year's Louisiana Derby was the weakest of the final Kentucky Derby prep races. Patch could develop into one of the better 3-
year olds later down the road, but on Saturday he will have to settle for an 'off the board' finish.


20th Selection # 3 FAST AND ACCURATE 50-1 HILL C MAKER M

Fast and Accurate has won 3 races in 6 starts, with all 3 victories run over Polytrack. Only once has he raced on dirt. The result
was a fifth-place finish at Parx which was so poor, that his connections only option was to return Fast and Accurate back on a
synthetic surface where he at least showed some 'life' in his first 2 starts. You might say that it was Lasix that he has raced on
in his last 3 outings that has been the catalyst to his steadily improving form. Even with the addition of medication and a hardfought
career best victory last time out in a slowly run Grade 3 Stake at Turfway, it's impossible for me to consider Fast and
Accurate even a viable contender to 'hit the board'. The 3-year old was not nominated for the Triple Crown, but nevertheless,
his owner Dr. Kendall Hansen and Olympian gold medalalist alpine ski racer Bode Miller, who recently purchased an interest
in the colt, are willing to put up the $200,000 supplement to get his horse to Churchill Downs for the Derby. I just hope the
connections get enough good tickets and a great meal to help supplement the waste of good money to watch their horse finish
at the back of the pack.


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#342486 - 05/04/17 12:53 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Wet Tomlinson Figures

This measure of a horse's ability on a wet track was the brainchild of Lee Tomlinson who studied past performances of a sample of horses based on how they performed on wet tracks and their pedigrees. A wet Tomlinson score ranges from 0 to 480 (a perfect score). Experts have noted that a score of 320 warrants consideration of a horse that should perform well on an off-track. Based on my annual Derby spreadsheet, the following horses have the top wet Tomlinson figures heading into the Derby:


Horse Wet
Irish War Cry 443
Tapwrit 441
McCraken 435
Irap 418
Battle of Midway 417
Practical Joke 413
Royal Mo 402
State of Honor 400
Hence 398
Patch 393

Pedigree

Some of the bloodlines that are part of the current field can be traced back to horses that have solid wet track influences can be traced to sires such as Curlin, Malibu Moon and A.P. Indy.
The horses that are part of said bloodlines include Irish War Cry, Gormley, Hence and Patch. Sonneteer's sire Midnight Lute won a Breeders' Cup Sprint championship in the slop at Monmouth Park in 2007. Irish War Cryís sire Curlin, won the Breeders' Cup Classic at a mile-and-a-quarter that same year in the slop by open lengths. Gormleyís sire Malibu Moon produced 2015 winner Orb.

Actual Off-Track Performances

Of the horses in the field, six horses have wins on an off-track: Classic Empire (maiden at 4.5F), Gormley (G3 Sham), Tapwrit ($75K stake), Hence(maiden at 8.5F), Battle of Midway (wet fast, maiden at 6F), and Royal Mo(good, maiden at 1m). Three horses have placed on off-tracks, Untrapped, Lookin at Lee and Sonneteer. Only Gormley accomplished the feat in a stakes race and Hence and Gormley at a distance greater than a mile.
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#342487 - 05/04/17 12:57 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Jon White

1. Thunder Snow
2. Irish War Cry
3. Classic Empire
4. McCraken
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#342488 - 05/04/17 12:59 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Most of the 3-year-olds will be running 1 1/4 miles for the first time on Saturday. Besides the distance, the traffic-choked conditions typically eliminate half the field in the opening quarter-mile.


Here are five horses to watch:


ALWAYS DREAMING


Appears to be coming into his own after impressive five-length win in Florida Derby. Always Dreaming has the potential to be the first Derby favorite for trainer Todd Pletcher, who will have two other starters in the race. The dark bay colt prefers to run at the lead or close to it. His sire Bodemeister finished second in the 2012 Derby. He has three wins in five career starts and earnings of $648,900. Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez have one Derby win apiece. The main knock against the colt is that his two wins as a 3-year-old have come against lesser competition.


CLASSIC EMPIRE


The colt won last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile on his way to earning 2-year-old male champion honors. Then again, only three other colts have won year-end honors since 2000 and gone on to win the Derby the following season. Classic Empire has the highest earnings of $2.1 million among the horses expected to make the field, with five wins in seven career starts. He's coming off a win in the Arkansas Derby. Trainer Mark Casse has never won the Derby and neither has jockey Julien Leparoux. His sire Pioneerof the Nile was second in the 2009 Derby and he also sired 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah.

GIRVIN


The colt topped the Derby leaderboard with 152 points earned in prep races. But the Louisiana Derby winner has a crack in his right front hoof that has compromised his training in the last week. Trainer Joe Sharp has used a special shoe, a hyperbaric chamber and therapeutic waters to get Girvin in shape to run on Saturday. Sharp is married to retired jockey Rosie Napravnik, who exercises the colt and is her husband's assistant. Girvin has won three of four starts, with his only loss on turf. His jockey is Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who has a reputation for winning big-money races. Smith has never ridden Girvin, but he picked up the mount after Mastery, his top Derby contender, got hurt.


GUNNEVERA


The chestnut colt is a closer ready to pounce if he gets set up by a strong early pace. His earnings of $1.1 million are second-most on the Derby leaderboard. This is the first Derby starter for trainer Antonio Sano, who survived two kidnappings in his native Venezuela before moving to Miami. Jockey Javier Castellano, also from Venezuela, was just elected to racing's Hall of Fame and in search of his first Derby win. His best finish was fourth in 2013. The colt has four wins in nine career starts and finished third in the Florida Derby. His sire, Dialed In, won the 2011 Florida Derby and finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby.

IRISH WAR CRY


Had solid victories in Holy Bull and Wood Memorial, making it seem like the Fountain of Youth was an off day for him. The colt is a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who finished third in the 2007 Derby. Has four wins in five career starts. The chestnut colt likes to press the pace. No New Jersey-bred horse has won the Derby since Cavalcade in 1934, and none has run in the race since Dance Floor took third in 1992. Owner Isabelle de Tomaso, who is in her 80s, is the daughter of Amory Haskell, for whom the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park is named. Tomaso was a race car driver in the 1950s. Trainer Graham Motion won the Derby with Animal Kingdom in 2011; jockey Rajiv Maragh has never won it.
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#342491 - 05/04/17 01:16 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
Stewman21 Offline
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Registered: 12/11/00
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GREAT Info! Thank you my friend!!!
Can't wait for the Durby!!

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#342495 - 05/04/17 03:10 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: Stewman21]
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1. Lookin at Lee, 20-1 Ran 3rd in Ark Derby. Has run in good company but doesn't seem to win at this level. Will fall back early and then try to come from the clouds. Hence the 1 post won't really hurt him. With a lifetime best speed fig of 94 he just doesn't seem fast enough. The added distance should help him though.As a 2 yo ran a nice race at CD. Will pass some horses in the stretch.

2. Thunder Snow 20-1 Has some talent. Shipping in from Dubai where he won the UAE Derby. Historically the winner there doesn't do much in Kentucky. Has a tracking style. Never run in the US. Not sure about the surface and distance here.

3. Fast and Accurate 50-1 Did not run in a major prep race. From a class standpoint, seems a level or 2 below the best here. Has been winning at that lower level but can he move up here? Should show early speed. On or near the lead early. No races at CD but a couple of solid works there so it looks like he is taking to the track. Biggest problem is his speed figures. Has yet to crack 90 which won't get it done here. May get used up on the front end.

4. Untrapped 30-1 Finished up the track in the Ark Derby. Appeared to tire.Likes a stalking trip. Ran a nice race in The Risen Star. Has regressed since then. Won a race here at 2.

5. Always Dreaming 5-1 A deserving favorite. Has done very little wrong. Would like to have seen run another race at 3. A little green. Ran a great Fla Derby with a 102 speed fig. Soft early fractions seemed to set that race up well for him. Good connections. Has never raced at CD so we'll see how he handles the strip. Should sit just behind the leaders which should be a good place to be. Good breeding so I don't think the distance is a problem.

6. State of Honor 30-1 Ran 2nd in Fla Derby. Like to be on or near the lead. Was in good position in Fla. No excuses there. Never ran at CD. The one work I see there not all that impressive. Not sure he is going to like the added distance. Improving speed figs is a plus.

7. Girvin 15-1 Nice horse but another one who is a little green. Won the Risen Star and the LA Derby. Improving speed figures. Likes a stalking trip. Should sit off the pace and make his move at top of the stretch. Has the look of a horse that should like the added distance. Not sure of the quality of animal he beat in those 2 races. If he improves off his LA Derby, it should put him in the mix. One good work at CD.

8. Hence 15-1 Comes off a win in the Sunland Derby. Not historically the strongest of prep races. Took advantage of quick early fractions there. Was given a speed fig of 103. Not sure Im buying into that based on his previous races.Will probably drop back early and save his move for the stretch.Did get 2nd in a race at 2yo at CD. Maybe a bit outclassed here.

9. Irap, 20-1 Won the BG Stakes. Benefited from very slow fractions to win on the lead. 100 speed figure there, but doesn't rate to get a trip like that here. Should be on or near the lead early. Got beat by Hence in the Sunland. No races or works at CD.

10. Gunnevera, 15-1 This is one that stood out for me at first glance. Got 3rd in Fla Derby. Rough trip there. Won the FOY with a 102 fig. Come from pretty far off the pace and would appear to like the added distance. No races or works at CD.

11. Battle of Midway, 30-1 Got 2nd in the SA Derby. Was caught in the stretch after being on the lead the whole race. A green horse who seems to be improving. No races at 2yo. Like to be on or near the lead. May wind up out front here. No races or works at CD. Speed figs going in the right direction. Not sure about this distance for him.

12. Sonneteer, 50-1 4th in the Ark Derby. Seems to be a cut below the best here in class. Improving speed figs but would need quite a jump to compete here. Lots of 2nds and 3rds, but doesn't win. Will lay off the pace. No races or works at CD., Has the look of a plodder.

13. J Boys Echo, 20-1 4th in the BG, won the Gotham. Ran a 104 in the later, but looks a little suspect. Somewhere between tactical speed and a closer. Slow fractions in BG compromised any shot he had there. His first race was at CD. Seemed to like the track. Recent work there so so.

14. Classic Empire, 4-1 Im thinking will be the 2nd favorite here. Won the Ark Derby with a 96 speed fig. Won the BC Juv with a 108. Very impressive race. Likes a stalking trip but can come from further back. Versatility is a nice trait in this race. Has won a CD. Seems to be coming into his best form. Will be a factor on Saturday.

15. McCraken, 5-1 Another one of the favorites.3rd in the BG with a 96 speed fig. May have been a race short for that one. Also likes a stalking trip. Runs well at CD. Also should be a factor.

16. Tapwrit, 20-1 5th in BG, won TB Derby, Ran a 101 in TB. Likes to run just off the pace. Also fairly green. Got beat by McCracken 3 back. No races or works at CD. Had an excuse in the BG. Maybe with added distance he can turn tables on McCraken?

17. Irish War Cry, 6-1 Got 1st in The Wood. Speed horse who should be near the front here. Not the post he wanted. May have to work early to get into position. Tired in FOY so not sure about the distance. His top speed figures puts him in the mix here. No races or works at CD.

18. Gormley, 15-1 Won the SA Derby with a 99. Ran a 102 in the Sham. Like to run just off the lead. Tired in the San Felipe but was coming off a layoff. No races or works at CD. Good connections. May have to gun it out of gate to get any sort of position.

19. Practical Joke, 20-1 Got 2nd in BG with a 99 speed fig. Probably a better race than it appears because of the slow fractions. Likes to come off the pace. Expect him to drop back off the start and try to save ground. was a monster at 2, still trying to get back to that form. Got beat by Gunnevera in FOY. No races or works at CD. Seems to be moving in the right direction.

20. Patch, 30-1 2nd in LA Derby with a 98. Ran a 101 when he broke his maiden. With only 3 races under his belt [unraced at 2] they might be asking too much of him here. Likes at stalking trip which might not be possible with this post. They may have to take him back early. No CD races or works.
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#342533 - 05/04/17 11:34 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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TimeformUS Analyst - David Aragona

Most Likely Winner - Classic Empire (#14)

Win/Place: 10 (at odds of 10-1 or greater)
Win/Place: 13 (at odds of 15-1 or greater)
Exacta Box: 10,13,14,17
Exacta Key Box: 10,13 with 5,8,15
Trifecta Box: 10,13,14,17
Trifecta: 10,13 with 10,13,14,17 with 1,5,8,15,16,19
Trifecta: 14,17 with 10,13 with 1,5,8,15,16,19
Trifecta: 14,17 with 1,5,8,15,16,19 with 10,13
Superfecta: 14,17 with 10,13,14,17 with 10,13,14,17 with 1,5,8,10,13,14,15,16,17,19
Superfecta: 14,17 with 10,13,14,17 with 1,5,8,15,16,19 with 10,13,14,17
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#342534 - 05/04/17 11:37 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Marty McGee - DRF

Gunnervera
Hence
Tapwrit
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#342535 - 05/04/17 11:37 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Byron King - DRF

Classic Empire
Irish War Cry
McCracken
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#342536 - 05/04/17 11:38 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Kenny Peck - DRF

J Boys Echo
Gormley
Classic Empire
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#342537 - 05/04/17 11:45 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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http://tinyurl.com/lbqgo6n

DRF Kentucky Derby Formulator Past Performances.

Give it a moment to upload, there is a lot of great information here. Click on almost every race to see the Past Performance from that particular race.

Neat tool to use.
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#342578 - 05/05/17 10:44 AM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Chris Fallica

1 - (17) Irish War Cry
2 - (8) Hence
3 - (11) Battle of Midway
4 - (18) Gormley


$2 WPS 8-11-17-18 ($24)
$1 exacta box: 8-11-17-18 ($12)
$1 exacta box: 8-11-13-14-17-18 ($30)
$1 tri 17 with 8-11-13-18 with 8-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-18-19 ($36)
$1 tri 8-11-13-18 with 17 with 8-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-18-19 ($36)

1 - Lookin at Lee (Trainer: Steve Asmussen/Jockey: Corey Lanerie); Morning line: 20-1

This stone-cold closer will drop back from the inside and pass as many as he can late. He was beaten just a length and a half in Arkansas by Classic Empire. The added ground will help, but from Post 1, about the best he can hope for is a third- or fourth-place finish. And even that might be wishful thinking, as just four horses have finished in the top five after breaking from the rail since Ferdinand won from Post 1 in 1986.

2 - Thunder Snow (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon); ML 20-1

The lack of Derby success for runners that prepped in Dubai is well-noted. Of the 11 that went from Dubai to the Derby, the best finish is fifth by Master of Hounds in 2011. No UAE Derby winner has been better than sixth in the Derby. What happens at the break with Thunder Snow is anyone's guess, but if he wins from Post 2, I lose.

3 - Fast and Accurate (Mike Maker/Channing Hill); ML 50-1

Supplemented into the race as a vanity entry after a shocking win in the Spiral at 25-1, he'll likely be a brief pace factor and that's it. No shot.

4 - Untrapped (Steve Asmussen/Ricardo Santana Jr.); ML 30-1

Blinkers will come off for a horse that hasn't really shown much interest in finishing the last few races, suggesting the distance of 1ľ is out of his scope. Maybe the blinks off will relax him some, but its not like he's been on the pace with them. Untrapped looks like one that will just go around the track for a midpack finish. Note that he did break maiden for fun in a 12-horse field at Churchill Downs last November, so if you want to use him third or fourth, that wouldn't be the worst idea if you have a few extra bucks to cover him.

5 - Always Dreaming (Todd Pletcher/John Velazquez); ML 5-1

One of five in the field that was winless as a 2-year-old and will try to become the first since Monarchos to win the Derby after going winless at 2. With this post draw, I don't see any way he isn't on the lead and given how headstrong he's been in the morning, I can't see him lasting 1ľ on the front end with pressure throughout.

Todd Pletcher's 1-45 mark in the Derby is well-known, but if you drill down and find Pletcher/John Velazquez entries that were among the top five betting choices -- Carpe Diem in 2015, Intense Holiday in 2014, Verrazano in 2013, Devil May Care in 2010 and Bandini in 2005 -- none finished better than 10th. This isn't Belmont, Gulfstream or Saratoga. Don't get sucked into well-known connections that haven't fared well here and whom the pace scenario doesn't likely favor. I'll pass. See you in the King's Bishop.

6 - State of Honor (Mark Casse/Jose Lezcano); ML 30-1

One of the most experienced horses in the field, State of Honor has only a maiden win on the synthetic sprinting at Woodbine. He looks to be one who will press Always Dreaming to ensure a fast pace -- which would help Mark Casse's other horse, the favorite Classic Empire. I can't see State of Honor hitting the board.

7 - Girvin (Joe Sharp/Mike Smith); ML 15-1

Girvin has been battling foot problems and I'm not sure how good the fields he beat at Fair Grounds were. He has the right running style but it's highly doubtful he will get a clean, easy trip as he has in New Orleans. In Mike Smith's 55th career Triple Crown mount (third all-time), you know he'll give Girvin the best chance to win, but there are too many questions about the fitness of the horse for me to get excited about him having a legit chance to win.

8 - Hence (Steve Asmussen/Florent Geroux); ML 15-1

Hence was the winner of what has apparently become a key prep. His running style appears to fit what a Derby winner would look like, and he showed speed in a maiden race at Churchill Downs last year so it's not like he's a plodding closer. He has worked great leading up to the race and his bandwagon is getting full of supporters, so he will likely be closer to 10-1 than 15-1 come Saturday. Those who aren't fans will point to the lengthy gap between races, and view him as a one-race wonder. I think he fits, but also remember Steve Asmussen is 0-13 in the Derby with just two in-the-money finishes. But, to me, all indications point to a solid effort Saturday. I'll be using Hence in all spots in the trifecta, as he is on the short list of contenders.

9 - Irap (Doug O'Neill/Mario Gutierrez); ML 20-1

The long-shot winner of the Blue Grass as a maiden was soundly beaten by Hence in New Mexico, and may have caught a speed bias that day at Keeneland. My guess is he's just a merry-go-round type here who doesn't contest the pace, but doesn't take all the way back either. And that pegs him for a finish somewhere in the area of 11th.

10- Gunnevera (Antonio Sano/Javier Castellano); ML 15-1

He would make the list of "great stories if he wins," given trainer Antonio Sano's past. Surprisingly, Javier Castellano hasn't hit the board from 10 Derby mounts, so while Castellano is a great rider, don't think his presence necessarily moves the horse up to elite status. Then again, maybe it's not too surprising Castellano hasn't posted an in-the-money finish in the Derby, given that he has hitched himself to Todd Pletcher's second string more often than not.

Gunnevera ran huge in the Fountain of Youth and then regressed in the Florida Derby. He'll be coming from the clouds and be at the mercy of the pace, but he should get the distance. Be warned though, all of us racing fans know that one guy who is a "mush." Well, the one I know loves Gunnevera. I'll still use him in trifectas, but I don't think he can win.

11 - Battle of Midway (Jerry Hollendorfer/Flavien Prat); ML 30-1

"He can't win, he was unraced at 2 [years old]!"

So, if he debuted on Dec. 31, 2016, as opposed to Jan. 21, that means he can win? Sorry, if he doesn't win or doesn't fire it has nothing to do with being unraced at 2. It means he just wasn't good enough or fast enough, and that the speed figures were indeed spot-on.

Despite the sentiments above, I will be using Battle of Midway prominently. He broke maiden at first asking, then went right into stakes company, where he predictably ran third. After that he ran a good race in an allowance, coming from off the pace and beating the ill-fated Reach the World. He found himself on the lead in a paceless race at Santa Anita, and I don't think Flavien Prat will have him there Saturday. He's among the classiest bred horses in the race and if he takes back, I think he has a very big opportunity to factor into the outcome of the race. I'm using Battle of Midway up and down the trifecta.

12 - Sonneteer (Keith Desormeaux/Kent Desormeaux); ML 50-1

I know he's a maiden, but if you like Classic Empire, don't you have to like Sonneteer at roughly 10 or 12 times the price? He was beaten just 2 lengths by Classic Empire in Arkansas, and now gets added ground. I'm not saying he can win, but I do think he's worth using in third and fourth as a one-run-type closer.

13 - J Boys Echo (Dale Romans/Luis Saez); ML 20-1

Dale Romans horses at double-digit prices are always worth using. He's had nine horses crack the tri in Triple Crown races -- eight were at least 12-1, five were at least 15-1 and three were at least 20-1. J Boys Echo is also just one of three in the field to have cracked 100 on the Beyer scale and he has dramatically longer odds than Classic Empire or Irish War Cry. His Blue Grass was so bad I'm just throwing that race completely out (for all runners), and I expect J Boys Echo to run down as many as he can late. He ran a very good second in his debut at Churchill Downs, which is a huge plus. I don't know if he can win, but I may throw him in the win spot in some of my wider pick-fours and trifectas. And I will totally use him for second and third.

14 - Classic Empire (Mark Casse/Julien Leparoux); ML 4-1

The morning-line favorite hasn't had the smoothest of journeys to this point. He will likely be one of the softest favorites ever, but his success as a 2-year-old at Churchill Downs, along with his closing rush to win the Arkansas Derby, will certainly garner him many supporters. I will not be one of them. In Arkansas, he basically had to "reach the bottom" to barely get past Conquest Mo Money, who balked at the start and then cut out all the fractions. And the Beyer figure still came up only 94.

Hence had a much easier time dispelling Conquest Mo Money at Sunland, and his figure was better too. The Daily Racing Form had a great number on trainer Mark Casse and his lack of success winning 3-year-old graded stakes on dirt.

Jockey Julien Leparoux hasn't had the best of luck in the Derby either. He was on favorite Dialed In in 2011 and finished eighth. Then he had a brutal go of it on second choice (and eventual Belmont winner) Union Rags in 2012, finishing seventh. While I think he could hit the board, I have this nagging feeling he will regress. Will the favorite really win for a fifth straight year (which would be unprecedented)? I'll be taking an "if he wins, I lose" approach here.

15 - McCraken (Ian Wilkes/Brian Hernandez Jr.); ML 5-1

McCraken's morning line of 5-1 is laughably short given his poor showing in the Blue Grass and the fact he too was laid up a bit. My guess is his 3-for-3 mark at Churchill Downs and his win at Tampa had a lot more to do with that morning line, since McCraken had already secured his spot in the Derby field by the Blue Grass and trainer Ian Wilkes could have simply used the race as a true prep for the Derby. That said, who knows what was truly behind him in the Tampa Stakes race, and his earlier Churchill Downs races as well? I just never got the sense I was seeing a Derby winner when watching him run. If you like him, you're getting a terrible price -- he should be much closer to 15-1. I'm torn on what to do with him as I don't think he can win, but it wouldn't completely shock me if he does.

16 - Tapwrit (Todd Pletcher/Jose Ortiz); ML 20-1

Can I make a future wager on Tapwrit in the Belmont? Because Todd Pletcher in the Derby ... no thanks. Since 2007, Pletcher has run 31 horses in the Derby. With Calvin Borel up, he's 2-2 in the money, including his only win with Super Saver. With all other jockeys, he's 1-29 ITM. I don't see Churchill specialist Calvin Borel anywhere on the card.

Tapwrit is not as bad as the Blue Grass made him out to be -- and I think he has a chance to outrun his odds with an outside stalking trip. He has looked good leading up to this weekend as well. I won't use him on top, but will use him underneath, as not using Pletcher's Revolutionary in 2013 cost me a nice exotics score (when Orb was my top pick).

17 - Irish War Cry (Graham Motion/Rajiv Maragh); ML 6-1

Irish War Cry has won at three different tracks, appears to have no distance limitations and is comfortably drawn outside. Of all the horses with single-digit odds, he is the one I'm most confident will run his race. Forget about the whole "but nobody has ever won from Post 17" theory, a line of thinking that brought you since-debunked myths like "Big Brown can't win from Post 20" in 2008 and "I'll Have Another can't win from Post 19 " in 2012. So if Irish War Cry drew Post 16 or 18, that would be the thing that seals the deal?

He has shown rating ability, and has won from the front end and from well off the pace. He's the only runner with two triple-digit Beyers. The only knocks against him would be his no-show in the Fountain of Youth, and the fact the Wood Memorial hasn't been the best of preps lately. There's a whole lot to like here, including extremely easy connections to root for.

18 - Gormley (John Shirreffs/Victor Espinoza); ML 15-1

His figures are light, but Gormley is 4-for-6 with multiple Grade I wins, has a jockey who has won five of the past nine Triple Crown races, and an owner-trainer combo that has already won the Derby with a huge price (Giacomo in 2005). Gormley is proven in the mud and has won from off the pace and on the lead.

I think he's a huge player from the outside and for those worried about his low figures or his poor time at the Santa Anita Derby, Nyquist didn't have a great route figure last year prior to the Derby. Neither did I'll Have Another or Giacomo. Remember, Gormley was the 5-1 second choice in the BC Juvenile (Classic Empire was 9-2). He's on my short list of potential winners.

19 - Practical Joke (Chad Brown/Joel Rosario); ML 20-1

He's been best in one-turn miles, and hasn't quite shown great finishing ability in the Fountain of Youth or the Blue Grass. A handicapper I respect really likes his chances here, but I can't see him winning and would also be surprised if he factored in the trifecta. Practical Joke has the right running style, but I just don't think he's good enough or wants to go this far.

20 - Patch (Todd Pletcher/Tyler Gaffalione); ML 30-1

The public loves a good underdog story, so the one-eyed Patch will probably get bet down by the tourists. Like Tapwrit and Always Dreaming, he will probably go on and have a very productive year, as he has raced only three times and was a respectable second to Girvin in Louisiana. I would anticipate him trying to avoid getting fanned seven-wide around the first turn, and trying to pick off as many as he can late. He'll finish somewhere in the top eight or so.
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#342579 - 05/05/17 10:47 AM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Value Picks

Girvin (No. 7 PP, 15-1 ML)

He was one of the top Derby contenders with an impressive three wins in four starts, and a win in the Louisiana Derby. In fact, he's a perfect 3-for-3 on dirt. But the discovery of a quarter crack in one of his feet has caused a lot of the pundits to back off.

The injury certainly is one to be concerned about, but it's not an uncommon ailment in racing. The injury has been treated and trainer Joe Sharp is confident the colt will run well in the Derby.

His speed figures at first glance aren't very fast, but it's hard to argue his accomplishments, including winning the two major Derby prep races in Louisiana.

One advantage that Girvin has is his ability to be in the "second pack" of the race, which should put him in a prime position as the field heads around the far turn. And the fact that he is 15-1 in the morning line makes him worth pursuing. The price will definitely be right.

Gormley (No. 18 PP, 15-1 ML)

Over the past few years, Southern California has produced many Derby winners including American Pharoah, California Chrome and Nyquist. This year, Gormley is the best horse to emerge from the West Coast and is flying under the radar.

Much like Girvin, he did not put up impressive speed figures, but he managed to win two of the three prep races at Santa Anita including the last one, the Santa Anita Derby. He has won four of six starts, with the losses to Classic Empire and Mastery.

It also won't be the first time that his trainer came into the Derby with a long shot. John Shirreffs brought Giacomo to Louisville in 2005 and pulled off a shocker, so he certainly knows what it takes to win this race.

His post position is not optimal (1-for-30) but he has the benefit of being paired with jockey Victor Espinoza, who won the Derby three times including aboard American Pharoah. If he doesn't get floated out too far on the first turn, he could be dangerous. Plus, if the track is sloppy, that's a big plus.

Gunnevera (No. 10 PP, 15-1 ML)

With a field as big as the Kentucky Derby, some years the race "falls apart" and a horse from the back of field is able to thread his way to the front and pull of the upset. This could be that horse.

He burst onto the Derby scene when he ran second to Irish War Cry in the Holy Bull and in the process, beat Classic Empire. He followed that up with a last-to-first win in the Fountain of Youth, which is the kind of run he would need to be a threat in the Derby.

Another big plus for the chestnut colt is he keeps jockey Javier Castellano, who has been one of the top riders in North America over the past few years. Post No. 10 is tied for the most wins in the Derby with nine. As long as he is 12-1 or better, Gunnevera is a solid play.

Battle of Midway (No. 11 PP, 30-1 ML)

He nearly beat Gormley in the Santa Anita Derby, and with the huge price this colt will bring on Derby Day, he's worth a look.

The colt is starting to come into his own and the fact that Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has brought him from Southern California is an indication that he thinks the colt has a chance. The son of Smart Strike has won two of four, with his best race a few weeks ago in the narrow loss at Santa Anita.

The key for him is not getting into a speed duel. His price needs to be long to be worth a play.

Play No. 17 Irish War Cry to win. For your exacta wagers play (No. 17) Irish War Cry and (No. 15) McCraken (as a hedge) on top of (No. 7) Girvin, (No. 18) Gormley, (No. 10) Gunnevera and (No. 11) Battle of Midway. Also use Girvin, Gormley and Gunnevera on top of Irish War Cry, McCraken and Battle of Midway in another set of exactas. (Note: I threw McCraken as a hedge on top even though he won't offer as much value, but I think he has a shot to win.)
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#342589 - 05/05/17 12:32 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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PP - Horse ML Odds Jockey (Derby Record) Trainer (Derby Record)


1 - Lookin At Lee (20-1) Corey Lanerie (0-2) Steve Asmussen (0-15)
Notes: Is HE the ďwiseguyĒ horse this year? Was on the outside looking in until last weekend and my phone blew up with texts and tweets. If all of those people bet on him he might be 10-1. Heís never won a race around two turns in six tries, which is hard to believe since heís always gaining ground and weaving through fields in the stretch. The distance should help him but he comes from the moon. And itís so hard for those horses to get the right trip in here unless things completely fall apart. Iíve been saying for three months that this is the year a horse like him picks up the pieces and pays $65 to win but after looking at the race I feel itís going to be super tough for him to get his picture taken. I will use him in all of my exotics and maybe on a saver multi-race wager for my sanityís sake.

2 - Thunder Snow (20-1) Christophe llon (0-1) Saeed bin Suroor (0-7)
Notes: Like most of the ďDerby Rules,Ē a horse will in all likelihood travel over from the desert one day to win Americaís greatest horse racing prize. I doubt itíll be one that arrives less than a week before the race, doesnít train until the Tuesday before and was being considered for two other races in Europe before they finally made the decision to come here. He looked great going a mile, less so going 9.5 furlongs last out. Plus, this seemed like a weak bunch over there this season. Not for me.

3 - Fast and Accurate (50-1) Channing Hill (Debut) Mike Maker (0-9)
Notes: Heís won his last three since the addition of Lasix but theyíve came over the synthetic surface at Turfway and on turf. His win in the Spiral last out was completed with a final three furlongs in over 40 seconds. He was abysmal in his lone start on conventional dirt at Parx. I believe weíve found the winnerÖÖfor the worst case of Derby Fever this season. Toss.

4 - Untrapped (30-1) Ricardo Santana, Jr. (0-2) Steve Asmussen (0-15)
Notes: Eligible for an entry level allowance contest, he tried his hand at both the Fair Grounds and at Oaklawn this winter and though he got a piece of the pie on three occasions heís yet to grab the brass ring in a big one. Maiden win was over the course. His sire was best at middle distances and heís lost ground in the stretch in his last three starts. Toss for me.

5 - Always Dreaming (5-1) John Velazquez (1-18) Todd Pletcher (1-45)
Notes: You knew this guy was special when Johnny V. took a Wednesday off from riding at Gulfstream Park to go break his maiden at Tampa Bay Downs. That was back in January in his first start for Pletcher and around two turns. Heís perfect in all three tries for his new barn, including two at nine furlongs, something no other horse in the race can say they did. His Florida Derby was eye-catchingÖ.he sat just off the early and galloped home by five. But he was aided by a speed-biased course and his trainer owns Gulfstream. Since his arrival at Churchill heís been very amped up in the morning, so much so that they had to change some equipment and the way they train him. You donít want your hose to be dull but you donít want a raving lunatic either. And it is tough to look past his trainerís record in the race. Iíll use him underneath in my exotics.

6 - State of Honor (30-1) Jose Lezcano (0-4) Mark Casse (0-3)
Notes: Heís eligible for an entry level allowance contest. Heís lost ground in the stretch in his last four starts. Heís winless on conventional dirt. His pedigree screams ďmiddle distance.Ē He figures to be a major part of the early pace despite the fact that he came from just off of it when he was second in the Florida Derby. I canít see him playing any better in the outcome.

7 - Girvin (15-1) Mike Smith (1-22) Joe Sharp (Debut)
Notes: Of all the Derby contenders, his stock has dropped the most in the last month and he hasnít even raced. Over the years, Iíve grown more and more suspicious of the Fair Grounds form and this might have been the most suspect bunch down in the bayou in recent memory, so I wasnít a fan to begin with. Then his trainer piped up, avoided most reporters and it was unearthed that this colt was training with Z bar shoes. Sharp has said heíll race in conventional shoes but his foot/feet is/are likely in shambles. Hernandez opted to stick with McCracken, which isnít a great sign, even if you think there were some politics involved in the decision but you do get one of the best in the game on his back. I just donít know how you can have any confidence that this horse is close to 100% and believe you me thatís what heíd need to be to have any chance in here under optimal conditions. Toss.

8 - Hence (15-1) Florent Geroux (0-1) Steve Asmussen (0-15)

Notes: The love affair some have with this guy boggles my mind. Heís run some average races in his career. Iím always skeptical when a horse breaks his maiden on a wet track, like he did. And he couldnít have gotten a better setup then he did in his Sunland Derby win when they flew on the front end and he beat second-stingers, at best. That race came back significantly faster than any other heís been a part of that itís hard for me to believe it. He has the feel of a ďwiseguyĒ horse and I think heís going to take a lot of money. I want no part of him.

9 - Irap (20-1) Mario Gutierrez (2-2) Doug OíNeill (2-5)
Notes: It took him eight starts to break his maiden, then he did so in grand fashion taking the Blue Grass. He was aided by a speed favoring racetrack, a slow pace and likely by the fact that he was being chased after by a horse that likely has distance limitations. Oh, he was on his wrong lead, too. He does have strong connections in his corner as these guys have teamed up two of the last five runnings of the race. But Iíll Have Another was lightly raced and Nyquist was a juvenile champion. This horse was in the right place at the right time last out. I donít believe that to be the case in here. Plus heíll probably take some action. Not for me.

10 - Gunnevera (15-1) Javier Castellano (0-10) Antonio Sano (Debut)
Notes: Every year, we hear how so many in the Derby want no part of the added distance and how one or two are going to relish the ground. It certainly looks like this guy falls into the second category. Heís won at Gulfstream, Saratoga and on a ďbullringĒ at Delta Downs, three places that historically favor front runners. While he is a bit pace dependent I feel the extra furlong negates that a bit. The obvious blip is that deep closers have so much trouble winning this race because of the bulky field and the traffic usually associated with it. He does have the winner of the last four Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Jockey on his back and heís one of the few in here whose pedigree leads you to believe the 10 furlongs is ideal. I donít see a lot NOT to like and heíll be running through the lane while others will appear to be in quicksand. A win contender. Iím using him in most of my multi-race wagers and all my exotic plays.

11 - Battle of Midway (30-1) Flavien Prat (Debut) Jerry Hollendorfer (0-5)
Notes: Another lightly raced, Apollo Curse candidate, he was ultra-game in the Santa Anita Derby when second. He was part of a quick pace and was the only one the lived to tell the tale in deep stretch. My problem with him is that I feel like heíll bounce off that effort, which to me was easily his best to date, and itís so hard to win this on the lead. I wouldnít be surprised if he turned into a player in the division later on this summer but Iím not a fan in here.

12 - Sonneteer (50-1) Kent Desormeaux (3-19) Keith Desormeaux (0-1)
Notes: Heís looking to become the first maiden over 80 years to win the roses in his eleventh start. Deep closer type tried the Arkansas route to Louisville. I wouldnít bet him in a maiden race at this point, let alone in here. Toss.

13 - J Boys Echo (20-1) Luis Saez (0-4) Dale Romans (0-7)
Notes: He owns the highest Beyer Speed figure run by any remaining sophomore this season by way of his Gotham win. But when you look closely at his PPs you realize that race is the exception and not the rule. It sticks out like a sore thumb. Plus, he beat a horse in Cloud Computing who was making just the second start of his career. There was no apparent excuse in the Blue Grass flop. Heíll take some money because many feel Romans has a Derby with his name on it. That might very well be the case but Iím betting it doesnít say ď2017.Ē

14 - Classic Empire (4-1) Julien Leparoux (0-9) Mark Casse (0-3)
Notes: Perhaps no horse has overcome more this year to get to Louisville than the two-year-old champ. After a flop in his seasonal bow, he developed a foot abscess, a hind-end issue and his old behavioral problems crept up on him. Casse had to call a number of audibles along the way, all of which led to an Arkansas Derby win. Now, he has to repeat that performance in just three weeks. I hate the fact that all of his issues made him miss a prep Ė thatís one thing that really bugs me but there is no doubting his talent. My other issue is his mental make-up. Who knows whatís going to happen when $150K screaming fans proverbially smack him in the face when he comes out of the tunnel and heads to the gate. The only three-time G1 winner in the field may just have enough talent to win this but I feel itís hard to take him as the favorite. An obvious win contender, Iíll use him in some multi-race wagers and all of my exotic plays.

15 - McCracken (5-1) Brian Hernandez, Jr. (0-1) Ian Wilkes (Debut)
Notes: He hit the wire at Tampa on February 11 a perfect four for four and the likely Derby favorite. A strained ankle and third place Blue Grass finish later and heís almost like the forgotten horse. His name hasnít come off as many lips as youíd expect of late, especially with his rider opting to stay aboard. Heís won all three of his starts over the surface, a huge plus, but they were all last season. He missed some time and a prep, a big no-no but you look at his pedigree and itís hard to completely dismiss him. I donít think he can win but I do think he can get himself into the exotics.

16 - Tapwrit (20-1) Jose Ortiz (0-2) Todd Pletcher (1-45)
Notes: He ran two dynamite races at Tampa to start the season then flopped in a big way in the Blue Grass. He didnít break well that day, something that must be rectified if heís to have any chance in here and was up against the dynamic of race and surface biases. Thunder Gulch threw in a clunker in the Blue Grass then upset the Derby for D. Wayne Lukas, Pletcherís mentor, back in 1995. Maybe Todd can take a page out of the coachís book. Heís by Tapit but the bottom half of his pedigree doesnít lend itself to the distance, so youíre in a bit of a conundrum there as well. I canít blame you for tossing him but I have a feeling heís going to rebound enough that he can grab a minor award. I will use him underneath in my exotic plays.

17 - Irish War Cry (6-1) Rajiv Maragh (0-4) Graham Motion (1-4)
Notes: No one, including Motion, knows exactly what happened when he got beat a pole in the Fountain of Youth and if they do they arenít saying. Iíll speculate that he caught a track not kind to speed, found himself on the chase for the first time and had a bad day overall. I do know that he came back to sit an almost identical trip to run his best race to date. The rest of his form, save the FOY, is flawless. He has tactical speed, heís not losing ground in the lane and his figures come back fast. Heís posted two Beyer figures of 101 this year. Only one other horse in here, J Boys Echo, has even seen a triple digit fig. Heís by Curlin, so the distance shouldnít be a problem and heís bred to adore a wet surface should the track come up off. Should be (0-15)sitting a few lengths off the early pace and have first crack at them. I think three horses have a chance to win this and he has the best one. The pick to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby!!!

18 - Gormley (15-1) Victor Espinoza (3-8) John Shirreffs (1-3)
Notes: The stranglehold California runners have had on this race, winning the last three runnings and four of the last five, seems to have been released this year. All of the preps out there were S-L-O-W, save Masteryís San Felipe win. This guy won the Sham and then the Santa Anita Derby last out and did so after getting himself involved in a couple of stretch duels. If the West Coast were to keep the Derby I think this guy is the most likely to help it do so. But it is really hard to endorse him as a serious win contender when you look at his final time and speed figures. Shirreffs taught him to race from off the pace last out but I donít think itíll help him get anything more than a minor award. Iíll use him underneath.

19 - Practical Joke (20-1) Joel Rosario (1-7) Chad Brown (0-3)
Notes: Every single season there is a horse that gives me fits. Ladies and gentleman, version 2017. I know he is one of the more talented horses in this crop. To me, thatís certain. But itís hard to ignore that heís undefeated around one turn and winless around two. He couldnít get by a maiden on the wrong lead in the Blue Grass. Let me repeat: A MAIDEN ON THE WRONG LEAD. Itís like they come off of the second turn and he goes one-paced. He grinds and grinds but never moves up. Granted, he hasnít had the most pleasant of trips in his route races but at some point you have to stop making excuses. Iíve reached that point. Iím using him in my exotics simply because his talent may be enough to get him a slice.

20 - Patch (30-1) Tyler Gaffalione (Debut) Todd Pletcher (1-45)
Notes: Apollo Curse time, as this guy didnít race until mid-January. He has only one eye, which has made for a curious story on the Trail this season. Maiden win came against a decent field and his second in the Louisiana Derby was ok. Only two horses have won the Derby with four starts or less in the last 99 years. I donít think heís fast enough to win but he may be worth a look in the exotics. And, when you take his pedigree into account, may be one to keep in mind for five weeks from now in the Belmont Stakes.
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#342592 - 05/05/17 12:34 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Unanimous A.I.

1. Classic Empire
2. McCracken
3. Irish War Cry
4. Always Dreaming
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#342660 - 05/05/17 07:06 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Registered: 12/01/00
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ATS Derby Picks

5 Always Dreaming 5-1
14 Classic Empire 4-1
17 Irish War Cry 6-1
10 Gunnevera 15-1
6 State Of Honor 30-1

Extras

8 Hence 15-1
9 Irap 20-1
12 Sonneteer 50-1
19 Practical Joke 20-1

Bet the top horse to win and place.

Use all others for your exotic bets
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#342663 - 05/05/17 09:29 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Registered: 12/01/00
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Matt Carothers

Irish War Cry
Gunnevera
Classic Empire
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Good Teams Win, Great Teams Cover!

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#342664 - 05/05/17 09:36 PM Re: 2017 Kentucky Derby Information [Re: FREAK]
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Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 151124
Loc: Time to play the Game
Nicolle Neulist

#17 IRISH WAR CRY (6/1)
#10 GUNNEVERA (15/1)
#14 CLASSIC EMPIRE (4/1)

Longshot: #11 BATTLE OF MIDWAY (30/1)
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