04/25/2011 11:59AM

Derby Prep Graded Handicap

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Now that the preliminaries are over, I thought it would be fun to do a graded handicap of all of the final major preps for the Kentucky Derby from the angle of potential impact on the big race. Please keep in mind that as a graded handicap, these preps are ranked in my order of preference, not in odds order. Here goes:

ARKANSAS DERBY – 4/16 – OP – (Winning Beyer) 98        7-2

Produced two first-rate Derby win candidates in Archarcharch and Nehro

WOOD MEMORIAL – 4/9 – Aqu – 94                                        4-1

Result exposed Uncle Mo, advanced Toby’s Corner, opened up Derby picture

SANTA ANITA DERBY – 4/9 – SA – 97                                       10-1

Winner would be first in 129 years to win without racing at 2; good fig, though

FLORIDA DERBY – 4/3 – GP – 93                                                 5-2

Yielded Derby favorite Dialed In, but opposition didn’t show, time was slow

LOUISIANA DERBY – 3/26 – FG – 94                                          8-1

Nehro validated the form of this at OP, but six weeks out is too big a gap for me

SPIRAL – 3/26 – TP – 93                                                                 20-1

Winner of this synthetic prep has considerable upside, has never raced on dirt

UAE DERBY – 3/26 – Mey – n/a                                                  15-1

Might be the year for a Euro, but this has never been a viable route to the Derby

BLUE GRASS – 4/16 – Kee – 93                                                   30-1

Synthetic prep resembled a turf race; dirt form of first two finishers is pretty bad

SUNLAND DERBY – 3/27 – Sun – 89                                          50-1

Slow time even by ‘11 prep standards; runner up subsequently beaten in Jerome

ILLINOIS DERBY – 4/9 – Haw – 93                                               100-1

Only one coming out of this race is Watch Me Go, and he was beaten 17 lengths

ryan reading More than 1 year ago
so mike whos your pick. please respond after the post positions drop wednesday night as of now i have the field narrowed down to two winners, six for second and six for third. Very surprising year watch out. Is it the year of upsets and trendsetting? Do we throw the history books out the window once again? because if you do your homework there are only 2,,, yes 2 that fit the winning bill and the second just made the fit. So as you arch your back in your studio chair remember my thoughts and see where it heads.
meathead01 More than 1 year ago
ryan reading "yes 2 that fit the winning bill and the second just made the fit" which 2 are you referring to could it be UM and MMM? just asking MH01 "
ShugM More than 1 year ago
Please STOP talking about that AlwX1 eligible - NEHRO...I'd like to get 15-1 on him!!!
wilson More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure Dialed In will be the favorite. If hype and press were the gauge I'd think Nehro would be the favorite or maybe Uncle Mo if people are in a forgiving mood. ArchArchArch has better recency and I could even see him take a lot of money. Those three have gotten a lot more hype and press than Dialed In, to say the least. Even if Dialed In is favored I expect something close to 7-1 and that's nothing to sneeze at.
The DA More than 1 year ago
Mike, You keep saying that Dialed In is too slow.. he ran a 1:50 in the Florida Derby. Archarcharch ran a 1:49.3 in Arkansas and Toby's Corner ran a 1:49.9 in the Wood. Does that make them all slow? Or just Dialed In? (MW - A crucial consideration is the relative speed of the racing surfaces each ran over. Of the three examples you put forward, the track Dialed In raced over was the fastest by a significant margin.)
oscar More than 1 year ago
how do you figure out what track is faster for that day thanks just learning i know they take a track speed from the last three years and give it a # the higher the # the slower the track and then the horse gets a rating from that is there more to go with thanks
Speller More than 1 year ago
Brilliant Speed is an improving animal. Throw out those dirt races because he had excuses. Don't leave him out of your Derby exotics. Okay.
edb More than 1 year ago
Let's remember that the derby is not won by the best horse all the time. Lucky hitting the fence, Mine That Bird with a dream opening. If derby winner has 95 Beyer, at least 8 horses can win. If it's a 99 Beyer, list gets real small real fast. I feel Dialed is the 3 rd place horse with Nehro right next to him. Now if it rains, Soldat could steal race on front end and I still think Mo is the horse to beat. My horse with a heart is Mucho and hopefully he is in the mix. So help me if Shackleford has the lead in the stretch, I might take up golf instead because it is time to stop excusing bad racing. Maybe we should have a contest to pick the last three in the derby, there are some real waste of time horses this year.
Kingsago More than 1 year ago
Lotta rain fallen at Churchill, Mike. We may still dry out but in the event of a wet surface, give us your on who's bred for the slop. Thank you.
ptrworth More than 1 year ago
The best 2 horse in the race are Dailed In , and Uncle Mo....you can add a few shots that have a fighting chance Arch.., Midnight,Nehro,Mucho,Toby, and maybe the Factor...but if you really look at the race Mo and Dailed In are the most con. ...remember you would like to win them all but the derby is run and means the most with that being said i can bet that Pletcher and Zito will have these 2 at there best and i see it like Alysheba-Bet Twice.. ,Sunday Sil.-Easy Goer..., Afirm.-Alydar...with the rest hoping they can pick up a check or lets say get lucky...Do not bet the house if you don"t want to lose it .....Dailed In and Uncle Mo are for real....
kenneth m herlich More than 1 year ago
TIME ONLY COUNTS IN JAIL,DIALED IN problem will be the traffic!!!the quarter pole will hit UNCLE MO in the head,look out for two coming out of the ARK DERBY
Don from PA/DE More than 1 year ago
Interesting, more analysis to think about, but what do you mean "exposed Uncle Mo", yeah that he was sick, lost skin and still ran very well.....with his work this morning at CD, very encouraging and if he continues to move forward with works, this exposure will be so welcome....Don