04/04/2012 3:11PM

Kentucky Derby 2012: Who's Hot, Who's Not for April 4


Daddy Long Legs and Wrote, the first- and third-place finishers in the United Arab Emirates Derby, are the newcomers to this week’s Derby Watch top 20. Neither was certain to come to the Kentucky Derby until their performances in the UAE Derby. But their strong efforts there, and – most importantly – their lofty positions on the graded stakes earnings list, puts them in the Derby field. Daddy Long Legs is 25-1 on the Kentucky Derby future line of Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper. Watchmaker has Wrote at 30-1. Take Charge Indy, 40-1 last week, is down to 15-1 on Watchmaker’s line following his victory in the Florida Derby.

This was the toughest call made in the 14 years Watchmaker and I have been doing Derby Watch. Room needed to be made for Daddy Long Legs and Wrote, so two horses needed to be bumped. But who? As with Watergate, the decision was made to follow the money, and have the top 20 adhere to the graded stakes earnings list. Because of that, Bodemeister was demoted, as was Howe Great. Both will have a chance to get back on the list when they race in, respectively, the Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes on April 14. But, for now, their earnings have them on the outside. All options were discussed. None was satisfactory. This seemed the fairest way to do it.

Obviously, Bodemeister and Howe Great are at the forefront of this category. Reveron, second in the Florida Derby, and Rousing Sermon, third in the Louisiana Derby, are right there, too. With lucrative prizes this Saturday in the Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby, and Illinois Derby, there could be plenty of adjustment to the graded stakes earnings list, and, in turn, the top 20, next week.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 contenders | Baffert back to work with three for Santa Anita Derby]

Pom De Terre More than 1 year ago
As Mr. Irwin has made it quite clear that Howe Great is NOT pointed to the Derby, why is he included in the list to begin with? Bumping him is something of a no-brainer as he simply won't be there to begin with. Went The Day Well is Team Valor's Derby horse.
John Roselli More than 1 year ago
Since the Derby now has an AE list, Derby Watch should too. The Bodemeisters and Rousing Sermons shouldn't be off the Watch list, they should be on an alternates list.
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
Mike Watchmaker : I like your input and honesty , no favoritism ! One thing is for sure - each Colt will be given their chance to shine to make the Derby field . I have to give full credit to the people in-volved with TAKE CHARGE INDY . What a gutsy move to make , and to take complete control from the get go . My hats off to them . Very well done . Even though I truly thought Union Rags would be cranked up to be about 85% - 90% for the Florida Derby , I still liked the way Union Rags finished amoung the rest after crossing the finish line , a super gallup-out . 95 Beyers I know dont Win Kentucky Derbys , not most of them anyways - its just so hard to tell just how much run Union Rags really has . May 5th , IF BY CHANCE Union Rags work-outs are in the top tier come Derby week , Would Be My Pick .
edb More than 1 year ago
Agree about Secret Circle being tough to beat. Rags looks beatable now and I love the closing ability of Creative Cause. No $50 horse in the derby this year but the tri may go high. Let's get the favorite in the gate for a change. Good racing luck to all
Blase Proto More than 1 year ago
Disagree with assesment on Union Rags, watched replay of Fl. Derby many times and still come up with the same conclusion, Union Rags couldn't accelerate when given an opening when Reveron drifetd out in stretch. he had two lanes between Reveron & Union Rags inwhich to run through he did not have to get out wide. Maybe he doen't like to be inside horses which would make his trip a difficult one in a 20 horse field. Take Charge Indy will not even try for the lead in The derby since that is not his preferred style, he has speed but is tractabe. Correct about almost anything coming out of Louisiana form isn't holding.
Dan Cronin More than 1 year ago
Disagree Bodemeister only horse with 2 straight 102 beyers and will earn a 3rd if he is to get in. If he gets in with those numbers LOOK OUT...
Rick Marciniak More than 1 year ago
Bode earned those numbers in Cali. If Bode can do what Secret Circle was able to do outside of Cali then Bode will be fine, but if not then Bode won't have the earnings and probably will be pointed to Preakness.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
You bring up an important point about Secret Circle. While he doesn't appear to be a 10 furlong horse, and his Rebel was slower than his Southwest, people must keep in mind that he's been winning races on the road. Just like with any other sport, road wins in racing are an excellent reflection of a horse's professionalism and class. And what a pro Secret Circle is. He won his first race brilliantly over Del Mar's Polytrack, then ran equally brilliant on the Santa Anita dirt. Off those efforts, he ships out to Churchill where he turns in an insane first quarter winning the Juvy Sprint. To start 2012, he dropped a tough decision in his two turn debut to a really talented horse, Out of Bounds, and then rebounded by going back on the road for two consecutive graded stakes scores at Oaklawn. Synth or dirt, 5.5 to 8.5 furlongs(and maybe further), all this horse does is fire bullets.
stevejPS More than 1 year ago
The Apollo curse! 129 years since ....that's a very powerful statistic against Bodemeister. I wouldnt take those odds!