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Kentucky Derby 2012: Who's Hot, Who's Not for April 4
By Jay Privman
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.
ON THE BUBBLE
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]
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.
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.
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 .
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
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.
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...
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