02/29/2012 1:31PM

Kentucky Derby 2012: Who's hot, who's not for Feb. 29


Mark Valeski’s close second-place finish in the Risen Star vaulted him onto the Derby Watch top 20 this week. He is 20-1 on the Kentucky Derby future line of Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper. Returning to the list, after being dropped as the odd horse out last week, is Midnight Transfer, who is 40-1 on Watchmaker’s line. Union Rags solidified his position as the Derby favorite with his impressive victory in the Fountain of Youth. He is down to 3-1 on Watchmaker’s line after being 4-1 a week ago. El Padrino, the Risen Star winner, is now 8-1 after being 12-1 last week.

Tough to say that a guy who won the Risen Star had a rough week, but trainer Todd Pletcher saw his number of contenders on the Derby Watch top 20 halved from four to two. Both Algorithms (injured) and Discreet Dancer (disappointing performance) were dropped from the list this week. And how about jockey Javier Castellano? He takes the Risen Star with El Padrino, and the next day can only watch as Union Rags wins the Fountain of Youth, having surrendered that mount in favor of Algorithms. Tough game.

American Act, Bodemeister, Daddy Nose Best, News Pending, On Fire Baby, and Scatman are others who received consideration this week and are primed to move onto the list should anyone in the top 20 falter. My Adonis could leap onto the list should he win the Gotham on Saturday. He certainly drew well, landing the rail in a field of 13.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 contenders | Dominguez still looking for first Triple Crown win]