02/08/2012 4:34PM

Kentucky Derby 2012: Who's hot, who's not for Feb. 8


Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the Kentucky Derby two years ago with Super Saver, has four of the 20 horses on the inaugural Derby Watch list for 2012. Jockey Javier Castellano is listed on four of the runners, including the two adjudged by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper, as the top two choices right now. Watchmaker has Union Rags, at 9-2, the slight favorite over Algorithms, at 5-1. Other than Pletcher, the only other trainer with more than one runner in the top 20 is Mike Harrington, who has both Creative Cause, Watchmaker’s fourth choice at 12-1, and Empire Way.

Considering the high bar they have set over the years when it comes to their pursuit of the Derby, it is conspicuous that neither D. Wayne Lukas nor Nick Zito has anyone on the list, and Bob Baffert has just one runner, Liaison, after seeing the likes of Drill and Secret Circle find themselves distance challenged.

Baffert has plenty of other prospects, most notably Fed Biz, who was scheduled to run in an allowance race at Santa Anita on Thursday. Others who just missed the cut this week include Cyber Secret, Longview Drive, Mr. Bowling, Prospective, Shared Property, and Z Dager.

[MORE: Castellano facing tough decisions | Derby Watch Top 20 list, video updates]