04/26/2012 2:19PM

Kentucky Derby: Top-five contenders and other statistics


Analysts' top-five Derby contenders

  Mike Watchmaker Dave Litfin Marcus Hersh Mike Welsch Dan Illman
1. Dullahan Creative Cause Creative Cause Union Rags Bodemeister
2. Creative Cause Union Rags I'll Have Another Daddy Nose Best Gemologist
3. Hansen Daddy Nose Best El Padrino Gemologist Dullahan
4. Union Rags Bodemeister Union Rags Dullahan Union Rags
5. Bodemeister El Padrino Hansen Bodemeister Daddy Long Legs

  Steve Klein Mary Rampellini Byron King Brad Free
1. Bodemeister Union Rags Bodemeister I'll Have Another
2. Gemologist Hansen Gemologist Creative Cause
3. Union Rags Gemologist Creative Cause Union Rags
4. Creative Cause Bodemeister Union Rags Daddy Long Legs
5. Alpha Creative Cause Hansen El Padrino

*All top fives as of Wednesday, April 25

Undefeated starters

Gemologist will try to become the eighth undefeated winner of the Kentucky Derby

Year Horse Pre-Derby record Derby finish
2008 Big Brown 3-0 1st
2007 Curlin 3-0 3rd
2006 Barbaro 5-0 1st
2006 Showing Up 3-0 6th
2004 Smarty Jones 6-0 1st
2000 Trippi 4-0 11th
2000 China Visit 2-0 6th
1998 Indian Charlie 4-0 3rd
1990 Mister Frisky 16-0 8th
1988 Private Terms 7-0 9th
1982 Air Forbes Won 4-0 7th
1978 Sensitive Prince 6-0 6th
1977 Seattle Slew 6-0 1st
1969 Majestic Prince 7-0 1st
1963 No Robbery 5-0 5th
1963 Candy Spots 6-0 3rd
1953 Native Dancer 11-0 2nd
1948 Coaltown 4-0 2nd
1940 Bimelech 8-0 2nd
1922 Morvich 11-0 1st
1916 Thunderer 3-0 5th
1915 Regret 3-0 1st

Derby runners who did not start at 2 (1937-2011)

Bodemeister will try to become the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without having a start as a 2-year-old.

Year Horse Finish   Year Horse Finish
2011 Midnight Interlude 16th   1979 Great Redeemer 10th
2009 Summer Bird 6th   1978 Chief of Dixieland 9th
2009 Dunkirk 11th   1977 Best Person 15th
2007 Curlin 3rd   1977 Affiliate 9th
2006 Showing Up 6th   1976 On the Sly 5th
2005 Greeley's Galaxy 11th   1976 Amano 4th
2004 Song of the Sword 11th   1975 Media 5th
2003 Atswhatimtalknbout 4th   1975 Bold Chapeau 8th
2000 Wheelaway 5th   1974 Confederate Yankee 12tj
2000 Trippi 11th   1974 Agitate 3rd
2000 Curule 7th   1973 Twice a Prince 12th
1999 Valhol 15th   1973 Forego 4th
1999 Desert Hero 13th   1972 Kentuckian 10th
1997 Pulpit 4th   1972 Dr. Neale 15th
1994 Strodes Creek 2nd   1972 Big Spruce 7th
1992 Disposal 18th   1971 Fourulla 19th
1992 Devil His Due 12th   1968 Gleaming Sword 13th
1991 Corporate Report 9th   1959 Our Dad 15th
1991 Alydavid 14th   1958 Gone Fishin' 8th
1990 Pendleton Ridge 13th   1956 No Regrets 7th
1986 Zabaleta 12th   1951 Golden Birch 19th
1986 Wheatly Hall 6th   1951 Fanfare 5th
1985 Irish Fighter 11th   1948 Coaltown 2nd
1984 Majestic Shore DNF   1946 Rippey 10th
1982 Wavering Monarch 12th   1946 Perfect Bahram 9th
1982 Reinvested 3rd   1946 Hampden 3rd
1982 Air Forbes Won 7th   1945 Bert G. 14th
1981 Flying Nashua 8th   1944 Comenow 12th

Derby winners: Beyers

Year Horse Pre-Derby top Beyer Final prep Beyer Derby Beyer
2011 Animal Kingdom 94 94 103
2010 Super Saver 98 98 104
2009 Mine That Bird 81 80 105
2008 Big Brown 106 106 109
2007 Street Sense 108 93 110
2006 Barbaro 103 103 111
2005 Giacomo 98 95 100
2004 Smarty Jones 112 109 107
2003 Funny Cide 110 110 109
2002 War Emblem 112 112 114
2001 Monarchos 105 103 110
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus 111 111 108
1999 Charismatic 108 108 108
1998 Real Quiet 108 107 107
1997 Silver Charm 110 110 115
1996 Grindstone 102 100 112
1995 Thunder Gulch 105 101 108
1994 Go For Gin 107 107 112
1993 Sea Hero 99 91 105
1992 Lil E. Tee 107 107 107


Thor Gonzalez More than 1 year ago
Kentucky Derby possible Order of finish: First = Hansen Second= Creative Cause Third= Alpha Four= I will have another Fifth = Bodemeister
Thor Gonzalez More than 1 year ago
In order to win the Kentucky Derby. A horse at least twice in its life time as a runner must show speed, endurance and the hard to fight all the way down to the wire. If I look at all the pre-races of each horse running prior the Kentucky Derby; what I see is that Hansen was not only the best speed horse, but also a horse that could come from off the pace. Furthermore, He demontrated in each and every race that he can get down to the wire as a fighter in the stretch run. Many horses tryied to beat him but only a couple of them were capable to run him down on the last 10-20 meters of the race. For people that knows about horse racing, is easy to see that if the pace for the first two to three furlongs is slow; Hansen will win this race by at least two to five lenghts. How is that? Because the jockey already knows that this horse can go faster than all of this horses included in the derby at the 1 mile and one eights of a distance. So in reality if we calculate properly, the only thing that the jockey have to do with Hansen is to run him softly for 200 meters before letting lose for the next one mile and one eights of a distance. This will insured that this horse is first or second in the Derby, no matter what happen because the jockey knows that he can run great times for about one mile to one mile and an eight. Many people likes horses that come from behind and win in the final furlong. This years Derby will be one in the front or Hansen or Bodemeister or Creative Cause. However, Hansen have the best chance to win because all of its races have been excellent as well as closed to the record track of the race track. Go Hansen.
Thor Gonzalez More than 1 year ago
Best money maker = Hansen Best front runner is the speed hold on = Hansen Best off the pace horse is so decide to run = Hansen Best two year old = Hansen Best fighter all the way down to the wire = Hansen Best runner in dirt or polytrack, wet or dry surface = Hansen Best bet for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness 2012 = Hansen
henry More than 1 year ago
best derby fever = Hansens owner!
Monty Fisher More than 1 year ago
Beyers is not overated, the lowest speed rating to win the Derby in recent years was a "100" by Giacomo in 2005. Look for a horse with a minimum of a 96 to win it, and he will have to have his best closing kick s.r. higher than ever ! With a 20 horse field and a warm day expected this derby will be very difficult to figure !
Jack More than 1 year ago
Kelly Laxen More than 1 year ago
Bodemiester has 3 100 beyers figs. No other has more than 1...Unionrags doesn't have the turn of foot. He wears them down. He had dead aim at Hansen in the Juvenille and couldn't get by. How does he vs. a better colt? The race is for 2nd and 3rd ladies and gents! Seems like 2nd is always somebody nobody figures when a top prospect wins? Daddy Long Legs fits! Maybe Alpha?
tom More than 1 year ago
The Beyer speed figure IS the MOST OVERRATED statistic when looking for a derby winner. This horse reminds me of Bellamy Road, who as many of you know, posted a 120 Beyer in his 17 length romp in the Wood, only to chase a fast pace in the Derby and ultimately tire and finish 7th. Bodemeister's prep was against a soft field, much like Bellamy Road's prep in 2005. He had 5 weeks to prepare for the Arkansas vs only 3 weeks for the Derby. If there was ever a horse set up to "bounce", it's this guy. While I will admit, he isn't the same horse 2 months ago, he still couldn't get by Creative Cause in the San Felipe....and this year's Derby is filled with 8-10 horses just as talented as Creative Cause! To take 5-1 on a horse with 4 career starts, never having raced off of 3 weeks, and facing stiffer competition than ever is something I refuse to do. AS for Union Rags, his last 3 workouts were his fastest ever. We all know about the trip he received in Florida, but Matz never publicly criticized Leparoux for that ride. I almost feel as if the plan was to keep him fresh for the 1st Saturday in May as opposed to getting him involved early in the Florida Derby, only to have him exhaust himself. He already had plenty of graded earnings to draw into the Derby field. My opinion, is that that race was almost a glorified workout for him. His gallop out after that race was mighty impressive also. But the same case holds true for him also...he will be 5/6-1, offering little value and facing multiple talented horses. This Derby really is a crapshoot.
henry More than 1 year ago
Yeah he never criticized him because he was told to ride that way. He never got the whip out. He had a stranglehold on him all along the backstretch. They had nothing to gain out of a strong winning effort in the FL Derby. They are worried about future potential breeding stud fees by winning the KY derby and possible other triple crown races. Win the FL Derby and bounce in the KY Derby = 10,000 stud fees. Win the KY debry = 100,000 stud fees. Go back and watch the race with all of that in mind and its obvious. Julian hand rode him all the way around and zig zaged all the way around in the race track. If union rags had won the breeders cup then he would have come into the FL Deby undefeated and they would have then tried to win it for the pressue of staying undefeated. But since he had lost a race already they was absolutely zero to gain from winning the Fl Derby except for the purse money which will be nothing compared to what stud fees will be if he wins the derby. It does not mean he is a lock to win the derby by no means. but if you had only one bet to make of 100 across the board on any horse in the race it would have to be him. Alot of the other horses had to win their final prep race so you know some of them are going to bounce. Union Rags may loose but it will not be from bouncing. It will be traffic problems or he may not be a true mile & 1/4 horse.
Anthony More than 1 year ago
Plain and simple......Calvin Borel!!!
Holdouts More than 1 year ago
Been using that logic since 1985 when he rode at Delta Downs. And those horse were not related to A.P. Indy - lol
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
:22'4 Trinniberg, Hansen, Bodemeister, :46'2 Trinniberg, Hansen, Bodemeister, 1:10'3 Hansen, Bodemeister, Gemologist 1:35'4 Hansen, Bodemeister, Gemologist 1:42'4 Bodemeister, Gemologist, Hansen 1:49'1 Gemologist, Union Rags, Daddy Nose Best 2:02'1 Dullahan, Union Rags, Daddy Nose Best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very nice assessment, although I hope and think Trinniberg will hold back just to see how far he can go trying to hold 12 second furlongs mid-race. Not saying he will be there at the end, just think he is capable of running a controlled race and not be caught up in the frenzy. I believe he can be strong past 7 furlongs as time continues. Fully agree that Hansen will be out of the picture just as you surmise. Gemologist also and would expect Alpha to do better than him this time around. Love the Dullahan conclusion and if the suicide Sunland Derby was any indication, I fully expect him to be the only horse hitting sub-12 second final furlongs. Your top three picks are fine conclusions but I think Bodemeister can be in the mix at the end. Now we have some questions relative to post position, actual race pace and what kind of trip unfolds.
Kurt Sholar More than 1 year ago
Yeah I just hope Dullahan don't bounce off the last race. That was a fast time for the Keenland surface.
Darryl Hughes More than 1 year ago
annnnnd....he didn't gallop out !
Edward Kelly More than 1 year ago
I didn't think it was very fast at all for Polytrack. On the Keeneland polytrack, good stakes horses train 5f breezing in 57 and change. Stakes horse also run sub .12 second last 1/8th's all of the time. That doesn't happen very often on dirt tracks. Top stakes horses don't really run sub .12 sec lasts in 9-10f races. In fat, many Grade 1 races are won with the final 1/8th being run ion the high .12 to even 13+seconds. He ran a nice race, set the record for Polytrack in that Race but Stately Victor ran 2 lengths behind it 2 years ago and he wasn't much on dirt. Carriage trail has the track record on poly at the distance in 1:46 3/5ths so his time is way off of that. When you look at the list of the time record holders, it becomes apparent that Keeneland hasn't gotten very much dirt talent to race at the track since the switch to Poly. Because of this lack of quality it is hard to create a baseline to figure a speed score(no comparables) The slim amount of information suggest that Dullahan's race was equal to running 1:49 4/5ths at the Wood or 1:48 2/5ths at SA or Gulfstream. Good but not off the charts. Looks like a typical Polytrack/Turf horse to me.
Kurt Sholar More than 1 year ago
Union rags makes me think back to the 1995 KY derby winner Thunder Gulch. Lukas had him cranked down for the Bluegrass stakes, Wild syn wires the field and Thunder Gulch walks home 4th and everyone basically writes him off. Back then everyone said you could not win from the way outside posts in the auxillary gate so his odds just go up and up before the race. well and everyone know the rest of the story. yeah I did not have him either, I bet Tejano Run. Not that Union is going to be 25 to 1 like Thunder Gulch was but this year sure does remind me of that years Ky Derby.
Kurt Sholar More than 1 year ago
Go back and watch the FL Debry. Leparoux had a strangle hold on Union all the way around the backstretch. He ran inside then he ran outside, down the homestretch back inside and then back outside again. Never once did he ask the horse for any running. Never even got a whip out. Hand rode him all the way around the track. If you re-watch the race with that already in your mind then its very clear that race was just another workout for the KY derby and he was much the best horse in the FL derby. It doesnt mean he is a lock for the KY derby but he is sitting on a huge race come sat.! if the track is fast and not sloppy.
Holdouts More than 1 year ago
Everyone keeps waiting for that big race out of Rags. I bet those people in Florida that bet him down to 40 cents would have liked to have known that the jockey was going to hold him back. I mean what the heck first place only 600K in Florida Derby. That being said I think Rags hits top three but does not win.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An extra furlong makes a big difference and UR will definitely benefit from it. Top 3 for sure, a winner, very probable.
Kurt Sholar More than 1 year ago
You are looking at the smaller picture. If Union Rags wins the derby then the money he will bring in breeding stud fees will make the 600K look like a drop in the bucket. Owners are not going to try to win 600K in the Fl derby and then have him bounce in the KY derby to then loose all the future potential earning from stud fees. Owner and trainers are not worried about bettors winning and losing money on their horses in a particular race because they do not have him fully cranked. And they are never ever going to announce that before a race. Its our job as bettors to read between the lines and think like and owner instead of a gambler.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Hansens connections are smart, they should do the same thing in the derby and aim for the Preakness. I truly believe Hansen is in this for some prestige and a healthy training run.