03/20/2013 5:35PM

Kentucky Derby: Who's hot, who's not for March 20

Coady Photography
Will Take Charge


What's old is new again. Will Take Charge, who was dropped from the list after finishing sixth in the Southwest, is back on after rebounding with a narrow victory over Derby Watch member Oxbow in last Saturday's Rebel at Oaklawn. Will Take Charge is 30-1 on the Kentucky Derby future line set by Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form's national handicapper. Making the list, for the first time, is War Academy, who was an impressive allowance winner at Santa Anita last week. He has zero points toward the Derby, so his next start is pivotal. Oxbow, second in the Rebel, is down to 20-1 on Watchmaker's line after being 30-1 a week ago. Similarly, Den's Legacy, third in the Rebel, is now 40-1 from last week's 50-1.


Delhomme, who was dreadful in the Rebel, and Shakin It Up were removed from the top 20. Shakin It Up did nothing wrong, but the Derby Watch committee judged War Academy to be the better Derby prospect at this point, so Shakin It Up was muscled out. Shakin It Up, however, is one of nine entered in the Sunland Derby on Sunday, so a victory there, worth 50 points to the winner, would put him right back on the list at someone else's expense.


Uncaptured is the only Derby Watch member among 12 entered in the Spiral at Turfway on Saturday, so if anyone else wins that race, which also is worth 50 points to the winner, he's on the list. Capo Bastone, once a Derby Watch member, is among Uncaptured's rivals.

[DERBY WATCH: Top 20 list and videos | Sunland Derby a class reunion of sorts]

John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
I agree with prose. The Derby is a difficult race to handicap. Personally, i always look for pedigree, and how they can handle the distance. They will probably never be asked to run the Derby distance again, and you need to have the line of pedigree that screams distance. I did have Mine That Bird, and collected a nice payoff. Usually, the horse that is often overlooked,makes a fool out of most handicappers. Good luck to all.
Tee Jay More than 1 year ago
Seeing how the Kentucky Derby will be ruined by "point pigs" getting in the race, the Preakness will have horses waiting for it this year. When these point pigs show they aren't classic horses, then the door kicks open for the Preakness. The Derby winner may enter the Preakness as an outsider. If this happens, expect the point hog system to go bye -bye. The Belmont? Come one come all and bring your best horse - there's a lot of running for all of you.
Hugh Cooke More than 1 year ago
Tiz A Minister is going to impove and make it to The DERBY. I am predicting this years winner 2013, without a shadow of a doubt. Have you ever seen a runaway-train. yours truly Hugh C. of Homestead, FL.
prose More than 1 year ago
You guys, when have any of these experts ever been right about a derby horse? Of course, they can pick Big Brown and Fu Peg. Did any of them ever consider Giacamo or Mine That Bird or even Super Saver? What about Real Quiet? Every DRF expert had Baffert's other horse, Indian Charlie, winning the race. Even a great handicapper like Andy Beyer admits he has an abysmal derby record. Oh, shall I go on? Did any of them have Animal Kingdom to win? These guys are pathetic, Watchmaker in particular, and to comment on their selections makes you pathetic. Silence is golden. Let the fools prattle.
Tom Shea More than 1 year ago
So who is better ? consider what they have to work with , young still learning 3 yrs olds , any of these animals can improve by 6 to 8 lengths by doing nothing else but getting a month older at this stage , also many are as good as they will ever be. So picking a winner going further than any have before when they are still learning the game is a crap shoot but as I said in the beginning who has done a better job ?
Michael Cusortelli More than 1 year ago
The Ky. Derby is a joke. It's amateur day. No serious handicapper takes that race seriously.
Todd Hess More than 1 year ago
Best betting race of the year. Sure there have been some head scratchers (Mine That Bird, Giacamo), but show me another race where you'll get 20-1 or 30-1 on standouts such as Animal Kingdom and Charismatic (and yes - they were standouts before the race was run). It's a race that if played correctly can put you in the black for years to come.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Speaking of Amateurs, here"s Michael C.....and yes , we where all there before..
Josh More than 1 year ago
Please don't have the words great and andy beyer together.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Recent memory takes me directly to Ill Have Another. Any one bet on him? Was he on a watch list ? Just asking ...
ghost2_ More than 1 year ago
At least they're giving it a try. That's one of the points of a racing site: to post speculation and picks. If they didn't do this, I'm sure you would be among the loudest complainers. BTW, for someone who says that "silence is golden" and that commenting on these posts makes one "pathetic".... look in the mirror.
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Nobody is worse than the pathetic duo of Bob Numeier and Mike Battaglia, nobody...
John Nicoletti More than 1 year ago
You nailed it beautifully,prose. As a former owner, the worst handicappers were trainers and so called experts. Beyer, and the newspaper guys were god awful . Hell, none of them were any better than me and my partner, who probably could have mad a living from handicapping thoroughbreds. If you are not a form person, then do what my wife and dear departed mother in law would do. Play, colors, bnirthdays, and anniversaries.
Keith More than 1 year ago
Two trainers make up nearly half of your Top 20, Pletcher with 5, and Baffert with 4. That is simply ridiculous! We are pretty much down the road with the qualifying points being accrued, and it's high time you began to recognize those that have been running, and earning their keep, Jay and MIke. Until colts like Palice Malice or War Academy actually do something to warrent the attention given to them, or colts like Overanalyze or Den's Legacy show the ability to put their nose over the wire first as a 4 yr old, they should only be in the honorable mention catagory at best. You held so long with all three of the too finishers of the Remsen Stakes, giving those three 2 yr olds some magical elevation in talent when 3 yr old were winning and placing in important prep races, and still have two on you Top 20...what's up with that? Keith L.
Karl Deppen More than 1 year ago
Other than Verrazano, Oxbow is the most consistent pony in the group. If and I think he will improve--look out !
John More than 1 year ago
I like Hear the Ghost, but Gomez is going to make all the difference in the world on Flashback, he is a great judge of pace and can finish like a rocket with the right horse, which I think he has ! I think Flashback will roll in the SA Derby, Hear the Ghost is still a little green switching leads !
Sam More than 1 year ago
It looks like picking who goes hot, cold, or warm for you guys is like bobbing for apples in a barrel of water.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Go figure, lol
Edward More than 1 year ago
Flashback in the 5th spot calls the credibility of the list into question. Looks like a classic 7 f-8.5f horse.
Gene More than 1 year ago
and you know that after three races, one in which he was ridden poorly???
Dave More than 1 year ago
Flashback contested a blistering pace in the San Felipe, that doesn't mean he's limited necessarily. Watch the Bob Lewis Stakes, where the pace was moderate. He looked he could have kept going for another mile.