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KENTUCKY DERBY FRONTRUNNERS

2009

 

They say that many of the great horses in the history of thoroughbred racing have several things in common. One of those things is speed. There is nothing like a horse that will go to the front and just pour it on once they hit the stretch. It takes a special kind of horse to go wire to wire in the Kentucky Derby. Winning Colors, the last filly to win the Kentucky Derby did so in 1988. The feisty War Emblem wired the field in 2002. It isn�t common, but the right horse can run them off their feet on the First Saturday in May. Let�s take a look at some of the speedsters.



Quality Road- This son of Elusive Quality is likely to be one of the top choices for the Kentucky Derby, and it isn�t without good reason! His last race when he took the Florida Derby was an absolute beauty. Not only did he repel the bid of favored Dunkirk, but he showed us that distance will be no problem. His BSF of 111 for that effort is among the best of the year, but his BSF of 113 in the Fountain of Youth was even better. He topped a deep field in the Fountain of Youth, which was the first time he raced with Lasix. He is likely getting better, and we may have just seen the tip of the iceberg. I expect to see him between 4-1 and 5-1.



Papa Clem- The Arkansas Derby winner launched a bid from fifth last time out, but has set the pace twice in his career. He is a son of Smart Strike, who also produced two time Horse of the Year, Curlin. He battled to the wire with the highly touted Old Fashioned last out and bested him by one half of a length. Papa Clem earned a career best BSF of 101 for that effort. He is the prototypical horse that is getting better as time goes on, and that�s the type you want in the Kentucky Derby. A close friend of mine has watched him work in the AM, and says he is a very effortless mover. Jockey Rafael Bejarano is among the best in the nation, and will give this guy a hell of a ride. I expect him to go off at anywhere from 15-1 to 20-1.



Regal Ransom- This colt is certainly regally bred. He comes from Distorted Humor, who sired 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide. His dam sire is Regal Ransom who was the leading sire in the United Kingdom for many years. In his career debut he went wire to wire at Saratoga, and earned a BSF of 93. He returned to finish 8th in the Grade I Norfolk Stakes, and was soon after purchased by Godolphin. He has raced three times in Dubai, culminating to a victory in the Group 2 UAE Derby. He beat highly regarded stable mate Desert Party in that race. He certainly has the skills to pay the bills, and he is bred to go the distance. He is likely to go off at somewhere around 25-1.



Join In The Dance- NBA baller Rashard Lewis is a partial owner of this son of Sky Mesa. His best race came two back when he nearly led the field gate to wire in the Grade III Tampa Bay Derby. The winner of that race, Musket Man, returned to capture the Grade II Illinois Derby. Join In The Dance followed that race up with a fifth place finish in the Bluegrass Stakes after setting the fractions. He has showed talent in the past, but he would have to step up big time to win the Kentucky Derby. He will go off at odds upwards of 50-1, but could perhaps round out the Superfecta with a great run.

 

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