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2009 KENTUCKY DERB PICKS
OUR OFFICIAL RUN FOR THE ROSES PREDICTIONS
The name of the colt that crosses the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby will be etched in the history books forever. Trainers, jockeys, owners, grooms, and anyone involved in the sport are given the strength to get up in the morning hoping that one day they can win this race. It is constantly on their mind. The time has finally come. The field for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby is set. The defection of Quality Road, previously my top pick, means I will have to look elsewhere. Let�s find the winner.
Winner: Friesan Fire
Trainer Larry Jones and Gabrial Saez lost of a piece of their heart when Eight Belles broke down after finishing second in last year�s Kentucky Derby. Jones will be retiring at the end of 2009. Nobody has more at stake than these two. They will bring Friesan Fire to the track as the 5-1 fourth choice on the morning line.
This colt didn�t have the best two-year-old campaign in the world, but he has not missed a beat as a three-year-old. I am very impressed by how much he has matured. He has been great the entire year, and has literally improved in each and every start. His last start in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby was easily his best, as he earned a BSF of 104 en route to a 7 � length.
Friesan Fire will have no problem going 10 panels. He powered home last out going 8, and he is a son of A.P. Indy. His sire has produced classic winners like Preakness winner Bernardini and Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches. I love his :57 4/5 B five furlong move entering the race. Jones worked Hard Spun in a similar time prior to his second place finish.
He should get a great trip breaking from the six post. I love that most the other �choices� are hung on the outside. This gives him a slight advantage in my eyes. The only thing I don�t like about Friesan Fire is that he hasn�t raced in seven weeks. The same strategy almost won the race for Hard Spun, so I�ll trust that Larry Jones knows what he is doing. Friesan Fire will be draped in roses on the first Saturday in May. He will be the winner of the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Second Place: Dunkirk
I had a tough time deciding between this colt and Friesan Fire. I thought about it for hours and ultimately decided Friesan Fire had more going for him. I would not be surprised in the slightest if this son of Unbridled�s Song was the victor. He ran a very game second to Quality Road last out in the Florida Derby and has every right to improve. His BSF of 108 for that run is the second highest of any colt in the race.
Edgar Prado has plenty of experience and he won the Kentucky Derby in 2006 on Barbaro. He rode Dunkirk to a maiden breaking victory but did not ride him in his other two races. Todd Pletcher is 0 for 21 in the Kentucky Derby, and I�m sure he wants nothing more than to get that monkey off his back. Dunkirk stands a great chance to take the Kentucky Derby.
Others: I Want Revenge, General Quarters, Regal Ransom, Hold Me Back, Chocolate Candy
I would consider using these horses in the exotics with Friesan Fire and Dunkirk. I Want Revenge ran one of the best damn races of the year when he won the Wood Memorial after missing the break. I believe he is a threat to win, but I also think he has a chance of bouncing. General Quarters reaffirmed his ability when he won the Bluegrass Stakes, and also looked good when winning the Sam F. Davis Stakes. He could get in there at a juicy price.
Regal Ransom could be on the improve and he won the UAE Derby in his last start. I love his odds at 30-1. Hold Me Back is one of the best closers in the race. His jockey has won this race three times and will move him up. Chocolate Candy has been running behind some of the best horses in the country all year, and he ran better than anyone in the Santa Anita Derby where he finished second. Mike Smith will give him a chilly ride.
Betting the Kentucky Derby on $100
$6 WIN on Friesan Fire
$10 OAKS/DERBY DOUBLE: Rachel Alexanda/Friesan Fire, Dunkirk ($20 total)
$2 EXACTA: Friesan Fire, Dunkirk/ Friesan Fire, Dunkirk, I Want Revenge, General Quarters, Regal Ransom, Chocolate Candy ($20 total)
$1 TRIFECTA: Friesan Fire, Dunkirk/ Friesan Fire, Dunkirk, I Want Revenge, General Quarters/ Friesan Fire, Dunkirk, I Want Revenge, General Quarters, Regal Ransom, Hold Me Back, Chocolate Candy ($30 total)
$1 SUPERFECTA: Friesan Fire/Dunkirk, I Want Revenge/ Dunkirk, I Want Revenge, General Quarters, Chocolate Candy/ Dunkirk, I Want Revenge, General Quarters, Regal Ransom, Hold Me Back, Chocolate Candy ($24 total)
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