KENTUCKY DERBY CLOSERS
For 2010 Closers
I remember the 2007 running of the Kentucky Derby quit vividly. I
loved a 10-1 shot named Hard Spun, and he nearly wired the field. I
thought I was home free until I saw the favorite, Street Sense, slip
through on the rail. As soon as he drew even I knew it was all over
for my horse. Street Sense won the 2007 Kentucky Derby closing from
dead last. Closers are horses who do their best running towards the
end of the race, and they tend to do well on the First Saturday in
May. Let�s take a look at some of the best closers in the race.
Hold Me Back- Bill Mott has yet to win the Kentucky
Derby, but will have a hell of a shot with this son of Giant�s
Causeway. He takes a while to get motivated as he proved when he won
the Grade II Lanes End as he closed from next to last. That race was
his first in over four months. He followed that up with a runner up
finish in the Grade I Bluegrass as the favorite. He was the victim
of a slow pace, but still put in a very good race. Three time
Kentucky Derby winning jockey Kent Desormeaux has the highest praise
for his mount. He has a big shot and should be over 20-1.
Pioneerof The Nile- The connections think this colt is
the real thing, but I�m not sold yet. Jockey Garrett Gomez took him
over Dunkirk, so that is a plus. Trainer Bob Baffert is among the
best of all time and will have him ready to run his best race. He
hasn�t raced over traditional dirt, but has been working at
Churchill. One writer who watched the work dubbed him a �demon on
dirt� and all questions on that front should be squashed. His sire,
Empire Maker, won the Belmont Stakes so distance won�t be a problem.
He is an excellent colt, but I�m wary of his chances at such a low
price of around 6-1 or 7-1.
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Summer Bird- The son of Birdstone exploded from last
in the Arkansas Derby to grab third place honors in just his third
career start. He earned a hefty 99 BSF for that run and he has every
right to improve. He was gaining on the leader towards the finish,
and will benefit from that race more than anyone else. Inexperience
is an issue, but he showed a TON in that Arkansas Derby run. He will
be over 50-1 and could be any kind.
Dunkirk- The connections are getting their money�s
worth with this $3.7 million auction purchase. He won his first two
races in impressive fashion. His allowance win was great because he
was very wide around the first turn, and was going 2 furlongs
further than he did in his debut. The Florida Derby didn�t work out
for him as he ran into Quality Road, who is a freak of nature. The
track was lightning fast, so that didn�t help his chances either. He
will be getting original jockey Edgar Prado back, and Todd Pletcher
is craving a Kentucky Derby win. Look for him at odds of around 8-1.
West Side Bernie- Many had written off Kelly Breen�s
colt after he bounced in the Grade II Lanes End Stakes, but the
trainer knew better. He saddled him to a game second place finish in
the Wood Memorial and the colt earned a 101 BSF. The talent has
always been there for the son of Bernstein, but he has had a rough
time as a three-year-old. He has been consistently plagued by bad
post positions. He may be finally putting it all together and will
be a juicy price at 45-1 or more.