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2011 Kentucky Derby Longshots
In the last few years we have seen big long shots have success in the Kentucky Derby. Giacomo (2005) and Mine That Bird (2009) both paid over $100 to win for a $2 bet. Bombs have ruled the Kentucky Derby prep races this year like the Bluegrass Stakes, Wood Memorial and Arkansas Derby so there is plenty of reason to think we could be in for another big upset. Let's look at the candidates to pull off a shocker in the 2011 Kentucky Derby.
Archarcharch (Arch x Woodman's Dancer by Woodman) - This colt shouldn't be a long shot on Derby day, but he will be. The William Fires trained and Jon Court ridden closer won the Southwest Stakes and Arkansas Derby this year and paid very well in both races. This was strange to me because he made a lot of sense in both of those races. Outside of the Smarty Jones Stakes where he was running against the bias he has never had a bad race. Archarcharch has done extremely well at Oaklawn which is a very similar track to Churchill Downs. The pace will be hot in the Kentucky Derby and he should be rallying from far back. He will be peaking in the Run for the Roses. If you want to play a long shot this colt is your best option.
Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux x Dalicia by Acetenango) - I knew this guy was going to be something when he broke his maiden going nine furlongs second time out at Keeneland. Since then he has finished a very close second at Gulfstream in allowance company over the grass and won the Spiral Stakes. In the latter he rallied from last for a 2 ¾ length victory. The Kentucky Derby will be his third race off the shelf so it should be a peak effort. The talent is there, but the big question is whether or not he can handle dirt. Both of his wins came on Poly Track. If the track is wet that will be an advantage for him.
Santiva (Giant's Causeway x Slide by Smarten) - He entered the Bluegrass Stakes as the favorite, but failed to fire behind a slow pace. Not to worry. Trainer Eddie Kenneally wasn't going to have him peaking three weeks before the biggest race of his life. His pedigree is absolutely great and he will love the distance. He already owns a win over the track as he tooks last year's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. I love the way he moved in for the win between horses in that race. That is a sign of a fearless horse. He might pick up all the pieces.
Soldat (War Front x Le Relais by Coronado's Quest) - After winning the Fountain of Youth over Gourmet Dinner and To Honor And Serve he was the favorite for the Florida Derby. He was taken off the pace in that race and failed to fire while finishing fifth. Some have given up on him saying he is a one dimensional horse that has to have the lead. That is a very dangerous assumption to make. He closed from fifth to be second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf last year. His pedigree is a bit questionable for 10 furlongs, but if he can get the extra furlong or two he will light up the tote board and make trifectas pay very well.
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