Kentucky Derby Longshots
Entrants that could payoff big!
Even those who don�t follow horse racing are familiar with long shot Mine That Bird. He entered last year�s Kentucky Derby at odds of 50-1 and registered a powerful victory. This was after getting repeatedly bounced by inferior competition in New Mexico. It sounds completely absurd, but it actually happened. Many still wonder how and why it happened even a year later. His win is among the biggest upsets in the storied history of thoroughbred racing.
The biggest upset in Derby history came almost 100 years ago when Donerail crossed the wire 1st at odds of 92-1 and paid $184.90 to win, and while recently we haven�t had a longshot as big as Donerail we have seen some of the biggest upsets in Derby history. In 2005 Giacomo also closed from the back of the pack to win in a photo finish at odds of 50-1. The question is are there any Mine That Bird�s or Giacomo�s in this 2010 Kentucky Derby ready to play spoiler and shock the world?
The phrase �anything can happen� rings truer in the Kentucky Derby than anywhere else. Let�s take a look at some live long shots for your exacta, trifecta, and superfecta tickets.
Paddy O� Prado – The son of Irish champion El Prado is exhibiting something we love to see this time of year. The gray colt is getting good at the right time. He hasn�t found his best stride just yet, and could do so during the Triple Crown. He ran a huge race to break his maiden in Grade 3 company two back, and then finished a well beaten second to Stately Victor in the Bluegrass Stakes. He is in good hands with Kent Desormeaux and Dale Romans. He continues to improve with every race and we have a sneaking suspicion he could find his way into the trifecta if things go his way. On the other hand, he lacks experience and we don�t know how he will handle a dirt surface. It�s a risky play, but if it pays off his backers will be handsomely rewarded.
Ice Box – Those familiar with the sport will recognize trainer Nick Zito as the handler of 1991 Kentucky Derby winner Strike the Gold and 1994 winner Go for Gin. As the old saying goes, he is due. His hope for 2010 comes in the form of Florida Derby winner Ice Box. The deep closer will almost certainly be in the mix late if things get heavy up front and the pace is too fast. He is in good hands with jockey Jose Lezcano. He is a must use on all exotic tickets and a threat to win. Look for him to be around 15 or 20-1.
Dublin – It seems he lacks the �killer instinct� needed to get it done on the big stage, but he may put things together before the First Saturday in May. He finished second in the Southwest Stakes and the Arkansas Derby after making big moves in both races. He won a Grade 1 race at two, but has to prove he can go for the jugular. If he can he will light the board up at odds greater than 20-1.
Line of David – The Arkansas Derby winner has not lost in three tries since throwing the blinkers on. A bit of bad karma exists because trainer John Sadler has taken the mount from Jon COurt in favor of a �big name� which in this case is the immensely talented Rafael Bejarano. It�s going to be hard for him to wire the field, but the price will certainly be huge.
Conveyance – The Bob Baffert trainee has lost just once and his lone defeat came in the $800k Sunland Derby. He will be a fat price given distance concern. If the race were just a furlong shorter he would be among the favorites. He displays good speed and we can�t really say he can�t go a mile and a quarter until he actually doesn�t get the distance.
American Lion – The son of Tiznow was a star at two, but has faded at three. He won the Illinois Derby last out after controlling the pace. It will take a huge effort to get on the board in the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Eion Harty will certainly make sure he has the best chance possible though.
Stately Victor – Not many trainers would be willing to go out on a limb and run a 3 yr old in the G1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland who had not seen the winner�s circle since breaking their maiden in September as a 2 yr old. Not only that, but in his next five starts following that maiden win his best finish was 5th in an allowance at Gulfstream Park. Many were wondering how Trainer Michael Maker could even consider the G1 Blue Grass for Stately Victor�s next race, but it was obvious Maker knew something we didn�t and knew that this was a very talented horse. Stately Victor sat towards the back of the pack until the top of the stretch then jockey Alan Garcia angled him to the outside and that was all she wrote. The question that we have and the one that every other handicapper has is can he do it again? He is a tough horse to figure out, but he does look like a horse that is getting better and if he moves up off that victory don�t be surprised to see him flying down the outside late in the race.
Endorsement – This is one of the more intriguing long shots in this Derby field. The 3 yr old son of Distorted Humor is still very lightly raced with just Four races under his belt. It took him 3 races to break his maiden at Oaklawn Park by 2 � lengths in a very good Maiden race that has had multiple next out winners come out of it. After that he traveled to Sunland Park to take on Bob Baffert�s colt Conveyance who was coming into the race off a win in the G3 Southwest at Oaklawn. Endorsement stalked the pacesetter Conveyance in 2nd for most of the race until the top of the stretch where he pulled away to win the G3 Sunland Derby easily by 3 lengths. The question marks with this colt are does he have enough experience to be able to handle the monster that is the Kentucky Derby and is this a horse that is improving quickly and is a force to be reckoned with or is he a horse that is set up to bounce off his career performance at Sunland? With his trainer Shannon Ritter entering him in the Sunland Derby it shows that they have had high hopes for this colt for a while, so its very possible this is a horse that is a late bloomer and is just starting to get good. If that is the case and he improves off his 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the Sunland Derby then he is going to have a say in how this race turns out.
Discreetly Mine – This 3 yr old son of Mineshaft is part of Pletcher�s Derby Army of starters he has for the Kentucky Derby. Discreetly Mine showed talent as a 2 yr old breaking his maiden in his 3rd start by 6 � over his stable mate and fellow member of the Pletcher Derby Army Super Saver. Following that win he finished 2nd in both the G2 Futurity and G1 Champagne at Belmont Park. After starting the year with a 4th place finish in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Calder he headed to New Orleans and led from start to finish winning the G2 Risen Star at Fairground by over a length. After that he finished 4th in the G2 Louisiana Derby behind another one of Pletcher�s Derby Army members Mission Impazible. He wasn�t able to get the same uncontested lead in the Louisiana Derby like he did in the Risen Star. If you look at this horse and the stiff competition he has had to run against for most of his career its obvious he has the class. In his career he has ran against Dublin, Eightyfiveinafifty, Super Saver, D� Funnybone, Homeboykris, A Little Warm, and Mission Impazible. Four of those horses are going to be in the Kentucky Derby also. He looks very similar to one of the past Derby upsets we mentioned earlier Giacomo. He always ran in the big races and always ran well, but rarely was able to get the job done until the Derby where he ran a peak effort which is something that we could see from Discreetly Mine as well.
Mission Impazible – When you see the top 2 yr old trainers like Todd Pletcher and Steve ASMUssen running their quick 2 yr olds early in the year at Keeneland and at Churchill you rarely see those young horses on the TC Trail. Mission Impazible won 1st time out going 4 � furlongs at Keeneland then followed that up with a 3rd place finish in the Kentucky Juvenile at Churchill Downs. After that race for whatever reason he was given a long break until January and he came back to the races as a more mature 3 yr old and it didn�t take too long for him to pick up where he left off. In his first race off that long layoff he ran a very good 2nd in a 6 furlong allowance at Gulfstream Park and then went on to run in the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park where he finished 4th behind two Derby contenders Conveyance and Dublin. It looked like this horse needed those two races to get back into shape because in his 3rd race off that long layoff he jumped up and won the G2 Louisiana Derby earning him a spot in the starting gate for the Run for the Roses. This 3 yr old son of Unbridled�s Song has gotten better after every race he has ran as a 3 yr old and there is no reason to think that he is not going to continue that trend especially if his Derby workout gives us an indication of how well he will run. He worked in company with fellow Pletcher Derby Army member Rule and while Rule�s rider had to stay on him to keep up with his workmate Mission Impazible did it all on his own finishing the workout in 1:00 1/5 leaving everyone in attendance very impressed. This colt has the looks of a horse that is peaking at the right time, and don�t be surprised if he gets significant action come Derby Day from fellow handicappers.
2010 Kentucky Derby Coverage