Kentucky Derby Favorites
UNCle Mo – The Factor – Dialed In
The 2011 Kentucky Derby was set to have one of the heaviest favorites in recent history in the form of UNCle Mo until he inexplicably finished third in the Wood Memorial. The race is now wide open and fans will get a great price on every horse in the race. This means if you feel strongly about any horse you will be handsomely rewarded. Let’s take look at the top choices. Keep in mind though that there is a lot of parity this year.
Dialed In (Mineshaft x Miss Doolittle by Storm Cat) – The Florida Derby winner has one of the best closing kicks I have ever seen in a three-year-old. He literally comes from the clouds. That will work to his advantage as 3 of the last 6 Kentucky Derby winners have came from 18th or further back in the field. Last year 2 of the top 4 finishers rallied from 19th and 20th (Make Music For Me 4th & Ice Box 2nd). Dialed In is lightly raced and has only been to the track for Four races and has won three of them. In his debut race he missed the break, blew the first turn and encountered a ton of traffic. Despite that he was still able to win going 6 ½ furlongs. That is a testament to his talent. You can be sure he will be firing late in the race for two time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Nick Zito and jockey Julien Leparoux.
UNCle Mo (Indian Charlie x Playa Maya by Arch) – After dominating wins in the Champagne Stakes and Breeders Cup Juvenile the horse racing world was abuzz about this Todd Pletcher trained colt. He beat the strong Juvenile field with such ease that people were already talking Triple Crown. His 2011 debut in the Timely Writer was won easily going a flat mile and he finished up well. He was an extremely heavy favorite to win the Wood Memorial in his next start. However, he finished third there. It later came out that he had a gastrointestinal tract infection. He also grabbed a quarter at the start of the race. That means his front hoof collided with the corresponding rear hoof causing slight bleeding and knocking a chunk out of his “foot”. It is my belief that combined with those factors Mo lost because he wasn’t ready go the distance of nine furlongs after having just a single race in six months. He hasn’t gotten any worse and I believe he will handle the distance well. The only question left is his health/fitness. Todd Pletcher will have to work his magic to have him ready to roll for the Kentucky Derby. Keep track of his works and the reaction from racing pundits when formulating your final opinion of UNCle Mo.
The Factor (War Front x Greyciousness by Miswaki) – Just like UNCle Mo this guy lost his final prep race, the Arkansas Derby. In that event he flipped his palate which in a nutshell means he had problems with his airway. This would cause just about any horse to lose. Not only that, but he was taken out of his Game when he failed to make the lead. Before that loss he ran one of the best Rebel Stakes performances in the history of the race going wire to wire for a six length win. Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times and jockey Martin Garcia won last years Preakness Stakes aboard Lookin At LUcky (We correctly predicted that win here at Bettorsworld.com!). This colt has to be on the lead to perform well. That could hinder him as other colts are likely to vie for the early lead and burn him up. He is a bad risk at a low price, but never discount the chances of a Baffert colt.