Derby Contender Contender Gemologist

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Kentucky Derby Contender


(Starts: 5 Win: 5 Place: 0 Show: 0 Earnings: $784,855)

Trainer: Todd Pletcher (22.6%)

Jockey: Javier Castellano (16.7%)

THE CONNECTIONS: The people behind Gemologist are top class all the way. Owner Win Star Farm and Todd Pletcher hooked up to win the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver. Pletcher is largely considered the best trainer in America, dominating the east coast circuits. He has conditioned racing greats like Quality Road, Rags To Riches and UNCle Mo. Javier “JJ” Castellano enters this race as perhaps the hottest jockey in America. He dominated all winter at Gulfstream Park. JJ is no stranger to the Derby, but has never won the race. However, he won the Preakness Stakes in 2006 with Bernardini. His greatest win to date came in the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Ghostzapper.

THE HORSE: How can you knock a horse that has never lost a race? Well, to put it simply, you can’t! Gemologist owns two wins over the Churchill Downs track. One of those was a Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club victory, a race where he dispatched 10 other horses. He started his 2012 campaign with a seven length allowance romp at Gulfstream Park. He was merely stretching his legs and stopped the clock in 1:35 4/5 seconds while leaving Grade 1 winner Currency Swap in his wake. After that, he won the Grade 1 Wood Memorial to seal his spot in this race. That was an effort where he was three wide and still able to win. He looked like a big kid playing on the track and when Alpha looked him in the eye late in the race, he just bounced away like a rabbit. Gemologist enters the Kentucky Derby unscathed and will have plenty of chance to leave it that way too.

THE PEDIGREE: Two time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow stands for $75k at WinStar. That powerful colt had a huge heart and didn’t like to be passed. That is a trait he has passed on to his sons and daughters. His progeny have plenty of ability to stretch out as proved by Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed, Belmont Stakes winner Da’ Tara, Travers winner Colonel John and many others. Tiznow tends to produce horses that are best at distance of a mile or more. Gemologist is out of the unraced Mr. Prospector mare Crystal Shard. She has produced mediocre racehorses to this point, but the broodmare sire gives this one more stamina. Mr. Prospector produced top horses like Gulch, Forty Niner, Seeking The Gold, Fusiachi Pegasus and numerous others. On the whole, this is a very strong pedigree for the Kentucky Derby distance.

THE CONCLUSION: Gemologist has it all. He has never lost and has defeated good competition while doing it. He is bred to the nines and has two wins over this Churchill Downs surface. The connections are experienced and know how to win big races. This is one of the most solid contenders in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.





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