Kentucky Derby Selections
It’s time to get out that fancy hat of yours and get ready for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. The best three-year old Thoroughbred horses in the business will try to add their name to the record books at Churchill Downs this Saturday. What most consider the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” is scheduled to start at 6:23 EST and will be nationally televised on NBC.
Who will win “The Run for the Roses” this year? That is a question a lot of people have been trying to figure out for weeks. The Kentucky Derby is without question the biggest horse racing event in the United States. While there are a number of people who simply watch the race for it’s entertainment value, most hardcore fans have some form of wager on who will be the first across the finish line.
Unfortunately picking the winner is no easy task. There are times when you have that one horse that is head and shoulders above the other horses in field, but nothing is certain in the world of horse racing. While Verrazano and Orb come into the Kentucky Derby as the two favorites, most believe this is one of the stronger fields in recent years. In my opinion, nearly half of the contenders have a chance to win on Saturday.
There are so many factors that play into who will end up winning the race. There’s no question that you have to look into the owners, trainers and jockeys. You would feel more comfortable in having proven winners on your side, and there are plenty of those in this field. They include trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Calvin Borel, who are probably the two most popular in their respective fields. Figuring out a horse’s pedigree is another big factor to check before making your selections.
However, I believe the biggest factor of them all is the horse itself. How has it performed in races leading up to the Kentucky Derby? What racing style does it prefer? There’s no question that racing style plays a big role in which horse will take down the Run for the Roses. I’m going to go through and cover some of those racing styles, which is how I came about my win, place and show picks, which will be listed at the bottom of this article.
Since the pace makes the race, let’s take a look at which horses will be the front runners. Most Derbies result in a very “hot” pace, but since this year’s field has limited speedsters, we could see a much slower pace. Goldencents, which won the Santa Anita Derby, is the leading candidate to set the pace. Others are Falling Sky and Oxbow.
Wood Memorial winner Verrazano, who is the favorite in the Kentucky Derby because he has never lost in four career starts, leads the pack of stalkers. These are the horses that will be position just behind the leaders. Also in this pack you will find Itsmyluckyday, Will Take Charge and Palace Malice.
There are a bunch of horses that like to run in the middle of the pack. They include Overanalyze, Vyjack, Black Onyx, Charming Kitten, Normandy Invasion and Mylute. Then there’s the deep closers, which features two of the top contenders in Orb and Revolutionary as well as Java’s War.
Since the Derby is 1 1/4 miles long, it tends to favor the deep closers rather than the speedsters. That’s why I’m going with horses like Orb and Revolutionary among my win, place and show picks. I also believe that Normandy Invasion from the “middle-of-the-pack” group will close strong and keep up with Orb and Revolutionary. These three horses have proven they can close with the best of ‘em in previous races leading up to the Derby.
Jack’s Kentucky Derby Picks
- Win – Orb
- Place – Revolutionary
- Show – Normandy Invasion