Monday, May 9, 2011

Kentucky Derby - Recap

Kentucky Derby - Recap

Animal Kingdom
Mucho Macho Man

Unplaced horses listed in order of finish.

Shackleford, Master of the Hounds, Santiva, Brilliant Speed, Dialed In, Pants On Fire, Twice the Appeal, Soldat, Stay Thirsty, Derby Kitten, Decisive Moment, Archarcharch, Midnight Interlude, Twinspired, Watch Me Go, Comma to the Top.

I really am considering changing my blog title too – Right Idea, Wrong Horse!

I certainly wasn’t surprised that a relative long shot (20-1) won this race…..Right Idea!

However I did not see Animal Kingdom (especially coming out of the 16 spot) as a possibility – Wrong Horse!

I wasn’t sold on Dialed In for this race – and despite the size of this field – 8th place is pretty pathetic for the Kentucky Derby favorite. A number of analysis feel he fell too far behind the pack in the first mile of the race to make up enough ground for a victory....either that or he was completely over-hyped.

We’ll really know how good this horse is – should he run in the Preakness.

In contrast – the winner Animal Kingdom – only fell back as far as 12th (while Dialed In remained at 19th for the first ¾ of the race).
Last week my instinct told me that Animal Kingdom would have to do the following to win this race:
  • Go nearly 5 wide (or more) in the final turn
  • Not fall too far behind Shackleford / Pants On Fire and Soldat
  • Surpass Mucho Macho Man
  • Close better than Nehro
It seemed a lot to ask of a horse without a “major” victory – and a new jockey. And that’s why I scratched him off my list – in the end, he was able to do all of it – and (most surprising) he wins with conviction! This isn’t a bob of the head victory…..

I didn’t like Nehro for the victory here – because this horse just seems to love being the bridesmaid -

I'll give Kristen Wiig free advertising....
If Nehro runs in the Preakness it will be his fourth race in little less than two months – by today’s standards that’s quite a bit of racing. For Animal Kingdom it will be his third race in the same amount of time – which is standard.

We'll see if Nehro breaks his second fiddle streak in Baltimore...***spoiler alert - don't count on it.....

I’m disappointed in Pants On Fire – but I’m not surprised – I think he needed to running 1st or 2nd by the ¾ mile marker – and instead he only reached 4th before beginning to fade. He needed to be closer to the rail – to really challenge here.

For the most part – it has been the kind of year – where many horses are having difficulty following up their victories.

My analytical side doubts Animal Kingdom will be the best horse in the field in the Preakness – and that horses like Nehro, Mucho Macho Man, Soldat or maybe even Dialed In will prevail with less horses in the field.

However anyone who reads my blog knows that I’ll be rooting for Animal Kingdom to just keep improving and give us a long awaited Triple Crown!!! Good Luck Animal Kingdom!!

Video to follow:

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