Kentucky Derby analysis and odds

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By Ed McNamara



(Ed McNamara's Kentucky Derby horse-by-horse analysis)



Trainer: Eoin Harty

Jockey: David Flores

Post: 7

Odds: 30-1

Last three: 1-4-3

California-based colt led all the way in very weak Illinois Derby, his dirt debut. Seriously outclassed in field overloaded with better speed types.



Trainer: Jeremy Noseda

Jockey: Julian Leparoux

Post: 16

Odds: 10-1

Last three: 3-1-4

Had an eventful trip when third in the Wood. Showed strong closing punch winning dirt debut in the Gotham. Noseda expected him to regress in the Wood, and he lost a shoe early on and didn't relax. Off-the-pace style suits speed-packed field.


Trainer: Tom Amoss


Jockey: Miguel Mena

Post: 18

Odds: 50-1

Last three: 3-1-8

Winless past a mile and showed little when a far-back third in poor Illinois Derby; overmatched against top 3-year-olds.


Trainer: Bob Baffert

Rider: Martin Garcia


Post: 12

Odds: 12-1

Last three: 2-1-1

One of many need-to-lead types, but he's 4-for-5 and classier than most of them. First defeat was a close second last time in the Sunland Park Derby. Should be near the front for a mile or so, but after that?


Trainer: Mike Maker

Jockey: Robby Albarado

Post: 8


Odds: 50-1

Last three: 1-2-4

Was far back only time on dirt. Beat third-rate group easily in Lane's End at synthetic Turfway, but wouldn't read much into that. Can't recommend.


Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Post: 11

Odds: 10-1


Last three: 1-5-11

Filly rallied powerfully to win the Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream and worked brilliantly Saturday at Churchill. Before Eskendereya was scratched, she seemed likely to go in Friday's Kentucky Oaks, and I don't know if she would have won that. She's no Eight Belles or Rags to Riches.


Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Post: 15

Odds: 30-1

Last three: 4-1-4

One of the lesser Pletcher entries, his best race was a wire job in weak Risen Star at Fair Grounds. Other win also was on the lead; looks like another pace casualty.


Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Jockey: Terry Thompson

Post: 17

Odds: 12-1

Last three: 3-3-2

Can The Coach get his fifth Derby win and first since Charismatic in 1999? Lost five in a row but was a close third to Lookin At Lucky in last two. Doesn't seem to want to win; might fit underneath in exotics.


Trainer: Rick Dutrow

Jockey: Ramon Dominguez

Post: 19

Odds: 50-1

Colt partly owned by Joe Torre hasn't been around two turns this year and ran fifth in 1 1/8-mile Remsen last fall; many stamina doubts. Dutrow is a master, but trying the Derby off a nine-week layoff is wildly ambitious.


Trainer: Nick Zito

Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Post: 2

Odds: 10-1

Last three: 1-5-1

Came charging late to win substandard Florida Derby March 20. Zito won the Derby twice, but another prep might have helped. He's proven at 1 1/8 miles and pedigree says yes to 1¼, but the six-week layoff is a concern.


Trainer: Nick Zito

Jockey: Mike Smith

Post: 13

Odds: 15-1

Second in his last two to the sidelined Eskendereya, but the problem is that the total margin was 18¼ lengths. Hasn't run a bad one (5-for-9, 4 seconds), but he'd need a giant leap forward.


Trainer: John Sadler

Jockey: Rafael Bejarano

Post: 5

Odds: 30-1

Last three: 1-1-1

Hung on gamely to win Arkansas Derby, his first try on dirt. Very quick, but can't expect him to last 1¼ miles on a contested pace. Won his last three leading all the way, and those tactics won't work here.


Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Garrett Gomez

Post: 1

Odds: 3-1

Last three: 3-1-2

Training sharply and his only dirt race, a rough-trip win in the Rebel, was very good. But rail forces very talented mid-pack type to gun immediately. Before the draw, I planned to pick him to win, but he faces a likely tough trip, and low price doesn't seem to justify the risk.


Trainer: Alexis Barba

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Post: 9

Odds: 50-1

Last three: 6-1-3

Only one win (on grass) in eight starts, and showed little in Blue Grass. Seriously up against it in dirt debut for Barba, who's trying to become the first woman to train a Derby winner.


Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

Post: 14

Odds: 20-1

Last three: 1-4-2

Closed well in weak Louisiana Derby, only his second win in five career starts. Likely to improve, and off-the-pace style meshes well with likely quick pace, but 1¼ miles in top company might be too much, too soon.


Trainer: Ken McPeek

Jockey: Willie Martinez

Post: 3

Odds: 12-1

Last three: 5-2-2

Might be one of the weakest horses ever to earn more than $800,000. Pedigree says sprinter/miler, and he's lost four in a row around two turns. He's 0-for-2 on dirt but almost beat Lookin At Lucky twice, so he is outrunning his bloodlines.


Trainer: Dale Romans

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Post: 10

Odds: 20-1

Last three: 2-1-3

Has done his best work on turf, consistent with his grassy pedigree. Tiring second on Polytrack in Blue Grass was OK, but he's never been on dirt since career debut in slop. Can't recommend.


Trainer: John Sadler

Jockey: Joe Talamo

Post: 20

Odds: 5-1

Last three: 1-1-1

He's 3-for-3 this year on Santa Anita's Pro-Ride, leading at every call. Never been more than 2 lengths off the pace and never run on dirt. Very talented, but he'll have to be used hard out of the gate to avoid being hung five-wide into the turn. Like Lookin At Lucky, hurt by the draw.


Trainer: Mike Maker

Jockey: Alan Garcia

Post: 6

Odds: 30-1

Last three: 1-5-8

His 40-1 Blue Grass shocker ended a five-race skid. A Polytrack fluke, or is he getting good at the right time? Has a terrific Derby pedigree (by Ghostzapper out of a Dynaformer mare), but he's 0-for-2, beaten 15 lengths, on dirt. Don't read too much into Keeneland form.


Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Calvin Borel

Post: 4

Odds: 15-1

Last three: 2-2-2

Almost caught Line of David at Oaklawn, and won two-turn stakes at 2 at Churchill. Could be pace-compromised because he's usually first or second. It's tough to learn a new trick in the Derby, but if Borel works out a stalking rail trip, you never know.


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