2011 Kentucky Derby Top 10 – Chaos
- Updated: April 26, 2011
Plenty has happened since we last checked in on April 11. The Factor flopped in the Arkansas Derby and he is off the Derby trail, along with Jaycito (foot issue). Crimson China, Elite Alex, and Sway Away failed to earn enough graded dough to make the Derby gate. J P’s Gusto is off to New York for his third trainer (Mike Hushion) and will not go on the first Saturday in May.
My list has been turned upside down as half of my contenders are out of the running. This has to be one of the craziest years ever on the Derby trail with numerous flopping favorites and slow races on the Beyer scale. Anything goes on the first Saturday in May.
What happened to The Factor in the Arkansas Derby? He failed to grab the early lead and displaced his soft palate. He had minor throat surgery recently and Bob Baffert wisely opted to skip the Derby.
Sway Away made a premature move under PVal and faded to 4th after leading the Arkansas Derby turning for home. He seemingly has distance limitations and could turn back in the near future. Speaking of PVal, he hooks up with former top ten member Comma To The Top in the Derby.
Nehro just missed for the second straight graded race. The wise guy Derby horse remains eligible for an entry level spot and will be making his third start in six weeks at Churchill Downs.
Archarcharch just held on at Oaklawn Park and the overachieving son of Arch has been in steady training since last November.
My previous top ranked colt Santiva threw in a clunker in the Blue Grass. He had a less than ideal journey in a race he may have needed and has every right to rebound on conventional dirt at Churchill Downs. I will draw a line through his Keeneland flop.
Master of Hounds will invade from Europe and his task appears daunting. He has never run on dirt and has only raced once since the 2010 Breeders’ Cup. Will this be Calvin Borel’s Derby mount?
The deck has been reshuffled and Shackleford and Twinspired are now on track to make the Derby based on graded earnings with Silver Medallion and Anthony’s Cross knocking on the door. I will update this list one more time after post positions are drawn next week and I will continue to follow the 3-year-olds before, during, and after the Triple Crown series.
I have five new arrivals in my top ten and my surprise new number one flopped in his last and has never been part of my list. I am using workouts, bloodlines, and proper spacing between races to formulate my final contenders. This is a tightly packed group of competitors so freshness, post position, and the ability to stay out of trouble (tactical speed) are vital components to a successful Derby run. Don’t be surprised if there are a few more defections and changes to my list next week. It is one of those years…gotta love it!
Click on the names of each horse below to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.
Check out the top Kentucky Derby 2011 contenders on Horse Racing Nation.
Jarrod Horak’s Top 10 Kentucky Derby Contenders:
1. Soldat (War Front) – Kiaran McLaughlin trainee turned in a puzzling effort in the Florida Derby. The Fountain of Youth hero was a versatile gem of consistency on any footing before his last and drilled a strong 5f in :59 at Palm Meadows Training Center on 4-21. Graded Earnings – $540,000
2. Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) – Owns fine positional speed and a strong route foundation. Love his stamina building works and he could uncork a top in the Derby. Three solid moves since the LA Derby including last pair at seven panels (1:29.20, 1:23.65). Graded Earnings – $370,000
3. Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) – Tasted defeat for the first time in a flat Wood Memorial show finish. Recovering from GI tract infection and breezed 5f in 1:01.80 (10/25) in the Churchill slop on April 26. Fitness is the major concern. Graded Earnings – $1,360,000
4. Dialed In (Mineshaft) – Won two graded races at GP this year including the Florida Derby. Late runner will need racing luck on the first Saturday in May. Last published work was a 4f breeze in :49.90 at Palm Meadows on 4-12. Graded Earnings – $840,000
5. Toby’s Corner (Bellamy Road) – Consistent performer upset Uncle Mo in the Wood Memorial. He is battle tested and could make some noise in the Derby. No published moves since Wood. Training at Fair Hill and is expected to work this weekend before shipping to Kentucky. Graded Earnings – $625,000
6. Santiva (Giant’s Causeway) – Risen Star runner-up failed to fire in the Blue Grass. He won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at CD under his Derby rider Shaun Bridgmohan. Breezed 4f in :49.20 at Churchill on 4-26. Graded Earnings – $242,397
7. Archarcharch (Arch) – Two graded route wins at Oaklawn Park including game Arkansas Derby tally. He is bred to run all day and will be grinding away under the Twin Spires. Graded Earnings – $780,000
8. Nehro – Back-to-back neck defeats in Louisiana/Arkansas Derby. Does his best running in the late going and is rapidly developing but it might be too much too soon. Breezed 5f in 1:02.80 at CD on 4-25. Graded Earnings - $400,000
9. Stay Thirsty (Bernardini) – Gotham hero flopped (blinkers on) in the Florida Derby. He drilled a 5f bullet (1:00) on Easter Sunday at CD and Ramon Dominguez will ride him back in the Derby. I still think my former number one ranked colt lacks the maturity to win a race of this caliber. Graded Earnings – $260,000
10. Twinspired (Harlan’s Holiday) – Ran too good to lose in the Blue Grass. He was the only prominent throughout runner around at the finish at Keeneland and could surprise if he handles the dirt oval in Louisville. Graded Earnings - $197,500