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Kentucky Derby 2015 analysis

Ed McNamara provides his analysis of the contenders for the 2015 Kentucky Derby heading into Saturday's 141st edition of the "Run for the Roses."

OCHO OCHO OCHO

OCHO OCHO OCHO Trainer: Jim Cassidy Jockey: Elvis
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

OCHO OCHO OCHO

Trainer: Jim Cassidy

Jockey: Elvis Trujillo

Record: 5-3-0-1

Last 3: 3-8-1

Post position: 1

Odds: 50-1

Comment: Seems like a solid miler who will return to his best distance after finishing up the track in Louisville. Backpedaled to third in Blue Grass after setting moderate pace. Won't be a factor.

CARPE DIEM

CARPE DIEM Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: John Velazquez
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

CARPE DIEM

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Record: 5-4-1-0

Last 3: 1-1-2

Post position: 2

Odds: 8-1

Comment: Best of Pletcher's five runners took Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass by combined 8 lengths. Great blend of tactical speed, closing kick and distance breeding (by Giant's Causeway). Got unlucky with post 2, forcing Johnny V. to push hard from the gate to avoid being trapped inside behind a wall of rivals.

MATERIALITY

MATERIALITY Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Javier Castellano Record:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

MATERIALITY

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Record: 3-3-0-0

Last 3: 1-1-1

Post position: 3

Odds: 12-1

Comment: Speedy, unbeaten, with lots of upside, but he didn't race last year. No Derby winner since 1882 lacked 2-year-old experience. His upfront running style mirrors many of the others, so race shape should work against him, as will post 2. Very talented, but not good enough to overcome these circumstances.

TENCENDUR

TENCENDUR Trainer: George Weaver Jockey: Manuel Franco Record:
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

TENCENDUR

Trainer: George Weaver

Jockey: Manuel Franco

Record: 5-1-1-1

Last 3: 2-5-4

Post position: 4

Odds: 30-1

Comment: Career-best second in Wood came out of nowhere after he showed little in Gotham and Withers. Still eligible for non-winners-of-1 against New York-breds, where his next win is likely to occur.

DANZIG MOON

DANZIG MOON Trainer: Mark Casse Jockey: Julien Leparoux
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

DANZIG MOON

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Record: 5-1-2-0

Last 3: 2-4-1

Post position: 5

Odds: 30-1

Comment: Perked up with second to Carpe Diem in Blue Grass, and worked 5 furlongs in 58 seconds at Churchill. Only win at a mile vs. maidens, but may be blooming at right time. Worth considering if you play a lot of exotics.

MUBTAAHIJ

MUBTAAHIJ Trainer: Mike de Kock Jockey: Christophe Soumillon
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

MUBTAAHIJ

Trainer: Mike de Kock

Jockey: Christophe Soumillon

Record: 7-4-1-0

Last 3: 1-1-2

Post position: 6

Odds: 20-1

Comment: Dubai invader won twice on dirt at 1 3/16 miles, but will journey from Middle East be too far? Crushed U.A.E. Derby with perfect trip, but this is a quantum leap in class. De Kock owns big-race trophies from all over the world, but demand 20-1 or more.

DORTMUND

DORTMUND Trainer: Bob Baffert Jockey: Martin Garcia Record:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

DORTMUND

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Martin Garcia

Record: 6-6-0-0

Last 3: 1-1-1

Post position: 8

Odds: 3-1

Comment: Rarely is an undefeated horse relegated to second billing in the Derby, let alone by a stablemate. Baffert may have best 1-2 punch since all-time Derby leader Ben Jones ran first and second in 1948 with Citation and Coaltown. Son of 2008 Derby hero Big Brown relishes a fight, twice prevailing by a head over Firing Line, who's a long shot. A major threat.

BOLO

BOLO Trainer: Carla Gaines Jockey: Rafael Bejarano Record:
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

BOLO

Trainer: Carla Gaines

Jockey: Rafael Bejarano

Record: 5-2-0-2

Last 3: 3-3-1

Post position: 9

Odds: 30-1

Comment: Versatile, gifted colt was third behind Dortmund. Can understand why connections are taking a shot, although his future appears to be on grass. Won't be playing him.

FIRING LINE

FIRING LINE Trainer: Simon Callaghan Jockey: Gary Stevens
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

FIRING LINE

Trainer: Simon Callaghan

Jockey: Gary Stevens

Record: 5-2-3-0

Last 3: 1-2-2

Post position: 10

Odds: 12-1

Comment: Lost twice by a head to Dortmund, so you have to give him a long look. Crushed stakes in New Mexico by 14 lengths in last start. Close to pace in all three routes, which may work against him with so much speed in here.

ITSAKNOCKOUT

ITSAKNOCKOUT Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Luis Saez Record:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

ITSAKNOCKOUT

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Luis Saez

Record: 4-3-0-0

Last 3: 4-2-1

Post position: 13

Odds: 30-1

Comment: Weakest link in four-horse Todd Squad was handed Fountain of Youth on controversial DQ after losing to Upstart by 2¾ lengths. Didn't finish first in either two-turn try; in over his head.

KEEN ICE

KEEN ICE Trainer: Dale Romans Jockey: Kent Desormeaux
Photo Credit: AP / Charlie Riedel

KEEN ICE

Trainer: Dale Romans

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Record: 7-1-0-2

Last 3: 4-3-5

Post position: 14

Odds: 50-1

Comment: Great distance pedigree (Curlin and an Awesome Again mare), but didn't inherit speed or much talent. He's 0-for-5 in stakes, beaten a combined 41 lengths. Even Romans admits this colt's ceiling would be to pass tired horses to slip into the superfecta.

FROSTED

FROSTED Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin Jockey: Joel Rosario Record:
Photo Credit: AP

FROSTED

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Record: 7-2-4-0

Last 3: 1-4-2

Post position: 15

Odds: 15-1

Comment: Erratic but gifted colt made breakthrough in Wood Memorial, closing powerfully into a moderate pace to draw off by 2 lengths. Has field's best bloodlines for 1¼ miles (No. 1 sire Tapit out of a Deputy Minister mare), and McLaughlin barn is hot. Runs the turns very well and can handle outside trips. Double-digit odds very enticing on improving horse with solid chance.

WAR STORY

WAR STORY Trainer: Tom Amoss Jockey: Joe Talamo
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

WAR STORY

Trainer: Tom Amoss

Jockey: Joe Talamo

Record: 5-2-2-1

Last 3: 3-2-2

Post position: 16

Odds: 50-1

Comment: Went 0-for-3 at Fair Grounds behind International Star, and can't see him improving enough to contend. Four bad breaks from gate in five races a big negative, so throw him out.

MR. Z

MR. ZTrainer: D. Wayne LukasJockey: Corey NakataniRecord: 13-1-4-4Last
Photo Credit: AP / Garry Jones

MR. Z

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Jockey: Corey Nakatani

Record: 13-1-4-4

Last 3: 13-3-9

Saddle cloth No. 3

Odds: 20-1

Comment: Checked repeatedly early in the Derby, which kept him from showing his usual speed. Field's most experienced runner, not a plus considering his 12 straight losses, but he has been second four times and third four times in stakes. Sold Wednesday to Calumet Farm by Ahmed Zayat, who owns American Pharoah. Likely pace casualty could make a significant impact if he puts early pressure on Pharoah and Dortmund, posted inside him.

AMERICAN PHAROAH

AMERICAN PHAROAH Trainer: Bob Baffert Jockey: Victor Espinoza
Photo Credit: AP / Danny Johnston

AMERICAN PHAROAH

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Victor Espinoza

Record: 5-4-0-0

Last 3: 1-1-1

Post position: 18

Odds: 5-2

Comment: Buzz horse of Derby 141 won his last four, all graded stakes, unchallenged, by a total of 22¼ lengths. Sunday's 5-furlong work in 58 2/5 seconds guaranteed he'll be the betting favorite. Effortless glider proved he didn't need the lead by stalking while ruling Arkansas Derby by 8 lengths. The horse to beat, with only question how he'll handle possible traffic trouble in huge field.

UPSTART

UPSTART Trainer: Rick Violette Jockey: Jose Ortiz Record:
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Matthew Stockman

UPSTART

Trainer: Rick Violette

Jockey: Jose Ortiz

Record: 7-3-3-1

Last 3: 2-2-1

Post position: 19

Odds: 15-1

Comment: Never run a bad one. In exacta in all three Gulfstream preps, and Fountain of Youth DQ was very questionable. Post 19 is a very bad spot for this stalker, who likely will get hung wide into the turn. Figs are solid, but gives impression that 1 1/8 miles might be his limit.

FAR RIGHT

FAR RIGHT Trainer: Ron Moquett Jockey: Mike Smith
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andy Lyons

FAR RIGHT

Trainer: Ron Moquett

Jockey: Mike Smith

Record: 9-3-3-2

Last 3: 2-1-1

Post position: 20

Odds: 30-1

Comment: Speed numbers are unimpressive, and best race was Southwest win in slop. Distant second to American Pharoah, but somebody had to complete the exacta. Can't seem him making an impact, especially from post 20. Couldn't beat Ocho Ocho Ocho and Mr. Z, and neither is a serious contender. No chance.

FRAMMENTO

FRAMMENTO Trainer: Nick Zito Jockey: Corey Nakatani Record:
Photo Credit: AP / Arron Haggart

FRAMMENTO

Trainer: Nick Zito

Jockey: Corey Nakatani

Record: 7-1-1-1

Last 3: 4-3-6

Post position: 21

Odds: 50-1

Comment: Another no-hoper with no speed and on a five-race losing streak. He's 0-for-3 in stakes, beaten almost 30 lengths.

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