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Kentucky Derby analysis

Bodemeister gets a bath after a workout in

Bodemeister gets a bath after a workout in preparation for the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. (May 3, 2012) Credit: Getty


Post 1

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Jockey: Colm O'Donoghue

Graded stakes earnings: $1,294,030

Last 3 finishes: 1-12-1

Comment: Irish shipper won U.A.E. Derby on synthetic in Dubai, his only 2012 start; 12th in Juvenile at Churchill in only dirt try. For fans of O'Brien, the world's most dominant trainer, he was fifth last year with Master of Hounds. Post 1 makes it a lot harder.


Post 2

Odds: 50-1

Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas

Jockey: Jon Court

Graded stakes earnings: $184,708

Last 3 finishes: 9-2-9

Comment: He's 1-for-9, and 0-for-7 on dirt. Lags far behind and doesn't have much of a finishing kick. No way will he give Lukas his fifth Derby trophy.


Post 3


Trainer: Patrick Byrne

Jockey: Calvin Borel

Graded stakes earnings: $698,400

Last 3 finishes: 1-2-5

Comment: Led throughout on leisurely pace in Florida Derby, which won't happen here. Even though Borel owns Churchill, don't expect his fourth Derby win in six years.


Post 4

Odds: 9-2

Trainer: Michael Matz

Jockey: Julien Leparoux

Graded stakes earnings: $1,170,000

Last 3 finishes: 3-1-2

Comment: Leparoux was justly criticized for riding him too patiently during troubled trip when he was third at 2-5 odds in Florida Derby. Huge colt looks like a stayer and could rebound behind quick pace. Has strong finishing kick, and recent work at Churchill was a knockout. He's one of the likeliest winners, although Matz wanted a post closer to the middle.


Post 5

Odds: 8-1

Trainer: Dale Romans

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux

Graded stakes earnings: $855,000

Last 3 finishes: 1-2-4

Comment: Ran down front-running Hansen in Blue Grass, making him 2-for-2 at Keeneland, but he's 0-for-6 elsewhere, 0-for-3 on dirt. Deep closer will get fast pace, but he may be overbet. Half-brother to 2009 Derby upsetter Mine That Bird will get the distance.


Post 6

Odds: 4-1

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Mike Smith

Graded stakes earnings: $660,000

Last 3 finishes: 1-2-1

Comment: Freaked with 108 Beyer Speed Figure in Arkansas and has field's best distance pedigree. Has high cruising speed and could be the second coming of 2007 Horse of Year Curlin. Only hole -- but a big one -- is no 2-year-old experience, and it's been 130 years since a Derby winner overcome that.


Post 7

Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer

Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Graded stakes earnings: $270,000

Last 3 finishes: 3-5-4

Comment: Lost fifth in a row, dating to last year, and was over his head in Louisiana and California stakes. A no-hoper.


Post 8

Odds: 12-1

Trainer: Mike Harrington

Jockey: Joel Rosario

Graded stakes earnings: $660,000

Last 3 finishes: 2-1-3

Comment: Three-time stakes winner was in the money in all eight starts. Should stay 10 furlongs; competitive figures, excellent closing fractions. Looks like an overlay with chance to win.


Post 9

Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Bisnath Parboo

Jockey: Willie Martinez

Graded stakes earnings: $324,500

Last 3 finishes: 1-1-7

Comment: Should be up front for as long as he lasts, probably a mile, tops. Won two sprint stakes this year but never has run beyond 7 furlongs. Derby try is a wild stab that will fail.


Post 10

Odds: 15-1

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Garrett Gomez

Graded stakes earnings: $545,558

Last 3 finishes: 1-1-5

Comment: Only Derby runner to win twice at 11/8 miles (true, fields were weak) and on dirt, grass and synthetic. Training well at Churchill; unlikely to win but at huge odds is worth using in exotics.


Post 11

Odds: 15-1

Trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin

Jockey: Rajiv Maragh

Graded stakes earnings: $380,000

Last 3 finishes: 2-1-1

Comment: Almost caught unbeaten Gemologist in the Wood and should stay 1¼ miles. His 0-for-3 record in Grade I's creates doubts, and he's never beaten a top horse. He's training well since recovering from leg infection.


Post 12

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Mark Casse

Jockey: Luis Contreras

Graded stakes earnings: $367,327

Last 3 finishes: 6-1-2

Comment: Beat very little in Tampa Bay Derby, and his never-involved sixth in Blue Grass inspires little confidence.


Post 13

Odds: 20-1

Trainer: Graham Motion

Jockey: John Velazquez

Graded stakes earnings: $282,000

Last 3 finishes: 1-1-4

Comment: Owner Barry Irwin says New York-bred is ahead of where Derby winner Animal Kingdom was at this time last year. He'll stay 11/4 miles, but his only dirt win was a maiden race, and he takes major class jump. I don't see Motion/Johnny V. catching lightning again.


Post 14

Odds: 10-1

Trainer: Mike Maker

Jockey: Ramon Dominguez

Graded stakes earnings: $1,550,000

Last 3 finishes: 2-1-2

Comment: Should be on or near the lead, where he's almost sure to have company. He lost luster when a tiring second in Blue Grass. Very talented, but classic distances may be beyond him. He'll probably be backing up at the eighth pole.


Post 15

Odds: 6-1

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Graded stakes earnings: $703,855

Last 3 finishes: 1-1-1

Comment: Big colt is 5-for-5 with two wins around two turns at Churchill. In any other year, he'd be favored, but probably will end up as third choice at post time to Bodemeister and Union Rags. Showed acceleration, gameness in Wood; major contender.


Post 16

Odds: 20-1

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: Rafael Bejarano

Graded stakes earnings: $250,000

Last 3 finishes: 4-1-1

Comment: Florida Derby (fourth) is only off-the-board finish in six starts. Bloodlines say yes to 11/4 miles and he'd love a wet track (2-for-2). Look closely before throwing out Pletcher's "other'' horse.


Post 17

Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Hamilton Smith

Jockey: Sheldon Russell

Graded stakes earnings: $311,000

Last 3 finishes: 1-10-4

Comment: Career highlight was winning a very slow Illinois Derby; seriously overmatched.


Post 18

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Jockey: Corey Nakatani

Graded stakes earnings: $701,429

Last 3 finishes: 3-8-1

Comment: Wasn't close in two starts this year; wouldn't be here if not for December win over slow bunch in $1-million Delta Jackpot. Training well, but he won't hit the jackpot tomorrow.


Post 19

Odds: 12-1

Trainer: Doug O'Neill

Jockey: Mario Gutierrez

Graded stakes earnings: $601,000

Last 3 finishes: 1-1-6

Comment: Santa Anita Derby winner won stakes in his two starts this year. Sat perfect trips in both, and a third isn't in the cards. Post 19 is a major handicap for a horse with tactical speed, and it's 0-for-21 in Derby history.


Post 20

Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Bob Baffert

Jockey: Martin Garcia

Graded stakes earnings: $393,000

Last 3 finishes: 6-4-fell

Comment: He's been nowhere this year in three starts at Santa Anita, which Baffert blamed mainly on his dislike of the surface. Hard to see him making any impact.


(Also eligible)

Makes the field only if another entry scratches by 9 a.m. today

Trainer: Kelly Breen

Jockey: Elvis Trujillo

Graded stakes earnings: $140,000

Last 3 finishes: 7-2-3

Comment: Owned by 1978 Chaminade graduate and former Newsday paperboy George Hall and his wife, Lori, who upset last year's Belmont with Ruler On Ice. Was decent second to Hansen in Gotham before running poorly in Wood; in too deep if he draws in.


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