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Article:Three Questions for Handicapping Derby 134

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It's Thursday of Derby Week and here in the River City that means it's Pegasus Parade Day. The Parade goes off around 5:00 tonight and is Louisville's answer to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, only without the bearded guy in the red suit. It's a light day for the horses and no event real events surround the race

Yesterday was the post position draw and that brings us to Question number 1 (the questions are in no particular order of importance). How important will post position be? Derby morning line favorite Big Brown will break from post position 20, on the extreme outside. That post position has seen only one winner in the race's history, Clyde Van Dusen in 1929, but Big Brown has the speed to get out early and away from the cavalry charge that is the post charge from the gate. Whether he uses up too much getting away from the field may determine his fate. Second choice, Colonel John, (my current pick still subject to change) will break from the 10 spot, an almost perfect post position. Third choice, Pyro has the post position 9 just inside Colonel John and has a great spot as well.

Question number two is how well will the horses that have raced primarily on synthetic surfaces take to the dirt at Churchill Downs? This is the reason I have still have some doubts about Colonel John as he has never raced on dirt before, spending all of his racing life in the warmth of Southern California.

Question three is what is the presence of performance enhancing drugs and what effect will they have on the race? We have a couple of trainers in the race with histories of suspensions for illegal medication, both Rick Dutrow and Steve Asmussen have served suspensions within the last three years, and it makes one wonder about Big Brown in particular..

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