by user David J. Cohen

Da da da dadadum dadadum dadadadum, da da da dadadum dadadum dadadadum. Welcome to the 132nd Kentucky Derby.

I'm cutting right to the chase. I like two horses to possibly win the derby, the longshot Jazil (30-1 morning line) or the class of the race, Barbaro (4-1 morning line).

Barbaro is the ideal horse for this race, running the style of the derby. He has also won from 10 furlongs on turf last year. He has never lost and is perfect for this distance.

Jazil is a pure closer who also has run the style of the derby. His closing ability is insane. In his last race for 750k (mile and 1/8) he was 20 lengths behind the leader at the 3/4 mark and absolutely shot out of a rocket, finishing 2nd by 1 1/2 lengths to Bob and John. It was clear that Jazil was not slowing down and would have taken the race if it had gone on for another 2 seconds. This monumental recovery was not a fluke. In Nov 05 in a 7 furlong race he came from 18 lengths back at the 1/2 mile mark to lose by a nose.

Now to the style I'm referring to. I looked back on at the last 10 derbies and there is a definite blueprint for running this race and winning it. Contending horses in 9 of 10 races settled in and then stayed in the same spot until passing the 3/4 mile mark (the other horse led throughout, a rarity for the derby). Then they made their move. Horses at the top stay there up to the stretch and usually fall away, sometimes sneaking into the trifecta. Jazil was able to run like this a couple of times, including his last race where he covered incredible ground. Barbaro has also run like this in 1 mile 1/8 of late, winning while showing his training for this race.

If Jazil can settle in between the 5-11 positions and stay there at the 3/4 mile mark and then explode he could take this thing during the stretch run. If Barbaro runs his best he will simply beat the field. Of course odds say I'm completely wrong but that's the fun of this race. It's a crapshoot.

For those planning to wager on this prestigious event here is the plan of action that I would advise:

Jazil over Steppenwolfer, Keyed Entry, Point Determined, Bob and John, Barbaro, Sharp Humor, Sweetnorthernsaint, Deputy Glitters, Cause to Believe, and Lawyer Ron as possible horses to place 2nd.

Barbaro over the same with Jazil replacing Barbaro as a place possibility.

Horses "thrown away" and the reasoning behind it:

Sinister Minister - Overworked in last race and a pure speed horse. Will get to the front early and fall away. Outclassed.
Showing Up - No experience. Hasn't gone against any competition.
A.P. Warrior - Most overated horse in this race. Has lost to 5 different horses in the field. Too long for him. But could be money in the Preakness.
Private Vow - Stepped up in class in last 2 races and was outmatched.
Bluegrass Cat - Going in the wrong direction coming into derby. Could regain himself but hasn't raced against anyone good in the field.
Seaside Retreat - Shouldn't be in this race.
Brother Derek - Favorite in the race a good horse but likes to be up front. Will get there at the beginning and fade at the stretch. 18th post horse hasn't won since 1944.
Storm Treasure - Race too long for him.
Flashy Bull - Isn't good enough to be competitive 1 1/4 miles against these horses. Could be a good longshot in the Belmont though.

Hopefully the winner of this will get the triple crown. If Jazil wins this race he will be in a dogfight for the other 2 wins. Barbaro, if he is victorious, will probably win the Belmont, leaving the Preakness as his obstacle.

Hope it's a good race.


Fri 05/05/06, 6:32 pm EST

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