Kentucky Derby 2012: Predicting the Results of This Year's Race
How do you predict who's going to win a horse race?
There's no science to it: It's just plain luck.
Other than a few horses in history, like Secretariat, is any horse really guaranteed to win the Kentucky Derby or one of the other legs of the Triple Crown?
It's almost impossible to accurately predict the finishing order of any race.
But, I'll give it a try.
In an article I wrote yesterday, I gave my opening odds for the entire field.
Here's my predictions of the finishing order of the 138th Kentucky Derby.
20. Optimizer: I picked this horse to finish last in a recent article, and I'm sticking by that prediction.
19. Done Talking: This horse isn't as strong as the rest of the field.
18. Sabercat: The traces of Secretariat in his bloodline mean he has a chance. But, I just don't see it happening.
17. Prospective: This is just my best guess because I can't get a good read on the horse. If he has one of his best races, he'll finish in the top five. If he doesn't, he'll finish here.
16. Trinniberg: This is his first race over seven furlongs. He'll be up front early, but will fade by the time the field gets to the backstretch.
15. Rousing Sermon: Consistency is going to be the key for Rousing Sermon. Although not blessed with as much speed as the other horses, he could hang in there and garner a top-10 finish.
14. El Padrino: This horse will struggle early in the race, but could start making his move on the final stretch. If he does that, he'll move into the top 10.
13. Liaison: This horse hasn't had as much training lately, so that could end up hurting him. I think it does and that's why he finishes out of the top 10.
12. Daddy Long Legs: He doesn't have as much experience on dirt, but he's had enough time to train on it and should be fine come race time.
11. Went the Day Well: Although I believe this horse will finish outside of the top 10, this is the one out of this group that could win it all. Coming from the same line as last year's Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, Went the Day Well can surprise many if he runs the race of his life.
Alpha has struggled against many of these same horses in the Kentucky Derby field, so it's no surprise I would put him here.
He has the ability to run a good race, but it seems like something is holding him back. Hopefully, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin can work it out of him before the race and he can have success.
A 10th-place finish is about the best I can expect.
9. Take Charge Indy
Horses really don't have it in their mind to prove people wrong, but if they did, this horse would be the one who would want to do it.
Take Charge Indy has been a roller coaster in his races, and for that, it's easy to doubt him.
He'll surprise many, finishing in the top 10.
I opened with Hansen at 10-1 odds, but something about this horse makes me think he'll finish outside of the top five.
Maybe it's his distance limitation or something else, but I'm predicting this horse will finish worse than expected.
7. Daddy Nose Best
I started this horse out at 25-1 odds and he could get down to 10-1 before the gates open on Saturday.
Still, I think it's going to be tough for him to do much in this field.
The field is a lot stronger than this horse and that's why I have him finishing in seventh.
6. I'll Have Another
No Santa Anita Derby winner has won the Kentucky Derby since 1989.
For that alone, he will finish outside of the top 10.
He'll be a contender for most of the race, and then fade as they come down the home stretch.
This colt has great closing speed, which is key when coming down the homestretch.
I see the top five horses battling in the final furlongs, with this horse coming up just short.
4. Creative Cause
The horse hasn't struggled much on the track and is one of the favorites coming into the Kentucky Derby.
Still, I see Creative Cause finishing outside of the top three, which would be a major disappointment for all those expecting so much from this horse.
If Bodemeister gets a lead, it could spell trouble for the rest of the field.
If he has even the slightest lead or is very close to the lead when the horses hit the home stretch, he could pull away for the win.
For this story's sake, I don't see it happening.
Gemologist is undefeated.
After the Kentucky Derby, he'll be once defeated.
That doesn't take away from how good he is—he should still have a lot of success throughout the rest of his career.
1. Union Rags
I know it's not much of a stretch to say that Union Rags is going to win the Derby, but he is easily the favorite to win the race.
He seems to be the most complete horse in the field, and with great training runs at Churchill Downs so far, I see no reason why he won't take home the title.
But is he good enough to win the Triple Crown?