Kentucky Derby Field 2012: Who, Outside of the Favorites, Will Contend?

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2012

Kentucky Derby Field 2012: Who, Outside of the Favorites, Will Contend?

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    The 138th Kentucky Derby is approaching rapidly. At this point, there are favorites to win the Run for the Roses and then there is everyone else. 

    Not so fast. Horses outside of the top contenders will push toward the top. Several horses will find themselves in the thick of competition against all odds. 

    Underdogs with notable reputations are littered throughout this year's group of horses. 

    These five will contend for the right to call themselves Kentucky Derby champion.

My Adonis

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    My Adonis has raced in three races this year, finishing as high as second place. My Adonis will race his best when it matters most and surprise people by being there until the end. 

    My Adonis' pedigree can be traced through Pleasantly Perfect and Silent Justice. Pleasantly Perfect is a respectable sire with two top-three Breeders' Cup Classic finishes during his career.

    My Adonis has not enjoyed major success this season but he has solid endurance.

    If he can get out of the gate strong, he will have people saying, "Who is that?"

Liaison

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    Bob Baffert's No. 1 horse in the 2012 Kentucky Derby is Bodemeister, but do not count out his other horse. Liaison has a reputable pedigree and top-shelf jockey Martin Garcia. 

    Liaison's lineage can be traced through 1998 Kentucky Derby favorite Indian Charlie and Belmont Stakes' winner Victory Gallop. Both horses present a blend of speed and endurance. Liaison will need both to emerge victorious. 

    Garcia is Baffert's first-call jockey. Baffert's reputation alone makes Garcia an outstanding jockey.

    Baffert won back-to-back Kentucky Derbys in 1997 and 1998 and has won the Preakness Stakes five times. He has an unmatched reputation and does not run bad horses.

    Bodemeister gets the hype but Liaison will sneak into the thick of things on race day.

Sabercat

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    Sabercat's pedigree alone is reason to keep an eye on him in the 138th Kentucky Derby. 

    Sabercat is the son of former Kentucky Derby contender Bluegrass Cat. He is also traced through another notable Kentucky Derby racer, Forty Niner. Throw in Mr. Prospector, Tom Rolfe, Northern Dancer and Secretariat, and you have a formidable family tree.

    Sabercat's jockey, Corey Nakatani, has ridden two Kentucky Oaks winners and rode Sabercat to a third-place finish in this year's Arkansas Derby.

    Pedigree is as important as anything. Sabercat's deep and accomplished family lines alone give him a chance to make some noise in this year's Run for the Roses.

Trinniberg

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    Trinniberg is the fastest horse in this year's Kentucky Derby. The only question is his endurance—namely if he can last 10 furlongs. 

    Trinniberg is coming off two victories in seven-furlong races. He won Bay Shore at Aqueduct in April and won Swale at Gulfstream Park in March. He should be in great racing shape because of the race's proximity. 

    However, this is his first race longer than seven furlongs in his racing career. His sire, Teuflesberg, was also an excellent sprinter, but struggled with endurance.

    Many eyes will be on Trinniberg's start. He has incredible speed and will get out of the gate better than anyone. 

    If he can last, Trinniberg could win the whole thing.

Done Talking

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    Done Talking is coming off a first-place finish at the Illinois Derby in early April. He will continue that success in the 138th Kentucky Derby.

    Done Talking's jockey, Sheldon Russell, is arguably the top jockey in the state of Maryland. He won all three top jockey awards in 2011. 

    Pedigree is no problem here, either. 

    Done Talking's sire is Broken Vow. Broken Vow's sire, Unbridled, was the 1990 Kentucky Derby champion. These two can also be traced back to English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky II. 

    Reputation and recent history should tell horse racing fans to watch out for Done Talking on race day. He is capable of a great performance.

     

    Check out Bleacher Report's Horse Racing page for more coverage of the 138th Kentucky Derby.