2012 Kentucky Derby logo2012 Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Odds 2012: Favorites That Will Break Your Heart

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03:  Union Rags trains on the track in preparation for the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2012

Weather conditions might not be great at Churchill Downs, but the 138th Kentucky Derby will not leave you feeling blue if you know which horses to watch for. 

Given all the rain that has fallen in Kentucky today, there are a few horses that are going to suffer. Running a slick, wet track is going to wreak havoc on the legs and stamina of these thoroughbreds. 

Now, the horses that carry their weight better, that have a smooth glide that allows them to get their hooves down and up in a hurry, are going to dominate the race. 

Here are some of the favorites that will be adversely affected by the weather at Churchill Downs. 

 

Union Rags (9-2)

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 02:  Union Rags trains on the track in preparation for the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

There are a lot of things to like about Union Rags. He is one of the best trained and most successful horses in this year's Derby, which is why he has the second-best odds coming into the race. 

But there is one big problem Rags has that can't be fixed right now: jockey Julien Leparoux. I know that he has a great history in the sport and is one of the most respected riders around, but he did not have a good handle on Rags in the Florida Derby. 

You can feel the urge to bet on Rags to win, because he does have a great history in big races overall. His current jockey just doesn't understand when to pull back and when to turn him loose. 

 

Hansen (10-1)

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03:  Hansen trains on the track in preparation for the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Another horse with a great track record, Hansen doesn't strike me as having the right style to win at Churchill Downs on Saturday. 

Hansen has built a reputation as one of the fastest horses in the sport, which isn't hard to believe just glancing at some of his previous performances. 

However, speed does not play well at the Kentucky Derby. You have to be fast, obviously, but there has to be some measure of power in the way a horse runs. Hansen doesn't seem to have it; he needs a fast track to showcase his abilities. 

Pass on Hansen this Derby Saturday.

 


Creative Cause (12-1)

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 30:  Creative Cause is riden on the track during the morning excercise session in preparation for the 138th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 30, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Again, the track record is going to tell you that Creative Cause belongs at or near the top of any Derby favorites list. He has yet to finish worse than third in any of his eight career races, and there is something to be said for stability at the jockey position as Joel Rosario mounts him for the sixth straight race. 

The only beef to have with Creative Cause is the adjustment to a longer course, which isn't exactly a small problem. 

The Derby is 1.25 miles long. The longest race that Creative Cause has ever run is 1.125 miles at the Santa Anita Derby last month. 

That might not sound like a big enough difference to worry about, but when your body has to adjust to that extra length, it is going to leave you gasping for breath at the end.

 

POST POSITION HORSE ODDS*
 No. 1  Daddy Long Legs  30-1
 No. 2   Optimizer  45-1
 No. 3   Take Charge Indy  12-1
 No. 4  Union Rags  9-2
 No. 5   Dullahan  8-1
 No. 6   Bodemeister  4-1
 No. 7   Rousing Sermon  50-1
 No. 8  Creative Cause  12-1
 No. 9   Trinniberg  40-1
 No. 10  Daddy Nose Best  16-1
 No. 11  Alpha  14-1
 No. 12  Prospective  30-1
 No. 13  Went The Day Well  25-1
 No. 14  Hansen  10-1
 No. 15  Gemologist  6-1
 No. 16  El Padrino  22-1
 No. 17  Done Talking  40-1
 No. 18  Sabercat  35-1
 No. 19  I'll Have Another  14-1
 No. 20  Liasion  50-1

Bold Indicates Odds-On Favorite

*Odds courtesy of Horse Racing Nation


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