Kentucky Derby 2012: Gemologist May Be the Gem of the Kentucky Derby Field

Doug Tyburski@@dtyburContributor IIIMay 4, 2012

Gemologist looks to stay undefeated in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
Gemologist looks to stay undefeated in Saturday's Kentucky Derby.Rob Carr/Getty Images

According to Merriam-Webster, the word Gemology is defined as, "the science of gems."

If that is the case, then trainer Todd Pletcher may very well have a gem of his own on his hands. 

The three-year-old, owned by WinStar Farm, is five for five in his career, including an impressive Wood Memorial victory over Alpha just over a month ago.

What made the win so impressive was the way in which he held off Alpha down the stretch. Once Gemologist was caught by Alpha, he went into an explosive second gear and would not let his main rival pass him, pulling away to a hard fought half-length victory.

The son of Tiznow appears to have something beyond the typical form—He has heart. Heart can beat any form, Beyer number, pedigree, etc. Five career starts is not a lot to go on, but what is fairly easy to see is the fact that Gemologist doesn't give up a lead once he obtains it.  

Nothing was more evident of that than his last race at the Wood Memorial in New York. It was the first time he was tested with the lead, and that test was passed with flying colors. 

There are other capable horses in this field who will attempt to prove the Gemologist fan club wrong, including the Bob Baffert challenger, Bodemeister.

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Most of the public will be keying on the nine-and-a-half length Arkansas Derby win, and rightfully so, it was impressive.  There is only one question about that race though,and that question remains, how good was the rest of the field?

The Wood Memorial, in my opinion, had a much tougher class of horses. There was no real test for Bodemeister.  He had the lead start to finish, and the only other speedster in that race, Stat, turned out to be no match. Baffert's horse was tested in the Grade 2 San Felipe and faltered in the stretch to Creative Cause, finishing second, just under two lengths behind.

The rest of the field that appears to have the public's attention, include Union Rag, Dullahan, I'll Have Another, Hansen, Alpha and Creative Cause.

Each of these horses, and quite possibly an outsider, all have a chance to be posing in the winner's circle.

After all, this is the Kentucky Derby and upsets have become common.  For what it's worth, I'm taking up membership in the Gemologist fan club.  

Have a great Saturday and enjoy the Derby!

Derby Selections:

1. Gemologist

2. Alpha

3. I'll Have Another

4. Creative Cause


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