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Analyzing the Top 2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders

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horse racing

Bodemeister is tied with five horses

© Steve Queen

Continued from page 3

The next five horses scored an equal number of points and are thus presented in alphabetical order.

Bodemeister will likely be overbet off his Arkansas Derby 9 1/2 length romp but he has some key knocks to consider. The Bob Baffert trainee is attempting to become the first unraced juvenile to win the Derby in 132 years, he cannot be a dual qualifier without a 2-year-old stakes appearance, he is a confirmed front-runner, and he only has 4 lifetime starts coming in. As well he has never raced at Churchill Downs. On the positive side he does have at leas 3 starts this year including a stakes win which is a sharp prep 3 weeks out and he is one of the few entrants to run triple-digit Beyer figures.

El Padrino was fourth in the Florida Derby for his final prep, which is 5 weeks out and wasn't sharp. He usually stalks the pace rather than rallies from far back, he made his career debut at Saratoga, and he is not a dual qualifier. He does have 3 starts including a stakes win (Risen Star) this year, has run over he 98 Beyer par twice, has not run at Tampa, and has a dosage index of 2.60.

I'll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby under Derby "rookie" Mario Gutierrez. This gives him a sharp prep 4 weeks out and 2 stakes wins as a 3-year-old. He also has 3 starts as a juvenile including one in stakes company, and he qualifies on dosage. Among his negatives, he stalks the pace, he has 1 Saratoga start, he has only run twice this year, his is not a dual qualifier nor has run at Churchill, and his top Beyer figure is a 96 earned in the Robert Lewis.

Mark Valeski was a close second in the Louisiana Derby last out, a sharp prep but 5 weeks out. He presses the pace or leads, did not compete in stakes races at 2, lacks a stakes win this year, is not a dual qualifier nor has run at Churchill. He did qualify on speed with his 98 Beyer when second in the Risen Star, has 3 starts this year, and did not race at either "jinx" track.

Went the Day Well comes to Louisville off a 2 race win streak, breaking his maiden and then winning the Vinery Spiral on March 24, meaning a 6 week layoff. He has not run at Churchill, is not a dual qualifier, has a top Beyer of 92 earned at Turfway, and he did not compete in stakes races at 2 (his start at Leicester was a "maiden stakes" which would be a maiden-special in America). He did make 2 starts last year and 3 this year, has a stakes win, qualifies on dosage, and did not run at Saratoga or Tampa.

The Lumber Guy scored the fewest points and will likely skip the Derby in favor of the Preakness since he needs a couple more to drop out to get in by earnings. After running poorly in the Wood, he ran back 2 weeks later and won the Jerome, giving him a sharp prep 2 weeks out in his 4th start this year. However, he did not race as a juvenile, is a need-the-lead type, has only 4 lifetime starts, has not run a 98 Beyer, and has a dosage index of 4.78.

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