Michael “The Wizard” Kipness, knowledgeable horse racing handicapper since 1986, analyzes the 20-horse area for Saturday’s 149th Kentucky Derby, designating every horse as a contender or pretender.
Kipness considers contenders to be viable candidates to run first, second or third within the Kentucky Derby. He feels pretenders received’t win, place or present.
Go to Wizardraceandsports.com for his full card alternatives and wagering methods for Oaks Day (13 races) and Derby Day (14 races), in addition to his free evaluation on all Derby prep races.
Notice: No. 10 Sensible Transfer, No. 19 Lord Miles and No. 20 Continuar had been scratched and changed by No. 21 Cyclone Mischief, No. 22 Mandarin Hero and No. 23 King Russell.
Put up place, horse, jockey, morning-line odds:
1. Hit Present, Franco, 30-1
One among three horses within the Derby educated by prime horseman Brad Cox. He was a powerful winner of the Withers adopted by a nostril defeat within the Wooden Memorial after a tricky journey. If he had received the Wooden, Hit Present would have been a far shorter value than he will likely be within the Derby, however with the identical license to be aggressive. Ought to deal with 1¼ miles. Put up 1 has not received a Derby since 1986. Contender.
2. Verifying, Gaffalione, 15-1
Was overwhelmed by a neck by anticipated co-favorite Tapit Trice within the Bluegrass. Shall be triple the worth of that colt within the Derby. His fundamental subject is that if he can carry his velocity 1¼ miles. Contender.
3. Two Phils, Loveberry, 12-1
The sunshine bulb clearly went off in his head, scoring a career-best victory when switching to an artificial floor final outing. The query is that if he can replicate that efficiency again on grime the place his type was not practically nearly as good. Labored very nicely on grime Saturday at Hawthorne. Larry Rivelli is a really high-percentage successful coach. Contender.
4. Confidence Sport, Graham, 20-1
It’s clearly a adverse that his closing Derby prep got here 70 days in the past. He received the Insurgent at Oaklawn that day within the slop. His type on dry tracks in his prior six begins suggests he’s means overmatched within the Derby no matter monitor situations. Pretender.
5. Tapit Trice, Saez, 5-1
Going for his fifth win in six begins and is 3-for-3 with Saez aboard. Late runner has a robust center transfer and a strong stretch kick. Has loads of upside and has the look of a colt who will deal with 1¼ miles efficiently. Will vie for favourite function with coach Todd Pletcher’s prime 3-year-old, Forte. Contender.
6. Kingsbarns, Jose Ortiz, 12-1
One among three Pletcher-trained entrants, Kingsbarns is brief on expertise with simply three profession begins and none as a 2-year-old. However he’s lengthy on expertise. All three wins have come at completely different tracks, together with a decisive win final outing stretching out to 1 3/16 miles in a weak renewal of the Louisiana Derby. Contender.
7. Reincarnate, Velazquez, 50-1
His finest races are as much as one mile. Horse shouldn’t be Derby materials at 1¼ miles. Pretender.
8. Mage, Castellano, 15-1
Numerous buzz about this Florida invader following his second-place end, overwhelmed by only one size, to doubtless Derby favourite Forte final outing. Having began in late January, Mage is mild on seasoning with solely three begins however does have upside. I query his capacity to deal with 1¼ miles, and he’s by no means run exterior of the Sunshine State. Pretender.
9. Skinner, J. Hernandez, 20-1
Ran an excellent third within the Santa Anita Derby final outing. The highest two finishers had much better journeys. He was pressured to maintain a large rally following a troubled begin to miss by solely a half-length. I query his capacity to complete strongly stretching out to 1¼ miles. Contender.
11. Disarm, Rosario, 30-1
Has proven little or no enchancment in his three begins this 12 months. Pretender.
12. Jace’s Street, Geroux, 15-1
One among three horses entered within the Derby from the Brad Cox barn. I don’t envision him carrying his velocity the gap. Pretender.
13. Solar Thunder, B. Hernandez Jr., 50-1
Has by no means run a race in his six begins that may even remotely contemplate him a Derby contender. Pretender.
14. Angel of Empire, Prat, 8-1
Steadily bettering 3-year-old is one in every of solely two horses within the Derby area with two wins at 1⅛ miles, the opposite being Japanese invader Derma Sotogake. Shall be closing from off the tempo, however he has gears to keep away from bother in a area of 20 and a robust end. Prat suits him like a glove. Labored very nicely at Churchill in preparation for the large day. Contender.
15. Forte, Irad Ortiz Jr., 3-1
Final 12 months’s 2-year-old champion has received six of seven begins, together with 4-for-4 round two turns. Went all out to win a weak renewal of the Florida Derby. Pletcher trains this doubtless favourite, who should have a clear journey and a few tempo to shut into. Can his late punch be as efficient stretching out in distance? Doesn’t have a big edge over the sphere however would be the favourite. Contender.
16. Increase Cain, Corrales, 50-1
Bought an excellent tempo setup in his upset win two begins again however then confirmed little within the Blue Grass. Pretender.
17. Detma Sotogake, Lemaire, 10-1
Horses from Japan have made their mark on the worldwide stage. They lastly have a legit horse for racing’s largest stage with Derma Sotogake. In eight begins, he has 4 wins, together with a pair at 1⅛ miles and final outing successful by 5½ lengths within the UAE Derby going even additional. He’s versatile and handles any monitor floor nicely. Final outing his connections switched to world class rider Christophe Lemaire, who will likely be again aboard within the Derby. Contender.
18. Rocket Can, Alvarado, 15-1
He’s by no means run a race in six begins to think about him a Derby contender. Pretender.
21. Cyclone Mischief, Rosario, 30-1
Has not run a race that may make him aggressive within the Derby. Pretender.
22. Mandarin Hero, Kimura, 20-1
Japanese invader was overwhelmed by a nostril within the Santa Anita Derby in a strong efficiency. I would favor him to not run right here due to his terrible draw. The Preakness is a significantly better spot. Contender.
23. King Russell, Bejarano, 50-1
Has solely a maiden win to his credit score. Simply his publish will do him in. Pretender.
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