View Full Version : Official PaceAdvantage.com Kentucky Derby Analysis

05-01-2010, 05:20 AM
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/3.jpg Noble's Promise
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/4.jpg Super Saver
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/images/SCNums/17.jpg Dublin

What an absolutely wide open affair this year's Kentucky Derby appears to be on paper. And as wide open as the race is, it's also FAST early. There is TONS of early speed in the Derby, with no less than four confirmed need-to-lead types (Line of David, Super Saver, Conveyance & Sidney's Candy), along with five others (Discreetly Mine, American Land, Mission Impazible, Jackson Bend & Homeboykris) who like to engage things early as well.

Normally, in such a speed-packed race like this, one would naturally look to the mid-pack runners and the closers in search of your winner, especially in a race like the mile-and-a-quarter Kentucky Derby. However, with heavy rains expected to begin hammering Churchill downs within a few hours, we are very likely going to be dealing with a very wet racing surface come 6:24 pm. And my models say you don't want to be coming from far out of it at Churchill when it's raining (what Mine That Bird did last year not withstanding of course).

So, with that in mind, I land on Noble's Promise and Super Saver as my top two choices, and I have a very hard time separating the two, to be completely honest. I still find myself wrestling with the decision to put Noble's Promise on top. However, I finally settled on him for a number of reasons.

First, Noble's Promise can sit just off the pace. He is most comfortable being a few lengths off the lead in third or fourth place, which I feel will be an ideal position in this year's edition of the Derby.

Second, Noble's Promise is bred to the hilt to love an off track. His Tomlinson number is the best in the field, and he put in a very nice work over the Churchill mud five days ago. At first glance, his breeding, while excellent for off tracks, appears quite suspect when it comes to getting the distance of the Derby. Interestingly enough though, he is listed as a dual qualifier under the voodoo that is Dosage Index + Experimental Free Handicap.

Third, it looks as though Noble's Promise is set up to run a hole in the wind third start off the layoff. Two back in the Rebel at Oaklawn, he put in an effort that isn't easily matched by any other in this Kentucky Derby field when he just missed to Lookin At Lucky while coming off a three month layoff. In his last start, he got into all sorts of trouble while favored in the Arkansas Derby. I think the trouble was a blessing in disguise, as it gives Noble's Promise ample opportunity to rebound in his all important third start off the layoff. This guy is primed for a big one and will love the going and the pace setup.

As for my second choice, Super Saver, why didn't he make the cut for number one on my hit parade? Good question. He's bred to also love an off track, and he also put in a very nice work over the Churchill slop on April 24. Like Noble's Promise, this one is fast when it counts in the end, is also a dual qualifier, and seemingly has been getting better with almost every start. His human pluses include being trained by Todd Pletcher (who as we all know, is going to win the Derby eventually), and being ridden by Calvin Borel, Mr. Churchill Downs himself.

The one thing that kept me from putting Super Saver on top is the fact that he loves to run on the lead, and in a race packed with so much front running speed, Super Saver's style just might be a liability. Plus this horse seems to be everyone's wise guy pick, as he's currently the early favorite, albeit at a lofty 7-1!

As for the rest, Dublin is a hard knocking horse who seems to always be hanging around in the end. Lukas recently said that Dublin is better than most people believe, and I am inclined to agree with the Hall of Fame trainer. But he's not good enough to win in my opinion, although he is another dual qualifier who shouldn't be too discouraged by the off going.

I will round out my selections by throwing two more speeds into the superfecta, Line of David and Conveyance.

Line of David has won three straight, but that last race in the Arkansas Derby was a real corker, and might have taken something out of him. Talk is he hasn't looked all that great lately and his work in the mud at Churchill left something to be desired, although his breeding suggests he should like an off track.

Conveyance is a speed ball plain and simple. But his off track breeding is sound and he worked a very fast five furlongs over the Churchill mud four days ago. He could easily hang on for a spot on trifecta and superfecta tickets.

Good luck in this very wide open affair!