2014 Derby Dozen 3

In the past two years, I've often found a horse that keyed the top spot in the ChicagoNow Derby Dozen (with the ballots submitted in copy for WirePlayers and now for the NTRA Media Poll) that stayed up at the top spot all through the Prep races.  Two years ago it was Take Charge Indy, and last year it was Revolutionary.

This time around, the third poll has a third new number one.  Off goes HONOR CODE, who hangs around the list but asserted he's a plodder in this eyes after his second in a cooked allowance at Gulfstream.  He was replaced by Top Billing, who then got injured and is now off the Triple Crown trail.  And yours truly held a candle for Shared Belief, but that didn't work out too well as he finally dropped off the road to the Derby after his issues.

So that leaves...anyone......anyone.....?

The thinking based on the list below is that yours truly was impressed with the Rebel Stakes, putting its winner number one with a bullet.  In truth, I wish I could abdicate the top spot and say "DO BETTER!"  Instead, I voted for a horse by Any Given Saturday out of an Unaccounted For mare.  I don't exactly sleep well at night thinking about that at ten panels.

Six weeks remain until the Kentucky Derby, and yours truly hasn't found anything yet that screams Derby quality.  Someone had to be number one, so take a bow HOPPERTUNITY.


The Author is pleased for the third straight year to be a member of the "Derby Dozen" panel for WirePlayers.  Each member of the panel chooses and then ranks twelve of the best Kentucky Derby Contenders.  In addition, there are comments from members of the panel.  The list is taken fairly seriously; the comments however are more snarky than serious.   This year, in addition, horses 1-10 will represent my  ballot in the NTRA Media poll, when said poll commences.   NTRA poll results will be available from that site and tweeted on Mondays/Tuesdays, two days after the list below, if possible.  As this list is published before the final list is published including all the panelists, a link to the final ballot will be provided once it is available, usually the Wednesday or Thursday after this poll is submitted, four or five days after.)

Update, March 20: Full ballot and story here.

Okay, enough disclaimers and jibber jabber.   Without further ado, here's the Derby Dozen. (Week ending March 16)

  1. HOPPERTUNITY            Nothing to see here. Just Bob Baffert winning the Rebel Stakes. Move along.

  2. HONOR CODE            #Plodsohard who may be bred for it but doesn’t have the gears for it.

  3. CAIRO PRINCE            Still can’t get all huggable with him, but he did a good bit by dodging the February races.

  4. SPOT                    He hasn’t disgusted me yet at two turns, unlike so many others.

  5. CONQUEST TITAN            He hasn’t yet found his distance and he’s been stuck on tracks with the need for speed.

  6. INTENSE HOLIDAY        Flattered by HOPPERTUNITY as he won the Risen Star, but questionable as the Spring progresses.

  7. CANDY BOY            A sweet three-year-old to consider for the Iowa Derby or Swaps.

  8. STRONG MANDATE        Unless Coach Lukas gets him to rate, he’s not going to make it very far.

  9. SAMRAAT                He’s game as they come, but his grit will only go so far.

  10. CALIFORNIA CHROME        It has either vote for him or vote for a Tapit offspring.

  11. SOCIAL INCLUSION        Oh look, I beat HONOR CODE!

  12. A STEP AHEAD            Welp, there’s always the Illinois Derby.

Got any good contenders? Don't see your favorite?  State your case, drop a comment, and let me know.


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  • your commentary keeps getting more and more snarky. i'd point out a favourite, but pretty much all of them had me laughing.

    however, i'm pretty sure your #7 choice is Candy Boy (a current three year old by Candy Ride) and not Candy's Boy (a Nebraska-bred claimer of the late 1970s and most of the 1980s.) :-) #pedantic

  • In reply to rogueclown:


    Choice seven was corrected.

    For past snark, you can check out past ballots from the past two years. A lot of the snark comes from the fact I don't have a contender that's jumped up and screamed Derby Quality.

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