Once again, it’s time for another round of Derby Dozen. With ten weeks to the event, and a number of February preps in the books, it’s time for a new list. Emphasis this time on “new” as a half-dozen of them drop off and another half-dozen newcomers are on this list.
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, February 26: Full ballot is here.
Okay, enough disclaimers and jibber jabber. Without further ado, here’s the Derby Dozen. (Week ending Feb. 23)
- TOP BILLING Didn’t have the right tokens for the Gulfstream merry-go-round.
- HONOR CODE Remember kids, Street Sense won the Derby in 2007 by being in mothballs until mid March.
- SHARED BELIEF Remember kids, Hollendorfer can ship and win outside of Southern California.
- STRONG MANDATE Moves way up off a troubled second in Arkansas.
- CAIRO PRINCE Taking the It’smyluckyday route of skipping the Fountain of Youth will not lead to this one getting crowned in Louisville.
- INTENSE HOLIDAY So a horse bred to go nine panels beats milers, and once again the Risen Star goes to the trash can.
- CANDY’S BOY So a horse bred to go nine panels beats milers, and once again the West Coast horses (minus Shared Belief) go to the crash can.
- TAMARANDO This spot goes to my yearly inclusion of the El Camino Real Derby winner that will fall off the charts in about two weeks.
- A STEP AHEAD Needs longer races than a mile because he plods like his money-sucking brother, but one to watch for the Arkansas Derby or (more likely) Illinois Derby.
- CONQUEST TITAN Has the breeding and a win over Churchill dirt last fall. Shame on me for excluding him on the last dozen.
- GENERAL A ROD Game runner-up in the Fountain of Youth gets higher nod because his trainer won with a Tapit going ten panels. (Which almost never happens.)
- WILDCAT RED Game winner of the Fountain of Youth had all the right tokens for the the Gulfstream merry-go-round.
Don’t see your favorite? State your case, drop a comment, and let me know.
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