Welcome to Kentucky Derby Week. The list below is made before the draw, and a final round of Kentucky Derby Picks and Ponderings will be made after the draw.
These polls are done five times before the Derby, done every three weeks, and each time there’s been a different number one. WICKED STRONG, step up to the plate as the fifth and final number one. Maybe I got it right this time. Or maybe, because he won the Wood Memorial, I slapped him with a hex. That #curseofthewood can be nasty juju.
Again, I’m avoiding that horse from Cali-what’s that place called? and looking instead at the contenders (which there are few of in these eyes) and pretenders (of which there are many). Read between the lines and you’ll see who is liked and disliked in the eyes of “Picks and Ponderings”.
You can also catch me on “Chicagoland Sports Radio” on Monday April 28th from 2:15 pm to 2:30 pm CT where I’ll further discuss the Kentucky Derby. You can listen live on the site and I’ll put an archive of that interview up on this page when available.
Update, April 28: Chicagoland Sports Radio interview is here.
Finally, a shout-out to WirePlayers for holding it and inviting me (and my twisted sense of humor) on the panel. It’s been fun.
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, May 1: Final Derby Dozen ballot is here and also placed with the Kentucky Derby preview.
Okay, enough disclaimers and jibber jabber. Without further ado, here’s the Derby Dozen. (Week ending April 27.)
1. WICKED STRONG I liked his Wood better than that front-running prep race on the other coast. And the pedigree is better, too.
2. CALIFORNIA CHROME He can run but he can’t hide from his pedigree limitations.
3. RIDE ON CURLIN Was taking back to mid-pack and making one run the clue to unlocking forward progress?
4. HOPPERTUNITY Sandbagged the Santa Anita Derby after getting in via a Rebel win, but no starts at two is a sticky problem.
5. WE MISS ARTIE Forgotten among April preps and buzz horses is a horse with a turfy pedigree and a nine-furlong win over the NoKY synthetic.
6. INTENSE HOLIDAY Fumbled in the Louisiana Derby, but will likely get tackled in the Kentucky Derby.
7. CHITU His final placement in the Derby will be more than the numbers of letters in his name.
8. DANCE WITH FATE A roaring round of applause for the latest irrelevant Blue Grass winner!
9. MEDAL COUNT Media, meet buzz horse working a terror in the morning. Buzz horse working well, meet media.
10. DANZA In keeping with Tony Danza’s acting career, some Italian rider named Tony or Anthony will climb aboard.
11. VICAR’S IN TROUBLE More like Vicar’s In Trouble in the Derby.
12. SAMRAAT I needed bodies. I’m tired of these three-year-olds.
Got any good contenders? Don’t see your favorite? State your case, drop a comment, and let me know.
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