Everyone knows I am not a fan of the Kentucky Derby future wager. The odds for making a bet now seldom justify it, in my opinion. There is plenty of value come race day when we know who’s in the gate, post positions, track conditions, pace set up and all the other things we look at making a play. With that it’s challenging and fun to see your own talent in spotting equine talent. In the past few years I’ve done OK with Animal Kingdom and I’ll Have Another leading my list. While California Chrome fooled me early come race day I couldn’t deny he had a legit shot although I bet against him. Here are the horses on my 2015 Kentucky Derby radar.
Dortmund: I made him the top contender after singling him in his debut in the pick 6. I was impressed that day with both how he looked and ran. He went between horses, showed no fear or hesitation and ran fast. Not crazy fast but fast. I loved his race over Churchill Downs and that will help in May. His gritty win after a wide trip at Los Al with their long stretch won’t hurt either. His pedigree is somewhat distance challenged but he may be good enough to outrun it. He’s in the hands of someone who knows how to win the big one too.
Ocean Knight: This one is bred to get the roses distance. His winning debut was as good as any 2 year olds in 2014 even if it was on the inner track at Aqueduct in December. Made a powerful wide move and toyed with the field geared down. This horse is fast and also in good hands. I see Derby quality off the one race alone.
BOLO: This horse looks the part to me. Big and rangy and covers ground well. Mike Smith likes him and that can’t hurt. He may go in a different direction but if he points for the roses I take him seriously. I like the slow and steady improvement. You see more Kentucky Derby winners that way than the hyped up speedsters.
Gorgeous Bird: This one has yet to foray into two turn or stakes races but improved as a 3 year old the way you want to see. He’s a really nice horse in patient hands and is gonna make some noise. He won with authority on his 3 year old debut and has the blood.
Khozan: I have been saying a while the Apollo jinx is going down soon and this horse may be the one to do it. His debut which came as a three year old was monster. While not a fan of his trainer, Derby record and style of training for that particular race, this horses breeding and late start may help negate that. I, as should we all, believe in Delta Princess.
Watch for updates on the 2015 Kentucky Derby. We’ll nail the winner for sure.