Top 10 Contender Picks for the Kentucky Derby
|1. Union Rags||1. Union Rags||1. Union Rags|
|2. Creative Cause||2. El Padrino||2. Creative Cause|
|3. Hansen||3. I'll Have Another||3. Hansen|
|4. El Padrino||4. Creative Cause||4. El Padrino|
|5. Gemologist||5. Bodemeister||5. Alpha|
|6. Bodemeister||6. Gemologist||6. Bodemeister|
|7. Alpha||7. Hansen||7. Gemologist|
|8. Dullahan||8. Castaway||8. I'll Have Another|
|9. Mark Valeski||9. Secret Circle||9. Dullahan|
|10. I'll Have Another||10. Mark Valeski||10. Secret Circle|
John Asher joined Churchill Downs® in 1997 as a publicist and racing analyst, and moved to his current role as vice president of Racing Communications two years later.
Jill Byrne is the Director of On Air Communications and Official handicapper at Churchill Downs®. She is also a regular contributor to HRTV's racing programs.
Breaking Down the Picks
Each of us have Union Rags as our top contender for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. He is a 4-1 favorite in the Pool 2 Future Wager and is fresh off a victory at the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. With his strong finishes in the Derby preps, he will likely remain the top contender for this year's Derby.
A new addition to the top 10 contenders list is Secret Circle. He raced to a three-quarter length victory as the even-money favorite in Saturday's Grade 2, $500,000 Rebel Stakes. This was his second win in as many months at Oaklawn Park, and I now have him as my #10 contender. His recent victory made him a 37-1 favorite for this year's Derby, so he should be a horse to consider this May.
The biggest change in this week's rankings comes from Creative Cause and Fed Biz. Creative Cause was ranked fourth in my rankings last week and has moved up to #2 behind Union Rags. He recently finished first in the San Felipe and had an impressive third place finish at the San Vicente. He does well at long distance tracks and has great closing speed; two skills that will make him a top contender in this year's Derby.
On a sad note, according to Daily Racing Forum, Fed Biz has been taken off the Derby Trail due to a hind-end issue. Fed Biz was a 22-1 favorite before his injury after winning at Santa Anita on February 29.
Who is your favorite in this year's Kentucky Derby? Share your thoughts below.