2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders
Updated: April 9, 2012. This week's top 10 contenders list compares my top 10 Kentucky Derby® contenders with two expert's picks: John Asher and Loren Hebel-Osborne.
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Top 10 Contender Picks for the Kentucky Derby®
*Unique Pick for Each Analyst
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Breaking Down the Picks
For the first time, each expert has a different number one contender for the 2012 Kentucky Derby®! Union Rags again tops the list as my favorite for the Kentucky Derby®. Although his odds slipped slightly in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 (9-2), I still believe he will be the best horse going into the May race.
Loren Hebel-Osborne has Hansen as her top contender in this week's rankings. He was victorious at the Gotham at Aqueduct on March 3, and has finished first or second in each of his Derby preps. Hansen is currently second in the odds at (8-1), trailing only Union Rags as the 2012 Derby favorite. The Kentucky-bred Hansen could have a home-field advantage and generate a lot of attention over the next few weeks.
John Asher has Creative Cause as his top horse in this week’s rankings. One of the more active horses in the Derby preps, Creative Cause has performed well on his road to the "Run for the Roses." He finished second in this weekend’s Santa Anita Derby and finished first in the San Felipe on March 10. He performs well on long distance tracks and has improved his odds to (8-1) for the 2012 Kentucky Derby®.
Hebel-Osborne was forced to re-arrange her top 10 this week due to the fact that she has to be realistic about their chances of garnering enough graded stakes earnings. “While I’m expecting a very good effort from Howe Great this coming weekend in the Bluegrass Stakes, he would have to win to be in, and I’m not sure he can get to Hansen on a speed-biased Keeneland course.” Optimizer was another name that dropped off her list this week to make room for the addition of Went the Day Well and I’ll Have Another. “Went the Day Well moves into a top spot and lightly raced I’ll Have Another was so impressive in the Santa Anita Derby this weekend that I can’t leave him out!”
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About the Experts
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. Before his arrival at Churchill Downs, Asher earned five media Eclipse Awards for Outstanding National Radio Coverage of Thoroughbred Racing at Louisville radio stations WHAS and WAVG.
Loren Hebel-Osborne maintains an active racing and breeding farm just outside of Louisville. She often serves as a guest speaker and racing analyst for schools, clubs, corporate events and local news stations WHAS-TV and WBKI’s “Louisville Live” for Kentucky Derby® and Breeders’ Cup coverage. Loren also spent 15 years with VISA where she was involved in all aspects of managing its sponsorship of the Triple Crown and the Kentucky Derby®.
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