Updated: February 20, 2012. This week's rankings come directly from Jill Byne, Director of On Air Communications and official handicapper at Churchill Downs. This is our first professional contenders list for the 2012 Kentucky Derby!
Byrne is an accomplished horsewoman who worked in the development of 1997 Horse of the Year and juvenile champion Favorite Trick and Countess Diana.
Top 10 Kentucky Derby Contenders
1. El Padrino - El Padrino had a poor sowing in the Remsen but has shown some promise contending in some races. He will be a horse to watch to see if he can kick it up another level and contend in major races.
2. Gemologist - Gemologist is another undefeated colt with a perfect record from three races. His last win came at Churchill Downs where he won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. He has enough graded stakes earnings to compete in this year's Kentucky Derby, so be on the lookout for Gemologist this May!
3. Union Rags - Graded Stakes noted that they are concerned about Union Rags ability to go the classic distance in the Derby. He was unlucky in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with only a second place finish, but won the Champagne and Saratoga Special in blowout fashion. He is currently second in graded stakes earnings with $830,000.
4. Algorithms - Algorithms won the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park by five lengths on January 29. He opens as the favorite to win this year’s Kentucky Derby according to the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 1.
5. I'll Have Another - I'll Have Another won the $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes in shocking fashion at 43-1 odds! He has now earned $184,000 from his 4-2-1-0 line and is now 15th in graded stakes earnings.
6. Out of Bounds - His win at the Sham Stakes in January caught the attention of many Derby futures. Out of Bounds is a large colt who seems to have limitless potential and a big motor get him around the lengthy Kentucky Derby.
7. Fed Biz - Fed Biz's recent win at Santa Anita has gotten the attention from many Derby experts. He has plenty of questions to answer, but he is well on his way to generating enough graded stakes earnings for the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
8. Alpha - Alpha made it two straight wins over the Aqueduct inner track this winter winning the Withers Stakes last Saturday by 3 ¼ lengths. Godolphin-owned colt continues to enhance his credentials as a serious contender for this year's Kentucky Derby.
9. Creative Cause - Creative Cause finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which was an impressive finish given who he finished behind, Union Rags and Hansen. He opens up as a 20-1 favorite and is currently fifth in graded stakes earnings.
10. Take Charge Indy - Take Charge Indy opened as a 30-1 favorite to win this year's Kentucky Derby. Though he has not raced since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Take Charge Indy won his debut in Arlington, finished second in the Arlington-Washington Futurity, and fourth in the Breeders' Futurity.