Updated: February 27, 2012. This is our second professional contenders list for the 2012 Kentucky Derby! This week's rankings come directly from John Asher, Vice President of Racing Communications of Churchill Downs.
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
Top 10 Kentucky Derby Contenders
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Ever So Lucky - Ever So Lucky was scratch ed from the Hutcheson Stakes two weeks ago. A race that he was a heavy favorite. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard wanted to take a conservative approach to his pre-Derby training, so it is still a toss up on how well he will perform this May.
6. Hansen - Hansen stumbled out the gates at the Holy Bull Stakes, but salvaged a second place finish. This has created some doubts in his ability to perform well at this year’s Derby. He is inexperienced, but has the potential to run well if he can start out of the gate well. Should be a horse to watch in the next few races.
7. 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!
8. Liason - Liason was a 3-2 favorite at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, but he clipped heels in the stretch and unseated rider Rafael Bejarano. He is a 20-1 favorite for May and will be a heavy favorite in any qualifiers leading up to the Derby.
9. Rousing Sermon - Rousing Sermon had a show finish at the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and was beaten only a neck by Liason in the CashCall Futurity. He opens as a 30-1 favorite for the Derby, so he could be a horse to watch in the next few qualifiers.
10. Dullahan - Dulllahan finished fourth in November's Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after a first place finish in Dixiana Breeder's Futurity. A half-brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, Dullahan is a 35-1 favorite to win this year's Derby. He has the pedigree to be successful this May, so he should be on your radar as a Derby favorite.