2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Posted by Matt Cullen on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:03 AM

Updated: March 19, 2012. This week's top 10 contenders list compares my top 10 Kentucky Derby contenders with two expert's picks: John Asher and Jill Byrne.

Next Update: Monday, March 26, 2012. Be sure to subscribe to the Derby Experiences blog and follow QuintEvents on Facebook and Twitter @QuintEvents for updates on this year’s Kentucky Derby.

Top 10 Contender Picks for the Kentucky Derby

John Asher's Top 10 

Jill Byrne's Top 10 

Matt's Top 10 

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. 

QuintEvents-DerbyExperiences-Kentucky-Derby-Contenders-2012Ready for the first Saturday in May? See your contenders face off at Churchill Downs® in the "Run for the Roses" at the Kentucky Derby! Get Official Ticket Packages from Churchill Downs® now!


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