2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Posted by Matt Cullen on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 17:04 PM

Updated: March 26, 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.

Next Update: Check out tomorrow's blog on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, for a sneak peak at the 2012 Kentucky Oaks® contenders. Your next Derby Contender update will be Monday, April 2, 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 

Loren Hebel-Osborne's Top 10 

Matt's Top 10 

1. Union Rags 1. Hansen 1. Union Rags
2. Creative Cause 2. Union Rags 2. Creative Cause
3. Hansen 3. Secret Circle 3. Hansen
4. El Padrino 4. Creative Cause 4. El Padrino
5. Gemologist 5. Gemologist 5. Alpha 
6. Dullahan 6. Daddy Nose Best 6. Secret Circle
7. Bodemeister 7. El Padrino 7. Gemologist
8. Alpha  8. Howe Great* 8. I'll Have Another*
9. On Fire Baby* 9. Alpha  9. Dullahan
10. Mark Valeski* 10. Optimizer* 10. Daddy Nose Best

*Unique Pick for Each Analyst

Breaking Down the Picks

John Asher and I have Union Rags as our top contender for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Union Rags was 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 on February 26. He is currently the favorite going into the final Derby preps and should maintain that position, barring any setbacks.

Loren Hebel-Osborne is our new feature analyst and 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 for this year's Derby at 9-1, trailing only Union Rags as the 2012 Derby favorite. 

Secret Circle has made a big jump in our top 10 contenders lists. He raced to a three-quarter length victory as the even-money favorite in this month'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 #6 contender; Hebel-Osborne has him as her third favorite after a strong showing in his Derby preps.

Daddy Nose Best is a new name to our top contenders list. He stamped his ticket to the Kentucky Derby with a his win in Sunday's Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby. His win this weekend made him a strong Derby contender and pushed his graded stakes earnings to $633,623. 

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.

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.

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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Kristen Doolan

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