2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Posted by Matt Cullen on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 @ 16:04 PM

Updated: April 2, 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: Your next Derby Contender update will be Monday, April 9, 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. Hansen
3. Hansen 3. Secret Circle 3. Creative Cause
4. Gemologist 4. Creative Cause 4. Gemologist
5. Bodemeister 5. Gemologist 5. Take Charge Indy
6. Take Charge Indy 6. Daddy Nose Best 6. Went the Day Well*
7. Alpha  7. Howe Great 7. Daddy Nose Best
8. Dullahan 8. Alpha  8. Alpha 
9. On Fire Baby* 9. Optimizer* 9. Bodemeister
10. I'll Have Another 10. Dullahan 10. I'll Have Another

*Unique Pick for Each Analyst

Tweet your top contender for the 2012 Kentucky Derby®»

Breaking Down the Picks

Union Rags again tops the list as the favorite for the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Although his odds slipped slightly in the Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 3 (9-2), he will likely remain the top contender for the May race. He finished third in the $1 million Grade 1 Florida Derby this past weekend. A bad trip combined with a speed biased course didn't help him.  Further, he likely needed the race for conditioning and I still like him as the top contender for the 2012 Kentucky Derby®.

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 finished tied for second in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Futures at (8-1), trailing only Union Rags as the 2012 Derby favorite. 

Take Charge Indy has moved into the top five in my personal rankings with a win at the Florida Derby. In the win, Take Charge Indy defeated top Derby contenders Union Rags and El Padrino who finished third and fourth respectively. With this impressive showing, Take Charge Indy is now a legitimate favorite for the "Run for the Roses" this May.

There has been some major shuffling in the top 10 after this weekend's preps. El Padrino has fallen out of the top 10 for the first time this prep season after two poor performances - the second in a super slow Louisiana Derby race time. Also, Hebel-Osborne added Dullahan to her top 10 list. With so much speed in the race, she wanted to include another closer. Dullahan relishes the Churchill Downs® surface and she believes trainer Dale Romans is getting him to ripen at just the right time.

See the latest odds for the 2012 Kentucky Derby®»

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®.

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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