Top 10 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Posted by James Foster on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 @ 11:02 AM

Derby Experiences will be posting our Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Insider's Top 10 Contenders leading up to the races in May. In Kentucky, Thoroughbred racing is a way of life and Loren Hebel-Osborne has made her life-long passion a career. Loren has updated her Top 10 Contenders following this weekend's Kentucky Derby Championship Series Races and explains why she thinks these horses will be in the running at Churchill Downs®.

Kentucky Derby Top 10


I’m obsessed with this horse!  I have watched replays and studied photos of him and he looks to be a tremendous talent that absolutely loves this game.  A very happy horse! Ears are forward as soon as he passes rivals but very focused in post parade.

Shanghai Bobby

He stays at the top of my list because I really can’t see that he’s done anything wrong.  He had a layoff excuse for his loss to Itsmyluckyday.  He’s fast and he’s experienced.   


Very fast horse but not tested – he could move up or down after we see him run against Stakes company.

Super Ninety Nine

The horse wastes zero energy in the way he moves.   He has a very low center of gravity, low head carriage to make him aerodynamic and super fast.  Very impressive win in the Southwest.


He gets my respect because he finds a way to win – overcame a horrible trip in the Withers, wins and gallops out with his ears forward.


Experience gets this horse a top vote – very gritty in the last 1/8th in every start.


Another fast horse but I would like to see him more relaxed when he’s out in front.  Looks a bit like he’s speeding from the cops and may pull over if the sirens come on.

Frac Daddy

Has the pedigree and I’m sticking with a local angle here -  loves Churchill, has a win at Churchill  and Kenny McPeek cut his teeth at Churchill – a horseman with a great eye for talent.


Not a great performance in the Risen Star but he stays on my list for one major reason – D Wayne Lukas – no one knows how to coach like him for the Derby – never count him out.


Very impressive win at Gulfstream in the Fountain of Youth.  Trainer is very old school and typically doesn’t even enter prep races unless he thinks he’s competitive.  Sug likes him – I like him!

Kentucky Oaks Top 10

Unlimited Budget

She’s like auto pilot set at a very high cruising speed.  A very efficient mover who just clicks off the fractions.  Blew away the field at the Fairgrounds in the Rachel Alexandra Stake.


Reminds me of another Bob Baffert star SilverbulletDay.

Kauai Katie

A beautiful filly with a lot of expression.  Not sure she wants to go two turns but I want to see more.

Dreaming of Julia

She’s moves out of my number one spot but not too far.  She probably needed the race and I’m giving her another chance – so much class and she shows up every time.

Pure Fun

If all the speed falls apart, this filly will mow them down.  Kenny has figured her out and she keeps getting better.

Blonde Fog

This is another filly who needs to learn to relax up front if she is to be able to carry that speed all the way to the wire.  She doesn’t have a lot of experience.  Blinkers are not very severe, he may even cut back to smaller cups to get her to relax.


This filly’s has a high head carriage and a real presence – looks like a colt.  She was able to relax on the lead but he ears we frantic.  I wouldn’t be surprise if Bob adds blinkers or a shadow roll.


I loved her for the Breeders’ Cup juvenile and I’m sticking with her.

Sister Ginger

Very consistent filly who has shown she can run on anything.

Broken Spell

Again, this filly gets a top ten vote because of her trainer. She has shown that she can beat some of the best on her best day.  If Wayne gets her in sync to peak on Oaks Day – watch out.

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