Derby Picture Comes Up Scrambled

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There is no clear favorite for the Kentucky Derby after long shots won the two major preps over the weekend  Upsets in both the Florida Derby and the Louisiana Derby muddied the picture for the first Saturday in May.  Union Rags, the Kentucky Derby favorite in future wagering, ran third in the Florida Derby.  In Louisiana, Hero of Order shocked the field at 109-1, and he is not even nominated for the Triple Crown.

Take Charge Indy surprised handicappers in the Florida Derby

The winner of the Florida Derby was Take Charge Indy, ridden by Calvin Borel.  On a day when Horses on or near the lead and on the rail seemed to win every race, Take Charge Indy went right to the front, relaxed setting a moderate pace, and won the race in wire-to-wire fashion.  Reveron ran second the entire race at 30-1.  Union Rags did very well to close from behind to be third, after being bottled up in traffic for most of the race.  Here’s a video link to the race.

The results of the Louisiana Derby leave one to ponder whether any Horse in the race is good enough to hit the board in the Kentucky Derby.  The race was run in a slow time, and the favorite Mark Valeski had every opportunity to go by the winner in the stretch, as did the second choice, the lightly raced Cigar Street.  Mark Valeski is trained by Larry Jones, which means he is in extremely capable hands, but watching the race you have to wonder if he can get the 1 ¼ distance of the Kentucky Derby.  Here’s video of the Louisiana Derby.

Finally, halfway around the world in Dubai, two Horses who very well may run in the Kentucky Derby ran in the UAE Derby.  Daddy Long Legs won the race, making his first start since finishing 12th in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile last fall at Churchill Downs.  Wrote, who won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill, finished third.  So far Dubai shippers have had an abysmal record in the Kentucky Derby, but it seems we will have a few more try this year. Here’s the video from the UAE Derby.

With the Wood Memorial in New York, the Santa Anita Derby in southern California, and the Blue Grass Stakes in Lexington still to come, the Kentucky Derby picture will become more clear over the next two weeks.