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RuckDaddy’s 2015 Kentucky Derby Picks

RuckDaddy’s 2015 Kentucky Derby Picks
DAILY FANTASY RUNDOWN
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RuckDaddy’s 2015 Kentucky Derby Picks

The Kentucky Derby is a part of the American fabric. During “the fastest two minutes in sports” the whole country turns its eyes to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky to see what three-year-old horse will win the “Run for the Roses.” The Derby has been run every year since 1875 and famous horses that have won the race include Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed and most recently, California Chrome. The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby will be run on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at approximately 6:24 p.m.

Visit www.inthewinnerscircle.net for Derby selections

The 1¼ mile race ran on the main dirt track is not only a spectacle but an opportunity to make a wager and hopefully realize a major return. The Kentucky Derby is such a rare opportunity to win big mainly because of the size of the field and the huge amount of money in the wagering pools. Most of the time, horse races will average about eight horses in the starting gate with a maximum 14 horses allowed. Since the Derby is such a sought-after race to enter, Churchill Downs allows a maximum of 20 horses in the field. Since the field is so large with so many betting interests, the money is spread more evenly amongst the entrants and allows for major payouts. There was over $116 million wagered in the Win, Place, Show, Exacta, Trifecta and Superfecta pools last year that was paid out to the winning tickets (after the track’s take-out), so there is a lot on the line.

We are now going to tell you the pros and cons of each horse racing in this year’s Kentucky Derby:

Name

Final Prep

1

International Star

Louisiana Derby

Pros:

New York bred swept the trio of Derby Preps at Fair Grounds winning the Lecomte, Risen Star & Louisiana Derby. In each win, he closed on the field flashing late tremendous speed. His sire Fusaichi Pegasus won the Derby in 2000.

Cons:

In the stretch of the Louisiana Derby, Mena whipped International Star 20 times to close to win over Stanford. Stanford had lost to Materiality by almost 6 lengths before the Louisiana Derby. International Star has only two wins outside of Fair Grounds and these wins were on turf and synthetic tracks. His only race at Churchill was a 4th place finish last year to El Kabeir.

2

Dortmund

Santa Anita Derby

Pros:

Undefeated 6-0 in his career & dominant on the front end in his last two wins. May be the biggest horse in the field and his sire Big Brown won the 2008 Derby. Hall of Fame trainer Baffert has won the Derby three times and Dortmund will most likely be the second choice in the odds.

Cons:

Larger horses can have issues starting & stopping in big fields like the Derby, but it wasn’t an issue when he came back to win the Robert Lewis Stakes over Firing Line. He bobbled out of the gate in the Santa Anita Derby, but regained his footing very quickly.

3

Carpe Diem

Blue Grass Stakes

Pros:

Showed tactical speed in winning the Tampa Bay Derby & Blue Grass Stakes. Only loss in 5 starts was a 2nd place finish in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile closing late. Eclipse award winning trainer Pletcher and Hall of Fame jockey Velazquez (Derby winner on Animal Kingdom in 2011) make for one of the best combos in the game.

Cons:

Has only 2 starts as a 3 year old, but Pletcher used this same racing pattern towards his only Derby win with Super Saver in 2010. He got a little worked up during the Blue Grass post parade and had trouble getting into the starting gate before the Tampa Bay Derby, so his Derby post parade is important.

4

American Pharoah

Arkansas Derby

Pros:

The 2 year old Eclipse award winner and likely Derby favorite was dominant winning the Rebel & Arkansas Derby by a combined 14¼ lengths. Espinoza won the Derby on War Emblem & California Chrome. Baffert is one of the best trainers in the game.

Cons:

May have distance limitations on the dam side of his pedigree.   Also only has two starts in his three year old year, so it’s possible that he doesn’t have the same foundation as some of these others. Besides rating off one horse in the Arkansas Derby, has always been on the lead.

5

Frosted

Wood Memorial

Pros:

Impressive winning the Wood Memorial with blazing speed figures after receiving minor throat surgery after faltering down the stretch in the Fountain of Youth. Has shown good ability to rate off the pace and score with wide trips in the Wood and 2nd in the Remsen. Rosario won the Derby on Orb in 2013.

Cons:

The Wood Memorial was by far his best speed figure and a “bounce” is quite possible in the Derby.  He’s had a tumultuous year, so he can either jump up in the big spot or falter again.

6

Mubtaahij

UAE Derby

Pros:

Destroyed the UAE Derby field and has won 4 of his last 5 on dirt.  Both the UAE Derby & Al Bastakiya Stakes were run at 1 3/16 mile (longest of any horse in the Derby field) and he has the distance pedigree.  Mike DeKock is one of the best international trainers and has been pointing Mubtaahij to Kentucky.

Cons:

No UAE Derby winner has ever gone onto win the Kentucky Derby.  He has had to fly half-way around the world from Dubai to be quarantined in Chicago, work-out on polytrack & make his way to Churchill. He will be the first horse in ten years not to run the Derby on the drug Lasix.

7

Materiality

Florida Derby

Pros:

Undefeated 3-0 lifetime out of the Pletcher barn and picks up Castellano for the Derby.  Winner of the grueling Florida Derby where he held off Upstart & has shown improving speed figures in each race.

Cons:

Will need to overcome the “Curse of Apollo.”  Materiality did not race as a two-year old and no horse has won the Kentucky Derby without racing at 2 since Apollo in 1882.  The Florida Derby was the most tiring of all the preps and Materiality has shown the need to be near the lead in all of his starts.

8

El Kabeir

Wood Memorial

Pros:

Has shown the versatility to go gate-to-wire early in his career and close recently in his last two starts.  Picks up 3-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel for this spot. Owns a win over the Churchill Downs dirt course last year in the Kentucky Jockey Cup.

Cons:

Supposedly beat “soft” fields in his Jerome & Gotham wins in the winter at Aqueduct.  Finished 3rd in the Wood Memorial, but was due mainly to a poor ride by CC Lopez, which owner Ahmad Zayat openly criticized on Twitter.

9

Upstart

Florida Derby

Pros:

A tough horse that hasn’t ran a poor race to date. In the money in all of his 7 starts including a tight 2nd place finish in the Florida Derby to Materiality. This New York bred ran a monster race to win the Holy Bull Stakes in January.

Cons:

Had a fever in early April and missed three days of training, but has trained well since with two nice workouts at Palm Meadows.  The Florida Derby may have taken something out of both he and Materiality since the track was very deep that day.

10

Far Right

Arkansas Derby

Pros:

Won the Smarty Jones & Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park with late kicks on the rail under one-time Derby winning jockey Mike Smith.  Trailed after a bad start in the Arkansas Derby, but finished strong to get 2nd well behind American Pharoah. His deep closing tactics may work well with a fast pace in the Derby and he has shown the ability to get through traffic.

Cons:

His speed figures have not been on the same level as the top horses in the field.  He’s a former $2,500 purchase, so it would be a “rags to riches” story if he won the Derby.

11

Itsaknockout

Florida Derby

Pros:

After running a monster allowance race in early January at Gulfstream Park, he was getting a lot of Derby buzz.  Was placed the winner of the Fountain of Youth over Upstart on a controversial stewards call.

Cons:

Handicappers are supposed to forgive bad races, but he ran such a miserable Florida Derby that it’s hard to forgive.  He ran 21 lengths behind Materiality that day and may not be on the same level as the top horses.

12

Firing Line

Sunland Derby

Pros:

Romped in the Sunland Derby by 14 lengths to get in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.  Before that, lost by a head twice in a row to Dortmund. Has shown tactical speed and has the services of 3-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Gary Stevens.

Cons:

The field he romped over in the Sunland Derby was probably the weakest of any prep. Will go into the Derby off a 42 day rest, which will be the longest in the field. Some have questioned his distance pedigree.

13

Danzig Moon

Blue Grass Stakes

Pros:

Ran a close 2nd only 3 lengths behind Carpe Diem in the Blue Grass Stakes showing good late pace figures and gained a ½ length in the stretch.  Has a strong distance pedigree.  For more info on late pace, see article at: inthewinnerscircle.net/kyderbylatepace

Cons:

Has only one maiden win on his record.  Ran poorly in the Tampa Bay Derby ending up 12 lengths behind Carpe Diem, but assistant trainer Norman Casse said he just didn’t take to the Tampa track that day.

14

War Story

Louisiana Derby

Pros:

Has been a horse that many have been waiting on to break through and show his full potential during the prep races at Fair Grounds.  Ran 2nd, 2nd and 3rd closing in each prep behind International Star.

Cons:

Had issues getting out of the gate cleanly until pads were added to the gate in the Louisiana Derby.  Speed figures are not on par with the top contenders and may not show his potential at the Derby.

15

Tencendur

Wood Memorial

Pros:

New NYRA track announcer Larry Collmus yelled, “Tencendur running the race of his life” as he led in the stretch of the Wood Memorial. His strong 2nd place finish to Frosted in that race is Tencendur’s main positive coming into the Derby.

Cons:

Has only won one maiden race in his career. This New York bred may have run his best race in the Wood. This is George Weaver’s first ever starter in the Kentucky Derby.

16

Stanford

Louisiana Derby

Pros:

Set slow fractions leading in the Louisiana Derby, but couldn’t hold off a charging International Star and finished 2nd. Has good early speed and may be the early pace setter in the Kentucky Derby.

Cons:

He may be the “rabbit” for the Pletcher barn. He will run his heart out on the front end of the Derby, but will probably fade to last.   If he can get American Pharoah or Dortmund to go with him, then he will have done his job to set it up for the pace pressers and closers in the field.

17

Mr. Z

Arkansas Derby

Pros:

Mr. Z is tough. Has hit the board in 9 of his 12 races. Lost by a neck and nose to Dortmund and Firing Line, respectively, in the Los Alamito Futurity last year. Legend and Hall of Fame trainer Lukas won the Derby four times between 1988 and 1999.

Cons:

If there was bad race luck, then he has got it. Lost by a nose to Ocho Ocho Ocho in the Delta Jackpot. Veered off far left in the Southwest Stakes when he was leading in the stretch. Stopped in the Louisiana Derby with blinkers off. Was game to hold on for third in the Arkansas Derby to make the Kentucky Derby gate. So maybe his luck is changing! He has only won 1 of his career 12 starts.

18

Ocho Ocho Ocho

Blue Grass Stakes

Pros:

Was undefeated as a two-year old and has shown good early speed in his career. Was one of the top horses on the West Coast coming into the year. His sire Street Sense won the Derby in 2007.

Cons:

Tired badly to third at the end of the Blue Grass Stakes after setting the early pace with Carpe Diem pressing. Has not impressed as a three year old getting beat by 15 lengths by Dortmund in the San Felipe in his only other start in 2015.

19

Bolo

Santa Anita Derby

Pros:

Ran two good dirt races in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby, each time ending up in third behind winner Dortmund.

Cons:

After the Santa Anita Derby, Mike Smith said that he is better suited for the turf. Smith is choosing to ride Far Right in the Derby over Bolo.

20

Keen Ice

Louisiana Derby

Pros:

Keen Ice is a big time closer for Romans. He closed for third and fourth in the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby, respectively. His third-place finish in the Remsen last year was impressive on a speed favoring “golden rail” that day.

Cons:

Like War Story, who ran in the same races, this horse has yet to reach his full potential. Could he reach that full potential on Derby day?

21

Frammento

Blue Grass Stakes

Pros:

If he makes the Derby gate, then he should not be forgotten.   He will make one late move and it may be enough to get in the money. He closed like a monster in the Fountain of Youth to get third and made a strong late move on the rail in the Blue Grass to get fourth. Nick Zito won the Derby twice in 1991 and 1994 and says that Frammento will love the 1¼ mile Derby distance.

Cons:

Is sitting 21st in the Derby standings and may not make the Derby gate. He has only one maiden win in his career.

In conclusion, I tend to favor American Pharoah and Firing Line. A very safe bet would be the second favorite Dortmund, as this horse is strong enough to finish in the top 3. The odds this derby will be awesome for anyone wanting to bet a horse with decent payback.

Not sure where to bet on the Derby?

For anyone asking our favorite site to bet on is DerbyJackpot.com (very easy to use and simple deposit options).

Step 1: Create a 100% free account on inthewinnerscircle.net

Step 2: Congrats! Now you can access EVERYTHING on our site all the time ( our mobile version is seriously awesome)

Step 3: Our Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks (Friday) picks are currently up under the “shop tab”. For less than $5 you can get all of the picks from 6 different handicappers whom we personally know (pretty darn good price). Derby races will be posted by the end of the day Friday.

Step 4: While at checkout enter the promo code “DailyRoto” for 20% off everything in our awesome store(including picks)

Step 5: We will be in Louisville/Derby all week but feel free to follow us on Twitter @itwinnerscircle and email: inthewinnerscircle.net@gmail.com. Just in case you need to get a hold of us.

Step 6: Go bet on www.derbyjackpot.com

What will the weather be like?

Here’s DailyRoto meteorologist Mark Paquette’s forecast:

Warm. Temps in the low 50s very early in the morning rising to a 4 PM high near 80. Race time will be in the mid to upper 70s. Plenty of sunshine. A light west wind. Not overly humid.

Who are your 2015 Kentucky Derby Picks?

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