KENTUCKY DERBY 2012 Contenders – Bodemeister runs wild

It was an exciting week on the Kentucky Derby 2012 trail with Dullahan tagging Hansen in the Blue Grass and Bodemeister playing hide and go seek in the Arkansas Derby.

I am not sure if unraced juvenile Bodemeister can win on the first Saturday in May but he certainly earned his shot under the Twin Spires with a dominating wire job tally in Saturday’s G1 Arkansas Derby. He reminds me of another unraced juvenile, Curlin. The latter also romped in the Arkansas Derby before finishing 3rd in the 2007 Ky Derby.


Can Dullahan fire a big shot away from Keeneland? - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Dullahan is a Keeneland freak, notching his second grade one win from as many starts in Lexington. He is winless in three tries at Churchill Downs and might have a difficult time duplicating his stellar late running victory on May 5.

Click on the names of each horse below to view their Horse Racing Nation profile page, which includes pedigree information, results, and video.

Jarrod Horak’s Top Ten Kentucky Derby 2012 Contenders

1. Union Rags (Dixie Union) – The G1 Florida Derby show finisher has been on top of my list since last November. He breezed 4f in :48.40 (2/16) at Palm Meadows on April 12 and has since shipped to Keeneland. Graded Earnings: $1,170,000   

2. Gemologist (Tiznow) – Kept his perfect record intact in game G1 Wood Memorial tally. The WinStar Farm/Todd Pletcher runner likes Churchill Downs, owns fine early-pressing speed, and has a nose for the wire. He will prepare for Kentucky Derby 2012 at Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida. Graded Earnings: $703,855  

Creative Cause

Creative Cause worked 5f at Hollywood Park on Tuesday - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

3. Creative Cause (Giant’s Causeway) – The versatile gem of consistency was last seen finishing a close-up 2nd in the G1 Santa Anita Derby (blinkers off). He worked 5f in 1:01.20 (16/37) at Hollywood Park on 4-17 . Graded Earnings: $836,000

4. Alpha (Bernardini) – Getting over an infection caused by a few small cuts in the Wood Memorial. McLaughlin will train him at Belmont Park before shipping to Louisville on April 30. Graded Earnings: $380,000  

5. Bodemeister (Empire Maker) – Moves up from the Exciting Prospects list after his facile wire job in the G1 Arkansas Derby (108 BSF) on Saturday. The Baffert trainee is a dangerous early runner and will probably attempt a Derby wire job under Mike Smith. Graded Earnings: $660,000  

6. Daddy Nose Best (Scat Daddy) – Back-to-back nine furlong wins in G3 El Camino Real Derby (92 BSF) and G3 Sunland Derby (100 BSF). Late running Asmussen trainee can run on anything and fired a 5f bullet in 1:00.20 (1/20) at Churchill Downs on 4-16. Graded Earnings: $545,558  

7. Take Charge Indy (A. P. Indy) – Stole the Florida Derby but could only muster a 95 BSF despite everything going his way. I have always been fond of this one but he could be a pace casualty on the first Saturday in May. Graded Earnings: $698,400 

8. I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley) – Followed up his surprise G2 Robert Lewis triumph with another tally in the G1 SA Derby. The Doug O’Neill trainee looms an early-pressing threat on the first Saturday in May. Graded Earnings: $601,000 

9. Dullahan (Even The Score) – Won his second Keeneland (Polytrack) Grade 1 from as many starts in Saturday’s G1 Blue Grass. He is better this year so his conventional dirt task is not impossible. Graded Earnings: $855,000

10. Hansen (Tapit) – BC Juvenile hero relaxed nicely in sharp G3 Gotham tally but was back to aggressive early tactics in Blue Grass place finish. I have never thought of him as a ten furlong horse. Graded Earnings: $1,550,000  

Exciting Prospects (in alphabetical order)


Castaway can make the Derby graded earnings cut with a win in Saturday's G3 Lexington - photo by Eclipse Sportswire

1. Castaway (Street Sense) – G3 Southwest winner was dueled into submission in G3 Sunland Derby. He is apparently headed to Saturday’s G3 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland. Worked 5f in 1:01.20 (28/64) at Santa Anita on April 15. Graded Earnings: $162,000

2. El Padrino (Pulpit) – Finished a flat 4th in a very disappointing Florida Derby performance. He is on the graded earnings bubble and seemingly moves up on wet footing. Breezed 4f in :49.10 (4/12) at Palm Meadows on April 15. Graded Earnings: $250,000

3. Mark Valeski (Proud Citizen) – Almost upset El Padrino in his G2 Risen Star route/stakes bow and finished 2nd behind 109-1 bomber Hero of Order in G2 Louisiana Derby. Graded Earnings: $260,000 

4. Secret Circle (Eddington) – G3 Southwest/G2 Rebel hero was dusted by stablemate Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby on Saturday. He might have distance limitations but the consistent colt gives his all from start to finish. Graded Earnings: $670,000

5. Went The Day Well (Proud Citizen) – Followed in Animal Kingdom’s footsteps with a win in the G3 Spiral Stakes (92 BSF) for Graham Motion/Team Valor. He breezed 5f in 1:02 (34/45) at Keeneland  on 4-14. Graded Earnings: $282,000 

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