Archive for May 7th, 2016

Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders: The Final “Exceptional Eleven”

Post positions have been selected for Kentucky Derby 2016 and this is my final update before the big dance.

The wild ride began with my first Derby contenders list last September and the more things change the more they stay the same. Mohaymen was my top contender last fall and Mor Spirit was right behind him at number three. They both made it to the big race and should be viewed as solid contenders. Brody’s Cause is the other horse to make it from my original list and he will try to get involved late under the Twin Spires.


I am once again offering my annual Derby Day full card from Churchill and details can be seen below. Good luck in the Derby! I’ll be back next week to recap the Derby and preview the Preakness.

Jarrod Horak’s Final “Exceptional Eleven” Kentucky Derby 2016 Contenders

(1) MOHAYMEN (Tapit – Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union) mohaymen silks 2016

Trainer (Kiaran Mclaughlin) – Owner (Shadwell Stable)

Latest Workout: 4f in :47.40 (5/67) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: He has been my top ranked Derby contender all along and his lone career loss was a 4th place finish (wide trip on wet track) in his last start (Florida Derby). He is working well but has been too aggressive galloping and needs to relax early to have any chance on Saturday.

(2) MOR SPIRIT (Eskendereya – Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union) more spirit silks 2016

Trainer (Bob Baffert) – Owner (Michael Lund Petersen)

Latest Workout: 5f in :59.80 (2/27) at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Comments: I have always been high on him and he has never finished out of the Exacta. He final Derby work was better than his first at Churchill and I do not think we have seen his best effort.

(3) NYQUIST (Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) Nyquist

Trainer (Doug O’Neill) – Owner (Reddam Racing LLC.)

Latest Workout: 8f in 1:41 (1/3) at Keeneland on April 29.

Comments: The main concern is his one sprint/one route prep path. He has never lost, looked solid training at Keeneland and Churchill, and should be in the hunt throughout.

(4) EXAGGERATOR (Curlin – Dawn Raid, by Vindication) exaggerator silks

Trainer (Keith Desormeaux) – Owner (Big Chief Racing, LLC)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:02.60 (48/57) at Churchill Downs on April 30.

Comments: He loves wet footing but it looks like a fast track on Saturday. He owns some of the best speed figures in the field and it would be a great story if he scored for Team Desormeaux.

(5) DESTIN (Giant’s Causeway – Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer) destin silks

Trainer (Todd Pletcher) – Owner (Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:01.40 (29/53) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: He has never raced beyond a mile and a sixteenth and the Kentucky Derby will be his first start in two months. The Tampa Bay Derby winner has tactical speed and tries to give trainer Todd Pletcher his second Derby win.

(6) SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS (Mineshaft – Uchitel, by Afleet Alex)

Trainer (Donnie K Von Hemel) – Owner (Samuel F. Henderson)

Latest Workout: 5f in :59.60 (8/53) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: He has made a nice impression in his training sessions and is one of the better late runners in the field. He needs a fast pace to chase.

(7) CREATOR (Tapit – Morena, by Privately Held)

Trainer (Steve Asmussen) – Owner (WinStar Farm)

Latest Workout: 4f in :50.60 (47/56) at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Comments: He beat Suddenbreakingnews in the Arkansas Derby and is clearly on the improve for Steve Amsussen, who is looking for his first Derby win.

(8) BRODY’S CAUSE (Giant’s Causeway – Sweet Breanna, by Sahm)

Trainer (Dale Romans) – Owner (Albaugh Family Stable)

Latest Workout: 5f in 1:00.20 (4/57) at Churchill Downs on April 30.

Comments: The Keeneland specialist broke his maiden at Churchill Downs and should be doing his best running in the stretch.

(9) GUN RUNNER (Candy Ride – Quiet Giant, by Giant’s Causeway)

Trainer (Steve Asmussen) – Owner (Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimney Farms)

Latest Workout: 4f in :50.40 (43/56) at Churchill Downs on May 2.

Comments: The stalker gives trainer Steve Asmussen a strong 1-2 punch. He won both of his Fair Grounds starts this year and is on the upswing.

(10) DANZING CANDY (Twirling Candy – Talkin and Singing, by Songandaprayer)

Trainer (Clifford Sise Jr.) – Owner (Halo Farms)

Latest Workout: 5f in :59.80 (2/17) at San Luis Rey Training Center on April 30.

Comments: He drew post 20 and figures to go straight to the front. He will certainly be there early but might not have the stamina to see out the ten furlong trip.

(11) MO TOM (Uncle Mo – Caroni, by Rubiano)

Trainer (Tom Amoss) – Owner (G M B Racing)

Latest Workout: 4f in :48.60 (28/67) at Churchill Downs on April 29.

Comments: Look out if he finds clear sailing. He has had nothing but bad luck lately and will try to weave his way through a 20-horse field. His connections stuck with jockey Corey Lanerie and he is a very good pilot at Churchill.

THE NEXT NINE +2: (12) Outwork, (13) My Man Sam, (14) Whitmore, (15) Shagaf, (16) Tom’s Ready, (17) Lani, (18) Majesto, (19) Oscar Nominated, (20) Trojan Nation, (21) Laoban, (22) Cherry Wine


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