The top contenders to win the Kentucky Derby usually start to establish themselves the closer the Derby draws, but this year seems like a battle of the big dogs. Mohaymen has established why he is a clear, likely favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
These are the contenders that I think have the best shot of winning the 142nd Kentucky Derby:
Mohaymen (Tapit – Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union)
Mohaymen is “happy” according to his connections, when asked following the colt’s final breeze before his showdown with the undefeated Nyquist this coming Saturday. Mohaymen has done nothing wrong and has not shown any sign of fatigue in his races — reason to believe we have not seen the bottom of his tank yet. Come Derby Day, Mohaymen is the likely favorite… and rightfully so.
Nyquist (Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry)
Nyquist has a lot of questions surrounding him. Not only has just one horse come out of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to win a graded stakes event (Exaggerator), but, also, Nyquist has not gone two turns since October. He is likely to be sharp going into the Florida Derby, but might come up short in the Kentucky Derby.
Gun Runner (Candy Ride – Quiet Giant, by Giant’s Causeway)
After a dominant win in the Louisiana Derby, Gun Runner is finally running to his pedigree. There was controversy around the Risen Star, but, this time around, Gun Runner proved he was best. He should come out of the Louisiana prep just fine and ship to Churchill and train during the six weeks between now and the big day.
Mor Spirit (Eskendereya – I’m a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union)
Likely not fully cranked for the San Felipe, Mor Spirit was a “willing participant” in his latest work. This is out of the norm for a colt that is often lazy in the mornings. Mor Spirit finally gets nine furlongs in the Santa Anita Derby and should appreciate the extra distance. He gets ten furlongs in the Derby — even better for the long striding ridgling.
Flying under the radar…
Tom’s Ready (More Than Ready – Goodbye Stranger, by Broad Brush)
Tom’s Ready was second in the Louisiana Derby last weekend, and while he was not catching Gun Runner, he seemed full of run at the end. More Than Ready offspring seem to be a bit distance-challenged but he gets stamina from his female line. Dallas Stewart, known for getting longshots to finish second, trains this one. Can he be the next Golden Soul, Commanding Curve or Tale of Verve?
The Kentucky Derby will be entering its 142nd year. History was made last year when the winner, American Pharoah, went on to capture the coveted Triple Crown and, later, racing’s Grand Slam.
This year, the Kentucky Derby is scheduled to be run on May 7 — rain or shine! The prize for this year’s Kentucky Derby is $2,000,000 with a winner’s share of $1,450,000.
Who will make history this year?