Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kentucky Derby 137 - The Perfect Storm

On the eve of Halloween 1991, the New England coast was hit with a confluence of several different weather conditions that combined for what was later termed, "A Perfect Storm." For those of us here in New England, experiencing it at the time, it was the, "No Name Storm" that presented hurricane-like tides, waves and winds that were responsible for taking the lives of six fisherman out of Gloucester. The tragic tale spurned a book and then a movie.

While the Kentucky Derby will not carry the same dire ramifications as that 20-year-old storm, it certainly appears that a series of events have been put in motion for a similar unexpected result. Might this be the year a 100-1 shot takes the Run for the Roses? Why the heck not.

So far we have encounted the routine injuries and decfections with still more to come. But additionally there have been:

  • five straight Derby prep races taken by double-digit longshots 
  • a hugely disappointing loss by the overwhelming pre-Derby favorite, Uncle Mo
  • a recent maiden-winner, Midnight Interlude, taking the Santa Anita Derby
  • a lack of speed throughout this Derby crop producing just one, 100+ Beyer routing (by The Factor who may not even make the Derby gate)
  • a season of unsuccessful two-Derby preps
  • equipment changes galore and some expected rider changes upcoming (Calvin Borel is not going into the Derby without a mount)
  • a couple of Derby entrants bred for turf that are capable of 10 furlongs and a slew of dirt horses with breeding suggesting 8 furlongs would be a max
It wouldn't surpise me if the Derby Trial run the week before the Derby produces a last minute entrant. So how do you pick a winner with all these variables in play? First, any screening rule you've followed in the past needs to go out the window. This prospective field is filled with rule-breakers, so why bother with such nonsense. Second, keep it simple - bet an exacta of All over Dialed In or the other way around, if it rains take Soldat to wire the field or just bet whoever Calvin Borel ends up on. More difficult than predicting the weather, the lead up to Kentucky Derby 137 promises many shifting winds, and I'm not sure if keeping up with each new development will help or hurt with your forecast...

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