Saturday, April 16, 2011

One Factor to Fear in Arkansas Derby

Sure, The Factor is a solid 7-5 favorite in today's crowded Arkansas Derby field. The number one question you should consider before wagering on the centerpiece of the Oaklawn Park meet, can anyone go with The Factor on the front end? At least long enough and fast enough to soften Bob Baffert's speedy colt and set the table for an upset? My answer is a resounding, "Yes."

While there are a few likely to go with The Factor there is probably just one horse with the potential to hang with favorite at least through the three-quarter mile mark - Brethren. I don't think this Todd Pletcher trainee will win today's feature, just apply enough pressure for someone else to rise up and take over midway through the stretch.

Here are the factors in Brethren's favor:

  • Akin to last year's Kentucky Derby winner and Arkansas Derby runner-up, Super Saver
  • Blinkers on with two fast works on his tab - there is little doubt of Pletcher's intentions of at least attempting go on with The Factor
  • Pletcher possibly testing the waters to see if Brethren may be able to take down The Factor come May 7, so his main threat, Uncle Mo may get help in tracking down the likely Churchill pacesetter (Could Stay Thirsty's blinker experiment gone bad, been the first attempt?)
  • Brethren has the advantage of breaking just outside The Factor and his jockey Ramon Dominguez will have the option of attacking from the bell or tracking just off The Factor's flank
I believe Brethren's pressure will set up one of the many closers/blinkers on crowd for the win. In this Derby Trail of Doubt, why not take the long shot J W Blue

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