1 – Mubtaahij
We can start an endless discussion regarding the field he beat in Dubai, some may say it was an honest field, some may say that it wasn’t, but regardless if it was arguable tough or not, if he repeats that moooooonster turn of foot he showed in the UAE Derby, he will be without any doubt in my mind, the winner of the 141 Kentucky Derby. Trainer Mike de Kock, has run 6 times in the USA in 5 Graded I Stakes and 1 Grade III, he has won twice (although “The Apache” was placed second after an objection in the G1 Arlington Million in 2013) trainer Kock’s worst performance in the USA was a single third place.
Now that’s a stat to respect.
2 – Firing Line
He’s peaking at the right time, his easy record breaking performance in the Sunland Derby, his style of running, and the speed that should develop in the race, gives him in my opinion the edge over his nemesis “Dortmund”, some might say that he’s already lost to him in the past, but today, is not yesterday, and if the race develops as it should be, a fast pace race, this horse will not be beat by “Dortmund” at Derby day.
3 – American Pharoah
Freaky good, almost scary the way he could go fast and finish even faster with seemingly no effort at all, but he’s never been tested on the lead with a lot pressure behind him and although he can rate, he shouldn’t, his only logical place in the race, will be in the lead, he will be as vulnerable as Bodemeister was, he’s chance will depend on how slow he can lead the field in the first 6 furlongs. Great champion without any doubt, but in my opinion, vulnerable for the first time. One little stat that might mean nothing this time, but it’s there, Bob Baffert is 0-6 with Kentucky Derby favorites.