Thursday, May 3, 2012

Handicappers Homework: Decoding the Derby Contenders

It's hard not to get excited about the Kentucky Derby. To people who are heavily invested in this sport, and I'll only speak for myself, I love seeing Derby coverage in the mainstream media as well as excitement build with horse racing civilians. As a blogger, I make new readers and new friends every year that I do this; I like to think that this is because I'm friendly, easy to approach, and don't have alot of fancy jargon's and metrics tied to my handicapping.

At this point in the season, the three year olds are starting to show us what they have. These are not the blank sheets of paper we handicapped last year during the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, no no no, these horses now have a resume, and these sort of resumes are best watched, not read. To my new friends and new readers, do yourself a favor, stop reading and just watch some video on these animals. Pay attention to the last 12 to 24 seconds of the race, watch which horses are extending their strides and which ones are contracting. Watch which horses pull even with other horses, do the pass them, do they get close and not pass them, is this a pattern in their other races.

Ignore most of what you read, including bald idiot handicappers like the ol' Turk. Go to and watch the clockers reports. The best handicappers in America are not writing the articles in the mainstream press, even the mainstream horse racing press. Fluff and human interest stuff sells papers but it doesn't give you a clue about who will win the Derby. Try a few blogging sites where you will find some really sharp folks. For you newbies, try Hello Race Fans! as well as horse racing blog aggregate sites like Race Wire 360. The 'Ol Turk is a proud member of a fantastic group of writers at Turf as well as The Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance.

I think it's pointless to do too much handicapping before you know the post position draw and what the weather seems to be shaping up as. With a basic idea of how the race may unfold I have broken down the 20 horses into three groups: Horses with a chance to Win, Place, Show or be in Superfecta or Super High Five, Horses with a chance to be in the Top 10 and Horses I've tossed out of consideration. The last group is most assuredly where you will find this year's winner!

Group 1: Union Rags, Bodemeister, Daddy Nose Best, Gemologist and I'll Have Another
Group 2: Hansen, Creative Cause, Alpha, Take Charge Indy, Went the Day Well, Dullahan, Rousing Sermon
Group 3: Daddy Long Legs, Liason, El Padrino, Prospective, Trinniberg, Optimizer, Done Talking, Sabercat

Anyway, watch the videos, it won't take long, and spot for yourself a winner.

Have fun with it. The Turk will be back tomorrow with the final edition of the Wire Players Derby Dozen Poll and Friday Morning we will have our Oaks/Derby Double selections ready to go. turk out!

Breeders'Cup Juvenile 2011

Arkansas Derby 2012

Santa Anita Derby 2012

Florida Derby 2012

Wood Memorial 2012

UAE Derby 2012

Sunland Derby 2012

Blue Grass Stakes 2012

Spiral Stakes 2012

Tampa Bay Derby 2012

Cash Call Futurity 2011

1 comment:

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