Cats Working 2012 Kentucky Derby Picks

By Adele

I could pull a no-brainer and pick Virginia’s own Bodemeister as my favorite for the 138th Kentucky Derby on May 5. He’s the flavor of the day for the human odds-makers. But this year’s a real crapshoot, with no clear superstar emerging from all the prep races.

I’m not sure Bodemeister can do it. He’s only run 2 previous races, and he drew the No. 6 post position for the Derby, which puts him in the middle of everybody. His jockey is Mike Smith, former jockey of the freakishly fabulous Zenyatta.

In his first-ever race, Bodemeister came in 2nd. His next time out, on April 14 at the Arkansas Derby, he seized and maintained the lead, and then blew the competition away by 9 ½ lengths in the stretch. I’m afraid Bodemeister may be tired. Or he may blow us all away on Derby day.

Then there’s Hansen the white horse, and my kindred spirit. His record is most impressive, with 2 wins in 4 races, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs in November. He’s never come in less than 2nd.

But on April 14 in the Toyota Blue Grass, he had the lead all the way until Dullahan came from way behind and pulled off a stunning upset.

So what about Dullahan? He ran 4th behind Hansen in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. His overall record is 2 wins for 5 races, placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the others. He’s in Derby pp 5 with jockey Kent Desormeaux, who won the Derby in 2008 on Big Brown. Dullahan’s half-brother is Mine That Bird, who won the 2009 Derby. Hmmm…

A few weeks ago, I thought my favorite would be Union Rags (under Julien Leparoux). But on March 31 at the Florida Derby, Union Rags came in 3rd behind Take Charge Indy.

At the Derby, Take Charge Indy will be in pp 3 under Calvin Borel, who is notorious for his cunning navigation along the rail — and for winning Kentucky Derbys.

Decisions, decisions…

Here goes: I’m picking Dullahan to win, Take Charge Indy to place, and Bodemeister or Hansen to show.

5 Responses to Cats Working 2012 Kentucky Derby Picks

  1. adele says:

    Adele, every year now at Derby time, I see Fred smiling down upon you. Lets hope this year you’ve picked the winner.

    And yes, my sister has already called to ask, “What are that cat’s picks for the Derby?” She should remember your name, but I think she just can’t process that we share a first name.

  2. Bacardi1 says:

    I rarely have a hands-down favorite (unless the horse is somehow distantly related to one of mine) – but do tend to hope for an underdog to pull it off unless there’s a clear-cut “superstar” that really deserves it.

    As far as “Bodemeister”, even though Virginia-born, I’m hoping he loses big-time, as I do not care at ALL for trainer Bob Baffert. Has to be the worst sportsman I’ve seen in decades of watching racing. Petulant, sulky, & downright rude when he loses; precocious & holier-than-thou when he wins. There are few, if any, big-time trainers who openly exhibit such unpleasant & juvenile personality traits. Can’t stand him.

  3. catsworking says:

    Adele, I’m feeling real good about Dullahan today, and I think Fred would agree. Dully’s got grit. After coming in 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Juveniles race, with Hansen winning it, he kept it in the back of his mind until their next match-up, let Hansen think he was going to win another one, and then blew him away in the stretch.

    Bacardi1, I can think of one trainer who tops Baffert for being a slimeball. Rick Dutrow. He was the trainer of Big Brown a few years back, and got into big trouble for shooting horses with picker-uppers before races. Once Brownie was taken off that stuff cold-turkey, he actually WALKED across the finish line in the Belmont, worse than dead last, after WINNING the Derby and the Preakness with ease.

    Dutrow went on to get into more trouble, and I think he finally got banned from racing in New York. Haven’t seen his name anywhere in quite a while.

  4. Bacardi1 says:

    Oh Adele, I agree with you about Dutrow – but he’s one of the bottom-feeders. Not even worth discussing. As I said, I was talking about “big-time trainers” – something that Dutrow is definitely NOT. While I dislike Baffert, you can’t even remotely put him in the same class (or sentence) with Dutrow.

    When I talk about Baffert coming in at the bottom of his compatriots, I’m talking about Pletcher, Zito, Lucas, etc., etc. – all gentlemanly good sports whether they win or lose. Baffert’s an embarrassment compared to them.

  5. catsworking says:

    Yeah, Barcardi, you’re right. Dutrow isn’t in the same league with the guys you mentioned. That whole group who owned Big Brown was pretty shifty.

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