A Cat’s 2015 Kentucky Derby Picks

May 1, 2015

By Adele

I couldn’t be more excited about the Kentucky Derby May 2 because I have a special favorite at last. At 3-1 odds, it’s Dortmund, son of 2008 Derby and Preakness winner, Big Brown.

Like dear old dad, Dortmund comes to the Derby with an unbeaten record. He’s 6-0, after winning the Santa Anita Derby on April 4 by 4 1/4 lengths. He’ll be in post position 8 under jockey Martin Garcia. Dortmund is the first of Big Brown’s progeny to show the potential to fill Brownie’s horseshoes.

Dortmund’s got a half-sister by Big Brown named Puca running in the morning in the Kentucky Oaks, the derby for fillies. She’s only won one of her 6 lifetimes starts, and starting on the outside in pp 14, but we’re rooting for Puca.

But I digress…

Dortmund is competing against two horses who each twice came close to winning in Dortmund’s last 4 races, if not for him. Ironically, all three are running side by side from the gate, with Bolo (30-1) in pp 9 and Firing Line (12-1) in pp 10. Will they be the most motivated to make Dortmund eat their dust?

The race also features a couple of other celebrity kids…

Materiality (12-1) in pp 3 under Javier Castellano also comes to the Derby with an unbeaten records, but he’s only run 3 previous races so far. His dad is Afleet Alex, the amazing horse who got clipped in the stretch and stumbled badly in the 2005 Preakness before winning it in record time, and then winning the Belmont. It was heart-stopping. If Materiality has half of his dad’s gumption, I’d say he has a shot to show.

And then there’s Keen Ice, son of Curlin, Big Brown’s old nemesis. Keen’s in pp 13 under Kent Desoremeaux. His odds are 50-1 because he’s only won one race in 7 so far. But I wouldn’t mind if he showed, too.

The people’s favorite is American Pharoah. For some reason, he’s considered the most talented horse, having won 4 of his 5 lifetime races, usually leaving the contenders far in his wake. He’s in pp 17 under Victor Espinoza with 5-2 odds.

Dortmund seems to like taking the lead, but when he can’t, he has this secret extra gear that kicks in as he’s heading for home. I expect this Derby to be dominated by Dortmund and American Pharoah, and I’ve got paws crossed that Dortmund’s winning streak will continue so he can make his dad Brownie proud and revive the Triple Crown dream.

May all the horses run safely across the finish line.

Cats Working Preakness Picks

May 19, 2011

By Adele

I expected (but didn’t get) a media stampede after being the only Triple-Crown prognosticator (and cat) to call the long-shot Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom.

Their loss.

Any horse who wins the Derby becomes a Triple Crown contender, so like everyone else, I’m hoping Animal Kingdom does it again at Pimlico in the Preakness Stakes on May 21. He’ll be ridden again by his Derby jockey, John Valazquez, who took the reins at the last minute after his Derby horse, Uncle Mo, was scratched (which I also predicted) and AK’s jockey got hurt.

AK drew the 11th post position in a 14-horse field, which gives him some breathing room near the outside. And his closest potential competitor, Nehro, who ran 2nd in the Derby, will be watching the race from the stands.

But the Preakness is only 2 weeks after the Derby, so in case Animal Kingdom is tired, I have alternate picks…

Concealed Identity has won 3 of his 6 races (and came in 4th twice and 5th once), but his 2 most recent races were wins, and on the same jockey, Sheldon Russell. Russell happens to be 2010’s 2nd leading jockey at Colonial Downs, my local track, so I’d like to see him succeed.

My biggest concern for Concealed is that his last race was only two weeks ago (like Animal Kingdom’s). On the other hand, he’s the son of Smarty Jones, the 2004 Derby and Preakness winner, so he’s got big horseshoes to fill. He’ll be in the 13th post position. 

Dance City, in the No. 8 position, ridden by either a familiar jockey, Javier Castellano, or a new jockey, Ramon Dominguez (I have conflicting info on that), had his worse showing by coming in 3rd in the Arkansas Derby in April behind Archarcharch and Nehro, but they aren’t in this Preakness. In his 3 other previous races, Dance has won 2, and come in 2nd. He’s had a month’s rest since Arkansas, and every time he races, no matter who’s riding him, he improves his time.

I wanted Sway Away to be one of my picks, because his dad is Afleet Alex, who stole my heart in 2005 when he stumbled badly in the 2005 Preakness but won it anyway (and went on to win the Belmont), but I don’t think Sway can do it. He finished right behind Dance City in the Arkansas Derby, but has only won one of his 6 previous races, and that was nearly a year ago.

Poor Archarcharch was injured in the Kentucky Derby and force to retire, so I’ve got my paws crossed again that all the horses cross the Preakness finish line safely.

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