Kentucky Derby blog #1
Saturday, April 16, will start to clear up the murky field for the 2011 Kentucky Derby.
Uncle Mo, who should have been an overwhelming favorite for the race, ran a disappointing third in the Wood Memorial. So now, the door is open for contenders and longshots alike.
Dialed In, who rallied late in the Florida Derby to hit the wire first, will get plenty of attention for the Run for the Roses, but here is what the railbirds of the nation have to look forward to Saturday.
The Factor, an easy winner of the Rebel (Grade III) in first visit to Arkansas, has returned as a strong 7-5 favorite in a field of 13 3-year-olds entered in Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (GI) at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark.
Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia indicated this week that an impressive victory in the Arkansas Derby would likely make the Bob Baffert-trained son of War Front the morning line favorite for the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Santiva, winner of Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) and runner-up in his 2011 debut to Mucho Macho Man in the Risen Star (GII) at Fair Grounds, figures to be a lukewarm favorite when he faces 11 rivals in Saturday’s 87th running of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass (GI) over the synthetic Polytrack surface at Keeneland.
How much do you discount or really buy into Polytrack efforts? Stay tuned, things are about to get interesting.