by Doc's Sports
The last tune-up race for the Kentucky Derby took place Saturday in Keeneland. The Coolmore Lexington Stakes was run over a mile and sixtieth under sloppy conditions. The race did not go as expected with the favorite Rockport Harbor finishing a disappointing seventh. This horse was in contention for the first three-fourths of a mile then flattened out on the straightaway and fell back. This paved the way for Coin Silver to emerge victorious after struggling to get out of the gate.
With the disappointing performance of Rockport Harbor, the tote board lit up. Coin Silver paid $28.80 to win, $10 to place, and $5.60 to show. With Rockport Harbor an unlikely candidate for Louisville this will leave last year's Kentucky Derby Trainer and Jockey without an entry in this season's race. John Servis and Stewart Elliott achieved greatness last year with Smarty Jones but unfortunately for them, Rockport Harbor failed to show them that he belongs in the Kentucky Derby.
With all the tune-up races coming to an end last Saturday, the field for the Kentucky Derby is starting to take shape. Check Doc's 2005 Kentucky Derby page for the latest Kentucky Derby information. There appears to be 19 horses vying for the crown and this will likely include the first supplement in the race's history. Greeley's Galaxy came away victorious in the Illinois Derby and the owner has already stated that he will pony up the $200,000 to watch his horse finish near the bottom.Besides Greeley's Galaxy, there are numerous horses in the field that we believe have no shot of winning. Some have quality wins like Buzzards Bay in the Santa Anita Derby. Everything went right for him in that race and he will not be as fortunate in this contest.
Horses that will come in at big odds and will not be up to the challenge are Flower Alley, Greater Good, Coin Silver, Giacomo, General John B, Andromeda's Hero and Going Wild. If one of these colts hits the board, the exotics will light up with enormous payouts. However this is a strong field with no obvious favorite and the remaining eight horses will dominate the race.
It starts with one of the likely favorites, Afleet Alex. Alex emerged victorious in the Arkansas Derby, setting a race record. His jockey, Jeremy Rose has ridden this horse in every race but the Rebel, and that turned out to be his worst performance of his career. This horse has won six of his nine starts and finished second in two others. He leads the field in graded earning at over 1.2 million. He will be a tough one to beat.
Moving on to the Zito horses, many of them will be well rested with over a five-week layoff. High Fly emerged victorious in the Florida Derby and breezed in comfort during a half-mile workout. However, he was outdone by his stablemate, Noble Causeway, who ran the workout in 50.60 seconds, one second faster then the Florida Derby champion. Both of these horses have the ability to win the Kentucky Derby and the difference between them may come down to the route the jockey chooses.
We will close with the Wood Memorial Champion, Bellamy Road. This horse is also trained by Nick Zito and is owned by New York Yankee Boss George Steinbrenner. This horse exploded to victory in the Wood Memorial and appeared to be the favorite entering the derby. However, strong performances by Afleet Alex and Bandini made this race a tough one to handicap. Bandini is trainer Todd Pletcher's best hope of his three entries for victory because of his six-length victory in the Blue Grass stakes. Postposition will be critical in the Derby because it will give the jockeys the ability to run the race that is desired. A bad postposition may force the horse out of his comfort zone and because of that the jockey may start to press.
Doc's Sports is your place for Kentucky Derby information. We have selected the winner in five out of the last ten races and love this year's field. Our number one choice may surprise one, as he will likely go off at double-digit odds. During the Kentucky Derby week (May 2 -May 7) we will have daily articles and after the postpositions are drawn on Wednesday, May 4, we will post the morning line odds. Doc will be in Louisville during the week and will be in close contact with numerous trainers and owners. This gives Doc's Sports the edge compared to other handicappers in uncovering the winner in the Kentucky Derby. Your best Kentucky Derby information comes from Doc's Sports.Doc's Sports will be writing several weekly articles regarding the Kentucky Derby up to the day of the race and we will be following all Kentucky Derby information until and afterthe race lineup is set.