by Doc Sports - 04/29/2005
The Kentucky Derby race is now one week away and the field is starting to take shape. It appears that the field may be full with 20 horses as some late long shots vie to enter the fray. With this many horses, the auxiliary gate will be in effect and that can play a prominent role in this race. The best horses in the Kentucky Derby race could struggle and find the path they tread very unappealing. This makes the race very interesting and exciting, as we feel ten horses have a legitimate shot of winning.
Doc's Sports is your place for handicapping the 2005 Kentucky Derby race. We have correctly selected the winner in five out of the last ten derbies, including the 1999 race when 31-1 longshot Charismatic came away victorious. Doc himself will be leaving for Louisville on Thursday, May 5. While in Louisville, he will be in close contact with numerous trainers, jockeys and handicappers, soaking in all of their opinions.
The following lists our top six contenders as of this writing on April 29, 2005. The horses are listed in alphabetical order and not by preference:
1) Afleet Alex- This horse overcame a lung infection by blowing out the field in the Arkansas Derby. He will be one of the top choices once post time approaches late Saturday afternoon. This horse has six victories and his only trouble racing came when he had the infection. Some question the strength of his competition but this is definitely one horse that you cannot leave off your trifecta. His trainer Tim Richey is not a well-known name but has a chance to showcase his stuff behind this horse. He is the son of Northern Afleet.2) Bandini- The son of former Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, who crusied to victory a few years ago. This is the best chance for victory of the three likely entries trainer Todd Pletcher will put in this race. This horse blew away the field at the Bluegrass Stakes winning by a convincing six lengths. He has already beaten Kentucky Derby contenders Sun King and Noble Causeway. A mile and eighth appears to be this horses favorite distance as he has won twice at that length. He should be able to sit back more in the Kentucky Derby making this one a threat. 3) Bellamy Road- This is the first of the Nick Zito trained horses that we will discuss. The horse will have a long layoff between races but you could not have asked any more out of him in the Wood Memorial. He won that race by 17 lengths and has came away victorious in four out of his last five starts. Javier Castellano appears to be the right match for this horse as the races he rides have been over early. Bellamy Road seems to follow similar paths of recent Derby Winners. Grab the lead early and hold on for victory. 4) Consolidator- The horse is trained by a legend in D. Wayne Lukas and will enter the race at double-digit odds. He finished a disappointing fifth in the Blue Grass and because of that many have questioned his blowout victory in the San Felipe. We are not ready to give up on this horse just yet and feel that if he can find his form from the San Felipe, he could do some damage in the Derby. This is Luckas' only entry and he will be able to devote all of his time to this colt. 5) High Fly- This horse came away victorious against Noble Causeway in the Florida Derby and will be sitting on that victory for over one month until the Kentucky Derby race. This is the best win a horse could have had based on the field on all the other tune-up races. He could not ask for a better trainer/jockey combination with Nick Zito and Jerry Bailey. He has never left Florida and will need to be up in front in order to hit the board in Louisville. 6) Noble Causeway- Finished just behind High Fly in the Florida Derby and with the added distance of this race, this one may be able to run down the leaders from behind. Noble Causeway is not far behind High Fly with his line-up of Zito and Gary Stevens. If he is close coming down the stretch, this horse has the ability to make a move and pick up the roses. We are fascinated by the value that this horse will likely offer.
As previous stated, Doc himself will be at the Derby. This year set up outstanding and good money can be made. On race day, you will be able to purchase our winner right through our website. Detailed analysis will be provided with our first, second, and third choices.
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 race information until and afterthe race lineup is set. Check back for more articles regarding past Kentucky Derby race winners.