Five Potential Derby Upsets - 04/29/13
Five Potential Derby Upsets
Welcome to Derby Week! As I continue to pour over past performances and quirky statistics and race replays and more obscure historical facts I have focused of five potential Derby upsets. That does't necessarily mean one of these horses will win of course, but it would not shock me. These horses are also in no particular order.
Will Take Charge
Prep Races - Finished sixth in G-III Southwest, finished first in G-II Rebel.
Why He Can Do It - He will be coming off a career best effort in the Rebel. Bouncing back from a poor showing in the Southwest, Will Take Charge settled off the pace before turning on the jets around the far turn to earn the win and 95 Beyer Speed Figure. His dud in the Southwest can be tossed, I think, because it was over a sloppy and sealed track. Prior to that he had mostly been improving each time out. If he continues a long that path he could find himself in the mix.
Why He Can't Do It - He has never tried 9 furlongs, let along 10. Also, according to Derek Simon over at Brisnet, horses that went to post at odds of 15-1 or greater in their final Derby prep are 0-for-54 since 1992. Will Take Charge was 28-1 in the Rebel.
Prep Races - Finished first in the G-III Spiral
Why He Can Do It - A winner of his last two, Black Onyx made a nice move along the turn in the G-III Spiral at Turfway Park. Animal Kingdom won the Spiral back in 2011 before he went on to win the Derby. Not that has anything to do with this year. He has decent speed and could find himself in the thick of things early on.
Why He Can't Do It - Black Onyx has largely been trained as a turf runner. The Spiral was won over synthetic and his start before that was over the turf at Gulfstream. He has run and won over dirt, but that was when he broke his maiden. He hasn't faced this tough of a field over that surface, which is concerning.
Prep Races - FInished sixth in the G-III Holy Bull, finished seventh in the G-I Florida Derby, finished second in the G-I Arkansas Derby
Why He Can Do It - Frac Daddy is improving at the right time. In my Arkansas Derby preview I wrote that he should run a big race. He was finally getting a chance to run two off a layoff. With his feet underneath him after the Florida Derby, I expected him to run an improved effort. He did. Now I would expect him to continue that effort.
Why He Can't Do It - He would need to make a large improvement to win this one. Even the races he has run well, none of them would be good enough in the Derby.
Prep Races - Finished seventh in the G-II Risen Star, finished second in the G-II Louisiana Derby.
Why He Can Do It - This colt looks to be running into his form cycle. After weakening down the stretch in the Risen Star, he rebounded nicely in the Louisiana Derby. He posted a 93 Beyer Speed Figure in the Louisiana Derby. This isn't a bad horse by any stretch. It will be interesting to see where he will run from. He came from way back last time out to get beat to the wire by a neck. Also, Rosie Napravnik gets the mount here. She is the leading rider in the country. Mylute seems to respond to her well with some decent workouts at Churchill Downs.
Why He Can't Do It - Mylute has yet to win a graded stakes.
Prep Races - Finished fourth in the G-II Risen Star, finished second in the G-II Rebel, finished fifth in the G-I Arkansas Derby.
Why He Can Do It - I am of the mindset we can chalk up a bad race and toss it out. That would be his Arkansas Derby. Oxbow was bet well and then bounced around. At the top of the stretch he got caught in a lot of traffic. If he runs back to his Rebel form, he can impress here.
Why He Can't Do It - He came from off the pace in the Arkansas Derby and got stuck. With a much larger field in the Derby, it may be a repeat performance.
There you have it, five potential Derby upsets. I'm calling them upsets because I don't expect them to be in the Top 5 of betting favorites. That means they should go off a decent prices. I will have updates and previews all week long. Follow @TheChalkBlog for everything Kentucky Derby. Good Luck!