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It’s that special time of year when all we’re doing is analyzing the Kentucky Derby (G1) in every way imaginable. While everyone else is trying to pick a winner, I’ll start with a different angle: I’m going to throw out five horses that have NO CHANCE to win on the first Saturday in May. This seems like an easy task; this Derby looks extremely top-heavy.
When I did this four years ago, I listed Shagaf (finished 20th), Trojan Nation (16th), Tom’s Ready (12th), My Man Sam (11th), and Majesto (18th). Three years ago was successful as well, but it did get scary down the stretch, as the list included Lookin At Lee (second), Battle of Midway (third), Gormley (ninth), Untrapped (12th), and Patch (14th). Two years ago, another successful article listed Combatant (18th), Promises Fulfilled (15th), Firenze Fire (11th), Lone Sailor (eighth), and Bravazo (sixth). Last year, it worked out well again as the article listed Master Fencer (sixth), Plus Que Parfait (eighth), Spinoff (19th), Tax (14th), and Haikal (scratched).
Here are the five horses that I believe have NO SHOT to win this year’s Kentucky Derby:
This might be the easiest Derby toss that we’ve had in quite some time. He has just one win in 9 starts, which came in a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds. Recently, he was third in the much weaker edition of the two Arkansas Derby (G1) events, then had back-to-back seventh-place efforts in the Indiana Derby (G3) and the Ellis Park Derby. Neither of those races attracted strong fields, so this look like an impossible task.
Another easy toss in a year with several, we haven’t seen him since he was a well-beaten seventh in the Blue Grass Stakes (G2) on July 11. He has had several chances against top-level competition this season, with very little success. There’s a possibility that he hits the board if the pace falls apart, but it’s much more likely that he runs mid-pack without making much of a move down the lane.
He’s actually shown nice improvement since being claimed, but he’s still been no threat to defeat stakes company and was a distant third in the Ellis Park Derby last time out. It will be nearly impossible for him to turn the tables in this spot. The distance is also questionable for him, making him even tougher to play in this difficult contest.
It’s hard to believe just how pathetic last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) turned out. Not a single American horse from that race has won this season, which is just astounding. Last time out, Storm the Court tried the turf and finished a solid second in the La Jolla Stakes (G3). You’d think that they’d keep him on turf after that effort; however, they’ll give him a try on the dirt once again in this very difficult spot.
He has the best chance to make noise on the big day, but even he has just 1 win from 6 starts, which came in a maiden special weight at Fair Grounds. Since then, he’s had 4 shots at graded stakes company and has 2 runner-up efforts to show for it. Last time out, he was second in the Indiana Derby (G3), but this is a tougher race. Without major improvement, he’ll struggle to hit the board against the top runners.
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