Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dang That Darn Derby Draw!

The two favorites of the Kentucky Derby, both standing at opposite ends of the field with eighteen other horses sandwiched in between them. How fitting is that? Sidney's Candy, the California speedster draws post twenty, in a field top heavy with quality frontrunners and stalkers. Lookin at Lucky, the horse who just can't stay out of trouble picks up the one post most likely to get him into buckets of trouble.

After today, Lookin at Lucky seems to be in serious need of a name change. First he clips heels with Dublin in the Rebel Stakes, his first start of the year. Then, he heads back to California, seeking an easier prep and winds up getting squeezed into the rail, nearly coming to a dead halt at the 5/16th pole! Now, in the most important race of his life, he draws post position number one, how ironic.

At first glance, I was horrified that Lookin at Lucky had drawn rail position, but after looking at some of the horses in the gates next immediately next to him, I thought maybe this draw was just a blessing in disguise. Ice Box, the Florida Derby winner, and a confirmed closer occupies gate number two, meaning he'll break and drop right to the tail of the field. Then, loading in the next three gates are Noble's Promise, Super Saver and Line of David, all stalkers or pace makers that will gun for the lead.

What does all this mean? It means that there will be no horses to Lucky's immediate outside, leaving him plenty of room for maneuvering. I figure that Lookin at Lucky will be running about mid-pack, leading the closers. Once into the clubhouse turn Lookin at Lucky can almost choose how far off the rail he wants to be since everyone is running like mad men in front of him or loping along behind him. Even if only half the things go right, Lookin at Lucky may just be sitting in a garden spot for most of the Kentucky Derby.

However, on the other end of the field, leaving from gate twenty may just leave Sidney's Candy to much to do. The son of speedy colt seems very rateable, but even if he does manage to rate behind Conveyance and Line of David, I still see him sitting very close to a sure to be blistering pace. The son of Candy Ride will also, most likely get hung very wide going into the first turn, being that there is not only speed to his inside, but an abundance of stalkers, all vying for position.

Another thing to heap onto the pile of obstacles the colt will be facing is a very legitimate pace. He has never seen a quarter mile that could go in 23 flat or a half that could go below 47 seconds in a route race. Can he gun it from the twenty post, get hung wide, stalk a hot pace and still have that same late spurt? I think not.

So will Lookin at Lucky's post actually bring him some good luck for the first time this year or will it prove more trouble than he can handle? Will Sidney's Candy prove he's good enough to overcome the adversity set against or is he only brilliant with a perfect trip? We won't know for sure, until the field turns for home and that one special horse come charging under the wire to take this year's Run for the Roses!

1 comment:

  1. The two favorites may have the worst two post positions respectively...not meant to be? Perhaps, but true champs can overcome.