Derby 137 in the Rear View Mirror

Derby 137 in the Rear View Mirror

Derby 137 in the Rear View Mirror

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by Gary Roedemeier

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 9, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Louisville, Ky (WHAS11) - And your Kentucky Derby superfecta numbers are 16, 19, 13, and 14.
So much for the auxiliary gate being a collection of bad post positions.

If you hit that one, you richly deserve the $48,000 payoff.

There was a sense all week that this Derby would be somewhat unpredictable. It was. The Derby was won by a horse who had never raced on dirt. Animal Kingdom was bred for grass racing, on both sides of the family. His only other stakes victory was on Polytrack.

The only way you picked Animal Kingdom as the winner was by listing the Derby horses in alphabetical order.  He was first and that's the way he would cross the finish line.

But in the rear view mirror of Monday morning, Animal Kingdom was the big strong horse, who was capable of running a mile and  quarter in early May.

After that, the rest of the top four horses looked pretty logical.

Nehro now claims the odd trifecta of finishing second in the Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky Derbys. My choice, Mucho Macho Man, was a neck behind Nehro and completed the $4,000 trifecta. Trainer Kathy Ritvo was rewarded for a spring of hard work. And Shackleford, who led most of the race, finished fourth for Dale Romans and that was no surprise. Nobody trained better than Shackleford last week.

By winning the Derby, Animal Kingdom blew up the Polytrack jinx. In recent years, horses that won at Turfway and Keeneland had not been a threat in the Derby. But the good ones can run on anything, and Animal Kingdom is a good one.

Now it's on to Maryland with some carryovers from the Derby and a whole line of new challengers who want a piece of the Triple Crown. For two weeks, we'll wonder, is Animal Kingdom a one hit wonder, or a horse that can win all three?

If he wins the Preakness, then Belmont's mile and a half seems perfectly suited for the big grass horse, who doesn't care where he runs.

Thanks for reading all winter and spring.  
 

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