Around Churchill Downs

Find posts by keyword
Find posts by date


Gary Roedemeier's Picks for Kentucky Derby 140

Gary Roedemeier's Picks for Kentucky Derby 140

by Gary Roedemeier

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Updated Friday, May 2 at 2:29 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Late on Thursday night a writer who was leaning toward Hoppertunity is re-evaluating the field of Derby 140.

I add, that this is the same writer, who last week dismissed the favorite California Chrome as a horse that couldn't win the Derby.

So I'm searching into the night for a suitable candidate to stage a classic Churchill stretch run into a blanket of roses.

I may have devoted too much time to the backside this week, (I've always thought the expert handicappers know too much) but the horse that keeps nagging at my mind is Danza.

Yes, the Arkansas Derby win came out of nowhere but he dominated the field. And this week, Danza has been everybody's picture of a Derby horse who looks strong on the Churchill track.

The only question is running back after three weeks and a possible bounce. But Todd Pletcher says the horse is peaking at the right time.

My second choice is Wicked Strong, who has a similar profile to Danza. After a lost winter in Florida, he beat the New York breds and looked like he could run forever. However, the 19 hole and traffic provide a real challenge.

I complete the trifecta with Ride on Curlin. The horse never misses the board. That's it.  In fact, if the whole race falls apart and one horse is still running, we'll see Billy Gowan in the winner's circle.

Intense Holiday completes the superfecta and he's been working like a serious threat all week.

Who can break through the top four? Dale Roman's Medal Count continues to look spectacular but can he run on dirt like he did on Polytrack?  And Candy Boy has Gary Stevens and that California cache.

Oh! And what about California Chrome? He could stalk the leaders and run away like a super horse. But there is speed all around him and if they go :46 and change, it will be setting up the closers.

I think, if there's a new superstar, it could be Danza.

And my crazy long shot. Samraat!

Happy Derby everyone.