Gary Roedemeier's Derby Picks


by Gary Roedemeier

Posted on May 6, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Updated Saturday, May 7 at 6:56 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For six months I've been listing the twenty horses that I thought had a chance to win the Kentucky Derby.

But this story is the most difficult to write. I have to reduce the choices to one.
As recently as Wednesday morning, I was ready to anoint Archarcharch as my favorite. Then the luck of the pill pull fastened "Archie" to the rail and made his Derby an uphill climb. He could still, still overcome the inside post, but he'll have to be much the best of twenty horses.

Dialed In became the obvious favorite when he drew post position number 8. It put Nick Zito's closer right in the middle of the starting gate. But Dialed In will probably settle in last place and could do that from any starting point. In any case, he will need the all important "good trip."

Uncle Mo, the Breeders' Cup two-year-old champion drew the 18 hole, and that created even more questions about a horse that seems a better candidate to scratch than wear a garland of roses.

So, who is the one?  I'm going with the horse I saw as the most consistent training presence at Churchill Downs.  I choose a trainer, who has a look of determination in her eye.

Kathy Ritvo seems to leave nothing to chance. Her horse is on the track every day, rain or shine. The green jacketed entourage of Reeves Racing follows in a quiet procession.

If that kind of commitment can win a Derby then Mucho Macho Man will get to the finish line first.

He's not a standout but he fits. And a little improvement puts him in the winner's circle. He's not the biggest Derby horse and he is the youngest, a June foal, but the Village People are singing in my head and I think he will win.

I also see Shackleford making a strong run on the front end, and Dialed In coming from the back to get a piece of the exotics.

And what about those saver bets if things get crazy?  You would never overlook Calvin on Twice the Appeal.  I really like Decisive Moment. Trainer Juan Arias has been drilling his horse at Churchill longer than anyone.

Soldat and Pants on Fire move way up if it rains.

And Watch Me Go, who may be the longest shot on the board, gets two dollars to win as a horse who could save the day.

Finally, Stay Thirsty will beat stablemate Uncle Mo, if Mo runs.

And when in doubt, hit the "all button."

Good luck and Happy Derby everyone.