Too much Mucho
Kevin Van Valkenburg
No one seems particularly wowed by any of the horses in this year's crop of 3-year-olds, especially after Uncle Mo looked like "Uncle Slow" at the Wood Memorial. If not for that lackluster race, Uncle Mo would be an easy pick. He's the most talented horse in the field, but thanks to a gastrointestinal infection, we're still not sure if he'll even be in the gate on Saturday. It's too risky to pick a horse with so many questions.
Nehro generated a ton of buzz coming into this week, but he had some bad luck in the post position draw (No. 19). Archarcharch has a similar problem, drawing the rail, but should be in the mix.
Dialed In is a good horse, but he probably needs a perfect trip to win, and that rarely happens at the Derby. So in the absence of a true standout, go with Mucho Macho Man, a big, powerful horse, and use Shackleford and Dialed In to fill out your trifecta.
Dialed In on Line 1
Normally, a come-from-behind horse such as Dialed In competing in a 20-horse field is a risky bet.
But Dialed In drew the a very good post position (8) while the horses who figure to be his main rivals drew very bad ones — Uncle Mo (18), Archarcharch (1), Midnight Interlude (15) and Nehro (19).
At Gulfstream Park, Dialed In ran exceptional races to win the Holy Bull and the Florida Derby, suggesting he has what it takes.
Master of Hounds is an intriguing prospect for long-shot bettors. Trained by Irish master craftsman Aidan O'Brien and an impressive second in the 13/16-mile UAE Derby in Dubai in his only start this year, the blueblooded colt is trying to become the first Europe-based horse to win the Kentucky Derby.
Things to remember about the Kentucky Derby: Three of the last four winners did not win their previous start. Also, most of the major preps resulted in upsets.
An exception was Dialed In's Florida Derby victory. That and the many questions surrounding Uncle Mo have made Dialed In the morning-line favorite.
However, his last-to-first style is problematic in a 20-horse field. If he gets a clean trip, Dialed In will be tough to hold off. But clean trips are difficult to work out in bulky fields.
Soldat is a live long shot. He had two impressive distance wins at Gulfstream, including the Fountain of Youth, before misfiring in the Florida Derby. He has enough speed to avoid early trouble and be in position to pounce when the frontrunners begin to fade.
Los Angeles Times
Anyone who thinks they have this Derby nailed is delusional. It's as wide open as any in recent memory. There is a lot of money to be made.
The favorite is Dialed In, the Florida Derby winner, and he easily could hit the board. Nehro, the runner up in the Arkansas Derby, is going to get some love for his strong stretch drive and he, too, can't be ignored in the exotics.
But the horse I like was the winner of the Arkansas Derby: Archarcharch. He has the same sire as Blame, the horse that beat Zenyatta at Churchill over 11/4 miles, so he has the distance. He has the terrible No. 1 post but will certainly save ground.
So it's Archarcharch on top with Dialed in, Nehro and long shot Animal Kingdom underneath.