Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Kentucky Derby pick

I Want Revenge is my pick for Derby win
By Felix Chavez
Sun-News reporter
LAS CRUCES — Today’s 135th Running of the Kentucky Derby should be a competitive one.
The 20-horse field features some of the top horses in the world and it should be a good betting races for bettors. The Kentucky Derby is often one of the toughest races to analyze because of the size of the field and is a race where sometimes the best horse doesn’t win.
But after much thought, I have to go with the Jeff Mullins-trained I Want Revenge. The son of Stephen Got Even has won two straight and has hit the board in all eight starts.
I Want Revenge was moved to Aqueduct Racetrack in New York from California for his past two races and he won both under the ride of talented young jockey Joseph Talamo. In the Wood Memorial on April 4, I Want Revenge had plenty of trouble, but rallied fro seven lengths back to pull out the win.
I Want Revenge has the highest speed figure in the race and he seems to be getting better as he races more on the dirt surface.
His win in the last race despite having trouble was impressive enough for me to make him my pick and that’s why I believe that even if he has trouble today, he can navigate and win.
For second, I like General Quarters. This horse won the Blue Grass Stakes on April 11 and he has had success at Churchill Downs, winning a race and finishing third. In addition, he gets a very good jockey in Julien Leparoux aboard and he’s been very good this year, hitting the board in 3 of 4 starts.
In third place, I am going with Chocolate Candy, a horse which has had great success in California. The son of Candy Ride has won 4 of 9 and he gets former Derby winner Mike Smith on him as a jockey.
Chocolate Candy ran second to Derby contender Pioneerof the Nile in the Santa Anita Derby and was coming on strong at the end. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has a horse which is working well heading into the race. After the April 4 Santa Anita Derby, he worked five furlongs in 59.1, then he went to Churchill Downs and had two decent works. His most recent work was on April 27 when had the second beset work among 26 horses.
There are several other contenders including Pioneerof the Nile, Dunkirk and Desert Party. I like Desert Party, which ships in from United Arab Emrites He’s won 4 of 6 and is well-bred.
But in the end, the Derby is toughest of all races to handicap, so good luck and don’t blame me for any money lost.
•••
Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino officials have to be happy this weekend. Two horses which ran in the Sunland Derby are taking part in the Run For The Roses. Mine That Bird, which ran twice at Sunland Park and trained for sometime at the track, and Advice are both running. Mine That Bird ran second in the Borderland Derby and fourth in the Sunland Derby.
Advice ran fifth in the Sunland Derby and then surprised some by winning the Lexington Stakes just two weeks ago.
The success of these two horses should help the Sunland Derby, which was worth $800,000, get graded and attract even better horses next year.

Felix Chavez can be reached at fchavez@lcsun-news.com; (575) 541-5444