Andre’ Chapman | Analyzed Sports
With 30 days remaining until the 2018 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, several Derby contenders have separated themselves from the potential field as my leaders to win the Run for the Roses, which will take place Saturday, May 5th at the legendary Churchill Downs. There are five more Derby prep races before the first Saturday in May, so make sure to pay close attention to this upcoming weekend. Saturday, April 7th, there’s the Wood Memorial, Blue Grass Stakes, Santa Anita Derby, and the Arkansas Derby. The race I’m interested in the most is the Santa Anita Derby, as I feel the 144th Kentucky Derby Winner will emerge from this race.
Here are my Top 4 Contenders
1. Bolt d’Oro – Winner of the San Felipe Stakes on March 8th by disqualification. Bolt d’Oro birth in Kentucky will be one of the betting favorites to win the Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 5. I like McKinzie better, but due to McKinzie’s injury and Baffert possibly keeping McKinzie out of the Kentucky Derby, I’ll go with Bolt d’Oro as my number one colt, but I’m waiting to see how he does against the emerging Superstar Justify in the Santa Anita Derby before I make my final prediction of the winner of the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
2. Justify – This Red Colt has raised some eyebrows over the last few weeks. Justify trained by four-time Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert has no stakes experience as a two-year-old. In order to make the Kentucky Derby, Justify must finish first or second in the upcoming Santa Anita Derby. Legendary jockey Mike Smith has mounted the horse in his first two starts as a three-year-old, winning with plus 100 Beyer speed figures while dusting the competition by 9 1/2 and 6 1/2 lengths. If he’s able to defeat well-tested and experienced three-year-old Bolt d’Oro, then I believe this young athletic Colt has the potential to do something special in the Run for the Roses come Derby day.
3. Audible – Todd Pletcher Colt here. Audible is young and talented. He already has claimed enough points against Derby competition winning his first graded stakes in the 2018 Holy Bull. Right now he sits atop the Derby contenders leaderboard. He has the highest speed rating this year with a 107 Beyer Speed Figure after his win at Gulfstream in the 2018 Florida Derby.
4. Quip – Most experts, which I am not, would go with Good Magic, Firenze Fire, Magnum Moon, or Mendelssohn in their top four, but I wanted to give one of the longshots for the running of the 144th Kentucky Derby. It will be interesting to see how Quip fairs in the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland this Saturday, April 7th. With the potential for bad weather this weekend, I’ll be reluctant to make any profound statements from the results of this race.
McKinzie for the Preakness!!!!