Derby Hopefuls Show Consistency
Consistency is a very important consideration in choosing a Derby horse. This time last year the early Kentucky Derby favorites were busy not winning their prep races.
Uncle Mo, the Juvenile winner and early Derby favorite was resting on his laurels, choosing not to race at all until the middle of March, when he sprinted a mere eight furlongs to win the Timely Writer. That meaningless victory was enough to hold his position as the popular Derby choice, at least until his dull effort in the Wood Memorial. To Honor And Serve, another over-hyped horse ran third as the favorite in the Fountain of Youth. Stay Thirsty won as the favorite in the Gotham, but then threw in a dud in the Florida Derby. By the time the Derby rolled around, all of the Derby favorites who were sent off the favorite in their final prep had lost that last prep race. This turned out to be a predictor of inconsistency that continued throughout the Triple Crown.
This year, horse racing amongst three year olds looks much different. Even though it is early, we are seeing much better form from these Derby hopefuls. El Padrino held of Mark Valeski as the 4:5 favorite in the Risen Star. He showed a lot of heart to battle a determined Mark Veleski down the stretch, to win at the wire by a nose. Coming into the race, El Padrino was well hyped but had never won a graded stakes race. As the odd-on choice, he had a lot to prove. And he got it done.
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