- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 5, 2007

Ryan O’Halloran of The Washington Times breaks down the field for today’s Kentucky Derby.

1. SEDGEFIELD

Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Darren Miller (First Kentucky Derby)

Jockey: Julien Leparoux (First Derby)

Career record: 2-for-8

Last race: Fourth in Transylvania Stakes April 6 at Keeneland

Comment: Has not won a graded stakes race, never has run on the dirt (just turf and Polytrack) and has done little to suggest he will finish in the top 10. He might only gain mention from the track announcer if he veers right and wipes out Curlin.

2. CURLIN

Odds: 7-2

Trainer: Steve Asmussen (Fifth Derby. Best finish: Ninth)

Jockey: Robbie Albarado (Ninth Derby. Best finish: Third)

Career record: 3-for-3

Last race: Won Arkansas Derby April 14 at Oaklawn Park

Comment: Despite gaudy statistics, has most every “Derby Rule” working against him, chiefly the one about being unraced as a 2-year-old. His competition has been subpar but one can’t argue the results — three wins by a combined 28½ lengths. The deserving morning-line favorite.

3. ZANJERO

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Steve Asmussen (Fifth Derby. Best finish: Ninth)

Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan (Second Derby. Best finish: 15th)

Career record: 2-for-8

Last race: Third in Blue Grass April 14 at Keeneland

Comment: Showed promise as a 2-year-old but hasn’t made much progress this year (1-for-5) and his Blue Grass race should be thrown out because of the ridiculously slow pace. A $700,000 purchase who is not a serious contender.

4. STORM IN MAY

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Bill Kaplan (First Derby)

Jockey: Juan Leyva (First Derby)

Career record: 4-for-13

Last race: Second in Arkansas Derby April 14 at Oaklawn Park

Comment: His only win this year came at six furlongs (the Derby is 10 furlongs) and he was routed by Curlin in his only fight against a top-rated horse. He’ll be close to the front early on but not a viable threat — his future is probably on the turf.

5. IMAWILDANDCRAZYGUY

Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Bill Kaplan (First Derby)

Jockey: Mark Guidry (Fifth Derby. Best finish: Fifth)

Career record: 2-for-11

Last race: Sixth in Florida Derby March 31 at Gulfstream Park

Comment: This horse should be 150-1 — he has no shot unless the race completely falls apart. His best finish in a graded stake is second in the Risen Star, which isn’t exactly a respected prep. He’s winless as a 3-year-old, a trend that continues today.

6. COWTOWN CAT

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Todd Pletcher (Seventh Derby. Best finish: Second)

Jockey: Fernando Jara (Second Derby. Best finish: Fourth)

Career record: 4-for-7

Last race: Won Illinois Derby April 7 at Hawthorne

Comment: Has shown versatility in last two starts, going wire-to-wire in Illinois Derby and coming from fourth in the Gotham. But he faces a better group of horses today and isn’t likely to get an opening half-mile of 49-plus seconds like he did last time out.

7. STREET SENSE

Odds: 4-1

Trainer: Carl Nafzger (Third Derby. Best finish: First with Unbridled in 1990)

Jockey: Calvin Borel (Fifth Derby. Best finish: Eighth)

Career record: 3-for-7

Last race: Second in Blue Grass April 14 at Keeneland

Comment: Will try to break Breeders’ Cup jinx and shows each time out that he loves the Churchill surface. He probably will be the favorite at post time. Still, his speed numbers have fallen from 108 to 102 to 93 in his last three starts.

8. HARD SPUN

Odds: 15-1

Trainer: Larry Jones (First Derby)

Jockey: Mario Pino (First Derby)

Career record: 5-for-6

Last race: Won Lane’s End March 24 at Turfway Park

Comment: He won’t be 15-1 at post time because his bullet work on Monday created a buzz. His lone loss came on an Oaklawn Park track he didn’t like during training. Look for him in the first flight early on, but he hasn’t faced the likes of Curlin and Street Sense before.

9. LIQUIDITY

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Doug O’Neill (First Derby)

Jockey: David Flores (Ninth Derby. Best finish: Third)

Career record: 1-for-7

Last race: Fourth in Santa Anita Derby April 7 at Santa Anita

Comment: Gained attention in February with a 100-plus speed figure in the Sham Stakes, but followed with finishes of sixth place and fourth place. He’ll be near the front early on and the blinkers get taken off with the hope he’ll rate a little bit.

10. TEUFLESBERG

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Jamie Sanders (First Derby)

Jockey: Stewart Elliott (Second Derby.

Best finish: Won with Smarty Jones in 2004)

Career record: 4-for-15

Last race: Fourth in Blue Grass April 14 at Keeneland

Comment: The most experienced horse in the race who sneaked into the field with two others dropped out of consideration on Tuesday. Count on him being at the front, but don’t count on him staying there. He laid down slow factions in the Blue Grass and still couldn’t finish.

11. BWANA BULL

Odds: 50-1

Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer (Third Derby. Best finish: Fifth)

Jockey: Javier Castellano (Second Derby. Best finish: Seventh)

Career record: 4-for-9

Last race: Fifth in Santa Anita Derby April 7 at Santa Anita

Comment: He has no chance — throw $2 on him just for kicks. The best of the Northern California lot, but that’s not saying a lot. Had his best career speed figure last time out … and still finished fifth, beaten by 51/4 lengths.

12. NOBIZ LIKE SHOBIZ

Odds: 8-1

Trainer: Barclay Tagg (Third Derby. Best finish: First with Funny Cide in 2003)

Jockey: Cornelio Velasquez (Fourth Derby. Best finish: Second)

Career record: 4-for-6

Last race: First in Wood Memorial April 7 at Aqueduct

Comment: Won a Grade I race last time out but benefited from two rivals getting less-than ideal trips. When facing today’s top contenders, hasn’t fared well, losing twice to Scat Daddy. No speed figure of 100-plus is cause for concern.

13. SAM P.

Odds: 20-1

Trainer: Todd Pletcher (Seventh Derby. Best finish: Second)

Jockey: Ramon Dominguez (Fourth Derby. Best finish: Second)

Career record: 2-for-8

Last race: Third in Santa Anita Derby April 7 at Santa Anita

Comment: The lowest-regarded of Pletcher’s five horses, but two reasons why he’s worth putting in trifecta and superfecta boxes — his pedigree suggests he’ll love the 10 furlongs and he posted a 99 speed figure two races ago.

14. SCAT DADDY

Odds: 10-1

Trainer: Todd Pletcher (Seventh Derby. Best finish: Second)

Jockey: Edgar Prado (Eighth Derby. Best finish: Won with Barbaro in 2006)

Career record: 5-for-8

Last race: Won Florida Derby March 31 at Gulfstream Park

Comment: A contender. He has two wins at nine furlongs (only Nobiz has that on his resume) and although he doesn’t have the eye-popping speed figure to get the fans’ attention, he is Pletcher’s best chance to win and will be a factor down the lane.

15. TIAGO

Odds: 15-1

Trainer: John Shirreffs (Third Derby. Best finish: Won with Giacomo in 2005)

Jockey: Mike Smith (14th Derby. Best finish: Won with Giacomo in 2005)

Career record: 2-for-4

Last race: Won Santa Anita Derby April 7 at Santa Anita

Comment: Because of a pedigree that makes Shirreffs confident the colt can make 10 furlongs and an impressive Santa Anita effort (100 speed figure), he won’t be as long a shot as brother Giacomo was two years ago (50-1). But with only four starts, he’s pretty green.

16. CIRCULAR QUAY

Odds: 8-1

Trainer: Todd Pletcher (Seventh Derby. Best finish: Second)

Jockey: John Velazquez (Ninth Derby. Best finish: Second)

Career record: 4-for-7

Last race: Won Louisiana Derby March 10 at Fair Grounds

Comment: The best closer in the field; Pletcher-Velazquez want a hot pace so they can run by horses over the final furlong. In his two races in big fields, he had traffic problems so that’s a concern. The big question for Quay is the eight-week layoff.

17. STORMELLO

Odds: 30-1

Trainer: Bill Curran (Second Derby. Best finish: Seventh)

Jockey: Kent Desormeaux (14th Derby. Best finish: Won with Real Quiet in 1998 and Fusaichi Pegasus in 2000)

Career record: 3-for-9

Last race: Fourth in Florida Derby March 31 at Gulfstream Park

Comment: A true front-runner, he’ll have the important job with Teuflesberg and Liquidity of setting the early pace. But in a 20-horse field, he won’t be able to walk the first quarter. If they go fast early, he’ll back up fast down the backstretch.

18. ANY GIVEN SATURDAY

Odds: 12-1

Trainer: Todd Pletcher (Seventh Derby. Best finish: Second)

Jockey: Garrett Gomez (Fourth Derby. Best finish: Seventh)

Career record: 3-for-6

Last race: Third in Wood Memorial April 7 at Aqueduct

Comment: Chances of catching Nobiz Like Shobiz in the Wood were hurt by a wide trip but his Tampa Bay Derby effort (second to Street Sense) and two 100-plus speed numbers means he could be a factor among the group of stalkers.

19. DOMINICAN

Odds: 20-1

Trainer: Darren Miller (First Derby)

Jockey: Rafael Bejarano (Third Derby. Best finish: Eighth)

Career record: 3-for-7

Last race: Won Blue Grass April 14 at Keeneland

Comment: The Blue Grass winner hasn’t won the Derby in 12 years and they often tend to bounce backward. Throw in the fact he hasn’t won on the dirt and there’s not a ton to like except for a strong late kick he showed last time out. But it’s unlikely he’ll get a pace with which to have something left.

20. GREAT HUNTER

Odds: 15-1

Trainer: Doug O’Neill (First Derby)

Jockey: Corey Nakatani (13th Derby. Best finish: Fourth)

Career record: 3-for-9

Last race: Fifth in Blue Grass April 14 at Keeneland

Comment: Will be positioned in midpack waiting for the leaders to wilt. That backfired in the Blue Grass but makes him a fine betting option today. Has seven top-two finishes in nine starts so figure on him being in the hunt.

Ryan O’Halloran

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