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Dullahan Could Be Selection To Win Kentucky Derby


5/3/12 - Aidan O’Brien’s chances of a first time success in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs this weekend were dealt a severe blow when his Ballydoyle representative, Daddy Long legs, was drawn on the inside rail for the race. Only two horses have won the Kentucky Derby from the inside stall since 1966 and the last of those cam way back in 1986 when Ferdinand took the honours. As a result, Daddy Long Legs has been given a general quote of 25/1 to win the race, while the favourite, Bodemeister has been cut from 5/1 to 4/1 after he was drawn in stall six.

Trained by Bob Baffert, who has won the race three times previously, Bodemeister comes to the race having romped home by 10 lengths in the Grade One Arkansas Derby last week. Should he win, he will become the first winner in 130 years to do so when unraced as a two year old having only made his racecourse debut back in March at the age of three.

Next in the betting is Union Rags with odds currently of 5/1. He has been drawn in stall four but will need to get a better run in the race than he did last time when only third in the Grade One Florida Derby. That was only his second defeat in six starts however and he has been very impressive in his four wins. He will also need to reverse form with Hansen who edged him into 2nd place to win the Breeders Cup Turf last November.

Hansen will also be running but is not very popular in the market currently as he has disappointed twice this season already, including finishing second behind Dullahan in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland three weeks ago. Hansen of course was named top juvenile in 2011 after winning all three starts including the Breeders Cup but appears not to have progressed as much as trainer Michael Maker would have liked. He is available with odds of 16/1 and has been drawn in stall 14.

Dullahan in fact will re-oppose again in this race and has been backed into 8/1 after drawing stall number 5. He finished fourth behind Hansen in the Breeders Cup Turf last season but appears to have progressed nicely from 2 to 3.

In fact, the first five home in the Breeder’s Cup Turf will be up against each other in the Derby. Creative Clause who finished third and Take Charge Indy who was fifth are both popular in the market, with the former a best priced 12/1 and the latter as short as 14/1. Creative Cause was last seen finishing a nose behind I’ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby last month but before that he had beaten Bodemeister by ¾ length in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes also at Santa Anita in March.

Of the rest Wood Memorial winner and still unbeaten Gemologist from the stable of Todd Pletcher, would appear to have a great chance from stall 15 and has been backed accordingly into 7/1 and is the current third favourite.

It looks like this year’s Kentucky Derby will be one to saviour, where clearly there are several in with big chances of winning. In fact, any of those mentioned above, with the possible exception of Daddy Long Legs has the potential to win but it might be worth sticking a neck out and supporting the much improved Dullahan for trainer Dale Romans. Whoever wins will then go on to bid to become the first horse to land the "Triple Crown" since Affirmed in 1978. The second leg is the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico later this month before the Belmont Stakes will play host to any horse that is bidding to win the third and final leg at Belmont Park in early June.

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