Sunday, April 15, 2012

Derby Gates Almost Full After "WoW" Races in the Arkansas Derby & Blue Grass Stakes

Another weekend, another exciting day at the races. The last two major prep races on the 2012 Derby Trail, definitely did not disappoint on Saturday. The Gates for the Kentucky Derby are all but filled as there is one last "hail mary"(as I like to call it) race, know as the Lexington Stakes(G3) at Keeneland next weekend. There are plenty of horses on the outside of that Top 20, that are looking for that last ditch effort to sneak into the Derby. To date, there have only been 2 horses to have ever won the Derby after running in the Lexington Stakes(Charismatic 1999 & Swale 1984), so don't look for next weeks winner to have too much of an impact here in three weeks.

At Oaklawn Park, all eyes were on the M/L favorite, Bodemeister in the Arkansas Derby. The talented, but lightly raced horse(no starts as a two-year-old) had one shot to make it to the Derby and secure enough cash to claim a gate. Wow, did he step up to the challenge by pulling away from the rest of the field to win by 9 lengths and vaulting himself into the conversation as one of the favorites for the Derby. A horse has not won the Derby without races on his resume as a two-year-old, since Apollo some 130 years ago. After that performance, many will be on the Bodemeister bandwagon come Derby Day, regardless of what history says.

In Lexington, KY the two-year-old champ was returning to run in the Blue Grass Stakes for the first time in 15 years. Whether it was Hansen, the first 12 race card in track history, the beautiful Spring weather or all of the above, the people came out. Keeneland absolutely demolished the single-day attendance record this past Saturday by almost 7,000 people. 40,617 showed up to the track to watch a card loaded with four graded stakes races, including the Blue Grass. Hansen and Dullhan certainly did not disappoint as they put on a show for the record crowd. Hansen tried to outrun the field and go wire to wire, but Dullahan picked off each horse one by one and ran down Hansen in the final furlong to pull off the upset in the Blue Grass. Both horses already had enough cash to go to the Derby before this race but, Dullahan has now made a case for himself as a legitimate contender, while if you still like Hansen you probably will get a pretty good price on him at the window.

Mystified Tickets Derby Super High 5(as of 4/15)
1) Union Rags
2) Creative Cause
3) Gemologist
4) Bodemeister
5) Dullahan

*Hit the exacta in the Arkansas Derby with Bodemeister and Secret Circle (that's why you always box as we had SC pegged to run forth). Bodemeister only new horse to jump into the top 20 this weekend. 

*Had the exacta in the Blue Grass dead on as we picked Dullahan to upset Hansen. 

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