Final day of key Kentucky Derby workouts, media spotlight intensifies

Derby week can be hectic and nerve-racking for thoroughbred enthusiasts and handicappers, mostly due to an overabundance of information and opinion.  The Churchill Downs backside is crammed with reporters, horseman, bettors, and fans all looking for angles and stones unturned, which often leads to widely varying conclusions.  Case-in-point is Monday’s workout of Santa Anita Derby winner Midnight Interlude, who ran a bullet over a sloppy track.  Highly regarded analysts such as Steve Haskin and Mike Welsch viewed the move as a major improvement from his last work, but the buzz faded quickly afterwards based on trainer Bob Baffert’s demeanor and honest comments on the colt’s greenness.  I’ll take the quotes at face value and move on: the work was good, the horse is just still growing up and needs something to run at// Brilliant Speed turned in what seemed to be the consensus best work.  Many knock this horse for his awful dirt performance (including me), but all indications are to take him seriously if the track ends up sloppy// Welsch thought Nehro’s workout was not as impressive as his previous based on how he switched leads several times and galloped out poorly. Trainer Steve Asmussen said they weren’t asking for much// Santiva, perhaps the least visually pleasing mover of the past week, turned in a better performance during Monday's official work// Watch Me Go had what Welsch called an “unusual” work but also the best gallop out of all timed workers// Among Monday’s gallopers and joggers, many view Soldat and Archarcharch as horses coming into the Derby better than any// Something to keep in mind with all of these training reports over the last two days is that all impressions are questionable if the track is dry Derby day// I realize the list of daily articles is longer each day, but be sure to check out Joe Drape’s New York Times piece on picking a winner, Gary West’s first morning at Churchill in 2011, and Kentucky Confidential's piece on emotional conformation profiles for Derby contenders.  There are also some good handicapping angles in the Pony Bologna and Zipse at the Derby blogs// more…

Kentucky Derby Contenders page here

·       Midnight Interlude: CD- 5F- 1.00:80- B- 1/7 (Sloppy)
·       Brilliant Speed: CD- 5F- 1.01:20- B- 3/7 (Sloppy)
·       Watch Me Go: CD- 5F- 1.02:00- B- 4/7 (Sloppy)
·       Santiva: CD- 4F- 50:20- B- 20/38 (Sloppy)
·       Nehro: CD- 4F- 51:20- B- 34/38 (Sloppy)

·       Kentucky Derby barn notes 5/2 (Churchill Downs)
·       Video: Kentucky Derby news minute- 5/2 (Bloodhorse)
·       Derby distance may be plus for Nehro (AccuRacing)
·       Video: Bob Baffert on Midnight Interlude (TTimes via YouTube)
·       Brilliant Speed works; surface still a question (Courier Journal)
·       Brilliant Speed a joint plan B (DRF)
·       Watch Me Go works 5 furlongs Monday morning (Courier Journal)
·       Photo Gallery: Early Downs May 2 (Courier Journal)
·       Derby impressions (Gary West Blog)
·       The morning line: slow, slower, and slowest (The Rail NY Times Blog)
·       Aint nothin’ by a G(SV) thang (Pony Bologna Blog)
·       History might help find a Kentucky Derby winner (The Brock Talk)
·       Get saddled up for Kentucky Derby day (Niagara Falls Reporter)
·       Pedigree spotlight: The selections (Zipse At The Derby)
·       It’s a theory, pace makes the race (Sure Bet Racing News)
·       Kerry Thomas, the herd whisperer (KY Confidential)
·       Degrees of separation- volume III (Equispace Blog)
·       Living the Derby dream (Terre Haute Tribune-Star)
·       Toby’s Corner: The waiting game (Steeplechase Times)
·       Where does the field rank against last year’s? (Bleacher Report)
·       Mucho Macho Man: The zombie horse (SB Nation)
·       The Triple Crown: Can it be done? Part 3 (The Derby Post)
·       Female jockeys in the Kentucky Derby (Doc’s Sports)

·       The top 10 Kentucky Derby contenders (Brisnet)
·       Dick Vitale’s Top 10 (Courier Journal)