Rousing Sermon, Prospective confirmed for Derby// Lexington and Jerome entries drawn// ‘Apollo curse' talk heats up for Bode

This time of year is rife with Derby fever, and we saw two instances of it today.  Both Prospective and Rousing Sermon were once questionable for the Kentucky Derby, but their connections’ decided Wednesday to take a chance.  Owner Larry Williams has realistic expectations and hopes Rousing Sermon can finish in the top half of 20 finishers.  The colt will probably be around 50-1 in odds and is a closer from the West, much like Giacomo in 2005.  He will need a blistering pace and good trip to get in the money. Prospective will be long odds as well based on his no factor 6th place finish in the Blue Grass (G1).  However, his prior 3 starts on dirt in 2012 resulted in a win in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby and Pasco Stakes, and a troubled second place in the Sam Davis (G3).  If you’re willing to toss out his polytrack try at Keeneland, Prospective could have a fighting chance// Entries were drawn Wednesday for the Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland and Jerome (G3) at Aqueduct. Castaway would qualify for the Derby with a win in the Lexington, while a victory by Morgan’s Guerilla or Golden Ticket would put them on the also-eligible list for now.  In the Jerome, Stirred Up needs a victory to make the also-eligible list, but Bob Baffert seems focused on the Preakness regardless.  Past performances and preview articles for both Derby preps can be found below// Bill Finley argues Bodemeister will not win the Derby based on the fact no horse has won without racing as a 2-year-old since 1882.  The “Apollo Rule” as it’s called is the only remaining rule that has not been broken in recent years.  While seasoning contributes to being able to handle the rigorous 1 1/4 mile race with 19 other horses, I don’t believe it’s a prerequisite.  Finley points out Curlin’s 3rd place finish in 2007, but fails to mention he came from the inside #2 post and steadied several times throughout the race.  A combination of factors contributes to winning the Derby, not the least of which is luck and a clean trip// Liaison worked Wednesday at Hollywood Park.  No word on how well he went or Baffert’s Derby decision for the horse// The Wynn Las Vegas future book now lists odds for Derby contenders sweeping all three legs of the Triple Crown.  Union Rags is favored at 18-1 followed closely by Bodemeister at 20-1// Paul Moran from ESPN writes about all of the potential to win serious money in the Derby, yet comes off sounding like a disgruntled guy who hasn’t cashed a ticket-- ever// more…

Future Odds

Lexington Stakes (G3)
Preview articles: Bloodhorse / Brisnet / Miami Herald

Jerome Stakes (G3)
Preview articles: NYRA / Bloodhorse / DRF

Kentucky Derby News and Opinion

Contender Photos and Video


Liaison- HOL- 6F- 1.13:00- H- 3/19

News and Quotes from Twitter
Bode went back to track today ... Very very happy - Ahmed Zayat

Alpha gallops easy 1 1-8 miles under motionless exercise rider over Belmont main track. Seems to be easing back into routine- David Grening

Dullahan caution: Keeneland went Polytrack in 2006. Since then, five Blue Grass winners Poly combined 2-for-47 graded stakes.- Brad Free