I haven't been keeping up with racing, but Gunnevera has been my horse I've been wanting to play. Girvin, I haven't heard much about, can't recall him in a race I've seen or remember anything about him. I've heard a few people pushing Hence. I'm still confused about closers, deep closers, which are these this year or does anyone know.Quote: FinsRule
I'm off the McCracken bandwagon.
My picks are:
Irish War Cry
If I had to put a 4th in a super, Thunder Snow
I haven't been keeping up with racing, but Gunnevera has been my horse I've been wanting to play. Girvin, I haven't heard much about, can't recall him in a race I've seen or remember anything about him. I've heard a few people pushing Hence. I'm still confused about closers, deep closers, which are these this year or does anyone know.
There is no strict definition of a closer or a deep closer but if a horse is 5 or more lengths back at the 2nd call I would call that horse a closer. The horse you like Gunnerva is definitely a closer and if you look at the free PPs that Keeneone provided you will see that he was 9 lengths back at the 2nd call in his last race and in another race as much as 15 lengths back. The closer tries to take advantage of front runners who have tired by expending more energy in the early stages of the race and because of this he can sometimes draw clear of them late in the race. He has the disadvantage of often being forced wide or getting blocked or having to check. Closers often tend to be plodders and they are rarely capable of the burst of speed that is the mark of a great horse. However there have been throughout racing history a few great closers. I just looked again at Gunnerva's PPs and I see that he is also capable of being closer to the lead as what I would call a stalker and in those races where he has stalked he has done well.
These are the closers, according to horseracingnation, Gunnevera, Looking At Lee, Sonneteer, JBoys Echo, Hence.
Here are the likely pace setters:
Fast And Accurate - Owner has stated this horse will go for the lead.
State Of Honor
May find themselves on the lead:
Battle Of Midway
Irish War Cry
Royal Mo (if he draws in)
Egads, now I really have to do something to get on the right side of that law that says I have to bet on THIS event, if I want to have anything to do with this game. I have somewhat fewer KY Derby future-book tickets this year than I have in the past. Zero is somewhat fewer.Quote: Keeneone
Kentucky Derby 2017 Complete Past Performances:
There are things that can be done to sometimes allow some horses to run on some quarter cracks, including "bar shoes" that help hold the hoof together. In less publicized events, showing up with bar shoes and the like is the usual way of discovering that someone is trying to run on a quarter crack. I understand he's been staying in shape mostly by swimming, with some light work on a synthetic surface. The trainer says he's had a special custom bar-shoe made for him, he's recovered quickly from a quarter crack before, and he's been doing great, and he's confident he'll be able to run well. Personally I'm about as impressed by that kind of statement as an owner's assertion that he fed him a carrot yesterday and he had four legs and a tail attached while eating it.
Your money, your choice.
Examples of bar-shoes:
Classic Empire looks like a very good SHOW bet.
He is the one horse that is difficult to knock. I gave him little shot in the Arkansas Derby but he ran big. He is the classiest and most accomplished runner in the race. I guess one could make this argument: he had to run big @ Oaklawn to get points to make the Derby. Maybe he will bounce with only 3 weeks between races?
He is the logical favorite.
Always Dreaming is very inexperienced but very interesting. I'm not saying he will win. But he definitely looks like he has potential. Some horses are not going to like the stampede of 20 horses. And some are going to think it's fun. Impossible to predict this.
Reports have been coming out about his rambunctiousness at Churchill. He has been so amped up they have used special reins (see photo) to calm and settle him down. Some will argue this means he is really cranked up to run a big one. While others will argue he is inexperienced and vulnerable to washing out or bolting on Derby day.
Girvin will be running on a quarter crack, assuming he goes to post Saturday.
Here is a picture similar to the shoe he has been wearing:
Girvin's trainer (J Sharp) had been reluctant to disclose the hoof issue information in the last few weeks. I personally thought Girvin might be scratched. Girvin has been swimming and he had a very good last workout (and follow-up cool down) at Keeneland. All systems are go according to the trainer at the moment. He does have a good post (#7) and jockey (M Smith). One last thought about Girvin's foot issue...
American Pharoah had a bruised hoof (frog) and missed the Breeder's Cup Juvenile. He did race with a bar shoe in the Arkansas Derby and Kentucky Derby after the injury.
I actually agree with what DD has posted. The foot issue combined with 2 OK dirt Stakes wins @ Fairgrounds over iffy fields does not scream "Derby Winner" IMO. He is a toss out for me.