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2009 Kentucky Derby Predictions – Expert Consensus Picks

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
May/01/2009

What you've all been waiting for - Gambling911.com's 2009 Kentucky Derby predictions.  Actually, these are not ours but instead we have combed the Net looking for the best critiques and expert consensus picks for this weekend's Kentucky Derby.

You'll find plenty of junk all across the Net with people who are no experts at picking races.  Gamblilng911.com knows who the experts are and these are the folks we'll be paying attention to.

When it comes to horse racing, there are few better in the business than Bloodhorse.com. Jason, Evan, Tom, and the Wizard from Bloodhorse offered up these 2009 Kentucky Derby predictions based on the inevitable wet track: 

Friesan Fire (pays $500 for every $100 bet at SBG Global ) has established himself as the best "wet track" horse to date.  Others include General Quarters (pays $2000 for every $100 bet), Dunkirk (+400) and Nowhere to Hide (pays $5000 for every $100 bet at SBG Global).  They don't necessarily like Nowhere to Hide, so don't go gung ho over this one. 

Overall, Evan has chosen Pioneer of the Nile (pays $400 for every $100 bet).  Evan is impressed with what he's seen with Pioneer of the Nile's preparation this week on the Churchill Downs track.  He's also beaten a lot of the horses in the field.  The Wizard agreed after seeing Pioneer of the Nile train on Monday:  "He looked fantastic."

Evan Hammonds also threw in Hold Me Back (which pays $1500 for every $100 bet at SBG Global). 

Tom's pick is Friesan Fire, which is definitely a solid prediction based on Gambling911.com research thus far. 
"I like his early speed," Tom said.  "I think he has the right running style for the race."

And, as alluded to already, Friesan Fire is a proven "wet track" horse. 

One has to question whether their readers are equally adept at picking winning horses.  If so, the Bloodhorse.com community is all over West Side Bernie.

I don't know too much about Mike Seely of the Seattle Daily Weekly, but he raises some good points as to why West Side Bernie might win.  He also favors Papa Clem.

"Both have resumes that resemble the horse that should have won the 2005 Derby, Afleet Alex, who ended up winning the final two legs of that year's Triple Crown after finishing third at Churchill. Both have top-flight jockeys - Stewart Elliott abord Bernie and Rafael Bejarano aboard Clem - aboard, and both are priced fatter than 20-1 on the morning line (Clem at exactly 20-1, and Bernie at 30-1), posing sensational wagering opportunities for horses of this caliber."

When considering 2009 Kentucky Derby predictions, Gambling911.com also would turn to the experts over at the Louisville Courier.  This is after all, Churchill Downs territory. 

And once again, we see Friesan Fire atop the list. 

Tom Amoss is a Churchill Downs trainer and TVG (America's Horse Racing Network) analyst.  Making his picks for the Louisville Courier, he explains why Friesan Fire will win.

"The Louisiana Derby winner has improved with every start. I like him at the 1 1/4-mile distance. I think Derbys are won by fate, the winner preordained. In the case of Friesan Fire, it's trainer Larry Jones' swansong."

Amoss is with the readers of Bloodhorse in that he believes West Side Bernie will have a solid shot in this weekend's Kentucky Derby. 

"I've seen longshot West Side Bernie run on the Polytrack and dirt, and I think he's a better dirt horse but has run on it so sparingly that it doesn't jump out," he says. 

Then there is Dunkirk, another of the favorites who is more than capable of running on a muddy track.

"Dunkirk is the most talented horse in the field. But with only three races and a different training style than his trainer used on his previous 21 Derby entries lead me to believe they are grasping at straws to try something different to get to the winner's circle."

John Asher is Churchill Downs Communications Director and he likes Desert Party, which is another horse that is supposed to be able to handle the muddy track well, though the folks at Bloodhorse didn't bring his name up.

"Conventional wisdom holds that a horse from Dubai cannot ship to Louisville and win this race," Asher says.  "But Godolphin has never brought a horse like this to Louisville. He has a Derby pedigree, proven form in the U.S. and Dubai, a good U.S.-based rider and a pace scenario to set up his late charge."

That's hardly convincing to those of us at Gambling911.com. 

Asher also names Friesan Fire (we see a trend developing here) and a super long shot in Mr. Hot Stuff.

 

 

Jill Byrne, a Churchill Downs racing analyst, is among the first who actually likes favored I Want Revenge.

"I Want Revenge overcame every bit of adversity in winning the Wood Memorial last time out and finished with an explosive turn of foot. He has handled everything asked of him and has the pedigree and the perfect running style to be a factor throughout."

Desert Party and Pioneer of the Nile are her other two picks.

Steve Moody of the Kentucky Handicappers Sheet likes Dunkirt to win, citing that "he earned a 107 BRIS Speed figure in his first start around two turns, a figure that tops almost everyone else in the field. Then he ran a huge race in the Florida Derby, considering he took all the worst of it on a track that was severely biased against his style. He has worked very well since under the watchful eye of Todd Pletcher, and his upside appears limitless."

The problem: "No Derby winner since Apollo in 1882 was unraced at two."

Moody likes Friesan Fire and another horse that has been mentioned, Hold Me Back.

The consensus pick for the 2009 Kentucky Derby is certainly Friesan Fire.  He seems to be on everyone's list as either the first or second choice.

Dunkirk is a solid "wet track" horse that has gotten a lot of love among the experts.  Desert Party, Pioneer of the Nile, West Side Bernie have been mentioned by a few of the experts.

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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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