By Jack McKinney | Special to allhorseracing.ag
Union Rags and Bodemeister will likely be the favorites for the Kentucky Derby in 2012 but have taken different paths to get to this spot. Union Rags had a strong two-year-old season and ran in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile where he lost to Hansen. Bodemeister didn't even break his maiden until he was a three-year-old back in January of this year.
Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz was boxed in early during the Florida Derby and likely should have won that race. The problem is every jockey in the Florida Derby knew how good Union Rags was so when they managed to box him in early they were sure to keep him boxed in. Yes, this is a part of racing; the fastest horse doesn't always win.
Bodemeister trained by Bob Baffert happened to be the other side of the coin, winning the Arkansas Derby by 9 ½ lengths and crushing his stable mate Secret Circle. Bodemeister has run one race a month since January and seems to get stronger each time out.
Gemologist who is trained by Todd Pletcher isn't the most talented for the top three horses, nor is he the biggest. But the one thing Gemologist has is consistency! Gemologist is consistent in his training splits and on the racetrack which makes him someone to look at when you bet on the Kentucky Derby, if not just to round out your exotics.
Kentucky Derby Contenders
Take Charge Indy
Daddy Long Legs
I'll Have Another
D. Wayne Lukas
Daddy Nose Best
Went the Day Well
Isn't He Clever
Hero of Order *