Kentucky Derby Contenders as of 3/31/08

2008 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Odds and Comments
by Professional Horse Handicapper Kenneth Strong of

Last Updated Monday, March 31, 2008

Big Brown vaulted up our 2008 Kentucky Derby contender list with a huge victory in the Florida Derby on Saturday while California Derby hopeful Georgie Boy was taken off the list when he pulled a muscle in his back. There are three big Derby preps this weekend including the Santa Anita Derby-G1, the Wood Memorial-G1 and the Illinois Derby-G2, each of which will give us some kind of indication if there is anyone who can challenge Pyro and Big Brown for the top spots. Remember, we’re still looking for a longshot to wheel to the board in the Kentucky Derby trifecta. The odds reflect our current opinion of each horse. Bookmaker odds may be different significantly.

Horse Odds Comments

1. Pyro (4-1) – Has shown good agility and acceleration to win his last two in impressive fashion but we still wonder about his low numbers and the quality of competition he has beat up on.

2. Big Brown (5-1) – Huge win in the Florida Derby, an excellent stamina pedigree and room for improvement make him the horse to beat – IF no one can take a round out of him on the final turn in the Kentucky Derby.

3. War Pass (10-1) – Former undefeated star flopped in the Tampa Bay Derby after experiencing adversity and being unable to get the lead for the first time. Deserves another chance to prove he’s a good horse. Hell get a test of some sort in an average Wood Memorial field.


4. Denis of Cork (12-1) – Undefeated Southwest Stakes winner looks like he could be a good horse but will he have the seasoning on Derby Day? The Illinois Derby beckons.

5. Colonel John (20-1) – Sham win was okay. Likely Santa Anita Derby favorite needs to win that race to hold his spot.

6. El Gato Malo (20-1) – Wondering if he’ll get the distance and well find out more in the Santa Anita Derby.

7. Gayego (25-1) – Good race on the stretchout in the San Felipe. Lots of room to improve and he might do just that in the Arkansas Derby the perfect prep race for this horse.

8. Adriano (30-1) – Lanes End win was decent but still needs a real test of class.

9. Big Truck (40-1) – Kept improving to win the Tampa Bay Derby and could still move forward but were also worried about his class. Fierce Wind looked great defeating him in the Sam F Davis but was beaten over 40 lengths by Big Brown in the Florida Derby.

10. Visonaire (40-1) – Nice rally to win Gotham but still has some work to do on the class raise.

On the Kentucky Derby Fringes

11. Yankee Bravo (50-1) – Followed Pyro in the Louisiana Derby and wasn’t quite seasoned enough to go with that one. Watch closely for improvement.

12. Fierce Wind (50-1) Looked great winning the Sam F Davis but was crushed by Big Brown in the Florida Derby. What happened?