By November 11, 2021 Read More →

Early Predictions For Next Year’s Derby

It may seem like a lifetime away, but the road to the Kentucky Derby is only just getting underway.

The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile may have given us an early indicator as to what we can expect to see when the action gets underway at Churchill Downs in May, but what stars could we expect to see shine at the opening leg of the Triple Crown event in just under six months’ time?

Take a look at these early predictions and don’t forget to place your bet online with TwinSpires.

Corniche

Big decisions will need to be made by the connections of Juvenile winner Corniche, as owners will need to decide whether they will stick by Bob Baffert and sidestep the Kentucky Derby, or switch trainers. Baffert isn’t able to declare runners for the Derby, and his horses also can’t pick up qualifying points due to the failed drugs test from Medina Spirit in last year’s race.

It is a huge decision that needs to be made by Speedway Stable LLC, but off the back of the Juvenile, they potentially have one of the outstanding chances in the race next year. He pulled well clear in the Juvenile at Del Mar to win by a length and three quarters from Pappacap, and improved his overall career record to a perfect 3-0.

Jack Christopher

The value selection in the ante-post betting at present certainly looks to be Jack Christopher. The two-year-old for Chad Brown was seen by many as a very good thing for the Juvenile at the Breeders’ Cup, but a late injury ruled him out of contention. It’s almost forgotten now just how short he was in the betting for the Juvenile at Del Mar, as he was tipped up by almost every expert.

His record before that race was a very impressive one, as he won on both previous starts. Jack Christopher also landed Grade 1 success in the Champagne Stakes, as he beat Commandperformance by two and three quarter lengths. It will be interesting to see the condition that he returns in, as his odds for the Kentucky Derby could be slashed immediately after a return victory.

Tiz The Bomb

Kenneth McPeek has never had a winner of the Kentucky Derby, but the latest odds suggest that he could have a very live chance with Tiz The Bomb. The two-year-old has had a promising start to his racing career to this point, but the majority of his success has come on the turf. He was a very good winner of the Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland in October, before lining up for the Juvenile Turf at Del Mar.

He stayed on very strong to finish second in that race, which was a very commendable performance against Modern Games, who was a very contentious winner after being scratched before reinstated.

It would be an incredible training performance by McPeek to get Tiz The Bomb to transfer that turf form onto the dirt, but the credentials are clear for all to see. The betting markets certainly suggest that there is a very good chance of a change in direction in 2022.

Echo Zulu

There hasn’t been a filly winner of the Kentucky Derby since 1988 and Winning Colors. Echo Zulu could be the girl to beak that long wait in 2022, as she is currently listed among the favourites. It hasn’t yet been confirmed by connections whether she will opt for the Oaks or the Derby, but she could be a very interesting contender based on the dominance that we have seen her enjoy against her own sex in 2021.

She hasn’t yet put a foot wrong for Steven Asmussen, and has won three Grade 1s. The first of those came in the Spinaway, before she added further success in the Frizette. Breeders’ Cup success was the perfect end to the season, as she won the Juvenile Fillies at Del Mar with a speed figure of 100. She is only improving, and her inclusion could make it one of the most interesting Kentucky Derby’s in recent memory.

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