Thursday, May 01, 2014

Kentucky Derby Field Set - CPT Pick to win - Vicar's in Trouble with Rosie Napravnik making history


Today was the drawing for post position and the first posting of the odds for Saturday's 140th Kentucky Derby and the Coltons Point Times pick to win, Vicar's in Trouble, will have to shatter history to make history.

Vicar's in Trouble

The most dreaded position in the Kentucky Derby is post position number 1, against the fence.  Would you believe the first horse to draw was Vicar's in Trouble and the position it drew was Pole Position #1 so the entire rest of the field could rest easy, the hell hole was gone.

Rosie Napravnik

Did I mention no #1 horse has ever won the Derby?  Neither has a woman ever won and that brings me to Rosie Napravnik, a 26 year old 5' 2 " 133 lb female jockey and no female has ever won the Derby.  I had no choice but to pick Rosie because she was born about 5 miles from where I lived in 1988, I lived in Morris Township, NJ and she was born in her grandmother's home in Mendham Township, NJ.  She was brought to the hospital in Morristown.  At the time I worked for Governor Thomas Kean of New Jersey.

So Rosie has to beat history to win, the horse has to beat history to win, it is the smallest horse in the race, and by the way, even though the horse ranks number 2 in terms of Derby points, four top experts for Churchill Downs made top ten picks and Vicar only showed up once, and that was in 9th place.

Vicar is only the third horse bred in Louisiana to compete in the Derby, none have won.  The Vicar first sold for $8,000, then resold for $80,000 before winning 3 of its last five races. And Rosie moved to Louisiana with her husband, Joe Sharp, a trainer so the Louisiana horse has an adopted Louisiana rider in Rosie.

Then there are opening odds, Vicar was 30-1.

Still I say do not underestimate this determined Jersey girl.  She has her sites set on winning the Triple Crown before she is through and if anyone can shatter all the glass ceilings needed to get there it is Rosie.  Did I mention she was the first woman to win the Kentucky Oaks? Last year she finished 5th in the Kentucky Derby and 3rd in the Preakness, the best finishes ever for a woman.

Over the last two seasons she was one of the top ten jockeys in the USA and is in the running for jockey of the year in 2014.  I say it is time for history to be made, not followed.  Go Rosie.

Kentucky Derby favorite California Chrome leads odds and draws PP #5 
Kentucky Derby morning-line favorite California Chrome drew post position No. 5 and is a 5-2 favorite to win the 140th "Run for the Roses." Wicked Strong and Hoppertunity are the top challengers to California Chrome, and both were able to avoid the dreaded No. 1 post. Wicked Strong drew the No. 20 gate while Hoppertunity will break from the No. 11 gate.

The draw can have a major impact on the outcome of the race. Get stuck too far outside and your chances go down. No horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby running from the 17th gate like Commanding Curve will this year. Getting stuck along the rail can also be an issue, with no Derby winner coming from the first two inside spots in the last 25 years. There are always exceptions -- like I'll Have Another winning from the No. 19 gate in 2012 -- but a poor draw is a lot to overcome.

California Chrome will enter the derby having won four straight stakes. Even with the wins, there have been issues with California Chrome's break, possibly making post position an even bigger factor. Staying away from the rail could be a key, as another poor break won't necessarily pin California Chrome behind the field with too much ground to make up right off the bat. California Chrome has had success running from the No. 5 post, including winning the Santa Anita Derby. If California Chrome is able to come away with the win, it would make history in the process. At 77 years old, trainer Art Sherman would become the oldest trainer to win the Kentucky Derby.
Wicked  Must Reads
Strong was unfortunate to draw the No. 20 post and will have ground to make up starting from the far outside. Ride on Curlin with jockey Calvin Borel also landed an outside spot and will break next to Wicked Strong at the No. 19 post. Hoppertunity, trained by Bob Baffert, was more fortunate, drawing the 11th post. Hoppertunity jockey Mike Smith said he was happy with the No. 11 post, although the horse will have to be in the gate for a while.

Any concerns of getting the rail went away early with Vicar's In Trouble drawing the No. 1 position on the very first draw. The trainers and jockeys did have to sweat some with the No. 2 post staying on the board late into the draw before Harry's Holiday was saddled with the spot.  Pablo Del Monte is an alternate entry and would be added to the field if any of the current 20 horses scratch before 9 a.m. ET on Friday.

Post positions and morning line odds for the 2014 Kentucky Derby

Post Position
Vicar's In Trouble
Rosie Napravnik
Mike Maker
Harry's Holiday
Corey Lanerie
Mike Maker
Uncle Sigh
Irad Ortiz Jr.
Gary Contessa
Joe Bravo
Todd Pletcher
California Chrome
Victor Espinoza
Art Sherman
Jose Ortiz
Rick Violette Jr.
We Miss Artie
Javier Castellano
Todd Pletcher
General A Rod
Joel Rosario
Mike Maker
Joe Rococo Jr.
Todd Pletcher
Wildcat Red
Luis Saez
Joe Garoffalo
Mike Smith
Bob Baffert
Dance With Fate
Corey Nakatani
Peter Eurton
Martin Garcia
Bob Baffert
Medal Count
Robby Albarado
Dale Romans
Ricardo Santana Jr.
Steve Asmussen
Intense Holiday
John Velazquez
Todd Pletcher
Commanding Curve
Shaun Bridgmohan
Dallas Stewart
Candy Boy
Gary Stevens
John Sadler
Ride On Curlin
Calvin Borel
William G. Gowan
Wicked Strong
Rajiv Maragh
James A. Jerkens
21 AE
Pablo Del Monte
Jeffrey Sanchez
Wesley Ward
NBC Boosts TV Coverage

NBC is adding Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski to its Kentucky Derby telecast as fashion correspondents next week, illustrating how the network's coverage now reflects one of the most female-friendly televised sporting events of the year.

The two figure skaters, who were the breakout stars of NBC's Sochi Olympics broadcast team, will comment on the fashionable outfits worn by members of the rich and celebrity-filled audience who try to avoid spilling mint juleps on their designer duds, the network said Tuesday.

The image of cigar-chomping race fans no longer applies to horse racing's signature event. Slightly more than half of NBC's Derby viewers last year were women attracted to the party, the Nielsen company said. No other major TV sports event, with the exception of the Olympics, is so weighted toward female viewers, NBC said.

''It's not just a two-minute race,'' said Rob Hyland, coordinating producer for the NBC Sports Group. ''Of course, the two-minute race is extremely important, but our job is to capture the venue and the day - it's a huge celebration - as creatively and poignantly as possible.''

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