For Immediate Release April 27, 2016
With one more version of the Ultimate Kentucky Derby Poll Presented by brisnet.com to go, unbeaten juvenile champion Nyquist remains on top with 11 of 13 first-place votes in our all-star panel of handicappers and turf journalists and analysts. Gun Runner and Mor Spirit each have one top vote.
There was little change in the poll, other than the defection of Rebel winner Cupid, who finished 10th as the heavy favorite in the Arkansas Derby and was to undergo a procedure to correct a breathing obstruction. Fellowship, who needs one defection in order to be assured of getting in the starting gate, joins the poll for the first time this week at No. 20.
The Ultimate Kentucky Derby poll appears every Monday morning at horseracingradio.net, the website of Eclipse Award-winning Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), which is partnering with Brisnet.com, the official data source of the Kentucky Derby, to produce the rankings. The poll is overseen by Jennie Rees, a five-time Eclipse Award-winning turf writer who provides extensive comments on the consensus top 20 at horseracingradio.net.
The biggest decision by the pollsters this week seemed to be what fringe horses to include: Do you go with the 20 horses assured as of today of being in the field? Or go for those you think are the 20 best horses at 1 1/4 miles on dirt?
“We are into the portion of Kentucky Derby polling where I am only ranking the top 20 horses based on who is currently in the race based on points,” said Brisnet.com’s director of marketing Ed DeRosa. “So while I would rank Fellowship (ranked 21st) ahead of Oscar Nominated, since Fellowship isn't actually in the gate as of right now he's not on this list.”
DeRosa also wrote of his personal top 20: “The horses below are ranked in order of who I expect to actually bet to win the race. E.g., Destin probably wins this race more than Tom's Ready does, but Destin will take more money, and the eight weeks west off a 1 1/16-mile race makes him tough for me to bet.”
With many of the Kentucky Derby horses already at Churchill Downs and Nyquist at Keeneland, Caton Bredar is tweaking her poll based on seeing the horses train.
“Whitmore impressed me and moves up slightly,” the racing analyst said. “Lani does not impress me and drops down the list. Fellowship has also been training well and seems to be enjoying his new surroundings. I’m not certain some of these will get a shot to run but wish they would. I previously eliminated Shagaf after a poor performance in the Wood; after seeing him on the track, I’m inclined to think he deserves another chance, although I find it hard to put him above horses who are in better form coming into the Derby.”
Michael Beychok, the 2012 Eclipse Award Handicapper of the Year, made his biggest move by promoting Arkansas Derby winner Creator from No. 5 to No. 2.
“I like how he is getting better and he beat a fairly nice field in the Arkansas Derby, Beychok said, “He needs luck to find a path through, coming from behind. But he is clearly an athletic colt and getting good at the right time.”
Other Ultimate Kentucky Derby pollsters are Brisnet.com’s James Scully; HRRN’s Mike Penna, Jude Feld and Acacia Courtney; Steve Byk, host of the popular weekly radio show At the Races with Steve Byk; reigning NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen; the NTRA’s Jim Mulvihill; Churchill Downs’ VIP player services manager Gary Palmisano, and racing analyst, handicapper and horse owner Jeff Siegel.
The final poll will be next Monday at horseracingradio.net.
About HRRN
The Horse Racing Radio Network is your home for Eclipse Award winning coverage of the biggest events in racing throughout the year. HRRN broadcasts more than 100 stakes races and is the official radio network of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships. HRRN also produces a series of popular talk shows aired throughout the week on SiriusXM satellite radio: Xpressbet Radio on HRRN (Wednesday – Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET), Jock Talk presented by Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Tuesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Trainer Talk presented by Fasig-Tipton (Wednesday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Brisnet Call In Show (Thursday, 6-7 p.m. ET), Xpressbet Weekend Stakes Preview (Friday, 6-7 p.m. ET) and the Equine Forum (Saturday, 8-10 a.m. ET).
For more information visit www.horseracingradio.net, follow us on Twitter @HRRN and like “Horse Racing Radio Network” on Facebook.
About Brisnet.com
Brisnet.com is the official data source of the Kentucky Derby, TwinSpires.com, and Churchill Downs Inc.’s family of racetracks. Founded in 1971 by Richard “Dick” Broadbent III as Bloodstock Research Information Services, Brisnet.com was the first large-scale website to offer past performances online when it launched in 1996. Acquired by CDI in 1996, Brisnet.com is a leading provider of horse racing information. Follow Brisnet.com on Twitter @Brisnet.
About Jennie Rees
Jennie Rees, a five-time Eclipse Award winner and 2014 inductee into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Joe Hirsch Media Roll of Honor, covered racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal for 32 years before leaving newspaper journalism to specialize in horse-racing communications, advocacy and fan education. Follow her on Twitter @TracksideJennie and at “Trackside Jennie” on Facebook.