2012 Kentucky Derby Contenders, Borderline Horses and Throwouts – Part III


2012 copyright Brisnet.com and Equibase

PROSPECTIVE (85/1, #16 on Money List)

I really liked this Mark Casse colt going into the Bluegrass Stakes (G1). There was a ton of early speed present in the field, and consequently, the race set up for two horses in particular – this guy and the eventual winner Dullahan. Prospective was fresh off two solid efforts at Tampa Bay Downs and appeared to be coming into the race the right way. He had a good post and the surface was not an issue, as he was already proven over Polytrack.

Things could not have been better in the first six furlongs of the race as Prospective sat a beautiful trip. But when the real running started, Prospective threw out the anchor. He finished sixth, beaten only about 6 lengths, but that is actually a pretty sizeable margin on the synthetic surface.  This was not a good performance, especially given the circumstances and the favorable race setup. The son of Malibu Moon isn’t good enough to be competitive in Kentucky Derby 138.

Status: Throwout

2012 KY Derby runner Mark Valeski pps

2012 copyright Brisnet.com and Equibase

MARK VALESKI (25/1, #22 on Money List)

This colt comes off a nice, closing 2nd place finish from an outside post in the Louisiana Derby (G2). It’s just too bad for this guy’s chance that this particular stakes race was one of the worst renewals I can ever recall. It was a pretty bad field, especially for a “major” prep 5 weeks prior to Kentucky Derby 138. The horse who beat him at Fair Grounds (off at odds of over 100-1) returned to run a poor race in the Bluegrass Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.

One positive with this horse is trainer Larry Jones, who is one of the best in the business and has Derby experience in his corner. Another positive note about the son of Proud Citizen is that he is an honest runner. Aside from his fourth place finish in his career debut going 5 furlongs, he has never run a bad race. However, the Kentucky Derby is going to be a huge step up in class, and he has not shown the type of ability against top class runners to think he can overcome that hurdle. He has only surpassed a 94 BRIS Speed Rating in one career start and that was his 101 in the Risen Star.

Mark Valeski is the type of longshot that could get 4th in the Derby at big odds and it would not be a huge surprise based on his overall honesty and consistency. However, hitting the board seems out of the question.

Status: Throwout



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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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