Kentucky Derby 140 Contenders, Borderline Horses & Throwouts – Part V

GENERAL A ROD (Speed horse/stalker, 10/1)

I’ve like this Mike Maker trained horse for quite some time.  The son of Roman Ruler was a very impressive winner going 7 furlongs in his debut at Keeneland last fall.  He proved that was no fluke by stepping up to face winners and running a strong 2nd to Conquest Titan in a full field of allowance runners at Churchill Downs.  He then had two back-to-back duels with Wildcat Red at Gulfstream Park, which resulted in a split decision, before finishing a close third in the G1 Florida Derby.


He did the dirty work in that final prep race, as he tried to keep Wildcat Red honest on the front end. In the process he forced a quicker 2nd quarter from that speedy foe.  When they turned for home, the highly regarded Constitution scooted through an opening at the rail and that decisive move got him the victory.  General A Rod never gave up and finished willingly for the show spot.  His is proven over the track, owns good tactical speed, and has a great trainer and jockey in his corner.  Plenty to like  on a horse that figures to be a square price.

KYD General A Rod

Form: Sharp

Status: Contender

Value Line: 10/1

COMING THURSDAY: Rich Nilsen’s Kentucky Derby Analysis & Wagering Strategies

UNCLE SIGH (Speed horse, 50/1)

One of two New York breds who will try to emulate Funny Cide, this colt exits a lackluster fifth in the G1 Wood Memorial, his biggest test to date.  As a son of Indian Charlie he will want no part of ten furlongs, so his only chance to ‘move up’ would be an off track (solid pedigree on both sides for wet).

Trainer Gary Contessa is a good horseman but he has a dismal 3% win record in graded stakes.  This guy is not going to help that cause.  Uncle Sigh will add to a fast pace before folding up on the backstretch.

KYD_ Uncle Sigh

2014 copyright Equibase and

Form: Fair

Status: Throwout

Value Line: 50/1

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Rich Nilsen is an 18-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 and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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