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Horse Betting Tips: Kentucky Derby Recap

Triple Crown Overview

The 2009 Kentucky Derby was the second-biggest upset in Derby history, and easily the biggest in modern times. The 50-1 longshot Mine That Bird rallied from 19th place to win the Derby by 6 ¾ lengths, also the second-longest margin of victory in Derby history. Only two horses in the field had longer odds than him, Atomic Rain at 55-1 and Join in the Dance at 51-1.Only 91-1 Donerail was a bigger upset, and that was back in 1913. Mine That Bird paid a crazy $103.20, $54, and $25.80, beating out multiple stakes winner Pioneerof the Nile, who was coming off four straight victories going into the Kentucky Derby.

Pioneerof the Nile was running his classic race as he took over the lead from the pace setters around the final turn. He began his stretch run, where he’d been so strong in many of his races holding off horses that try to run him down, but no one sawMine That Bird making up ground along the rail until he cruised past every horse in the final stretch. None of the other horses could answer his final push, and Mine That Bird made it look easy in the end.

This upset has turned the Triple Crown picture upside down and wide open because it’s unlikely that this horse can do it again in the Preakness Stakes. As such a huge longshot, Mine That Bird is unlikely to get much respect in the next jewel of the Triple Crown. 

He is confirmed to run in the May 16 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland, but he will be getting nowhere near the best odds in the field. Despite the Derby upset, his racing record is a so-so 5-1-0 in nine starts, with most of those wins occurring in Canada against weak fields. His last two starts before the Derby were a fourth and a second-place finish in the Sunland and Borderland Derbies.

His pedigree is the only area that points to this horse being a possible Triple Crown contender. He is out of Mining My Own,who was sired by the great Smart Strike. Smart Strike is the sire of 56 stakes winners, and was the leading sire in North America in 2007 and 2008. Mine That Bird’s sire is 2004 Belmont Stakes winner Birdstone. He was sired by 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone, who was sired by 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Unbridled.

So the pedigree is there for greatness, but Mine That Bird will have a lot to prove at the Preakness before any experts will take him seriously to win the Triple Crown. He has a better chance to win the Belmont Stakes because it’s a longer race, but stranger things have happened when a horse is peaking at the right time. As usual everyone loves an underdog story, and Mine That Bird has become the first horse to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated May issue since Smarty Jones was put on it in 2004. If he is able to continue to be more horse than he’s been in the past, and he finishes in the money in the Preakness, the attention this horse will get will be big – really big.

Mine That Bird will now have to beat a new crop of three-year-old horses in the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes, as well as a couple of returning foes in General Quarters, Papa Clem, and Musket Man. We could also see some of the top-ranked three-year-olds that didn’t run the Derby like the undefeated Hull. Whichever horses he faces, he’ll have to adjust to the shorter track in Maryland and make his run to the finish line a little sooner than he did in the Derby.

Lay Down A Futures Bet On The 2009 Preakness Stakes – Horse Racing Lines Are Up Now – Bookmaker Racebook Online >>>


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  1. With seven new horses that did not run in the Derby, the Preakness will be a whole other race. The big story will be Rachael Alexandra, if she gets in the field of 14. While I do not like her to win, she will most likely go off as the favorite.