Key Kentucky Derby Contenders 2012 - Top 3-Year-Old Horses Taking Shape

Key Kentucky Derby Contenders 2012 - Top 3-Year-Old Horses Taking Shape

With the New Year upon us, the road to the Triple Crown takes center in the world of horse racing. This year's crop of 3-year-old prospects looks to be shaping up as one of the strongest in the last few years.

Many know its been since Affirmed in 1978 that horse racing saw its last Triple Crown winner. There were a spate of near-misses in the 2000's, the last of which was Big Brown in 2008. Since then, however, the last three Triple Crown crops have failed to produce any true standouts. To drive home that point one need only look at the rather uninspiring group up for 2011 champion 3-year-old.

Many in racing are expecting bigger and better things from this year's crop of 3-year-olds. As it stands now, a pair of colts rate at the head of the class. They are undefeated Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Hansen and Grade 1 winner Union Rags.

Hansen's road to the Kentucky Derby is expected to go through South Florida. Trainer Michael Maker is pointing to the Jan. 29 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park to kick off Hansen's sophomore campaign and that will probably be followed by either the Feb. 26 Fountain of Youth Stakes and/or the March 31 Florida Derby before heading to Kentucky.

Union Rags is scheduled to make just two starts prior to the Kentucky Derby—the Fountain of Youth Stakes and Florida Derby

Looking beyond the top pair, there are at least two dozen other top prospects squarely on the radar for the Kentucky Derby at this point. They include several strong Maiden winners that have graduated in the last several weeks as well as those that showed the ability to step up versus Stakes-quality competition late in their 2-year-old seasons.

Two colts that put themselves squarely in the Kentucky Derby mix with strong performances in the inaugural Gulfstream Park Derby over the holiday weekend. Reveron, who shipped in to Gulfstream from his base at Calder, was able to just hold off the highly-regarded Casual Trick to win the Gulfstream Park Derby while making his stakes debut. Both Reveron and Casual Trick are expected to make noise throughout the Gulfstream meet.

Up this week in the 3-year-old division is the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct, which will feature the 3-year-old bow of Godolphin Racing's Alpha. A son of Bernardini, Alpha was good second to Union Rags in the Champagne, but concluded his two-year-old season with an off-the-board finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He is the heavy morning-line favorite in the Count Fleet and will likely need a big performance to remain on schedule for the Kentucky Derby.

Over the next four months, this year's crop of 3-year-olds will begin to sort itself out. Some will fall by the wayside as the distances get longer and the competition tougher. But as things stand now, the sport of horse racing looks like it could be in for an exciting spring.




You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • tentpeg77 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • Brystar earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • MIG70STABLE earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 451,843 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 406,692 Points playing our game.
  • Lear Fan earned 404,890 Points playing our game.
  • rero0517 earned 345,774 Points playing our game.
  • ahijah earned 338,910 Points playing our game.
  • blackghost earned 318,747 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • rlparlett earned 296,439 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 294,980 Points playing our game.
  • blackcaviar007 earned 289,575 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 287,258 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 277,219 Points playing our game.
  • harrylan earned 270,270 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 255,255 Points playing our game.
  • scorpion56 earned 245,151 Points playing our game.
  • cloud509 earned 243,243 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 242,385 Points playing our game.
  • yowdvm earned 240,240 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 235,521 Points playing our game.
  • kingsport earned 235,092 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 232,947 Points playing our game.
  • ahijah earned 221,832 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 214,500 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 210,230 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 203,989 Points playing our game.
  • allinthegate earned 202,702 Points playing our game.
  • OldFarleyFan earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • kalabrouchie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • pepperkid earned 198,198 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 197,769 Points playing our game.
  • poopzee earned 193,050 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 186,712 Points playing our game.
  • frostbite earned 184,899 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 183,397 Points playing our game.
  • jobby1958 earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • scorpion56 earned 179,107 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 178,464 Points playing our game.
  • dave69 earned 173,700 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 172,887 Points playing our game.
  • Lear Fan earned 171,814 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 171,600 Points playing our game.
  • mysongforyou earned 167,310 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 167,310 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 163,856 Points playing our game.
  • jettexas earned 159,802 Points playing our game.
  • realbadwolf earned 158,944 Points playing our game.
  • conleyj@sbcglobal.net earned 155,727 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 154,440 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 154,440 Points playing our game.
  • abogado earned 154,050 Points playing our game.
  • natboy earned 154,011 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 140,448 Points playing our game.
  • ziggyredlag earned 112,433 Points playing our game.
  • ziggyredlag earned 108,810 Points playing our game.
  • tawee57 earned 105,007 Points playing our game.
  • blackghost earned 102,212 Points playing our game.
  • flyingdaaka earned 101,585 Points playing our game.
  • ronwar earned 100,938 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 99,704 Points playing our game.
  • Jinggoy earned 99,704 Points playing our game.
  • dave69 earned 97,196 Points playing our game.
  • gosuper earned 97,196 Points playing our game.
  • kalabrouchie earned 96,151 Points playing our game.
  • frelance earned 94,688 Points playing our game.
  • poopzee earned 91,762 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 89,622 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 89,443 Points playing our game.
  • xxxjayxxx earned 89,254 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 87,373 Points playing our game.
  • cloud509 earned 86,537 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 86,537 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 83,655 Points playing our game.
  • cloud509 earned 81,312 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 81,312 Points playing our game.
  • blackghost earned 80,476 Points playing our game.
  • kalabrouchie earned 78,804 Points playing our game.
  • Prince of Persia earned 76,087 Points playing our game.
  • rero0517 earned 76,087 Points playing our game.
  • Lear Fan earned 75,754 Points playing our game.
  • nickvegas earned 72,200 Points playing our game.
  • OldFarleyFan earned 71,071 Points playing our game.
  • aguilanegra1 earned 67,518 Points playing our game.
  • ziggyredlag earned 65,637 Points playing our game.
  • Junkytown earned 65,637 Points playing our game.
  • xanadu77 earned 65,637 Points playing our game.