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Smelling like Roses

April 30, 2012
April 30, 2012

Table of Contents
April 30, 2012

Sports Illustrated DIGITAL
LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
LEBRON JAMES
BASEBALL
PRO HOCKEY
  • The scars worn by rugged Kings captain Dustin Brown, who led L.A. to a stunning first-round upset of the Canucks, tell the tale of a postseason marked—and marred—by mayhem

REBECCA SONI
BLUEPRINT
  • While football nation shifts into draft overdrive, the Giants go about business their own way, with no headlines and no hype. How has the recent two-time Super Bowl winner been built? Through teamwork among the decision makers—and a knack for finding treasures in the late rounds and beyond

Departments

Smelling like Roses

While the Kentucky Derby prep races have revealed no strong favorites, they have showcased a deep stable of talent. Here, in order, are SI's top 5 for May 5, plus one long shot special

DULLAHAN

This is an article from the April 30, 2012 issue

STARTS 8

WINS 2

SECONDS 2

THIRDS 2

TRAINER

DALE ROMANS

JOCKEY

KENT DESORMEAUX

The late-running winner of the April 14 Blue Grass Stakes has made big strides since he finished fourth in November's Breeders' Cup juvenile. The colt is 0 for 3 on dirt, but two of those races were sprints, and trainer Dale Romans says he loves the Churchill Downs track. In a race with plenty of front-end speed, he's the pick.

GEMOLOGIST

STARTS 5

WINS 5

SECONDS 0

THIRDS 0

TRAINER

TODD PLETCHER

JOCKEY

JAVIER CASTELLANO

The son of two-time Breeders' Cup Classic champion Tiznow has never been headed in the stretch, including when he stubbornly held off Derby rival Alpha to win the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 7. With only one pre-Wood workout and just two races this year, he's primed for a big improvement in Louisville.

BODEMEISTER

STARTS 4

WINS 2

SECONDS 2

THIRDS 0

TRAINER

BOB BAFFERT

JOCKEY

MIKE SMITH

Unraced at 2, he has broken the 100 Beyer-Speed-Figure barrier three times (no other Derby contender has done so more than once), including a 108 in a commanding 9½-length victory in the Arkansas Derby on April 14. But he's a front-runner, and in a Derby full of pace, it's going to be hard to win the roses on the lead.

CREATIVE CAUSE

STARTS 8

WINS 4

SECONDS 2

THIRDS 2

TRAINER

MIKE HARRINGTON

JOCKEY

JOEL ROSARIO

The only Derby contender to have beaten both Dullahan and Bodemeister, he heads to Churchill Downs fresh off of a game runner-up finish in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7. He's a grinder, preferring to sit just off the pace and make one sustained run, and he should be in the hunt on May 5.

UNION RAGS

STARTS 6

WINS 4

SECONDS 1

THIRDS 1

TRAINER

MICHAEL MATZ

JOCKEY

JULIEN LEPAROUX

The strapping bay colt has been the Derby favorite since his courageous second-place finish in the '11 Breeders' Cup juvenile. His trainer, who won the '06 Derby with Barbaro, certainly knows how to bring a horse up to the race. But is his colt fast enough? His career-best Beyer of 95 is just average for this field.

ALPHA

STARTS 6

WINS 3

SECONDS 2

THIRDS 0

TRAINER

KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN

JOCKEY

UNDECIDED

Provided he has recovered from four missed training days because of an infection he suffered in his left foreleg after it was cut during the Wood Memorial, Alpha is an intriguing long shot. He lost the Wood to Gemologist by only a neck, but he's improving and he should benefit from the Derby's 10-furlong distance.

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