The Free PPs
TheFreePPs is covering the 2021-2022 Fair Grounds meet which begins Thursday, November 25 with the Thanksgiving Classic. First race post is at 1:00 PM ET for the nine race opening day card from New Orleans.

    Poll: Nyquist starts to pull away from rest of Derby contenders

    Nyquist starts to pull away from the rest of the field in our “Who will win the 2016 Kentucky Derby” poll.

    Going into Saturday Exaggerator, who was second to Nyquist in the San Vicente at Santa Anita, held a one vote lead over Nyquist in our poll.

    Click here to make your selection and get free past performances for the 2016 Kentucky Derby contenders.

    As of this morning the poll has reversed and Nyquist now holds a 5 vote lead over Exaggerator. Mohaymen who finished a disappointing fourth as the heavy favorite in the Florida Derby is 8 votes behind and third choice in the voting.

    Why not Nyquist

    After his impressive win in the Florida Derby it was clear to many that Nyquist would go into the Kentucky Derby as the prohibitive favorite having won all 7 of his starts. He’s defeated three of the top 6 runners with votes including Exaggerator, Brody’s Cause and Mohaymen. His owner, trainer and jockey know how to win the Derby having won it with I’ll Have Another in ’12.

    But some say that he faced a weak field in the Florida Derby. Majesto, second that day, had just previously won the first race of his career and was a longshot. Fellowship who was third in Florida and has managed only one win to speak of in a restricted race for Florida-bred runners is a deep closer that appears on paper to be part of the also ran’s in this year’s crop of three-year old’s.

    Beat Swipe four times in a row. Swipe returned as the beaten favorite in the Lexington.

    Why not Exaggerator

    I’ve already said that I thought Exaggerator’s win over the sloppy Santa Anita surface was par for the course according to his running lines. He came rolling home on a day when speed was holding. His main rivals were Mor Spirit who rallied to finish second as the favorite and Danzing Candy the early pacesetter who tired to finish 13 lengths back in fourth place as the second choice in the field.

    The 1 for 5 third place finisher Uncle Lino won’t make the 2016 Derby field but did return to win the first stakes race of his career yesterday in the California Chrome Stakes at Los Alamitos in a record setting time of 1:40.82 for the 1 1/16 miles distance.

    Uncle Lino’s connections can count the Preakness Stakes as their next best option in this year’s Triple Crown series.

    In racing there’s probably no stronger an angle than when horses win their next out after a losing performance making the race the came out of a “key race” in the minds of professional handicappers. And with that I guess we could consider the Santa Anita Derby a key race because of Uncle Lino’s win coming out of it. But you’d expect a win over a modest field at Los Al after previously competing against Derby contenders.

    He’s been beaten three times by Nyquist in his career.

    Why not Mohaymen

    Entered the Florida Derby as the favorite off 5 consecutive victories but drew wide that day to finish fourth as Guiterrez was able to control the pace aboard Nyquist. The track did come up a little off that day but not sure that had much to do with his performance. He’s another who faced Fellowship three times finishing behind that one in the Florida Derby.

    Post-Position Draw

    The Kentucky Derby post position draw – a traditional “pill pull” in which horses’ entry blanks are pulled simultaneously with a numbered pill to determine what stall a horse will break from the starting gate – will be held at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. ET (Live on NBCSN). Up to 24 horses may enter the race and four horses can be listed as “also eligible” and would be ranked in order accordingly; they could draw into the field should any horse(s) be scratched before scratch time on Friday, May 6, 2016 at 9 a.m. ET.

    Click here for the complete schedule of events during Derby week beginning March 4.

    Analysis and Selections

    Analysis and selections for the 2016 Kentucky Derby will be made after they draw the post positions on Wednesday. Click here to get Wiz Capper’s free picks for the Derby.

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