Kentucky Derby 2009 – Jeff Hasselman Race Analysis
May 2, 2009
Derby Selection Winners Since 1995 [No Selection 96,97,99,01]
Thunder Gulch(95) Real Quiet(98) Fusaichi Pegasus(00)
Funny Cide(03) Smarty Jones(04) Barbaro(06) Big Brown(08)
It is upon us again, the annual pageantry that is the Kentucky Derby now in its 135
back to 1875. Its first winner Aristides ironically was named after a Greek Statesmen who refused to seek
financial gain in his service to the populace of Athens. So ladies grab your stylish hats, gentlemen peruse
the Daily Racing Form and everybody place your wagers on your “Derby” horse.
This year's cast of Kentucky Derby hopefuls is a very talented bunch, and it runs extremely deep when
compared to previous years (notably last year which was extremely disappointing from a talent
standpoint and why Big Brown was untested). Not one participant holds a perceived edge over someone
else. In fact, the word "parity" could be used to accurately describe this year's three-year-olds, and I do
not mean that in a disparaging way. This is simply an evenly-matched group.
Each year the trends and history become common fodder. Although they will be prevalent this year,
should we take them seriously as we used to? As in the past, I have not been fearful of these gems to
handicapping, notably my fortunate outcome in 2003 with Funny Cide proved that these are meant to be
broken. Funny Cide was the first gelding to win since Clyde van Dusen in 1929. How apropos to discuss a
year when the market crashed. So what will possibly give during this battle of three year olds?
Regardless, all runners will meet at Churchill Downs as sophomores save the freshman Dunkirk. They
continue their quest for fame and glory. As a result, selecting the right horse for the Derby is not an easy
task by any means. There are many factors which must be weighed, and taken into consideration, in order
to determine the right applicant for the job. Diligence, conce