2006 Kentucky Derby Recap

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2006 Kentucky Derby Recap

2006 Kentucky Derby Recap
by Ultimatecapper.com Horse Handicapper Kenneth Strong

Barbaro bucks history with powerful 6 ½ length win in 132nd Kentucky Derby

Bucking 50 years of history Barbaro powered away from the field in the stretch to win the 132nd running of the Kentucky Derby by 6/12 lengths over longshot Bluegrass Cat and 18 other rivals. Not since Needles in 1956 has a horse won the Kentucky Derby off more than a 28-day layoff. And Barbaro didn’t just win; he had something left at the wire.

It was an impressive performance by the dark bay son of Dynaformer- La Ville Rouge by Carson City, but it wasn’t a total surprise. Barbaro had been training like a bearcat all week at Churchill Downs, and he’d already hinted he was something special in the Florida Derby.

In the Florida Derby Barbaro was forced to dig in four times to defeat Sharp Humor. On his fourth try, the undefeated star appeared to look over at Sharp Humor as if to say, “What the hell, why can’t I get by you, I’ve beaten everyone else – every time.” He then bobbled while searching for another gear and found it, laying it down to take the lead for good – and signaling he was one very special colt.

Favored for most of the pre-race Kentucky Derby betting – as if somebody knew something – Barbaro eventually went off as the second choice at $6.10-1 after a huge late bet came in on Sweetnorthernsaint to make that runner the favorite at $5.50-1.

But it was Barbaro who ran even better than his odds indicated he would despite stumbling at the start. Stalking just back and outside of pacesetter Keyed Entry and presser Sinister Minister through fractions of 22.63 46.07 1:10.88, Barbaro took over nearing the five-sixteenths pole and surged to three-length lead into the stretch. After getting the mile 1:37.02, he was asked for more and responded with a vengeance, increasing his margin to 6 ½ lengths at the wire. The final time for the mile and a quarter over the fast track was 2:02.36, good enough for a Beyer Speed figure of 111. But Barbaro did have something left in the tank.

Second-place finisher Bluegrass Cat ($30-1), never far back, also benefited from a good trip, but was clearly no match for the winner while finishing two lengths in front Steppenwolfer ($16.30-1). The latter rallied to finish third after experiencing some traffic problems at the five-sixteenths pole, but he was also tiring at the wire. Jazil ($24.20) saved ground and made a four-wide bid at the top of the stretch before flattening out to finish in a dead-heat for fourth with Brother Derek ($7.70), a length behind Steppenwolfer.

Brother Derek didn’t get much of a trip. He was wide for the entire race, steadied late on the backstretch and came nine-wide into the stretch. In his case he did well to get as close as he did. It was also reported that he lost a right-front shoe at some point in the race.

Showing Up finished a good unseasoned fifth after bobbling at the break and bumping early. Along with Brother Derek, he should improve in his next start. Seventh-place finisher Sweetnorthernsaint could also improve in his next race. He experienced some early trouble before making an inside bid and flattening out.

Trained by Michael Matz for Lael Stables, Barbaro returned $14.20 $8.00 $6.00. The $2 8-13 Exacta of Barbaro and Bluegrass Cat returned $587. The $2 8-13-2 Trifecta with Steppenwolfer third returned $11,418.40. Due to the dead-heat between Jazil and Brother Derek there were two Superfecta payoffs. The $2 Superfecta 8-13-2-1 with Jazil in the fourth position, paid $84,860.40. The $2 Superfecta 8-13-2-18 with Brother Derek in fourth, returned $59,839.00.

Only four horses have won the Kentucky Derby by more that 6 1/2 lengths and only six horses since 1915 have won the Kentucky Derby while undefeated. The latter group includes Smarty Jones, Majestic Prince, Seattle Slew, Morvich, Regret, and now Barbaro. A perfect 6-for-6, he gives you the feeling he might be something very special.

The first Kentucky Derby winner for his connections, Barbaro might also become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Because not only does he have talent – he has heart!

See you at the Preakness!

May 20 at Pimlico Racecourse.

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Jay has been watching and following sports since he could walk and turned to betting in his late teens. His favorite sport is MLB and has been producing winners on UltimateCapper for almost 20 years. Follow Jay's free sports picks and enjoy the winners.