The Derby field: What are they thinking?

by | 05.02.2011 | 2:15pm

Meet Kerry Thomas, equine psychologist.  One of his favorite sayings: “The mental capacity of the equine controls the physical output of the athlete.”

With that in mind, Thomas “handicaps” the Derby field for Kentucky Confidential – from a mental perspective.  After watching race replays of many of the contenders, he draws some intriguing conclusions…

Dialed In:  “We've got a bulldozer here. He is a hellbent-for-leather boatload of grit. He plows through his space. Other horses be damned. This horse will be most successful when asked to go right through a crowd. He might like a 20-horse field.”

Nehro:  “In the Arkansas Derby, Nehro lost the race but he thinks he won. He was in the process of taking over Archarcharch's space at the wire. Nehro gets into a nice gear when he's able to be where he's happy. You can see a very consistent pattern… Unlike Dialed In, Nehro seeks targets and goes around. Dialed In plows through. Nehro is the pickpocket. Dialed In is a big bully.”

Animal Kingdom: “…he don't care where he's at. He's gonna do his thing. The more time in motion, the stronger he gets. He can hover in a space and then launch past it. He was having fun running along side Decisive Moment, and then throws him away. Animal Kingdom's only weakness is that he has a late release point. He threw Decisive Moment away at his leisure, but that could be a problem in the future, because we humans have this thing called a finish line.”

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