by Renee Israel
Bodemeister and Union Rags are the favourites for the 2012 Kentucky Derby
that will be run on Saturday May 5.
This is one of the leading fixtures in the United States horse racing
calendar. The Kentucky Derby is held at the Churchill Downs race track in
Louisville for three-year-old thoroughbred horses.
How the horses perform depends a fair deal on their trainers and jockeys. In
terms of the 2012 Kentucky Derby entrants, the trainers of the
top two contenders are more in the news than the horses themselves. Michael Matz
is the trainer of Union Rags. The last Kentucky Derby winner he trained was
Barbaro in 2006.
Unfortunately Barbaro met with an accident in that year's Preakness Stakes
and had to be put down. Matz has now put that behind him and is happy to take
centre stage again at America's most popular horse race. He again has trained a
horse that stands a good chance.
The trainer said that he was lucky once and it is difficult to believe that
he can get lucky again. Union Rags has had four wins in five races and came in
third in the fifth. There is a sentimental touch as well because Union Rags is
housed in the same barn at Churchill Downs that was used by Barbaro and has the
same exercise rider as well.
Though Union Rags seems to be the popular favourite most online betting sides
have posted marginally shorter odds on Bodemeister, who is trained by Bob
Baffert, who has won the Kentucky Derby with three different horses. He won in
1997 and 1998 and the last time in 2002.
Bodemeister is named after Baffert's 7-year-old son Bode. Baffert has an
interesting anecdote about that. When he told his son that Bodemeister would be
running in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, Bode immediately asked, "Well, what if he
loses?" Though Baffert then brushed off that question, he later acknowledged
that it is adding a bit of extra pressure on him. And having just recovered from
a heart attack, pressure is the last thing that Baffert wants.
Ladbrokes Online 2012 Kentucky Derby Odds
The online betting site Ladbrokes is one of the British sports books that
have put up the ante post odds for the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby favourite at Ladbrokes online is Bodemeister with odds of
4/1. The next in line is Union Rags with odds of 5/1. Considering the support
that Union Rags seems to be getting from the public at large, it is possible
that the odds may be shortened in the next few days.
Therefore for punters wanting to put a bet on Union Rags, the time is now.
The odds for the top five contenders at Ladbrokes online are as follows.
Union Rags 5/1
Take Charge Indy 10/1