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2010 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Interactif

Interactif

Sire: Broken Vow
Dam: Broad Brush
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Rafael Bejarano

Career Record: 8-3-2-1
Graded Earnings: $307,950 (#17)

Running style: Presser / Mid-Pack

Another horse that's been running in a lot of races over the lawn, making it very difficult to judge how he'll perform when switched to the dirt at Churchill Downs.  He ran over dirt in the first two starts of his career at Monmouth and Saratoga last summer.  In each of those starts he was either on the lead or pressing just off it.  When running on the turf, Interactif has been placed anywhere from a pressing to closing position and run well at all times.  His last race (on the Polytrack)

So here's what were dealing with: in two dirt sprints, Interactif pressed the pace hard on the front end or was the early leader, on the turf he ran from both up in front and in back, and on the Polytrack he was in the middle.  Based on his limited dirt experience and his recent morning works, I'm guessing that we'll see this horse near the lead in the Derby.

How he got to the Derby:  As a juvenile, Interactif finished first in the Grade 3 With Anticipation (turf), first in the Grade 3 Bourbon (turf), and third in the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf

Interactif began his three year old season with a defeat to Bim Bam in the Hallandale Beach by a nose.  He followed that up with a second place finish behind Sidney's Candy in the Grade 2 San Felipe at Santa Anita, and a fourth place finish in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland.  All in all, Interactif has run in six graded stakes races in his career (1 on dirt, 3 on turf, 2 on synthetic) with a record of 6-2-1-1.

What has to happen for him to win: Interactif needs to break well, press the pace, hope the fractions aren't overly fast, and unleash the performance of his life in the stretch.

Odds: 40/1

When you look at Interactif's races, you see a horse that consistently goes out a produces a decent effort time and time again.  And while we don't see any spectacular performances by this colt, there's enough on the past performance line to make you think he could throw down a big race at some point.  The question, of course, is whether the Derby will be that big race. 

If Interactif tries to go with the leaders in the early stages of the race he could be in big trouble.  He's only ran in one race where he tried to stalk the early speed where the half mile went in under :47 seconds (the Sanford), and he faded badly that day.  To be fair, that was a sprint race where the fractions were very quick (21.8 and 44.8), but when you look at his turf and synthetic races the early pace was tepid, at best. 

While I don't really like Interactif to win the Derby, I won't be surprised if he runs a good race.

Key race: Take your pick              

Perhaps one of the reasons that I have struggled to figure out where Interactif fits into the Derby picture is because I can't even decide on a key race.  You could make a case that his San Felipe performance was the key race, since he finished second to Sidney's Candy.  The Sanford, even though it was on dirt, is much too old to be a key race (and it's a sprint, as well).  And his turf races aren't really relevant to the Derby.  In the end, his previous races aren't going to matter on bit if he doesn't like running on the dirt.