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2010 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Homeboykris

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 27:  Kentucky Derby entrant Homeboykris, trained by Rick Dutrow Jr, during morning exercise at Churchill Downs on April 27, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 27: Kentucky Derby entrant Homeboykris, trained by Rick Dutrow Jr, during morning exercise at Churchill Downs on April 27, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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Homeboykris

Sire: Roman Ruler
Dam: One Last Salute (Salutely)
Trainer: Richard Dutrow
Jockey: Edgar Prado (?)

Career Record: 6-2-1-0
Graded Earnings: $250,500

Running style: Presser

Homeboykris has a good amount of tactical speed at his disposal but he's not a "need-to-lead" horse in any sense of the work.  His two previous victories saw him sit a length of two off of the speed before making a wide run coming into the stretch. 

How he got to the Derby: This colt is the textbook example of a horse that notched one big win as a juvenile and parlayed that into a start in the Kentucky Derby.  After breaking his maiden at Calder last July, Homeboykris won the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont by a length and a half v=307"> // --> over fellow Derby contender Discreetly Mine.  He followed that up with a fifth place finish in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct and a fifth place finish in his first start as a three year old, the Grade 3 Holy Bull.  His most recent race this year was a second place finish to Radiohead (GB) in an allowance event at Gulfstream.

What has to happen for him to win: A lot of horses in this field are going to have to throw in subpar efforts if Homeboykris is to win on Saturday.  He's shown flashes of talent in previous races, but there is nothing in the race record that makes you think he's a Derby winner waiting to happen. 

Odds: 99/1

His only race at two turns was really poor effort and I'm not sure that same thing isn't going to happen in this spot on Saturday.  Trainer Rick Durtow obviously sees something in this horse or he wouldn't be pushing him into the Derby, and that can be enough to suspect a big effort on Saturday.  On the other hand, he hasn't raced since late February...a nine week lay-off prior to the Derby?  I suppose anything's possible but he's got a lot of ground to make up if he's going to win this race.  He's clearly one of the longest shots on the board.

Key race: Grade 2 Remsen Stakes (5th)

While the Champagne was Homeboykris' best race, the Remsen is the only race that this colt has run around two turns, and for me, that's an important distinction, especially since he didn't finish well at all this day.  Notice how Homeboykris noticeably shortens his stride as he's running through deep stretch.  Now, it's possible that he just wasn't on his game that day and that he's matured and improved over the last six months.  But based on what we've seen so far, I'm not sure this is a two turn horse.