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2010 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Devil May Care

LOUISVILLE, KY - APRIL 27:  Kentucky Derby entrant Devil May Care, trained by Todd Pletcher, 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 Devil May Care, trained by Todd Pletcher, during morning exercise at Churchill Downs on April 27, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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Devil May Care

Sire: Malibu Moon
Dam: Kelli's Ransom (Red Ransom)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: John Velazquez

Career Record: 5-3-0-0

Running style: Presser / Mid-pack

Devil May Care is a ratable filly that usually finds herself two or three lengths off the leaders in the early stages of the race.  The only race where she was placed farther back then that was the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but that was probably more to do with the track surface rather than her running style.

How she got to the Derby: As a juvenile, Devil May Care won the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont before finishing a distant eleventh in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.  She started her three year old season with a disappointing fifth in the Grade 3 Silverbulletday, only to bounce back and post a big victory in the Grade 2 Bonnie Miss at Gulfstream Park on March 20th.

What has to happen for her to win: Given the amount of horses that want to sit either on the lead or just off of it, Devil May Care will have to use some of her tactical speed to secure herself a good running position heading into the first turn.  She needs to stay somewhat back of the early pace as I don't think she'll be able to kick on for home if she's asked to go too fast, too early.  If she gets good stalking trip, it's possible that she could run a big race, but it's going to be tough for her.

Odds: 40/1

Some commentators have suggested that Devil May Care will go off as the third or fourth choice on Derby day.  If she does, she's a major underlay in my book.  Her race in the Bonnie Miss was outstanding but she got the absolutely perfect set-up that day sitting behind a fast pace in a small field.  The Derby will be a much different race and a much tougher one for her to win given the presence of many horses that possess a similar running style to hers.

Key race: Grade 2 Bonnie Miss (1st)

Her last race was by far the best of her career, so it seems appropriate to call it her "key race".  This race really couldn't have set-up any better for her as she sat behind three fillies that were hell bent on running very hard early.  Devil May Care easily swung wide coming off the turn, pushed on by the leader in the stretch, ran a little greenly after making the lead, and then put away the field.  Certainly a solid effort but you wonder if that would be enough to win on Saturday.