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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Rehashing Old Wireplayers' Derby Dozens

I decided to take a journey back to look at some of the Wireplayers Derby Dozens from the past four years since inception to see how well our panel did in our opening dozen and then the final dozen with respect to the eventual Derby winner. What I found was somewhat fascinating in some respects, and somewhat predictable in others.

You can catch this year's initial 2014 Derby Dozen here and if you are looking for live Derby odds this new site will provide you up to the minute odds for this year's Derby contenders. The Wireplayers panel has turned over some in the past four years, but the core group remains pretty much in tact to provide some consistency and some pretty funny commentary and we've added some sharpies to the team.

The initial polls typically have come out at the end of January or the first week in February (like this year's) so finding the Derby winner this early is nearly impossible. The final polls are released after the draw during Derby week so those polls should be scrutinized the most. Take a peak at how we did:

2010 Poll
First: Lookin at Lucky (1st); Super Saver (3rd)
FinalLookin at Lucky (1st); Super Saver (6th)

Commentary: We were pretty much in love with Baffert's ace who ended up winning the Preakness, but was doomed on the rail in the Derby. One of our better jobs with the eventual Derby winner as the #3 choice in the inaugural pool in January 2010, but feel to #6 in the final poll. 

2011 Poll
First: Uncle Mo (1st); Animal Kingdom (NR)
Final: Dialed In (1st); Animal Kingdom (6th)

Commentary: We were drinking the Uncle Mo kool-aid in mid-January 2011 and Animal Kingdom was nowhere on anyone's radar, he didn't even garner a single vote. He got a little more respect and ironically was the #6 horse in the final poll (see Super Saver above). We nailed the favorite in Dialed In, just not the winner.

2012 Poll
First: Union Rags (1st); I'll Have Another (NR)
Final: Gemologist (1st); I'll Have Another (6th)

Commentary: So for the second time in three years the horse on the top of our initial poll ended up a Classic winner (Belmont Stakes), but not the Derby winner. For the second consecutive year the Derby winner was unranked and without a single vote. Amazingly, for the third year in a row the Derby winner was the #6 horse in our final poll. (Man, why couldn't I play that hunch?)  Our final poll had Gemologist on top who never ran again.

2013 Poll
First: Violence (1st); Orb (NR)
Final: Orb (1st); Orb (1st)

Commentary: Unfortunately, like Uncle Mo in 2011, the promising Pletcher colt Violence, our initial poll topper, never made it to the gate. For the third straight year the Derby winner was neither on the list or received a vote (do you see a pattern here?). We nailed Orb in the final poll. By the way, Goldencents was the #6 horse and later won the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile last November.

2014 Poll
First: Cairo Prince (1st); Derby winner (?)

Commentary: Just going out on a limb, but guessing that Cairo Prince probably won't win the Derby and our initial list probably doesn't even include the eventual champ that will wear the roses on the First Saturday in May. I'll be sure to take a hard look at whoever ends up #6 in this year's final poll!

Moral of the story: Keep on digging...he's out there somewhere.



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